By Leah Todd for Institute for Constitutional Rights – This Saturday will mark 40 years since political prisoner Leonard Peltier was arrested and charged with the deaths of two federal agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Since that time, new information has come to light about improprieties in the government’s handling of the case, and the movement for Native American rights has made great gains in fighting discrimination and building recognition of the long U.S. history of colonial violence. Yet Leonard Peltier remains in jail, now 71 years old and experiencing multiple serious health issues, most recently an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
By Jessica Desvarieux for The Real News – Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. The TPP is now one step closer to becoming a reality. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the world’s biggest and most controversial multinational trade deals, was signed by twelve nations, including the United States. Protests took place around the world with many people worried about its impact on workers, the environment, and the legal power it gives to corporations to circumvent federal regulation through trade tribunals. Here’s what the United States trade representative Michael Froman had to say about it.
By Dr. Marsha Cole for Black Agenda Report – The U.S. government does not hesitate to imprison those who leak its secrets – unless they are Hillary Clinton or some other Big Shot. “What is remarkable about American democracy is the consistent and perpetual benevolence of the ruling class towards its loyal disciples.” The privilege extends to killer cops, crooked investment bankers, and other slime. But “federal employees complaining of racism are eviscerated while their managers receive promotions.”
By Kim Ives for Haiti Liberte – Karl Marx once famously remarked that history repeats itself “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” This maxim comes to mind when examining the class dynamics surrounding the final days of President Michel Martelly’s regime in Haiti today. They are similar to those of 30 years ago, when the dictatorship of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier was unraveling. To compare the Haiti of 1986 to that of 2016, one must understand the nation’s underlying class make-up.
By Staff of Memo – The Israeli government has vowed to launch an “electronic war” against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, including monitoring, tracking and thwarting their activities in cyber space, as well as attacking it with “special sophisticated tools”. Israel Hayom newspaper reported: “Israel is facing a campaign to de-legitimise it. It penetrates into a certain extent; up to the secretary-general of the United Nations,” noting that it is a new battle in its “own stadium: the cyber space”.
By Dennis Trainor, Jr. for Acronym TV – This week on Acronym TV – Congressional hearings on the Flint water crisis were convened on Wednesday but two of the people on the top of the list of people who should be on the hot seat were not there. – Sh*t Super Bowl Commercials Say – Iowa Caucus: Is This What Democracy Looks Like? – Obama Signs TPP; Worldwide Protests Ensue
By Joe Ryan for Bloomberg Business – Renewable energy was the biggest source of new power added to U.S. electricity grids last year as falling prices and government incentives made wind and solar increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels. Developers installed 16 gigawatts of clean energy in 2015, or 68 percent of all new capacity, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in its Sustainable Energy in America Factbook released Thursday with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. That was the second straight year that clean power eclipsed fossil fuels.
By Staff of Drug Policy Alliance – As deaths from drug overdoses increase nationwide, Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim, M.D. – also a practicing physician who has been treating patients in emergency and internal medicine for more than 30 years – will introduce four bills to transform drug policy in the state. This groundbreaking legislative package aims to reduce the harms associated with substance abuse disorders, including rates of addiction, deadly overdose, the spread of infectious disease, crime, costs to the general public, and incarceration rates.
By Owen Bowcott and David Crouch for The Guardian – The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden for more than five years and should be released immediately with compensation, according to a United Nations report. As anticipated, the finding by the Geneva-based UN working group on arbitrary detention criticises legal action against Assange by both European governments and blames them for preventing him from leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.
By Sarah Grey for Truthout – When he got home from Iraq, Hart Viges began sorting through his boyhood toys, looking for some he could pass on to his new baby nephew. He found a stash of G.I. Joes – his old favorites – and the memories came flooding back. “I thought about giving them to him,” he said. But the pressures of a year in a war zone had strengthened Viges’ Christian faith, and he told the Army that “if I loved my enemy I couldn’t see killing them, for any reason.”
By Ashoka Jegroo for Waging Nonviolence – Thousands of left-wing and anti-fascist activists participated in multiple protests on Jan. 29 against a far-right gathering taking place in the center of Vienna, Austria. “This is a very important meeting for the European far-right and neo-Nazi elite,” one protester told the BBC. “For example, there are participants from PEGIDA, from the National Front in France, from the Finnish True Finns Party.” The demonstrations were in protest against the Wiener Akademikerball, or the Viennese Academics Ball.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. he Chicago Teachers Union organized a mass protest of thousands of teachers, students, parents and residents of Chicago. They took over downtown Chicago for the day. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) describes the reasons for the protest writing: The march came two days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forrest Claypool declared war on public school educators by threatening $100 million in classroom cuts—roughly 1,000 layoffs—and just one day after the CTU withdrew nearly $1 million from Bank of America. Sarah Chambers, one of 16 people arrested for sitting in at Bank of America, said, “Rahm has money for the banks but not for our students, When it’s reached a point where teachers are occupying banks to make their voices heard, it shows that we need an elected school board.”
By Gregory Katz and Jan M. Olsen for Daily Herald – LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has found a surprising ally — a little known United Nations panel that has decided he has been unfairly detained in Britain while seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual misconduct. But it’s not clear if the findings of the five members of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, to be officially announced in Geneva Friday, will lead to a change in Assange’s legal status.
By Abigail Abesamis for The Daily Meal – Just months after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved genetically engineered salmon for consumption, the FDA has issued a ban on the import and sale of so-called “Frankenfish” until the agency determines guidelines on how it should be labeled, according to The Washington Post. The ban was made in response to language in a federal spending bill recently passed by Congress instructing regulators to forbid the sale of genetically engineered salmon until labeling guidelines are in place. The Washington Post points out that this process could potentially take years.