Air pollution has reached extreme levels in the French capital, prompting the government to take desperate measures; an American pastor is partly to blame for the passing of Uganda’s anti-gay law; meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street organizers have launched a political party. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Paris’ Smog Problem Is Now Rivaling Beijing’s Parisians taking public transportation to work on Friday were surprised and delighted to find subways and buses free for the next three days, but the reason was a bit less cheerful: Air pollution had reached an unusually high level and was expected to continue unabated through the weekend.

Lez Miserable: From Russia to Uganda, Gay Rights Are Moving Backwards In many countries, anti-gay legislation is an ugly colonial throwback. We have a duty to help.

Negotiated Out of a Job The worst they can say is no.

Google for Media? How Big Tech Is Shaping Journalism When Chevron launched its “community-driven news” site, the Richmond Standard, in January, locals were right to be skeptical.

U.S. Pastor Behind Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law In late February, when Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the nation’s harsh new anti-gay bill into law, he claimed the measure had been “provoked by arrogant and careless western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality.”

Israeli Opposition Fails to Oppose Controversial Bills The packaging of three controversial Israeli laws — the governability, sharing the burden and referendum laws — in a single coalition bundle caused a tempest in the political and media swamps.

Out of Occupy, a New Populist Political Party Forms Carl Gibson, co-founder of U.S. Uncut, is joining with other Occupy Wall Street organizers to launch a new populist political party.

Enabling the Illusion of Political Change: Bush, Obama, Brennan, Geithner, and Gates Political change in the United States is an illusion.

Christie Unilaterally Shuts Down All Tesla Car Stores in NJ Let this put to rest any doubt that Chris Christie is in the pocket of the Koch Brothers and/or their Big Oil pals.

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