New York police upgrade gear after Texas, Louisiana shootings

July 26, 2016

The New York City Police Department has acquired $7 million in military-style protective equipment for patrol officers in response to recent shooting attacks on police in Baton Rouge and Dallas earlier this month, officials said on Monday.”You name it, we’re buying it,” Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference. “There’s not a police department in America that is spending as much money, as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety.”

“You name it, we’re buying it,” Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference. “There’s not a police department in America that is spending as much money, as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety.” Bratton said the NYPD has purchased 20,000 military-style helmets, 6,000 heavy duty bullet-proof vests, trauma kits and ballistic doors and windows for patrol cars.

 

Bernie Sanders Says Climate Change is a Central Election Issue

July 26, 2016

Billionaire climate advocate Tom Steyer believes young Americans will cast more votes this year based on rising temperatures than in past presidential elections. In an interview with ClimateWire last night, the founder of NextGen Climate also downplayed the idea of placing a price on carbon dioxide and dismissed the notion of swapping the Clean Power Plan for a carbon tax.

“That’s a huge wedge issue,” Steyer said of young voters’ concern about climate change. “I think it’s a critical issue as to whether they turn out.”

NextGen is spending more than $25 million to encourage millennials to vote in November. Young adults currently account for the largest and most diverse population in the United States, and Steyer believes that could help Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump on Nov. 8.Separately, Steyer’s group is partnering with five different unions to canvass working-class and minority neighborhoods, where the issue of climate change could help compel young voters to turn out this fall. Large percentages of African Americans and Latinos believe that global warming is occurring, and Steyer’s group is trying to turn those concerns into electoral action.

 

The Link Between Armed Conflict And Climate Change Just Got A Bit Stronger

July 26, 2016

When one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded hit the South American country of Peru in 1982, the abnormal warming it brought to the Pacific Ocean was a catastrophic blow to the already economically fragile nation. The fishing industry quickly suffered massive losses as the anchovy harvest collapsed and the sardines suddenly migrated south into Chilean waters.

Heavy rains and flooding crippled agriculture and infrastructure in the north. Crops in the south and the highland were battered, too, with a drought that for some areas seemed to be the continuation of a short but intense dry spell that had ended just two years before. By 1983 the country was an economic and violent mess. It had lost more than 10 percent of its gross domestic product in a matter of months. Inflation was rampant. Poverty was widespread but particularly overwhelming for the indigenous population, and the Shining Path, a terrorist insurgency that went on to kill more than 70,000 until its demise in the mid-1990s, was ramping up deadly coordinated attacks.

 

Kerry says North Korea should follow in the footsteps of Iran, end nuclear arms

July 26, 2016

North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons — when the world is trying to rid itself of them — is “very provocative deeply concerning,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday and warned that there will be consequences if it does not stop. Kerry, who is in the Laotian capital to attend an Asia-Pacific security conference that includes North Korea, said its actions present a very serious threat not just to this region but also to international peace and security. He said North Korea should learn from Iran, also a bitter enemy but with whom the United States and other countries made a deal to end its nuclear program.

“Iran, a powerful and well developed country with a long history of thousands of years,” has decided it would not pursue nuclear weapons in order to have economic sanctions lifted, Kerry said.

 

America Kills Lots of Innocent People, But Don’t Worry, We’re “The Good Guys”  Opinion Piece

July 26, 2016

A few days ago, the U.S. military killed at least 73 innocent people in Syria. We were trying to bomb the bad guys of ISIS, but instead something went wrong and we killed a bunch of innocent people. This latest horror from Syria is nothing new; almost a year ago, in August 2015, a report from a group of independent journalists found that U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq had killed more than 450 innocent people, including 100 children.

And it’s not just the bombardment campaign against ISIS that is resulting in America killing innocent people. This is part of a broader pattern of America killing innocent people all over the Muslim world in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and even Iran as part of America’s ongoing foreign policy of “keep bombing the Muslim world until everyone loves us.”

 

Michael Jordan speaks out on US race violence, pledging $2m

July 26, 2016

The former Chicago Bulls player, who was criticised during his career for not addressing political issues, said he could “no longer stay silent”. Jordan’s father, James Jordan, was shot dead in 1993 at a roadside rest stop. He said recent police shootings and subsequent targeting of police officers had prompted him to speak out.

“I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent,” Jordan told theundefeated.com, a website backed by ESPN.

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” he said.

 

Many stores honoring parents’ requests for ‘gender-neutral’ kids’ clothing

July 25, 2016

For parents looking for clothes that defy gender norms, the options for back-to-school shopping are still limited — but they’re growing. Some big retailers like Lands’ End and Zara are making small changes to their offerings, while some frustrated parents have launched their own companies to make the items they wanted to find.

“There is really a sharp divide between what is considered girls’ stuff and what’s considered boys’ stuff,” said Courtney Hartman. She started Seattle-based Jessy & Jack, a collection of unisex T-shirts for kids that have robots and dinosaurs, and Free to Be Kids, where a shirt with the slogan, “I’m a Cat Guy” comes in blue, gray and yellow.

 

U.S. Navy’s New $13B aircraft carrier can’t fight 

July 25, 2016

The $13-billion USS Gerald R. Ford is already two years behind schedule, and the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is facing more delays after the Pentagon’s top weapons tester concluded the ship is still not ready for combat despite expectations it would be delivered to the fleet this September.

According to a June 28 memo obtained by CNN, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said the most expensive warship in history continues to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and with ship self-defense.

 

More Proof that America’s Drone War Doesn’t Work

July 23, 2016

A recent study by Emily Manna about drone strikes and terrorism in Pakistan warrants attention as a useful contribution to discussion of the effectiveness of such strikes as a counterterrorism tool.

The issue of just how useful the firings of missiles from unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, are in killing suspected terrorists on the ground, has multiple dimensions. Larger legal and moral questions arise with this form of remote-control violence being inflicted in disparate places ranging across many international boundaries—especially in the absence of any well-defined and up-to-date congressional authorization for the overseas use of force.

 

US airstrikes allegedly kill at least 73 civilians in northern Syria

July 20, 2016

US airstrikes on a Syrian village have killed at least 73 civilians, a majority of them women and children, activists say, in the deadliest coalition attack on non-combatants since the start of the bombing campaign against the Islamic State.

The bombing was part of a two-month push to seize the town of Manbij, a strategic centre, key to any future advance on Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa. Activists had warned of high civilian casualty rates from airstrikes in Manbij even before the latest airstrike.