Though BP’s CEO saw his pay triple last year, his company has so far paid only about a third of estimated Gulf oil spill damages. Here’s Rebecca Leber with more at Climate Progress.
On February 18, 1965, a young man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot and killed by a member of the Alabama State Police during a non-violent civil rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama.
Seventeen days later, 525 civil rights activists marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in protest of that killing. They were attacked by state and local police armed with billy clubs, whips, and tear gas. (You can read the New York Times' entire horrifying accounthere.) That day—March 7, 1965—would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”
A year and a half after President Barack Obama issued an executive order outlawing human trafficking and forced labor on U.S. military bases, a five-month investigation by “Fault Lines” has found compelling evidence that these abuses remain pervasive at U.S. facilities in Afghanistan.
“Fault Lines” traveled to India, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan to trace the journey of a typical migrant worker seeking a job at a U.S. military base. We found Department of Defense subcontractors and their recruiters colluding to profit directly from exorbitant fees charged to job candidates, who are sometimes left with no choice but to work for six to 12 months to recoup those costs.
Over the past decade, the U.S. military has outsourced its overseas base-support responsibilities to private contractors, which have filled the lowest-paying jobs on military bases with third-country nationals, migrant workers who are neither U.S. citizens nor locals. As of January 2014, there were 37,182 third-country nationals working on bases in the U.S. Central Command region, which includes Afghanistan and Iraq — outnumbering both American and local contract workers.
Recent polls show strong public support for Obama’s call of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.
TomDispatch doesn’t usually have what is essentially breaking news. Today, however, it does. Mattea Kramer of the invaluable National Priorities Project has carefully gone over the Pentagon budget numbers and shows to devastating effect just how its sequestration “cuts” — and all the gloom and doom about the future strength of the U.S. military that went with them — have really been a con job. With the help of Congress and a separate “war budget” that has no cap and isn’t affected by sequestration cuts, the Pentagon has managed to lose just about no funds at all. It’s quite an incredible story — as she writes, it’s one of the great bait-and-switch tales of our moment. Please do give it your attention. Tom
The Hidden Costs of a Russian Statelet in Ukraine | William Schreiber
In dismissing the Ukrainian revolution as a “fascist” coup, officials in Moscow have conjured up memories of the turbulent period following the breakup of the Soviet Union, when Russian leaders used similar slurs to justify separatism in Eastern Europe. On March 2, 1992, 22 years ago this week, civil war broke out in Moldova between government and secessionist forces over a narrow strip of land along the Ukrainian border.
Alexander Lebed—the Russian general whose 14th Army unit intervened in the conflict, ensuring the future of the breakaway state known today as Transnistria—boasted of his role in stopping Moldova’s “fascists” leaders. Several years later, Lebed entered Russian politics, declaring, without much irony, that his country needed its own version of Chile’s right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet.
A decade later, the Kremlin has the strongman Lebed pined for, Moldova’s conflict with its separatist region persists, and Russian troops still occupy Moldovan territory in violation of Russia’s international commitments. And now the Russian military has occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, another territory with a large ethnic Russian population and a pro-Moscow secessionist movement, in violation of international law. Moscow’s intentions there remain unclear.
FULL ARTICLE (The Atlantic)
Photo: Bohan Shen/flickr
The vast bulk of the commentary issuing from American commentators about the Russian military action in Ukraine involves condemning exactly that which they routinely advocate and which the U.S. itself routinely does.
Today, Glenn Greenwald writes on the hypocrisy of the American media on the subject of intervention/invasion in the context of a remarkable statement by Abby Martin of Russia Today (RT) TV denouncing what Putin is doing in the Crimea and Ukraine generally. Here are a few choice paragraphs. (You can watch Martin’s comment at Greenwald’s website.) Tom
Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill Named to I.F. Stone Hall of Fame; John Carlos Frey and Nick Turse Share Annual Izzy Award - Media Relations - Ithaca College
ITHACA, NY — Past Izzy Award winners Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill are the first members selected to the I.F. Stone Hall of Fame, newly established by…
I couldn’t be prouder! TomDispatch’s Nick Turse just received an Izzy Award (named for the great alternative journalist of my youth I.F. Stone). It’s a genuine achievement on the same day that Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill were named to the I.F. Stone Hall of Fame. It’s quite an honor for remarkable work on those who would otherwise have remained the unnoticed and unnoted victims of American wars. Tom
Mariah Blake at Mother Jones reports on “The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics,” that what replaced BPA could be just as toxic.