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Month: September 2016

Following Decades Of High Cancer Rates & Birth Defects, EPA Begins Cleanup Of Uranium Mines On Navajo Reservation

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

A cleanup effort funded by a $1 billion bankruptcy settlement is underway to reverse the devastating effects of uranium mine pollution on the Navajo Nation.

Hundreds of abandoned mines are scattered across their territory in Arizona and New Mexico, and on Aug. 31 theEnvironmental Protection Agency issued a request for bids, offering $85 million to environmental assessment firms that can document the damage and determine where best to focus resources.

“EPA’s contract is a vital step in the effort to clean up the legacy of uranium contamination in and around the Navajo Nation,” said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA Superfund in the Pacific Southwest, in a press release.

Manzanilla added that the agency would prioritize Navajo businesses and individuals capable of doing the work.

Despite Safeguards, 2016 Sees Rise In Heat-Related Police Dog Deaths

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

High summer temperatures have claimed the lives of 16 police dogs this year, most of which died as a result of being left unattended in sweltering vehicles, according to figures reported by an animal rights organization and a group that tracks canine law enforcement deaths.

Police dog deaths increased from last summer, when 12 dogs died of heat exhaustion.

This year is edging out 2015 as a more dangerous year for police dogs overall. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks both human and canine law enforcement deaths in the United States, 28 police dogs have died so far this year. Last year, the group reported the deaths of 27 police dogs.

American Legion Asks Congress To Reschedule Cannabis As Vets Continue To Suffer Under War On Drugs

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The American Legion has called on the U.S. government to reconsider its stance on medical cannabis in order to benefit some of the millions of veterans the organization represents.

With a membership of about 2.4 million veterans, the Legion’s become a powerful voice in the growing debate over the potential benefits of the plant to victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and a host of other conditions that veterans frequently face.

The Legion passed a resolution at its annual convention, which ran from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 in Cincinnati, Ohio, urging Congress to reschedule marijuana. The resolution reads, in part:

Dakota Access Pipeline: Archaeologist Group Urges Army Corps Of Engineers To ‘Learn From Past Errors’ On Sacred Sites

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The Society for American Archaeology is urging the Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate the plans and permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“On behalf of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), I write to you urgently regarding the process by which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has handled its National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 responsibilities in relation to Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL),” SAA president Diane Gifford-Gonzalez wrote in an open letter issued on Tuesday.

The SAA, the world’s largest organization of professional archaeologists, also sent the Sept. 13 letter to President Barack Obama, multiple federal agencies including the Justice Department and Department of the Interior, and the governor of each state the pipeline will run through.

The 1,134 mile, $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline is slated to bring crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to Patoka, Illinois. The Sacred Stone Camp, a gathering of thousands of members of over 100 Native American tribes near Fort Yates, North Dakota, has spent months protesting and blockading construction of the pipeline.

Chomsky On Neoliberalism: ‘Profit Goes To Apple And Microsoft, Not To The Taxpayer’

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

According to noted political philosopher and scholar Noam Chomsky, neoliberal politicians are hypocrites who prioritize corporate finances over both taxpayers’ well-being and their own economic principles.

In April, Chomsky sat down with Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement, in a public conversation hosted by the New York Public Library.

Independent media site acTVism Munich released an excerpt from their one-hour dialogue on Tuesday. The first in a series of videos of the dialogue focuses on neoliberalism and how it’s shaped the modern world and global economy.

“One of the paradoxes of neoliberalism is that it’s not new and it’s not liberal,” said Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at MIT who is also well known as a scholar of global politics and economics.

Prison Strike Organizer Melvin Ray: ‘International Human Rights Issues’ In Prisons Would Embarrass The US

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Inmates around the country are demanding an end to inhumane conditions behind bars by participating in a growing wave of work stoppages, strikes, and other forms of activism.

A major nationwide strike began on Friday to mark the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riots. Prisoners in 24 states and 40 facilities were expected to participate.

Although many of the prisons or units involved in the strike are on lockdown and not allowing communication with the outside, on Sunday, MintPress News obtained an exclusive interview with Melvin Ray, an organizer in the Free Alabama movement, who is incarcerated at William E Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama, about 30 miles west of Birmingham.

“This is something we have to do on the inside, regardless of what people think on the outside, but we would like people to know and understand what we’re doing here even if they don’t agree and support it,” Ray told MintPress.