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Rep. Rangel: Worse-Than-Terrorists Tea Partiers Are ‘Same White Crackers’ Who Opposed Civil Rights

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) said on Friday that the conservatives who make up the tea party are the “same white crackers” who fought the U.S. civil rights movement. In an interview with David Freedlander at the Daily Beast, the congressman issued a scathing indictment of the far right.

On the Republicans in the House of Representatives who are blocking any and all Democratic attempts to govern, Rangel said, “What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”

And he was equally blunt in his assessment of the tea party caucus and its adherents. “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough.”

He lamented that those in the tea party are turning on any Republican who does not toe the tea party line. “And now my friend Peter King is on their hit list. Peter King, a Republican, is considered a goddamn communist.”

“It has to do with whether or not in God we trust,” Rangel said with regards to the tea party’s desire to cut all social programs and destroy the social safety net. “I don’t know how much God played a role in the country, but it is everywhere…And I used to be an altar boy so that I can say, if you are talking about Jews and Christians and probably Muslims and Mormons, the whole idea that…we are supposed to help the aged and provide health care and give kids a break and do all of these good things.”



Elizabeth Warren Demands An End To The FDA’s Ban On Gay Blood Donors

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a group of 86 other signatories from Congress sent a letter on Thursday to call for an end to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ban on blood donors who are “men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977,” a policy the FDA has had in place since the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1992.

“Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic more than 30 years ago, the scientific community’s understanding of the virus has changed dramatically. We have seen vast advances in blood screening technology, blood donation policy changes in other countries allowing MSM to donate, and opposition from our nation’s blood banks who have called the current ban ‘medically and scientifically unwarranted,’” the letter said. “Our current policies turn away healthy, willing donors even when we face serious blood shortages. Further, the existing lifetime ban continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes about gay and bisexual men, and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination and discourages individuals from from seeking HIV testing and treatment services.”

Other signatories included Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), all openly gay or lesbian members of Congress.

The American Medical Association, widely regarded as the most mainstream medical organization in the country, recently joined the chorus of those who oppose the FDA’s ban on gay and bisexual blood donors.

In a statement on her website, Warren said, “For me, this has been a basic issue of fairness and of science – blood donation policies should be grounded in science, not ugly and inaccurate stereotypes. When a Massachusetts man told me he wanted to donate blood during the bombings but couldn’t because of his sexual orientation, I dug deeper into this discriminatory ban and I didn’t like what I found. Current policies are contrary to science.”



UN Probes Allegations That Syrian Rebels Killed Dozens Of Captured Regime Soldiers In North

Source: Associated Press

BEIRUT — United Nations experts are investigating allegations that rebels killed dozens of Syrian soldiers in a village near Aleppo after they captured it from government troops, an incident that could amount to a war crime, the world body's human rights chief said Friday.

Navi Pillay said in a statement that a U.N team in the region is looking into reports about killings that followed the battle in Khan al-Assal in July. Pillay said the team has examined activists' videos and collected accounts from people in Aleppo on an incident that she called "deeply shocking."

While abuses by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad have been systematic and widespread throughout the two-year conflict, human rights groups have said the frequency and scale of rebel abuses also has increased in recent months. Specific allegations against opposition fighters include claims that rebels have routinely killed captured soldiers and suspected regime informers.

Rebels say any such violations are condemned and an unfortunate result of the brutal regime crackdown.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Activists+Rebel+infighting+Syria+between+Kurds/8741290/story.html

Oops: John Kerry Gaffes, Washington Backpedals

By Michael Crowley

John Kerry’s week began on a high note, with the resumption of Middle East peace talks after months of dogged effort on the Secretary of State’s part. But it’s closing on a more awkward one, as officials in Washington clean up after two apparent gaffes Kerry made yesterday in Pakistan yesterday.

The gaffes came in different flavors. One amounted to wishful thinking about American policy on drones. Another articulated U.S. policy towards Egypt with a bit too much candor.

First was Kerry’s answer to a question from a Pakistani reporter about America’s ongoing, and extremely unpopular, drone campaign in Pakistan, in which he suggested the drone strikes might be about to stop:

“I think the program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it,” Kerry said. “I think the President has a very real timeline, and we hope it’s going to be very, very soon.” Was Kerry announcing a dramatic policy shift? Nope. Within hours a State Department spokesperson had walked back his comments, saying: “This was in no way indicating a change in policy…. I have no exact timeline to provide.”

(This, by the way, wasn’t the first time Kerry has spoken in somewhat wishful tones about drone program, says the Council on Foreign Relations’ Micah Zenko. In late May Kerry, declared that “the only people that we fire on are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest levels after a great deal of vetting.” To which Zenko replies: “That’s not true.”)

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/02/oops-john-kerry-gaffes-washington-backpedals/#ixzz2apnrmE3J

Pro-Morsi Supporters Start New Vigil In Egyptian Capital, Clash With Police At Media City

Source: Associated Press

CAIRO - Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi have expanded their vigils in Cairo, starting a third near the capital's international airport. That's in defiance of threats from authorities to break-up their sit-ins.

The new vigil started Friday in the eastern Cairo neighbourhood of Heliopolis, close to the airport. Protester Hani el-Shafei said thousands of supporters already set up tents and blocked traffic. He said a military helicopter flew over the new sit-in.

On the other side of town, an official said security forces lobbed tear gas canisters at pro-Morsi supporters who tried to storm a complex housing most of Egypt's private television stations.
The expanding protests follow threats from authorities that they would besieged and break up pro-Morsi vigils, describing them a "threat to national security."

Read more: http://www.westernwheel.com/article/GB/20130802/CP01/308029919/-1/whe0802/pro-morsi-supporters-start-new-vigil-in-egyptian-capital-clash-with&template=whecpart

Even When Jobs Return, Detroit’s Workers Fall Short On Skills

By Reuters
Friday, August 2, 2013 7:19 EDT
By Nick Carey

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has a long list of things to fix in the city and among them is one that may sound surprising: there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings as they become available.

“Every problem in this city revolves around jobs,” said Lindsay Chalmers, vice president of non-profit Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “That’s at the heart of the issue for Detroit.”

The decline of manufacturing jobs, above all in the automotive industry, has played a major role in the slide of the Motor City’s population to 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in the 1950s. Despite recent gains, Michigan has 350,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than in 2000.

Seismic shifts in the local labor market have left many unskilled workers behind.

“In the old days you could graduate on Friday, get hired at the Ford plant on Monday and they’d train you,” said Sheldon Danziger, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. “But in Detroit as in other manufacturing cities, employers are demanding that workers come to jobs with more skills than they used to have.”



Germany Nixes Surveillance Pact With US, Britain

Source: Associated Press

FRANK JORDANS 2 hours ago

BERLIN (AP) — Germany canceled a Cold War-era surveillance pact with the United States and Britain on Friday in response to revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about those countries' alleged electronic eavesdropping operations.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had raised the issue of alleged National Security Agency spying with President Barack Obama when he visited Berlin in June. But with weeks to go before national elections, opposition parties had demanded clarity about the extent to which her government knew of the intelligence gathering operations directed at Germany and German citizens.

Government officials have insisted that U.S. and British intelligence were never given permission to break Germany's strict privacy laws. But they conceded that an agreement dating back to the late 1960s gave the U.S., Britain and France the right to request German authorities to conduct surveillance operations within Germany to protect their troops stationed there.

"The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy," Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/germany-nixes-surveillance-pact-us-britain-113557159.html

Camden, New Jersey Tent City

Camden, New Jersey (My9NJ) -
Tent cities have popped up across New Jersey including the state's poorest city.

Meg Baker chased the story of Camden's tent city. Residing off Route 38 at Wilson Boulevard under an overpass, through woods and down a path of trash lays a community of people living in tents. This particular community was relocated from Federal Street and it's inhabited by an array of people: addicts, people who have fallen on hard times and some with mental illness.

Baker took a tour of this run down community and the pictures show just how heart-wrenching this situation really is. Among the homes are decomposing food, broken furniture, and feral cats.

When asked how long a woman had lived there, she only answered, "Too long."

Many of the people who live in the Camden tent city walk down to Cathedral Kitchen. The chef says he feeds about a hundred people a day from the tent city.



Republicans Set Stage For Government Shutdown By Blocking Transportation Bill

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A battle in Congress expected this fall over the budget and a potential government shutdown broke out early on Thursday as Republicans in the U.S. Senate effectively killed a $54 billion spending bill for transportation and housing projects.

All but one Republican voted against the measure, denying it the 60 votes it needed to advance past a procedural hurdle.

Blockage of the Senate’s first appropriations bill, along with a decision on Wednesday by Republicans in the House of Representatives to halt consideration of their own transportation funding measure, sends Congress back to the drawing board to find a way to agree on spending and taxes.

It marked the failure of a much-touted return to normal budgeting practices in Congress as a way to try to overcome deep fiscal divisions between the two parties.

When Congress returns from a five-week recess in September, lawmakers will have just nine legislative days to craft a stop-gap funding measure to keep government agencies from shutting down as the new fiscal year gets under way on October 1.



Iran’s Ahmadinejad Warns Israel Will Be ‘Uprooted’

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, August 2, 2013 7:21 EDT

Iran’s outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned arch-foe Israel Friday in one of his last public speeches that a regional storm was brewing that would “uproot” the Jewish state.

“I will inform you with God as my witness, a devastating storm is on the way that will uproot the basis of Zionism,” Ahmadinejad said in Quds (Jerusalem) Day remarks broadcast on state television.

In a parting shot against Israel, which he has consistently targeted in public comments during eight years in power, Ahmadinejad said it “has no place in this region”.

He was speaking ahead of Hassan Rowhani assuming the presidency of the Islamic republic this weekend.

Iran staged massive rallies to mark annual Quds Day, with speeches and sermons supporting the Palestinian cause and condemning Israel.


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