Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Media Mogul Trying to Buy Baltimore’s Mayoral Race

By Pete Tucker

Baltimore’s mayoral election tomorrow will be shaped by “the single biggest donation to a political campaign in city history,” but search campaign finance records, and you won’t find it anywhere. What you will find, however, are plenty of other donations from David Smith.

To End 'Failed Approach,' Biden DOJ Formally Moves to Reclassify Marijuana

The decision "validates the experiences of tens of millions of Americans, as well as tens of thousands of physicians, who have long recognized that cannabis possesses legitimate medical utility," said one advocate.

As Democratic lawmakers push for the federal decriminalization of marijuana, U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the Department of Justice was formalizing a proposal to remove the substance from Schedule I—the legal classification which for decades has placed marijuana in the same category as heroin.

The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) proposal to reschedule marijuana under Schedule III—which would place it alongside substances like testosterone and steroids—was submitted as a Notice of Formal Rulemaking in the Federal Register, commencing a 60-day public comment period.

Biden Moves Forward With 'Immoral' $1 Billion Arms Shipment to Israel

The new shipment was announced "right after the State Department admits Israel has 'likely' used U.S.-supplied weapons in violation of humanitarian law," said one journalist.

Less than a week after U.S. President Joe Biden said he was pausing a shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel, citing concerns over the safety of civilians in Rafah and other "population centers" in Gaza, the White House informed Congress Tuesday that it will soon send over $1 billion more in arms and ammunition to the Israel Defense Forces.

The package includes about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds, congressional aides toldThe Associated Press.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

What students protesting Israel’s Gaza siege want — and how their demands on divestment fit into the BDS movement

By Mira Sucharov, Carleton University

A wave of protests expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people is spreading across college and university campuses. There were more than 400 such demonstrations by the end of April 2024 just in the U.S., with many more in Canada and other countries.

The specific demands vary from place to place. What unites them is a call for schools to use their financial leverage and other kinds of influence to apply pressure on Israel.

The protesters are demanding divestment, meaning the sale of financial assets either related to Israeli companies or shares in other corporations perceived to assist the Israeli military. In addition, many protests include calls for the disclosure of those financial ties. They also feature demands for colleges and universities to distance themselves from Israel by ending study-abroad programs and academic exchanges.

Still much unknown on how marijuana policies would change in states under Biden plan

By Jacob Fischler

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has proposed loosening the illegal status of marijuana at the federal level – but that doesn’t mean the federal government now condones recreational or medicinal use in the many states that have legalized the drug.

Moving marijuana from the government’s list of the most dangerous and least useful substances to a less serious category was a clear signal that the federal government, at least under President Joe Biden’s administration, wants to ease restrictions on a drug that’s been legal in an increasing number of states for more than a decade.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Dozens march to Flint city hall as the water crisis turns 10 year old

Chanting “Clean water is what we demand,” “Water is a right” and “No justice, no peace,” dozens of people marched to Flint City Hall on Thursday to demand “justice and accountability” as the Flint water crisis turns 10 years old. 

“This march is not just about remembering the past; it’s about shaping our future,” said Claire McClinton of Flint. “We must stand together to ensure that no community ever suffers the same fate as Flint.” 

Residents, activists and researchers have described the Flint water crisis as one of the most egregious cases of environmental racism the state and country have ever faced.  

Tough-on-crime bill imposing adult sentences on juveniles heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk

By Anita Wadhwani

Senator says the measure brings “massive repercussions,” complicated jurisdiction and legal questions

Teens as young as 14 years old who commit serious crimes in Tennessee will face up to five years of adult incarceration or probation once their juvenile sentence ends under a bill now awaiting Gov. Bill Lee’s likely signature.

The measure also requires juvenile court judges to automatically transfer 16- and 17- year olds facing first and second degree murder, or attempted murder, to adult court. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

News of Mass Graves Isn’t Much News to US Outlets

The bodies of over 300 people were discovered in a mass grave at the Nasser medical complex in Khan Younis, a Gaza city besieged by Israeli forces. The discovery of these Palestinian bodies, many of which were reportedly bound and stripped, is more evidence of "plausible" genocide committed by Israel during its bombardment of Gaza. Over 34,000 Palestinians have died thus far, with more than two-thirds of the casualties being women and children (Al Jazeera, 4/21/24).

Liberal Justices Grill Attorney in Supreme Court Case on Criminalizing Homelessness

"Where are they supposed to sleep? Are they supposed to kill themselves not sleeping?" asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor of unhoused people who have been barred from sleeping outside in Grants Pass, Oregon.

As housing rights advocates and people who have been unhoused themselves rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to demand an end to the criminalization of homelessness, the court's three liberal justices demanded to know how the city of Grants Pass, Oregon can penalize residents who take part in an act necessary for human survival—sleeping—just because they are forced to do so outside.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The student movement for Palestine intensifies struggle with wave of university encampments

by Natalia Marques 

After Columbia students launched their Gaza Solidarity Encampment, students across the US joined the call to stand in solidarity with Palestine
The Columbia Gaza Solidarity Encampment entered its seventh day on April 23. In the early hours of the morning, students woke up to the sound of three helicopters of major news outlets flying above where they had set up their tents on the campus’s Butler Lawn.