Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Common Dreams:
"The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation's attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline.

Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed 'military-style counterterrorism measures' to suppress the water protectors.

TigerSwan, described as a 'shadowy international mercenary and security firm' that 'originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror,' was hired by Energy Transfer Partners to spearhead 'a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters,' The Intercept wrote."

-->This merging of private and public police forces didn't bother the NYT, which failed to print this story. 


Common Dreams:
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not adequately account for safety hazards when approving certain upgrades to nuclear sites around the U.S., meaning the risk of a Fukushima-like disaster caused by a reactor fire is still high, according to an article published in the journal Science on Friday.

Researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) argued that the NRC 'relied on faulty analysis to justify its refusal to adopt a critical measure for protecting Americans from the occurrence of a catastrophic nuclear-waste fire at any one of dozens of reactor sites around the country.'

The risk is especially high in the sites' cooling pools—basins that are used to store and reduce the temperatures of used radioactive fuel rods. Spent-fuel pools came into the international spotlight after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi site in Japan, in which an earthquake-triggered tsunami disabled the electrical systems needed for the cooling process, leading to meltdowns at three of six reactors."

-->Amazingly, the NYT didn't print this story either. The nuclear catastrophe waiting to happen just north of NYC wasn't judged news fit to print, even though the Indian Point power plant uses these risky spent fuel pools.


Common Dreams:
"Thursday, on what would have been his 24th birthday, an intersection in the Bronx was renamed in honor of Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old African-American boy flung into New York's grisly Rikers Island Prison in 2010 after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack and his family couldn't raise bail. 

At Rikers, known as a de-facto 'penal colony' for its brutal conditions, Kalief endured three years of 'documented torture,' including two years in solitary, at the hands of both guards and fellow inmates. He was repeatedly beaten, assaulted, starved; he attempted suicide at least five times, and was punished each time; he faced unending legal delays until he became 'an unheard voice,' as though he "didn't exist." 

Throughout his harrowing ordeal, documented at length by Jennifer Gonnerman in The New Yorker, he maintained his innocence and refused all plea deals. In June 2014, the charges were suddenly dropped and he was freed. After struggling for two years with post-Rikers trauma, depression and paranoia, Kalief hanged himself outside his family's Bronx home in what Gonnerman calls an 'American tragedy almost beyond words.' He was 22."

-->No mention of this story in the NYT, which prefers presenting articles with a positive view of law enforcement.

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