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SPLC report: Bundy ranch standoff was highly coordinated, reflects militia movement threat

Written by Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 12:54.

The standoff between federal agents and armed supporters of a Nevada rancher earlier this year was a highly coordinated effort by far-right militiamen that has since energized volatile extremists who are increasingly targeting law enforcement officers, according to a new SPLC report released today. The report – War in the West – contains new details about the April standoff between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and militiamen sympathetic to rancher Cliven Bundy, which was seen as a victory within theantigovernment “Patriot” movement after federal agents pulled out despite Bundy owing more than $1 million in grazing fees and fines to the federal government.

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How America Built Its Highways to Serve the Wealthy and White

Written by Eric Avila, University of Minnesota Press on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 12:40.

The following is an excerpt fromThe Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City [3] by Eric Avila. Copyright © 2014. Reprinted with permission of University of Minnesota Press. In this age of divided government, we look to the 1950s as a golden age of bipartisan unity. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, often invokes the landmark passage of the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act to remind the nation that Republicans and Democrats can unite under a shared sense of common purpose. Introduced by President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, the Federal Aid Highway Act, originally titled the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act, won unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans alike, uniting the two parties in a shared commitment to building a national highway infrastructure. This was big government at its biggest, the single largest federal expenditure in American history before the advent of the Great Society.

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Don’t Put Retirement on the Back Burner

Written by Featured Organization on Monday, 07 July 2014 17:16.

(StatePoint) Most Americans understand the importance of saving for retirement but unfortunately, not everyone’s concerns translate to action. While 93 percent of working Americans know they should be contributing to their retirement, only 72 percent are actually doing so, according to the results of Capital One ShareBuilder’s Financial Freedom Survey (accessible at http://tinyurl.com/n9zvksh). The same study found that while nearly three-fifths of respondents plan to retire by age 65, almost the same amount of people fear they’ll never save enough for retirement. 

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St. Louis American Wins NNPA Best Newspaper Award

Written by George E. Curry on Monday, 30 June 2014 18:02.

PORTLAND, Oregon (NNPA) – The St. Louis American has won the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Russwurm/Senstacke Trophy for general excellence for the third consecutive year, it was announced Thursday night at the NNPA’s annual convention here. It was the Missouri newspaper’s 8th time winning the NNPA ‘s top award in the past 15 years. The award was named in honor of John B. Russwurm, co-founder of Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first African American newspaper, and late Chicago Defender Publisher John H. Senstacke, founder of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, now the National Newspaper Publishers Association, in 1940.

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Rights Groups Call for Congress to Act on the Voting

Written by Freddie Allen, NNPA Washington Correspondent on Monday, 30 June 2014 17:55.

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – One year after the United States Supreme Court gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “the right to vote for all is under grave threat,” says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of nearly 200 civil and human rights organizations. Last summer, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the VRA, a key provision of the law that defined which states and jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination had to pre-clear any changes to voting rules with the Department of Justice or a federal court.

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Systemic Racism is Killing Black Babies in America — But There is Something Black Women Can Do About It!

Written by Shafia M. Monroe, Founder of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing on Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:03.

Georgia atlanta JOHN TRAVIS HOLT

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among selected states in the South and Midwest regions. In 2010, 13 states and the District of Columbia had infant mortality rates of 7.00–7.99, and two additional states (Mississippi and Alabama) had infant mortality rates of 8.00 or higher, (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db120.pdf). According to recent studies, systemic racism in America is negatively impacting the health of pregnant black women, by creating stress over load on their system which is affecting the health of babies. Black babies are being born too soon and too small, and lack the option of being breastfed, as result of stress.

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RELEASE: 50 Years After Freedom Summer, Report Shows that Communities of Color Can Shift the Balance of Power in ‘Black Belt’ States

Written by Featured Organization on Monday, 16 June 2014 17:39.

Washington, D.C. — Fifty years after Freedom Summer sparked a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, a new report released today by the Center for American Progress, in conjunction with an event exploring the subject, examines how current demographic and political changes in heavily black southern states could upset the balance of power in many of the country’s so-called “Black Belt” states. The report analyzes 13 Black Belt states that are still defined by racial polarization: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In these Black Belt states—which each contain a black population of at least 10 percent—voters of color continue to be locked out of statewide politics, and candidates of color rarely get elected to statewide office. However, as outlined in the report, a massive wave of voter registration could trigger a major shift in the country’s political landscape that would shake up the status quo and create a more inclusive Black Belt.

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Iowa Court Tosses Sentence in HIV Exposure Case

Written by Sergio Hernandez, Special to ProPublica on Monday, 16 June 2014 17:38.

This story was co-published with Buzzfeed: Six months after ProPublica’s story, Iowa’s highest court has thrown out Nick Rhoades’ 25-year prison sentence for criminal transmission of HIV.After a three-year legal battle, Iowa's highest court has thrown out the sentence of Nick Rhoades, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration for criminal transmission of HIV Rhoades, whose case was central to a ProPublica investigation published last year, pleaded guilty to the charge in 2009 after failing to inform a one-time sexual partner that he was HIV-positive. The investigation, co-published with BuzzFeed, found 541 cases across 19 states in which defendants were convicted or pleaded guilty to similar crimes. Some incurred harsh penalties even though they had not infected anyone or had used protective measures, such as wearing condoms or taking antiviral drugs that reduced the risk of transmitting HIV.

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Electoral Extremism: 12 extremist political candidates

Written by Evelyn Schlatter on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:41.

Election years in the United States always bring out a spate of candidates from very different ideological corners, but over the past few years, electoral politics in this country have succumbed to a level of polarization only rarely seen in our history. That situation has facilitated the emergence of would-be political leaders who have links to hate groups or engage in promoting extremism based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or antigovernment conspiracy theories. The typically baseless claims of these candidates range from demonizing propaganda about certain minority groups to the promotion of fantastic conspiracy theories about the federal government’s allegedly evil machinations. What follows are snapshots of a dozen such candidates, including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, independents and others who are running for political office this fall or who ran earlier in the year.
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Why I marched on McDonald's

Written by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:29.

Recently, I marched with McDonald's workers from three dozen cities to the company's corporate headquarters outside of Chicago. After they refused to leave the corporate campus of the fast-food giant with its $5.6 billion in profits last year, 101 workers were arrested. I knew I had to come when the workers invited me to share some of the lessons we have been learning in North Carolina about civil disobedience - and moral support. I watched my new friends sit down. I watched the police gather. I prayed with the McDonald's workers as the police looked on and then slapped plastic handcuffs on more than 100 of the workers and arrested them.

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