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October 19, 2014
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Pope Francis’ Synod: Change Is in the Air, but Not Yet on the Books

On Sunday, Pope Francis wrapped up the synod, or bishops meeting, he presided over for the last two weeks with a beatification service at the Vatican for Pope Paul VI but without significant progress made on hot-button topics such as homosexuality, divorce and contraception. 

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Truthdiggers of the Week: Frontline Ebola Responders

Doctors Without Borders was on the scene in West Africa six months before the U.N. declared the outbreak a “threat to international peace and security.”

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Chris Hedges Honors Humanists Combating the ‘Culture of War’

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges channeled his solemn, sermonic style at Stony Point, N.Y., on Saturday at a dinner inaugurating the Anne Barstow and Tom Driver Award for Excellence in Nonviolent Direct Action in Retirement.

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Whatever It Takes

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Executive of ‘The Safest Place on the Internet’ Answers Privacy Exposé

The chief executive of the “anonymous” social media app that The Guardian determined was tracking its users did not dispute the accuracy of the paper’s report and said in his first public statement on the matter, “We realize that we’re not infallible.”

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Scientists Refute Lower Emissions Claim for Fracking

As advanced technology triggers the boom in extraction of natural gas, a new study warns that market forces mean the cheaper fossil fuel could replace not just coal, but also low-emission renewable and nuclear energy.

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Ebola Hysteria

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Voter ID Laws

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Church and State

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‘Left, Right & Center’: Ebola, Wall Street, Midterms and Freezing Eggs

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss President Obama’s appointment of an Ebola czar, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s concern over economic inequality in the U.S., Silicon Valley’s egg-freezing employee benefits and the outlook for both parties in the upcoming election.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE



Beyond Orwellian Nightmares and Neoliberal Authoritarianism

Those who fight against neoliberalism must not settle for reforming a system that is as broken as it is dangerous. Any viable, transformative struggle will need a boldly democratic vision; durable, longstanding organizations; and strategies that make politics meaningful.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE



Outlook Palls for Fossil Fuel Investments

Warnings within the world of high finance are coming thick and fast that the increasingly urgent need to combat climate change means investors could lose heavily by sinking funds into coal, oil and gas.

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Isolation Room

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Jon Stewart: ‘It’s Hard to Imagine This Is Our Country’

When current Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to debate former Gov. Charlie Crist due to a “ball fan” placed beneath Crist’s legs Wednesday night, the “Daily Show” host rediscovered the reason he got into the business of political satire in the first place.

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Capitalism Is a ‘Suicide System’

On a recent episode of “The Trews,” comedian Russell Brand sits down with author and activist Daniel Pinchbeck on a white bed to discuss what changes need to come about in order for Earth and humanity to survive.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE



The Vatican ‘Backtracks’ (Just a Little) on Its Support of Gays Thanks to the Theocons

With all the conservative backlash, it was only a matter of time until the Holy See had to rephrase its statements on gay cohabitation; according to activist Richard Stallman, cloud computing is a “trap”; meanwhile, employees continue to lose the most at corporations. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE


Papal Welcome

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Visions of America / Shutterstock.com

The Next Attorney General Should Make Presidential Pardons Less Racist, at the Very Least

More than two years ago, a ProPublica series showed that white applicants were far more likely to receive clemency than comparable applicants who were black. Since then, the government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a study, but the pardons system remains unchanged.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE



Will the Republic of Ireland Follow in Sweden’s Footsteps and Recognize Palestine?

After Sweden recognized Palestine, the Irish government began considering doing so.

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Screenshot From YouTube

Kevin Spacey Played Obama’s Ebola Czar on TV

What an interesting career Ron Klain has had for a political operative.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Screenshot From YouTube

Brittany Maynard: Choosing the Way a Life Ends

There is no way to hear Brittany Maynard’s voice without being deeply touched.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Let Obama and the CDC Do Their Jobs

If the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind, then even the possibility of infection with Ebola should do the same—for all of us.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Fracking for the Cure?

One of the world’s largest fossil fuel services firms is partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation on a breast cancer awareness campaign, despite possible links between fracking and cancer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

On Ebola, Candor Needed

Let’s make a deal: We’ll all promise not to panic about Ebola if the experts—especially those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—agree to get their stories straight.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Whisper, ‘The Safest Place on the Internet,’ Tracks Its Users

The company behind the social media app that promises users anonymity and encourages them to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives is tracking the locations of its users—including those who specifically ask not to be followed—and sharing information with the Department of Defense.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE


Public Health

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Teenage Palestinian Killed by Israeli Troops

Israeli forces shot and killed a 13-year-old boy in a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday.

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Vice President’s Son Expelled From Navy for Cocaine

The son of Vice President Joe Biden has been discharged from the navy reserve after testing positive for cocaine use, The Guardian reports.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights

What was lost during the endless battles over abortion, Katha Pollitt writes in her new book, was not only the right to abortion, but a larger feminist claim for sexual freedom, economic equality and social independence.

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Tort Reform

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Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle With Islamic State

The U.S. is again at war in the Middle East, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground. Here are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Ice Loss Sends Alaskan Temperatures Soaring

Scientists analyzing more than three decades of weather data for the northern Alaska outpost of Barrow have linked an astonishing 7°C temperature rise to the decline in Arctic sea ice.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE


Campaign Commercials Meet Ebola

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Gines Romero / Shutterstock.com

Lionel Messi: The Impossible Athlete

Lionel Messi is, without a doubt, one of the best footballers who has ever lived. According to Nate Silver’s blog, his abilities are unprecedented.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Fred Branfman Risked His Life for Ordinary People

Fred was one of the bravest and most decent journalists I ever encountered.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Threatens National Security, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon released a report earlier this week detailing the threats that climate change poses in the near future.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



School Closures, Capitol Hill Hearing Follow News of Second Ebola-Infected Nurse

As of Thursday, two nurses—Amber Joy Vinson, 29, and Nina Pham, 26—who treated the first Ebola patient in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had tested positive for the virus, and the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was catching heat on Capitol Hill.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Vietnam War Era Journalist and Activist Fred Branfman Dies at 72

Truthdig contributor Fred Branfman, who was among the first to inform the world that the aerial war in Vietnam had spilled into neighboring Laos, and who campaigned to end the war, died of ALS on Sept. 24 at his home in Budapest.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


Tech Workers Try to Take a Playground From Community Kids and Lose

When a group of tech workers from Dropbox tried to evict a group of youngsters from a community soccer field in San Francisco’s Mission district, they probably weren’t expecting to trigger a mini Occupy movement.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


This Columbus Day May Be Over, but Why Isn’t the Ridiculous Holiday Defunct?

Seriously, why do we still celebrate Columbus Day when, as a “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” segment puts it, Christopher Columbus was a “murderous, egomaniac whose most famous discovery was a case of getting lost and refusing to ask for directions”?

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


The ‘Sean Hannity Show’ Canceled Russell Brand’s Appearance; Hilarity Ensued

Russell Brand isn’t really someone to take things lying down.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Hysteria Over Ebola Fuels Racism, While the Real Disease Is Capitalism

Western inaction has worsened the crisis in part because there was no money to be made before the disease reached epidemic proportions.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


Voter ID Laws

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CDC Protocol

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Lockheed Martin Forecasts Nuclear Fusion in the Back of a Truck in 10 Years

The defense contractor said Wednesday that it made a breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, the elusive process the company says can generate nearly 10 million times more energy than the same amount of fossil fuels, The Guardian reports.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

When confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military melted back into the populace. What this behavior made clear was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years had failed miserably.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Veteran Green Says Emissions Aren’t the Only Danger

Forty years ago, climate change was not even on the agenda of green campaigners—but now a veteran of those pioneering days speaks out about the danger of neglecting other issues that threaten the planet.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


Pope Float

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Voter Fraud Vigilantes

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