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As officials continue to investigate yesterday's tragic killing of two NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, details have surfaced about the suspect, 28 year old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who allegedly shot a woman in Baltimore before traveling to New York. Anti-police posts he appears to have published on social media sites prior to the killings have lead many to connect his crime to protests that occurred in previous weeks, and some commenters...
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Two NYPD officers were murdered in cold blood Saturday by a gunman who then killed himself before being apprehended. Details are still sketchy, but New York is at fever pitch right now. Some people are trying to blame this horrendous tragedy on Bill de Blasio, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, and the thousands of protestors who have taken to the streets over the last few weeks to protest the decisions of the Eric...
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Read the full story: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/texas-wendy-davis-sb5-abortion-surgical-center Produced by Hannah Levintova & Kristine Stolakis Music: Jason Shaw - "Autumn Sunset" http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw/Audionautix_Acoustic/AUTUMN_SUNSET_________________1-36 Jason Shaw - "Back to the Woods" http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw/Audionautix_Acoustic/BACK_TO_THE_WOODS____1-03 Jason Shaw - "Plantation"...
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The ArcLight is one of the most famous theaters in Hollywood. (It looks like a golf ball. In my house it is known as the golf ball movie theater.) Every Friday night, arm-linked lovers bustle in to find new big flicks. Last night some patrons also found the following Christmas card: David Slack This comes from TV writer David Slack who added on Twitter, "I love you, @ArcLightCinemas but I got this...
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This story first appeared on the Grist website and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Speaking at his end-of-the-year press conference on Friday afternoon, President Obama sounded very much like he's poised to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. He gave his sharpest assessment to date of its potential costs and benefits—lots of costs and few benefits. Climate hawks rejoiced, not only because of Obama's implied opposition to Keystone,...
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For his final press conference of 2014, President Obama exclusively called on female reporters. The White House had planned it that way: .@PressSec statement on questioner list: pic.twitter.com/QA44ySvsL3 — Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) December 19, 2014 By the eighth and final question, Obama even appeared to ignore a male reporter's attempt to participate. The result was amazing. Watch below:...
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Last week, Congress did Wall Street a solid. When lawmakers passed a giant spending bill that funds the government through September, they included a provision written by Citigroup lobbyists that allows banks to make more risky trades with taxpayer-insured money. Then, on Thursday, bankers got another giveaway: The Federal Reserve announced it would delay for up to two years implementation of a crucial section of the Volcker rule—one of the most important...
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On Friday, President Barack Obama called Sony's decision to cancel the release of "The Interview" a "mistake." "We cannot have a society in which a dictator in some place can start imposing censorship in the United States," he told reporters at his final press conference of the year. "Imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone who's sensibilities probably...
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Actor and activist Sean Penn, no surprise, has some thoughts about the Sony hacking and the movie studio's decision to pull The Interview after cyber-saboteurs linked (by the FBI) to North Korea threatened moviegoers and theaters. Here's a statement Penn sent me: It's not the first time culture has been threatened by foreign interests and corporate caution. See [then Disney CEO] Michael Eisner's interview with Charlie Rose in 1997, when Disney was...
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Gallup A new poll conducted by Gallup found that 13 percent of Americans believe racism is the country's most important problem, up from just 1 percent in November. It's the highest that number has been since the Rodney King verdict in 1992. The sharp rise follows national outrage and a wave of protests that swept the nation in response to the failure by two separate grand juries to indict two white officers...
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Over at the all-new New Republic, Yishai Schwartz sounds the usual old-school New Republic war drums toward North Korea. "The only way to prevent future attacks," he says, "is for foreign governments to know that attacks against U.S. targets—cyber or kinetic—will bring fierce, yet proportionally appropriate, responses." And time is already running out. We should be doing this now now now. Right. So what's the deal, Obama? Why all the dithering in...
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At Urban Shield, a first-responder convention sponsored by over 100 corporations and the Department of Homeland Security, our coverage was cut short by police.
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Stephen Colbert bid farewell to "The Colbert Report" with a joyous sing-along of "We'll Meet Again," which saw cameos from nearly every friend of the show you could imagine, from Jon Stewart, James Franco, Samantha Power, Patrick Stewart, Bill de Blasio, George Lucas, Big Bird, and many more. The inimitable Randy Newman played piano. It was a spectacular moment that concluded with our beloved host riding off into the night in Santa's...
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Could the trillions of bacteria living on the human body help identify and convict rapists? That's the question raised in a fascinating new study by a team of Australian researchers. The paper is the latest in a growing body of research on the microbiome, a term that refers to the microorganisms residing in and on our bodies. These microbes outnumber our own cells 20-to-1. And each person's microbiome is unique. Recent research...
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The PEW Research Center released a survey this month suggesting that for the first time in two decades more Americans support "gun rights" than "gun control." But the poll's question on that point, asking respondents whether it's more important to "control gun ownership" or to "protect the right of Americans to own guns," drew sharp criticism from some experts, who say it offered a false choice. "I could not think of a...
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Dr. Kathleen Drew-Baker Wikimedia Commons A version of this article was originally published on Gastropod. Foraged from the rock cliffs and shallow waters of the world's coastlines, seaweed has been an important food, fuel, and fertilizer since ancient times. Today, modern farming has supplanted wild harvesting; in Asia, more than 6.5 million tons are farmed each year. But the industry would never have thrived the way it does today without the important...
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This past summer, the "border kids"—tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras detained after crossing into the United States—became the country's latest immigration crisis. Aid groups mobilized, Congress held hearings, and pleas for compassion resounded at the highest levels of government. "These are our kids," Vice President Joe Biden told a group of lawyers in August, urging them to offer the children free legal representation. But the...
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Over the past two weeks, California has gotten a deluge of rain, lifting its reservoir levels and hydrating the soil in a state that is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in history. The chart above shows the state's drought levels pre- and post-storm, and thankfully, there's a little less of the menacing "exceptional drought." In its weekly summary, the US Drought Monitor emphasized cautious optimism: A wet December...
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On Wednesday, the powers that be at Sony officially pulled the plug on The Interview, after hackers behind the company's unprecedented hacking scandal threatened to unleash a September 11th-like terrorism scheme if the film was released as scheduled. The Interview was supposed to be a dumb movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, in which the two conclude their adventures in North Korea by blowing up the country's man-child leader, Kim Jong-Un....
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The massive government spending bill President Barack Obama signed on Tuesday contains provisions that bar federal funding for most abortions, forbid federal and local funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, and deny abortion funds for federal prisoners. But Planned Parenthood supported the legislation anyway. Why? Because this spending bill doesn't contain any new restrictions on abortion, and Planned Parenthood feared that if this bill was defeated, the new Republican-dominated Congress...
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Wednesday's historic deal between the United States and Cuba was noteworthy for a lot of reasons—and a fascinating one that's emerged has been the role of Pope Francis. It's been reported that the Pope sent personal letters to President Obama and President Raul Castro enjoining them to reconsider the situation; then, he invited US and Cuban officials to the Vatican in October to talk things out. In the days since the announcement—which...
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With five shopping days left until Christmas—and four for Hanukkah, slacker—you might be feeling pressure to come through with some great gifts for friends and family. Not to worry: the Republican and Democratic parties are here to help! From decorative lapel-wear to straight-talkin' tees, the parties' respective online stores are offering a festive array of gift selections this holiday season. Here are some real winners, sure to please the partisan in your...
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The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma petitioned the US Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn pot legalization in Colorado, arguing that its legal weed has been spilling across their borders and fueling crime. "The state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system," the suit alleges. "Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress...
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This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars and other American air campaigns in the 18-year-long war on terror was finally released. That day, committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the...
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This story originally appeared in Grist and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is nothing like any pop culture stereotype of a politician. He's not a boyishly charming airhead like George W. Bush or The Simpsons' Mayor Quimby, or a blunt, lovable grandpa like Joe Biden or The West Wing's Jed Bartlet. He's not even that much like the fictional politician based partly...
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There's some encouraging news this week in the usually gloomy realm of criminal justice. According to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), there were fewer executions this year than in any year since 1994—and fewer new death sentences imposed than any year since 1974. That may be of little comfort to the family of Robert Wayne Holsey, a low-functioning man whose severely alcoholic court-appointed lawyer sealed his ultimate...
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Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush is running for president. (Maybe.) But just how much does he have in common with his brother, George W.? His Twitter page might offer a clue. The first human Jeb followed on Twitter was none other than his brother's former deputy chief of staff—Fox News analyst Karl Rove. So is the Oracle of Ohio going to be back in the fold come 2016? We can only...
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The curtain comes down on The Colbert Report Thursday night after a spectacular nine-year run on Comedy Central. But a big question remains: How on Earth did Colbert stay in character for so long? "Stephen Colbert," the character, is indisputably a brilliant creation. I watched every week because "Stephen Colbert" attacked right-wing media by embodying its most outlandish traits; the more sincere he was, the more searing and audacious the satire. He...
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If you know anyone who's been to Cuba in the last decade or two, you've likely seen the photos from their visit: some lovingly restored colonial manors, sometimes right alongside a crumbling facade; the bookshelves lined up around Havana's Plaza de Armas; and image after image of 1950s Buicks, Fords, and Chevrolets. All too often, Cuba is visually portrayed as nothing more than a tropical time machine, a place where the people...
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In what's become an annual tradition, we invited Mother Jones staffers to write up their favorite books published this year, the ones they'd recommend to friends and relations, and so here they are. We can't read it all, of course—feel free to list your own favorites in the comments. Foodies should be sure and check out food and ag writer Tom Philpott's "Best Food Books of 2014." For music lovers, MoJo critic...
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Tonight, Stephen Colbert will close the curtain on the ludicrous, yet wholly enjoyable persona he created as the conservative host of "The Colbert Report." As the nation prepares to say goodbye, Mother Jones pays tribute to everyone's favorite right-wing blowhard with a round-up of some of our favorite moments from the show's stellar nine year run. 1. In which Colbert takes on Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent video by throwing shrimp at...
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When Luis Enrique passed in early September, just a couple of months after first learning he was HIV-positive, Carlos took his remains to Cuba's best funeral parlor, the one where they bring the government officials. He had seven of the nicest wreaths made, and he dressed Luis Enrique, his longtime partner, in his best clothes. Their Italian friend Maurizio had once given them some French cologne, and Carlos made sure to spritz...
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After a record-shattering year in 2013, the pace of harsh anti-abortion bills introduced in 2014 slowed down. Elections cut short the legislative calendar in many states, and the general assemblies in Texas and North Dakota, two anti-abortion heavyweights, didn't meet. But brace yourself for 2015. Next year, Republicans will control 11 more legislative chambers than they did in 2014. Lawmakers in Texas and North Dakota are back in session, and there are...
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How the NRA Degrades and Objectifies Women When the NRA's Top Lawyer Went on Trial for Murder Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women These Women Are the NRA's Worst Nightmare A Guide to Mass Shootings in America The NRA Comes Out in Support of Warrior Cops 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down See our special reports on mass shootings and child gun deaths A study published this week in the...
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On December 8, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released additional details about the grand jury documents his office made public last month after no charges were brought against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. As a result, more details have come to light showing that the testimony of one particular grand jury witness was a sham—testimony that was repeatedly touted by Fox News' Sean Hannity...
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Decades before it started waterboarding terrorism suspects, the US government had dramatically different standards for what it considered torture, particularly when it was being done to our soldiers in World War II. Recently released documents detail how the the United States charged hundreds of Japanese military officials and prison guards with war crimes for abuses against American prisoners of war, including waterboarding. "What the US was calling torture, what it was prosecuting...
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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—the first Republican to declare an official interest in becoming his party's next presidential nominee—was quick to pounce on President Barack Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba. "I don't think we should be negotiating with a repressive regime to make changes in our relations with them until there are substantive changes on the island," he told Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo Wednesday morning. He posted a longer...
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If you're looking for the ground zero of climate change, head to the Arctic. Nowhere else on Earth is changing as quickly or as dramatically; air temperatures there are rising twice as fast as at lower latitudes. In the summer of 2012, Arctic sea ice reached the lowest level ever recorded, shrinking to less than half the area it occupied a few decades ago. Ice has rebounded somewhat in the two years...
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In November 1940, a young Cuban student named Fidel Castro sent a handwritten letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Writing in English, Castro congratulated the president on his reelection and requested "a ten dollars bill green american…because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them." Thinking strategically, the future Cuban dictator also offered access to his country's iron to build...
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Photo illustration by Jenna McLaughlin. Putin: Alexei Nikolsky/AP, Chart:Nikita Rogul/Shutterstock Early Tuesday morning, Russia made what may be a last-ditch effort to save its economy: the country's central bank jacked up interest rates to try to prevent the ruble from plunging in value for the sixth time this year. But the currency hit record lows anyway, sparking worries of economic collapse—and political instability. Click on a question below to read more about...
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For years, President Barack Obama faced a tough problem: what to do about Alan Gross, the US subcontractor imprisoned in Cuban? And this dilemma encapsulated the larger puzzle of how to change US-Cuba relations, which have been frozen in a Cold War narrative. The Cubans arrested Gross in 2009 and threw him in jail for distributing internet communications equipment under a program funded by the US Agency for International Development. The Cubans...
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Wow: The United States and Cuba will begin talks to normalize relations, including opening an embassy in Havana and putting to rest one most enduring Cold War standoffs, a U.S. official said Wednesday. The landmark initiatives appeared to be set in motion by a surprise prisoner swap that freed American contractor Alan Gross after five years in custody in Cuba. In exchange, the United States would release three Cubans jailed for espionage,...
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When then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld toured a reconstruction center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2004, he was gushing with optimism. "It is so clear that the Afghan people are winning the struggle to rebuild this nation," he said. That hope is now basically dead. Last week, the Special Investigator General for the Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a report that explains exactly how Afghanistan's economy will fall apart in the next few years....
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A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of "legitimate rape." Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year's legislative session. The proposed measure...
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Over the weekend, tens of thousands of marchers rallied against police brutality, standing in solidarity with families who have lost loved ones to police violence. With public scrutiny zeroed in on deaths at the hands of law enforcement, one thing is noticeably missing: a federal record of just how many people die in police custody each year. This, however, could be changing. Last week, Congress passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act...
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The publishing industry may be in the midst of a long, slow decline, but it's churning out a cornucopia of food books—and 2014 has been another banner year. Today, I'll look at my favorites on the politics/culture front, and soon I'll take up the cookbook beat. • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, by Nina Teicholz. This is the most provocative and assumption-shredding food...
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NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) "There is so much we don't know!" said Dick Vane-Wright, the Keeper of Entomology at the London Museum of Natural History when author Sharman Apt Russell was asking about butterflies. "You could spend a week studying some obscure insect and you would then know more than anyone else on the planet. Our ignorance is profound." Russell was so inspired by this conversation—which appears in...
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Will Cambodia flood a sacred and biodiverse valley for a dubious dam? Read the story that accompanies this documentary here: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/10/areng-valley-cambodia-dam-hun-sen-rainsy-hydro This project was made possible by a grant from The Kendeda Fund, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Sundance Institute Artist Services Program. The film was originally produced for The New York Times Op-Docs.
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