Showing posts from June 4, 2016

'We want food!', Venezuelans cry at protest near presidency

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[The solution for hunger in the streets: "Venezuelan security forces fired teargas at protesters chanting 'We want food!' near Caracas' presidential palace on Thursday." *RON*]
By Efrain Otero and Marco Bello, Reuters, 3 June 2016

Venezuelan security forces fired teargas at protesters chanting "We want food!" near Caracas' presidential palace on Thursday, the latest street violence in the crisis-hit OPEC nation.

Hundreds of angry Venezuelans heading toward Miraflores palace in downtown Caracas were met by National Guard troops and police who blocked a major road.

President Nicolas Maduro, under intense pressure over a worsening economic crisis in the South American nation of 30 million, had been scheduled to address a rally of indigenous groups nearby around the same time.

The protest spilled out of long lines at shops in the area, witnesses said, after some people tried to hijack a food truck.

"I've been h…

To Pay for Subsidies to Massive Corporations, States Are Waging War on Poor Families

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[It's a simple transfer from the 99% to the 1% - corporate welfare. The true meaning of 'austerity' isn't 'financial responsibility', it's the 'trickle-up' economy. The rich just get richer, at everyone else's expense. *RON*]
By Jake JohnsonCommon Dreams, 2 June 2016

To witness the consequences of a political system captured by and utterly subservient to the interests of organized wealth, take a quick look at the state of Oklahoma.

There we see the embodiment of the economic trends that have, over the past several decades, harmed working families and lifted the wealthiest: While providing a windfall of cash to special interests, particularly big oil, the state is cutting education and slashing funds allocated for the earned income tax credit, widely recognized as one of the more effective anti-poverty programs.

As the state cuts benefits for the poor, "Oklahoma’s tax breaks for the oil and gas companie…

Pharmaceutical Chemicals Found in Every Stream Sampled in USGS Study

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[Every stream tested positive for pharmaceutical chemicals! In BC we have a program where you can take any old or unneeded meds - prescription or over-the-counter - and take them to any local pharmacy, where they will be safely disposed of. Click here to read about it. *RON*]
By Eric Chaney, The Weather Channel, 1 June 2016

Our waterways are filled with traces of drugs, says a new study conducted by the USGS.

A team of researchers, led by hydrologist Paul Bradley, recently collected water samples from 59 small streams in the Southeast from Virginia to Georgia, which were analyzed for 108 pharmaceuticals and degradates.

All 59 streams tested positive for at least one of compounds and the overall average was six different compounds per stream.

“Pharmaceutical contaminants are growing aquatic-health concerns and largely attributed to wastewater treatment facility discharges,” the study says. But only 17 of the 59 streams have any reported wastewater di…

New Federal Report Shows Dimock Water Unsafe

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[The EPA tested this water and found it safe for human consumption. At the time this was widely trumpeted as knocking the legs out from under the case that fracking causes contamination of drinking water. There were mutters and rumbles that the EPA was, under federal political pressure, being far too fracking-friendly, but these reports were vehemently denied at the time. *RON*]

By Sharon Kelly, DeSmog Blog, 3 June 2016
Back in 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a startling announcement, shaking up the battle over fracking in one of the nation's highest-profile cases where drillers were suspected to have caused water contamination.

Water testing results were in for homeowners along Carter Road in Dimock, PA, where for years, homeowners reported their water had turned brown, became flammable, or started clogging their well with “black greasy feeling sediment” after Cabot Oil and Gas began drilling in the area. The EPA seemed t…

At least 33 US cities used water testing 'cheats' over lead concerns

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[We are being lied to about something as fundamental as the safety of our drinking water. Guardian investigation reveals testing regimes similar to that of Flint were in place in major cities including Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. Water departments to change lead-testing methods after investigation. *RON*]
Oliver Milman and Jessica Glenza, The Guardian, 2 June 2016

At least 33 cities across 17 US states have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead, a Guardian investigation launched in the wake of the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has found.

Of these cities, 21 used the same water testing methods that prompted criminal charges against three government employees in Flint over their role in one of the worst public health disasters in US history.

The crisis that gripped Flint is an extreme case where a cost-cutting decision to divert the city’s water supply to a polluted river was compounded by a poor…

Muhammad Ali Redefined What It Means To Be An Athlete And An Activist

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[The passing of a hero. See also: ‘I Just Wanted to Be Free’: The Radical Reverberations of Muhammad Ali. *RON*]

By Lindsay Gibbs, Think Progress, 4 June 2016
There are a couple nagging questions all successful, high-profile athletes inevitably have to grapple with: What does it mean to have a voice? What does it mean to truly be great?

Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer who died on Friday at the age of 74, didn’t just redefine both of those concepts; he absolutely shattered them.

Whether it was refusing to be drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam 1967, literally talking a suicidal stranger off a ledge in 1981, or speaking out against the Islamophobia of presidential candidates in 2015, Ali’s greatness extended far beyond the ropes of the boxing ring, and his voice was more impactful than his fists.