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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

How to clean up asbestos.How to clean up asbestos. (Photo: NAVFAC / Flickr)

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Attorneys and scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objected to the Trump administration's proposal of a "significant new use rule" (SNUR) for asbestos, according to internal agency emails obtained by the The New York Times.

Trump's former EPA boss Scott Pruitt quietly announced the proposal in June, framing the plan as an "important, unprecedented action on asbestos," a toxic construction material and known carcinogen that kills almost 15,000 U.S. citizens annually.

Asbestos is not banned in the U.S. but there are strict regulations on its use. But as Fast Company noted, the way the proposed rule is written could allow manufacturers to create new products containing asbestos on a case-by-case basis.

Children in a mountain village, Yemen.Children in a mountain village, Yemen. (Photo: kate_griffin13 / Flickr)

KATHY KELLY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

On August 9, a U.S.-supported Saudi airstrike bombed a bus carrying schoolchildren in Sa'ada, a city in northern Yemen. The New York Times reported that the students were on a recreational trip. According to the Sa'ada health department, the attack killed at least forty-three people.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, at least twenty-nine of those killed were children under the age of fifteen, and forty-eight people were wounded, including thirty children.

CNN aired horrifying, heartbreaking footage of children who survived the attack being treated in an emergency room. One of the children, carrying his UNICEF issued blue backpack, is covered with blood and badly burned.

Friday, 10 August 2018 07:16

Poverty, Violence and Spiritual Wildfires

Skyfire 0810wrp

ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

'They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit.'

The news this past weekend emerging from my fair city, Chicago, felt like news about wildfires sweeping across California: the sudden, hellish karma of climate change, that is to say, the gradual collapse of life-sustaining conditions on Planet Earth thanks to centuries of cluelessly exploitative human activity.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

greencardjpgGreen cards and citizenship are not just for whites like Melania Trump's parents. (Time Out Chicago)

The bestowal of US citizenship on Viktor and Amalija Knavs yesterday -- the parents of Melania Trump who herself only became a citizen in 2006 under murky unclarified circumstances after receiving a controversial green card -- reeks of Trump hypocrisy.

From the very beginning of his campaign for president, Donald Trump has made it clear that he was going to virulently target non-white immigration. Like leaders of many white supremacist and nationalistic movements before him, Trump has kept up an ongoing drumbeat against the refugees seeking entry into the US from Mexico and Central America, referring to them as everything from "rapists" to an "infestation." His is the language of all fascists who evoke a national racial purity.

Trump understands that to build a fascist authoritarian base, followers need an enemy. He is dangerously riding a volatile backlash to the growing multicultural makeup of the US. This will increase if the Republicans continue to guarantee GOP electoral victories through gerrymandering and voter suppression.

That also explains why Trump is threatening to shut down the government by vetoing the fall budget if his wall along the Mexican border isn't built. The wall has become a symbolic goal for whites who see themselves as besieged by "criminal" immigrants. Trump's continued emphasis on the wall is another way to drive home his determination to strictly limit non-white immigration to the United States.

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

6771698125 9e979f1d04 z Kate Ter Haar/Flickr

The United States has the world's largest private prison population. As The Sentencing Project's recent report Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons, pointed out, "Of the 1.5 million people in state and federal prisons in 2016, 8.5 percent, or 128,063, were incarcerated in private prisons. Another 26,249 people - 73 percent of all people in immigration detention - were confined in privately-run facilities on a daily basis during fiscal year 2017." 

President Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy has resulted in a huge bump in arrests and detentions of immigrants and their children, and the concomitant rise in the need for more detention facilities. According to The Sentencing Project, an advocacy research and publishing group supporting alternatives to prison, "Trump's 2018 proposed budget to Congress asked for $1.2 billion to add 15,000 more private prison beds for immigration detention. In September 2017, ICE requested that a new immigrant detention center be constructed in South Texas, stating that it would need to hold approximately 1,000 more migrants. This facility will be operated by GEO Group, and is expected to open in late 2018." 

Trump's policies have, as Scott M. Stringer and Javier H. Valdés wrote recently in The New York Times, "one clear beneficiary: the private prison industry."

MARCELA HOWELL FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Womanpower logo WikiCommons

August 7 was Black Women's Equal Pay Day, marking the date that a Black woman must work to be paid what a white man was paid last year. In other words, Black women had to work seven additional months to be paid what the typical white man was paid in 2017. When compared to white, non-Latino men, Black women, on average, earn only 63 cents to the dollar. 

To put it plainly, we are making much less for the same contributions to the workforce. 

The wage gap is perpetuated by systematic employment discrimination, lack of pay transparency, a subpar minimum wage, unfair workplace practices, lack of affordable child care and attacks against organized labor. Black women carry the burden of both the gender and race-based bias still experienced in the workplace. 

Hot 0808wrp(Photo: Ana Guzzo / Flickr)

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

An ongoing heatwave has sent a record 71,266 people to hospitals across Japan between April 30 and Aug. 5 with 138 people dying from heat-related illnesses, The Japan Times reported, citing the nation's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

The busy capital of Tokyo saw the highest number of people taken to hospitals, at 5,994. Osaka followed with 5,272. About 40 percent of the total tally consists of elderly people.

Wednesday, 08 August 2018 07:07

The United States of Monopoly Rule

Banksy 0808wrpArtwork by Banksy. (Photo: Chris Devers / Flickr)

JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

America's political history has been written in the fierce narrative of war — not only our country's many military clashes with foreign nations, but also our own unending war for democracy in the U.S.

Generation after generation of moneyed elites have persisted in trying to take wealth and power from the workaday majority and concentrate both of those things in their wealthy hands to establish a de facto American aristocracy. Every time, the people have rebelled in organized mass struggles against the monopolist and financial royalists — literally battling for a little more economic fairness, social justice, and equal opportunity. And now, the time of rebellion is upon us again, for We the People are suddenly in the grip of a brutish level of monopolistic power.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

schoolbussegBusing as a means of desegragation has faded, and school segregation is returning. (Photo: Jordan)

 

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