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United opposition threatens half-century father-son rule in Togo

September 22, 2017 Patience Nitumwesiga

Source: Waging Nonviolence

Thousands of Togolese protesters dressed in red opposition colors have been flooding the streets of the capital city of Lomé over the past month, shouting slogans that have gone unheard for 50 years. Hashtags denouncing dictator Faure Gnassingbé continue to circulate across West African social media. Activists young and old, male and female, are still fighting online and offline. Everyone is waiting to see what will happen next, including the regime, which wants Togo to remain the only West African country to have never experienced a democratic transition. read more

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How Labour laid the foundation for a more progressive UK

September 22, 2017 Gary Younge

Source: The Nation

On November 20, 2016, the Grenfell Action Group, a tenants’ organization for a tower block of low-cost housing in one of London’s wealthiest areas, issued a statement regarding the company that managed the property, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, titled “KCTMO—Playing With Fire!” The tenants wrote: “[We] firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO…. It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice!” read more

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How Exxon Mobil May Soon Have Greater Sway Over Science Used in EPA Policies

September 22, 2017 Lee Fang

Source: The Intercept

Exxon Mobil May soon have a greater hand in shaping the science used to develop major environmental regulations.

The published list of potential names for the Science Advisory Board and the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee includes many industry representatives and consultants. The panels are typically composed primarily of independent academics and researchers charged with reviewing agency science and advising the Environmental Protection Agency on major policy decisions. read more

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The Children of the Arab Spring Are Being Jailed and Tortured

September 18, 2017 Scott Long

Source: The Nation

Yassin Mohamed has spent much of the last seven years in prison for the crime of protesting.

Yassin Mohamed will turn 23 in a few days. He will spend his birthday as he has spent much of the last seven years of his life in Egypt: in prison.

If you had seen Yassin as I have seen him, you probably wouldn’t guess that he’s been jailed, beaten, tortured, electroshocked. From the almost four years I lived in Cairo—both before and after the 2013 military coup—my memories of him revolve around the cheap and seedy cafes of downtown: cracked and canting chairs, antediluvian waiters in soiled slippers, the slack hoses of water pipes trailing around tables like very sickly cobras. Here, on any given night, real veterans of the revolution gathered and smoked and talked, along with graffiti artists, would-be actors, musicians, middle-class students slumming from the suburbs, and a few clumsy, walrus-like police informers. read more

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America’s Slow-Motion Military Coup

September 18, 2017 Stephen Kinzer

Source: Common Dreams

Trump’s ability to rely on “his generals” for guidance shouldn’t be seen as comforting

In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has.

Among the most enduring political images of the 20th century was the military junta. It was a group of grim-faced officers—usually three—who rose to control a state. The junta would tolerate civilian institutions that agreed to remain subservient, but in the end enforced its own will. As recently as a few decades ago, military juntas ruled important countries including Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and Greece. read more

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The Only Real Solution to the “North Korea Crisis”: A Vibrant Anti-Imperialist Movement

September 13, 2017 Lisa Torio

Source: In These Times

The Okinawan people’s movement against U.S. militarism provides a roadmap for a radical, transnational resistance to war.

Amid escalating fighting words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, the world has become increasingly fixated on North Korea’s military power. The North Korean regime’s string of long-range missile tests, paired with reports of miniaturized nuclear warheads, have brought debate over how the United States and its allies should, as The New York Times put it, “defang” Pyongyang’s missile programs. North Korea recently conducted the country’s sixth and largest nuclear test, prompting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to warn that any threat could be met with a “massive military response.” What’s rarely mentioned amid the sensationalism of “breaking news,” however, is the presence of the region’s most powerful military power: the United States. read more

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