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Drone Death Figures Show the U.S. "Simply Doesn't Know Who it has Killed"

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 12:35

Responding to civilian casualty figures released by the White House today, international human rights organization Reprieve has expressed dismay at how little the Obama Administration appears to know about those it has killed in its covert use of lethal drones outside of war zones. 

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U.S. Releases Official Casualty Numbers and New Executive Order on “Targeted Killing”

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 12:15

The Obama administration today released statistics revealing how many people it believes it has killed since 2009 in drone and other airstrikes “away from areas of active hostilities,” including the number of civilians. It also issued an Executive Order providing for the regular disclosure of similar information in the future. 

The release estimates that drone strikes in these areas have killed between 64 and 116 non-combatants.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, had this reaction:

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Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus Recognizes Importance of Whistleblowers

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:46
National Whistleblowers Center

Yesterday, the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Caucus introduced a resolution to designate July, 30, 2016, National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. If passed, this will be the fourth consecutive year the U.S. Senate has passed such a resolution.

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ACLU Applauds Federal Court Order Halting Enforcement of Florida Abortion Restriction Law

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:42

Days after a Supreme Court ruling struck down a similar Texas law, a federal judge has issued an order halting enforcement of a Florida law putting new restrictions on abortion providers that was set to go into effect today. In an order issued last night, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that the law, being challenged by Florida Planned Parenthood affiliates, must not be enforced because it violates women’s constitutional rights.

Responding to the order, ACLU of Florida legal director Nancy Abudu stated:

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STRIKE! Nearly 1,000 Trump Taj Mahal Workers Walk-Off Job Ahead of Atlantic City’s Biggest Weekend of the Year

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:53

Nearly a thousand cooks, housekeepers, bellmen and servers from the Trump Taj Mahal walked off the job on Friday ahead of the industry’s biggest holiday weekend to fight for decent wages and the future of their middle class livelihoods.

The strike at the Trump Taj Mahal— a casino owned by billionaire Carl Icahn — follows on the heels of tentative agreements with the Tropicana and Caesars Entertainment, which owns Atlantic City’s Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s.

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G20 Leaders Must Act after Energy Ministers Fail to Agree an End Date for Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:51
Oil Change International

After meeting in Beijing, G20 Energy Ministers released a communique that failed to establish a deadline for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, a commitment that was first made by G20 leaders in Pittsburgh in 2009. In response, Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director at Oil Change International, released the following statement:

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Judge Strikes Down Anti-LGBT Bill in Mississippi Hours Before It Becomes Law

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:50

In the early hours of the morning, a federal judge struck down the entirety of an anti-LGBT measure that was slated to become law today. The law would have allowed public officials and businesses to refuse to serve LGBT individuals. The ACLU and the ACLU of Mississippi challenged the constitutionality of HB1523 in a separate lawsuit, Alford v. Moulder.

ACLU of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins had this response:

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Under Pressure, U.S. Bank Strengthens Climate Policy

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:46

After several months of community actions led by climate change advocacy group MN350 and allies, U.S. Bancorp has issued a new Environmental Policy restricting the bank’s potential investments in coal and taking carbon pollution into account in investment decisions.

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ACLU Calls Revised RNC Rules a Victory for Free Speech

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 12:24

Today the city of Cleveland Board of Control approved revised regulations for the Republican National Convention that resulted from negotiations between the ACLU of Ohio and Cleveland officials. A federal judge ruled that the original restrictions placed an unconstitutional burden on speech and assembly and ordered the city to revise them through mediation with the ACLU.

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Court Ruling Shuts Door on Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 12:20

Northern Gateway opponents are celebrating a landmark court decision that strikes down the federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s controversial pipeline project.

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Suspend Saudi Arabia from UN Human Rights Council

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:04
Amnesty International

Saudi Arabia has committed “gross and systematic violations of human rights” abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to effectively obstruct justice for possible war crimes, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in a joint statement today, making a resounding call for the UN General Assembly to suspend the country’s membership of the world’s top human rights body.

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UN: Suspend Saudi Arabia from Human Rights Council

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:59
Human Rights Watch (HRW)

The United Nations General Assembly should immediately suspend Saudi Arabia’s membership rights on the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. A two-thirds majority of the General Assembly may suspend the membership rights of any Human Rights Council member engaged in “gross and systematic violations of human rights.”

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RSF Deplores Jail Terms for LuxLeaks Whistleblower

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:58
Reporters Without BordersReporters Without Borders (RSF) regrets that a Luxembourg court took the disturbing decision to impose suspended jail sentences on Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, the two French whistleblowers who exposed Luxembourg’s gigantic system of tax avoidance for multinationals.
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As Historic Vermont Legislation Goes into Effect, Congress May Pull GMO Labels Off of Grocery Shelves

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:43
Food & Water Watch

“Tomorrow, Vermont’s historic GMO labeling law goes into effect. This is the first law enacted in the U.S. that would provide clear labels identifying food made with genetically engineered ingredients. Indeed, stores across the country are already stocking food with clear on-package labels thanks to the Vermont law, because it’s much easier for a company to provide GMO labels on all of the products in its supply chain than just the ones going to one state.

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New Report Demonstrates Previous US Government Claims on Drones Have Been False

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:41

Ahead of an announcement from the White House on civilian casualties from drone strikes, expected as early as tomorrow (Friday July 1st), international human rights organization Reprieve has released a

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Report: Tyson #1 Water Polluter Among Corporate Agribusinesses

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:39
Environment America

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat and poultry producers, dumps more toxic pollution into the nation’s waters than any other agribusiness, and produces the most animal manure of five major companies assessed nationwide, a new report said today.

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EU Grants Temporary Extension to Glyphosate Licence

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 11:38
Global Justice Now

Responding to the news that the European Commission had granted a temporary licence to the controversial chemical glyphosate, Heidi Chow, a food campaigner with Global Justice Now said:

"Extending the licence for glyphosate for 18 months means another 18 months of hundreds of thousands of tons of a ‘probably carcinogenic’ chemical being sprayed on our parks, our farms and in our gardens.

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Senate Approves Puerto Rico Debt Bill for Final Vote

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 09:43
Jubilee USA Network

The Senate voted for "cloture" or advanced Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation for a final vote. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) will likely face a final vote within 24 hours. If the final legislation passes the Senate, President Obama must sign the legislation before Puerto Rico defaults on July 1st. The motion for cloture passed 68-32.

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ACLU Challenges Law Preventing Studies on ‘Big Data’ Discrimination

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 07:19

A group of university professors and journalists filed a lawsuit today arguing that a federal computer crimes law unconstitutionally criminalizes research aimed at uncovering whether online algorithms result in racial, gender, or other illegal discrimination in areas such as employment and real estate.

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Scientists, Groups Urge National Academy to Reverse Decades of One-Sided GMO Science

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 07:02
Food & Water Watch

The National Academy of Sciences must move to end its one-sided work on genetically engineered crops and animals (often referred to as GMOs) given the “enormous potential to introduce bias,” according to a letter signed by 39 public-interest groups and academics. 

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