fresh voices from the front lines of change







Trump Wants Troops At Mexican Border

WH makes hasty plan to send National Guard to border, leaving mission and duration unclear. LA Times: "The Trump administration announced a hastily assembled plan Wednesday to deploy National Guard troops along the southwestern border, hoping to make good on a promise the president made a day earlier that caught many in the military by surprise. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that troops would be deployed 'immediately' and that she had already spoken to four governors whose states share the border. But by day's end, none of the four had publicly committed to deploy a specific number of Guard units. At least one, California Gov. Jerry Brown, heard from Nielsen about the issue for the first time on Wednesday, according to a spokesman. Without key details — including the number of troops, the duration of their deployment and the cost — the Democratic governor was unwilling to commit to the effort, his spokesman said... Administration officials who described their plans to reporters were insistently vague about the number of Guard personnel who might be sent to the border. And while they offered a detailed account of what they see as the main current problem there — a rising number of Central American refugees making claims for asylum — they left unclear what troops could do about it."

China Tariff Spat Threatens Trade

China's $50b tariff threat targets U.S. soy, cars, whiskey. NPR: "China's leaders followed President Trump in taking another step toward a new trade war, announcing a plan to put steep tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. imports. China's proposed 25 percent tariffs would target a wide range of American products, from soybeans and whiskey to airplanes and cars. 'China currently buys about $14 billion worth of American soybeans each year — almost a third of the entire U.S. crop,' NPR's Dan Charles reports... China is retaliating for President Trump's plan, announced Tuesday, to impose possible tariffs on Chinese goods valuing $50 billion in areas such as aerospace, robotics and machinery."

NYC Police Kill Man Holding Pipe, Not Gun

New York officers kill man after mistaking metal pipe for gun. CNN: "New York City police officers shot and killed a black man after he pointed what they believed was a gun at them, authorities said. After the shooting Wednesday evening, officers discovered the man was holding 'a pipe with some sort of knob on it,' Police Chief Terence A. Monahan said at a news conference... The incident comes weeks after Sacramento officers killed an African-American man who they believed was pointing a gun at them. No weapon was found at the scene following Stephon Clark's shooting on March 18. The only item discovered was a cell phone, police said. Clark's killing reignited weeks of protests and calls for police reform. In the wake of the shooting, California lawmakers proposed a drastic change that would limit when police officers can use deadly force. The bill is known as the Police Accountability and Community Protection Act."

Democrat Wins WI Supreme Court Seat

Scott Walker’s handpicked candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court loses in a landslide. ThinkProgress: "Wisconsin voters sent a strong message to Gov. Scott Walker (R) and the National Rifle Association on Tuesday, electing liberal Rebecca Dallet to an open seat on the state’s Supreme Court. Dallet defeated a Walker-appointed and NRA-endorsed judge, Republican-backed conservative Michael Screnock, by a surprisingly lopsided 56 percent to 44 percent majority. Her win narrows the pro-Walker conservative majority on the court to 4 to 3 — and marks the first win by a liberal to an open seat since 1995... Walker had also urged voters to pass a constitutional amendment to eliminate the position of the Wisconsin State Treasurer and transfer its responsibilities to his Lt. Governor. Voters rejected that proposal 61 percent to 39 percent."

Facebook In Indian Country

#DeleteFacebook? Not in Indian Country. Alternet: "It’s not just Indian Country that would feel the extreme disconnect in a Facebook-less scenario. The entire Indigenous world would reel from its absence. To be sure, the social network has done more for bolstering the modern Indigenous rights agenda than perhaps any other platform of our time. My ancestors, during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, performed what my colleague Mark Trahant describes as one of the earliest demonstrations of social media: a foot race of sorts. Delivering coded messages literally delivered in strands of yucca rope tied in knots, runners crossed the desert alerting other tribal communities of the coming of brutal Spanish colonizers. Each knot effectively communicated to a coalition of Pueblo defenders. They organized and carried out a successful army defeat. Today, tribal communities rally around the same cause: to protect Indigenous life and land. Facebook is the yucca rope."

More From

It’s on Us to Stop the War in Yemen. Olivia Alperstein: "We’re helping fight someone else’s war in Yemen — and the blood is on our hands. Since March 2015, the United States has supported a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that’s intervening in a civil war in Yemen. The war has resulted in massive civilian casualties and the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis and wounded more than 40,000, the majority of them civilians. Over 3 million Yemenis are displaced, millions more have contracted cholera, and some 14 million are at risk right now of starving to death. These aren’t empty statistics. They’re crimes, which we’re enabling. American weapons — including American bombs — are helping to wage the war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is a close U.S. ally in the Middle East, so many American lawmakers have turned a blind eye to American involvement in this humanitarian crisis of epic proportions."

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