Amy Goodman

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Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America. Check out Democracy Now! everyday on rabbletv.
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Journalists continue to face death, imprisonment for reporting the news

Photo: Jens Gyldenkærne Clausen/flickr

Journalism is not a crime. This is the rallying cry in demanding the release of four Al-Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt. Three of them -- Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed -- have just passed their hundredth day of incarceration. The fourth, Abdullah al-Shami, has been in jail for more than six months. They have been charged with "spreading lies harmful to state security and joining a terrorist organization." Of course, the only thing they were doing was their job.

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IPCC report: Take action on climate change to prevent a grim future

Photo: Paul Graham Morris/flickr

The majority of the world is convinced that humans are changing the climate, for the worse. Now, evidence is mounting that paints just how grim a future we are making for ourselves and the planet. We will experience more extreme weather events, including hurricanes and droughts, mass extinctions and severe food shortages globally. The world's leading group of climate-change experts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has issued its most recent report after a five-day meeting last week in Yokohama, Japan. The IPCC, over 1,800 scientists from around the world, collects, analyzes and synthesizes the best, solid science on climate and related fields. The prognosis is not good.

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The Obama administration's abysmal record on transparency

Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: talkradionews/flickr

"My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government." So wrote President Barack Obama, back on Jan. 29, 2009, just days into his presidency. "Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government." Now, six years into the Obama administration, his promise of "a new era of open Government" seems just another grand promise, cynically broken.

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Three years later, Fukushima nuclear disaster continues to serve as a warning

Photo: Randy Woolsey/flickr

Three years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The tsunami's immediate death toll was more than 15,000, with close to 3,000 still missing. Casualties are still mounting, though, both in Japan and much farther away. The impact of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on health and the environment is severe, compounded daily as radioactive pollution continues to pour from the site, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO.

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CIA scandal reveals secret policy of torture and rendition in U.S.

Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: public domain / Wikimedia

"What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said last month in what was, then, her routine defence of the mass global surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies. All that has changed now that she believes that the staff of the committee she chairs, the powerful, secretive Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was spied on and lied to by the CIA. The committee was formed after the Watergate scandal engulfed the Nixon administration. The Church Committee, led by Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church, conducted a comprehensive investigation of abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, of everything from spying on anti-war protesters to the assassination of foreign leaders.

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Former Black Panther Eddie Conway released after 44 years in prison

Photo: Laurin Corrigible/flickr

Marshall "Eddie" Conway walked free from prison this week, just one month shy of 44 years behind bars. He was convicted of the April 1970 killing of a Baltimore police officer. Conway has always maintained his innocence. At the time of his arrest and trial, he was a prominent member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party, the militant black-rights organization that was the principal focus of COINTELPRO, the FBI's illegal "counterintelligence program." The FBI, under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, surveilled and infiltrated Black Panther chapters from coast to coast, disrupting their organizing activities, often with violence.

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Remembering the inspired vision of Chokwe Lumumba

Photo: Natalie Maynor/flickr

The world lost a visionary activist this week, with the death of Chokwe Lumumba, the newly elected mayor of Jackson, Miss. Lumumba died unexpectedly at the age of 66 of an apparent heart attack. Last June, he won the mayoral race in this capital of Mississippi, a city steeped in the history of racism and violence. He was a champion of human rights, a pioneering radical attorney, a proud Black Nationalist and a dedicated public servant. While his friends, family and allies mourn his death, there is much in his life to celebrate.

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U.S. Comcast-Time Warner merger threatens media and Internet freedom

Image: watchingfrogsboil/flickr

Comcast has announced it intends to merge with Time Warner Cable, joining together the largest and second-largest cable and broadband providers in the country. The merger must be approved by both the Justice Department and the FCC. Given the financial and political power of Comcast, and the Obama administration's miserable record of protecting the public interest, the time to speak out and organize is now.

Columnists

Democracy imprisoned: How racial disparities deny voting rights in the U.S.

Photo: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/flickr

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"I found myself standing in front of railroad tracks in South Florida. I was waiting on the train to come so I could jump in front of it and end my life." So recounted Desmond Meade, describing his life nine years ago. He was homeless, unemployed, recently released from prison and addicted to drugs and alcohol. The train never came. He crossed the tracks and checked himself into a substance-abuse program. He went on to college, and now is just months away from receiving his law degree.

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Sochi Winter Olympics highlight constellation of abuses standard in Putin's Russia

Photo: wikimedia commons

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The Sochi Olympic Games are rightly highlighting the constellation of abuses that have become standard in Russia under Vladimir Putin. Most notably is intense, often violent homophobia, tacitly endorsed by the government with the recent passage of the law against "gay propaganda." While Sochi shines a light on Russian human-rights violations, it affords an opportunity to expose the rampant corruption and abuse that accompanies the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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