Freedom of the press is threatened every day in Mexico as journalists are tortured and killed; Obama’s support of gay marriage distracts the public from the impunities in Afghanistan; press freedom is also under attack in the U.S. as journalists are arrested for protesting. 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.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Who Is Killing the Journalists in Mexico? Journalists are being killed, wounded and threatened at an alarming rate in Mexico since the US/Mexican war on drugs accelerated into a bloodbath of deaths, wounding and torture beginning in 2006.

Thanks to GOP, House Votes Down NDAA Amendment [Last week] the House voted down the Smith-Amash amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would have prohibited the government from indefinitely detaining U.S. citizens without trial. A vote of 182-237 struck down the bipartisan Amendment that Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) introduced. Only 19 Republicans, compared to 163 Democrats, supported the bill.

The Day Austria disappeared from the Map At a conference in Washington, several months ago, the Austrian ambassador to the United States mentioned that Mexico was the only country that formally protested the March 11, 1938 incorporation of Austria into Nazi-Germany.

One System for All: Universal Access to Health Care Even with its problems, the French health system is a good one. It’s a distributive system. Universal access to health care is one basic value.

Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill.

The Commencement Address That Won¹t Be Given You¹re f*cked. Well, not exactly. But you won¹t have it easy.

Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation … earlier this year sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full.

Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long [before] blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits.

The Assault on Press Freedom in the U.S. Just ask Carlos Miller. The photojournalist has been arrested three times. His “crime?” Attempting to photograph police actions in the U.S. Most recently, in January, Miller was filming the eviction of Occupy Wall Street activists from a park in downtown Miami.

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