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Online progressive activists with The Digital Left are announcing a campaign to draft and elect Representative Barbara Lee to be the next speaker of the House. Within 48 hours of polls closing in the midterm elections, the group, alongside The Humanist Report, has gathered more than 5,000 signatures on an online petition calling on Democratic members of the 117th Congress to elect Rep. Lee as speaker of the House.
Late last week, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump will end covert support of militias attempting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. I spoke to Rick Sterling, investigative journalist for Consortium News and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, about the report. Rick Sterling, what’s your first reaction to the Washington Post’s claims? The White House has refused to confirm the Washington Post report. If it is true, why do you think Trump won’t confirm?
I went to San Francisco’s 2017 Dr. King Day celebration riding the same wave that hounded every other participant. As I suspected, a tragic election caused crowd levels to swell significantly compared to a year ago. I’d say at least three times the number of 2016 attendees walked in this year’s march. One ugly cloud loomed: the transfer of federal powers – which finally did arrive four days later – had crept oh so dreadfully near.
The reverberations. Not the rumbles, the reverberations. The death of Muhammad Ali will undoubtedly move people’s minds to his epic boxing matches against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, or there will be retrospectives about his epic “rumbles” against racism and war. But it’s the reverberations that we have to understand in order to see Muhammad Ali as what he remains: the most important athlete to ever live.
Mexico, John M. Ackerman wrote recently for Foreign Policy, “is not a functional democracy.” Instead, it’s a “repressive and corrupt” oligarchy propped up by a “blank check” from Washington. Since 2008, that blank check has come to over $2.5 billion appropriated in security aid through the Mérida Initiative. Clinton’s State Department overlooked human rights abuses and corruption while keeping a lucrative flow of contracts moving to U.S. security firms working in Mexico.
As a result of a dialogue, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway on some topics of mutual interest. The last three of the Cuban 5 have arrived today to our homeland, we have sent Alan Gross back to his country and we have agreed to renew diplomatic relations. But this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The blockade must cease.
The Obama administration was on the defensive about the U.S. relationship with Rwanda and its U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice at the Dec. 11, 2012, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two days after the hearing, Rice withdrew her name from consideration to become secretary of state. In President Obama’s statement on Susan Rice, issued the same day, he praised her work but did not mention Rwanda, Uganda or Congo.
Ethiopian troops are in the oil rich, contested Sudanese Abyei region in accordance with a new U.N. Security Council resolution invoking sovereign nations’ “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations from genocide and mass atrocities if their own governments aren’t protecting them. But what about Ethiopia’s own genocide in the Ogaden Basin that the West is funding?