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Advocates Call for Meaningful Public Participation in Federal Regulation of Biotech

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 10:34
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)

Today, 24 farmer and public interest organizations called on the Obama Administration to conduct a new public engagement process as part of the overhaul of federal regulation of biotechnology known as the Coordinated Framework. The letter comes on the heels of a spate of dicamba drift incidents this summer that have caused widespread crop damage in Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri.

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Petition Demands Army Not Put Chelsea Manning in Indefinite Solitary Confinement for Attempting Suicide

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 09:26

A new Care2 petition is urging the Secretary of the Army and Joint Chiefs not to place whistleblower Chelsea Manning into indefinite solitary confinement as the result of her July 5 suicide attempt. The petition has gathered over 2,400 signatures in less than a day.


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Antitrust Experts Warn Against Proposed Bayer-Monsanto Merger

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 09:21

A new legal opinion, written by two former Justice Department officials from the Antitrust Division, argues that a merger between Bayer and Monsanto would violate the Clayton Act, a law enacted by Congress to curb anticompetitive business practices.  

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UN Refugee Summit Talks End in Abject Failure

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 09:15
Amnesty International

World leaders have wasted a critical opportunity to tackle the global refugee crisis, said Amnesty International today after talks for a new UN refugee deal ended falling far short of expectations.

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All But Six States Keep Consumers in the Dark on the Cost of Medical Procedures

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 09:14
Public Citizen

Despite a national effort to arm consumers with information about the cost of medical procedures, only six states make the data available to patients online, and that information usually is uneven, outdated, difficult to navigate or unavailable, Public Citizen has found (PDF). Those six states are California, Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and West Virginia.

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CAIR-Florida Launches Statewide Voter Engagement Campaign: www.Muslims.Vote

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 12:37
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today launched a statewide #CAIR2Vote Muslim voter engagement campaign - at www.Muslims.Vote - that seeks to promote civic engagement, voter registration and voter education programs.

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New Initiative from Privacy International Tracks the Global Surveillance Industry

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:24
Privacy International
  • New report entitled Global Surveillance Industry maps out growth and scale of global surveillance industry
  • Privacy International, in collaboration with Transparency Toolkit, launches searchable database featuring over 1500 brochures and data on over 520 surveillance companies as well as over 600 reported individual exports of specific surveillance technologies taken from open source records, including investigativ
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Education Department Must Strengthen Proposed Rule to Protect Students From Rip-Off Clauses

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:20
Public Citizen

The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule to protect students from forced arbitration clauses hidden in contracts with their schools falls short of protections needed to ensure all students ripped off by their schools can have their day in court, 41 groups said in comments (PDF) submitted on Monday.

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Scorecard of 50 Local Police Body Camera Programs Shows Nationwide Failure to Protect Civil Rights and Privacy

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:06
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Today The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Upturn released a scorecard that evaluates the civil rights safeguards of police body-worn camera programs in 50 U.S. cities. It shows a nationwide failure to protect the civil rights and privacy of surveilled communities. In November 2015, these organizations released an initial scorecard evaluating 25 programs.

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Only Two Highly Polluting States Challenge EPA Methane Rule

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 09:52
Western Environmental Law CenterAs the faction of climate deniers dwindles, pockets of opposition to climate action persist in the oil and gas patch. Today marks the deadline to file opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's new source standard for methane (natural gas) pollution, and on Friday the state of Texas joined North Dakota in a legal challenge to the rules.  
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As Comment Period Closes, Diverse Voices Call for Overhaul of Fast-Track Pipeline Approval Process

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 07:35
Sierra ClubYesterday marked the close of the comment period for the public to weigh in on the renewal of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12).  NWP12 serves as a blanket permit that can be used to fast-track the construction of massive oil pipelines by artificially treating them as thousands of small, individual projects that are exempt from the environmental review required by the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.  
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NAACP Supports Kentucky Judge Facing Panel for Jury Stance

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 06:43

Attorneys with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have written to the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission in support of Judge Olu Stevens, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge who has been suspended after refusing to allow jurors to be selected from nearly all-white jury panels in criminal cases in Louisville.  Judge Olu Stevens is scheduled to appear before the commission on Aug. 8, 2016. 

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CAIR Demands Apology from Donald Trump for Disparagement of Muslim Gold Star Family

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:46
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today demanded that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump apologize for disparaging the parents of a Muslim who died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

[NOTE: CAIR today also joined a #CanYouHearUsNow social media campaign by Muslim women activists challenging Trump’s Islamophobic remarks. See below.]

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New Billboard in Austin Calls on the Texas Department of Health Services to Eliminate Pamphlets Providing Misleading Abortion Information

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:28

This week, a new billboard in Austin will call on the Texas Department of Public Health to eliminate deceptive pamphlets that mislead women about critical reproductive healthcare information.  

The campaign, launched by UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, comes after the Texas Department of State Health Services published a 24-page pamphlet that contains medically inaccurate information, including claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer, infertility, and suicide. 

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Green Party Gains Ballot Access in Six More States as Signature Counts More than Double State Requirements

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:13

Voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for Green Party presumptive Presidential nominee Jill Stein, as well as several local- and state-level Green Party candidates, in six more states as of today. Green Party ballot-access signature drives in Kansas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey, Vermont, and Missouri easily surpassed, and in most cases more than doubled, the required number of signatures to secure a ballot line.

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Anti-Clean Air Attorneys General Look to Block Methane Safeguards

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:45
Sierra Club

Last week, Texas and North Dakota filed lawsuits to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently finalized methane standards for the oil and gas sector. These common-sense safeguards would protect communities from the dangers of methane pollution emitted from new and modified oil and gas operations and infrastructure.

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Appeals Board Affirms EPA Decision to Cancel Pesticide Toxic to Dragonflies, Crayfish, Other Freshwater Species

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:42
Center for Biological Diversity

The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to cancel use of a pesticide that’s highly toxic to freshwater wildlife like dragonflies, crayfish and mussels survived an industry challenge from Bayer CropScience. The EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board agreed that Bayer failed to live up to its commitment to stop selling the pesticide when studies confirmed that it is too toxic for wildlife to keep it on the market.

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Federal Court Hears Argument for Transgender Clients in Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:10

A federal court today heard oral argument on a motion seeking an immediate halt to provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the law that mandates discrimination against transgender people in single-sex facilities, among other things.

“All I want is to use the appropriate restroom in peace, just like everyone else. It’s humiliating that this law separates me from my peers and treats me like a second-class citizen,” said Joaquín Carcaño, 28, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee and transgender man who is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. 

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Half a Million Consumers Sign Up to Boycott Brands that Refuse to Label GMOs

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 10:10
Organic Consumers Association

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today called on US consumers to join the nearly 500,000 people who have already signed up to boycott brands that refu

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Court of Appeals Rejects Governor McCrory’s Efforts to Suppress the Right to Vote for Minority and Other Voters in North Carolina; Permanently Blocks Voter ID and Other Extremist Tactics to Keep Black and Brown Voters from Exercising the Right to Vote

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 13:04

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that unconstitutional racial intent motivated North Carolina's 2013 voter suppression law and ordered that the law's elimination of same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration, the imposition of an onerous photo ID requirement and the reduction of early voting be permanently enjoined. The three-judge appellate panel reversed the district court and ruled in favor of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and other individual plaintiffs who filed suit on the day the law was signed an

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