Showing posts from August 17, 2018

Today's Trumpery


New CDC estimates: A record 72,000 US drug overdose deaths in 2017

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[That's 200 every day, one every 8 minutes. #MAGA *RON*]

Kate Randall, World Socialist Web Site, 17 August 2018

Drug overdose deaths in the US topped 72,000 in 2017, according to new provisional estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This staggering figure translates into about 200 drug overdose deaths every day, or about one every eight minutes.

The new CDC estimates are 6,000 deaths more than 2016 estimates, a rise of 9.5 percent. This has been primarily driven by a continued rise of deaths involving synthetic opioids, a category of drugs that includes fentanyl. Nearly 30,000 deaths involved these drugs in 2017, an increase of more than 9,000 (nearly 50 percent) over the previous year, according to preliminary data.

This catastrophic toll of opioid deaths casts a grim light on the state of America in the 21st century. At its root lies a society characterized by vast social inequality, corporate greed and go…

Heat: the next big inequality issue

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[Climate change, poverty, inequality and the Global South. See The Guardian's series on Sweltering cities; it puts real faces on climate change. The deadly global heatwave has made it impossible to ignore: in cities worldwide, we are now divided into the cool haves and the hot have-nots. See also: Halfway to boiling: the city at 50C. *RON*]

Amy FlemingRuth Michaelson, Adham Youssef, Oliver Holmes, Carmela Fonbuena & Holly Robertson, The Guardian, 17 August 2018.

When July’s heatwave swept through the Canadian province of Quebec, killing more than 90 people in little over a week, the unrelenting sunshine threw the disparities between rich and poor into sharp relief.

While the well-heeled residents of Montreal hunkered down in blissfully air conditioned offices and houses, the city’s homeless population – not usually welcome in public areas such as shopping malls and restaurants – struggled to escape the blanket of heat.

Benedict Labre House…

Catholic leaders covered up abuse of more than 1,000 children by priests in Pennsylvania over 70 years: report

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["They wanted to coverup the coverup." Meanwhile the groups that could help people cultivate values other than violence are proving themselves so far out of touch with reality that you can count them out. See also: Church helped former priest accused of abuse get Disney job. *RON*]

Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, 14 August 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday released a sweeping grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church, listing hundreds of accused clergy and detailing 70 years of misconduct and church response across the state.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Tuesday that more than 1,000 child victims were identified in the report, but the grand jury believes there are more.

The release is the culmination of an 18-month probe, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, on six of the state’s eight dioceses – Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg – and…

Portland Investigating Police Actions Toward Antifa Protesters at Far-Right Rally

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[Far from "good people on both sides" what we see now is violence on all sides: fascists, anti-fascists, and police alike. *RON*]

Molly Olmstead, Slate, 6 August 2018

On Saturday, in a planned protest that some worried would turn out to be “another Charlottesville,” hundreds of far-right demonstrators gathered in the city of Portland, Oregon, and were met by hundreds of counterprotesters.

The demonstrators said they were rallying to support the leader of the Patriot Prayer group, which has been behind contentiousfar-right rallies in several cities in the past couple years. Supporters of the far-right men’s group the Proud Boys also rallied in support.

But the clash turned out to be relatively nonviolent—there were just four arrests—and it was the Portland police who came under fire on social media afterward for their tactics. According to reports from the protests, the police were out in large numbers in downtown Portland and worked active…

China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told

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[Totalitarian human rights abuses in China. Difficult to imagine. There are only 650,000 people in Vancouver. *RON*]

BBC News, 10 August 2018

A UN human rights committee has heard there are credible reports that China is holding a million Uighurs in "counter-extremism centres".

Gay McDougall, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, raised the claims at a two-day UN meeting on China.

She said she was concerned by reports that Beijing had "turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp".

China did not immediately respond.

Its 50-strong delegation said it would address questions on Monday, when the session in Geneva continues.

Who are the Uighurs?

The Uighurs are a Muslim ethnic minority mostly based in China's Xinjiang province. They make up around 45% of the population there.

Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within Chin…