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October 9, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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A Poet Captures the Devastation of the Syrian War

Syrian-American hip-hop artist and poet Omar Offendum shares his thoughts on the crisis in his home country in an intimate conversation on the “Uprising” radio program.


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Why the U.S. Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster

Over the past three decades, U.S. covert operations and wars have entered repeatedly and powerfully into the chain of causality leading to Islamic State’s present power.

Grace Lee Boggs: A Century of Grass-Roots Organizing

She was not only a grass-roots organizer, but a philosopher, a teacher and a revolutionary. She devoted her life to empowering the poor, the working class and communities of color, and was deeply involved with a constellation of movements.
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After the recent shooting in Oregon, the Republican presidential candidate suggested some interesting ways we could tackle mass shootings in the U.S. And by interesting, we mean insensitive and insane, of course.

America’s student loan debt is now over $1.2 trillion. But it’s not just hurting millennials. One-third of that debt belongs to people in their 40s.

Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime

To call the U.S. bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, a war crime and to demand reparations, healing and a public rethinking of the aims of this war is perhaps the most effective way we have to address war itself, to stand up to its powerful perpetrators and to put a halt to their uncontrolled behavior.

Primo Levi, Complete

“I deliberately assumed the calm and sober language of the witness, not the lament of the victim or the anger of the avenger. ... It is you who are the judges.” Those are the words of Primo Levi, one of the most essential writers of the 20th century—particularly of the Holocaust.

U.S. to Ax $500 Million Scheme to Train Syrian Rebels

As the Russian military intervenes directly to support the Syrian government, the U.S. will end a $500 million program to train and equip “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State.

Scientists Push Boundaries to Find Alternative Energy

From algae to alloys, ingenuity in the world’s laboratories is fuelling experiments to find new ways of providing viable sources of clean energy.



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Kevin McCarthy Takes Himself Out of the Running for House Speaker

“We probably need a fresh face,” House Majority Leader McCarthy said Thursday, breaking the surprising news that he was bowing out of the contest to replace John Boehner.

FBI Admits Lack of Data on Police Shootings Is ‘Embarrassing,’ ‘Ridiculous’

Director James Comey says The Guardian and The Washington Post are doing a better job of tracking information than the U.S. government.

Meryl Streep Decries Income Inequality in Hollywood, Obliquely Identifies as a Feminist

C’mon, Meryl—even Beyoncé doesn’t shy away from calling herself a feminist. Or maybe therein lies part of the intergenerational quandary.

Climate Change Tipping Points and the Question of Civilizational Survival

We urgently need to view climate change not as a slow, linear process to which we can adapt safely over time, but as a nonlinear set of events involving dramatic and irreversible changes to the global ecosphere.

Israel Bars Cabinet Ministers From Holy Site Amid Spate of Attacks

A series of attacks by Arabs on Israelis in recent days has raised fears of a new uprising as Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers along the West Bank.

Return to Direct Rule From London a Possibility for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland could again be ruled directly from London if the country’s governing parties fail to agree on a plan to resolve deep disagreements over paramilitarism and welfare reform.

Risk of Global Financial Crash Has Increased, IMF Warns

The International Monetary Fund says a slowdown of the Chinese economy and a decline in world trade are undermining the stability of highly indebted emerging economies.

Climate Change Raises Danger of Urban Heat Islands

Scientists warn that densely packed cities face greater health hazards as greenhouse gases push up temperatures.

What Is Russia’s Strategy in Syria and Why Does Egypt Approve?

Over the past week and a half, its strategy is becoming more apparent.

VIDEO: No, Donald Trump, the Middle East Wouldn’t Be More Stable Under Saddam and Other Dictators

Donald Trump alleged this weekend that “of course” the Middle East would be more stable if dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still around or Bashar al-Assad could be restored in Syria.

Let’s Focus on the Gun-Makers

Governments at all levels account for roughly 40 percent of gun industry revenue. The federal government alone accounts for about 25 percent. Taxpayers have a right to demand responsibility from an industry that gets so much of our money.

The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It

It’s high time United Nations agencies and the mainstream media acknowledge the true scale of global poverty and engage in a long overdue public debate on how ambitious and transformative the international development agenda really is.

Large U.S. Firms Hold $2.1 Trillion Overseas to Dodge Taxes

The 500 largest U.S. companies would owe an estimated $620 billion in U.S. taxes were it not for the more than $2.1 trillion in offshore cash that most of the firms hold in foreign tax havens, according to a study released this week.

Harvard’s Prestigious Debate Team Loses to New York Inmates

Prisoners on the debate team of New York’s maximum security Eastern Correctional Facility beat the Ivy Leaguers just months after Harvard took a national title.

Parenting on the Brink: Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name

To have a child is to plant a flag in the future—and that is no small responsibility.

U.K. Accused of Rigging Market Against Renewables

As electricity from renewable sources tops 25 percent in the U.K., the government is challenged to create a level playing field by scrapping nuclear and fossil-fuel subsidies.

Valeant Pharmaceutics Raised Prices on Needed Drugs, Then Its Stock Took a Hit

Some are bound to chalk this news up to the magical equalizing powers of capitalism’s famous “invisible hand,” while others might point to the democratizing sting of actual journalism as the more potent force in this mix.

Report: Shift in Sentencing Guidelines Will Mean Freedom for 6,000 U.S. Inmates

In a move that will hopefully lead to further concrete steps to target America’s mass incarceration problem, the U.S. Justice Department is getting ready to release some 6,000 inmates from federal prisons, according to The New York Times.