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Watch: Republicans literally beg migrants not to leave Florida over DeSantis anti-immigration law


Watch: Republicans literally beg migrants not to leave Florida over DeSantis anti-immigration law

David Edwards
June 5, 2023, 2:45 PM ET

Florida Republicans on Monday met with migrants to urge them not to leave the state in the wake of a new anti-immigration law that is sparking boycotts of the state.

An NPR analysis determined that the law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) "limits social services for undocumented immigrants, allocates millions more tax dollars to expand DeSantis' migrant relocation program, invalidates driver's licenses issued to undocumented people by other states, and requires hospitals that get Medicaid dollars to ask for a patient's immigration status."

On Monday, state Reps. Alina Garcia (R) and Rick Roth (R) spoke at an event advising migrants of the impacts of SB1718.

Video of the event was obtained by Thomas Kennedy of the Democratic National Committee.

"This bill is 100% supposed to scare you," Roth told the group. "I'm a farmer, and the farmers are mad as hell. We are losing employees. They are already starting to move to Georgia and other states."

…more…videos at link…

(The line about reaping what you sow comes to mind.)

'It's like a death pit': how Ghana became fast fashion's dumping ground


‘It’s like a death pit’: how Ghana became fast fashion’s dumping ground

Yvette Yaa Konadu Tetteh’s epic swim down the River Volta highlights the damage done to the country’s waterways by an out-of-control trade in secondhand clothes from the global north, and why it’s time for change

by Sarah Johnson in Accra

Global development is supported by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

About this content
Mon 5 Jun 2023 06.00 EDT

It’s mid-morning on a sunny day and Yvette Yaa Konadu Tetteh’s arms and legs barely make a splash as she powers along the blue-green waters of the River Volta in Ghana. This is the last leg of a journey that has seen Tetteh cover 450km (280 miles) in 40 days to become the first person known to swim the length of the waterway.

It’s an epic mission but with a purpose: to find out what’s in the water and raise awareness of pollution in Ghana.

As the 30-year-old swims, a crew shadows her on a solar-powered boat, named The Woman Who Does Not Fear, taking air and water samples along the way that will be analysed to measure pollution.

Ghana imports about 15m items of secondhand clothing each week, known locally as obroni wawu or “dead white man’s clothes”. In 2021, Ghana imported $214m (£171m) of used clothes, making it the world’s biggest importer.

Korle Lagoon leads to the ocean. Waste is washed out to sea before some of it ends up lining the beaches of Accra. In Jamestown, one beach, next to a huge port development financed by China, is hemmed in by cliffs, which have clothes hanging off them. You can’t walk out into the waves without stepping over mounds of clothes and plastic waste.


(I thought recycled meany recycled. Seriously. But like e-waste, it’s simply dumped. Somewhere else.)

Trump-era officials under fire as nuclear fund for Bikini islanders is squandered


Trump-era officials under fire as nuclear fund for Bikini islanders is squandered

Former staff have criticized the interior department for ignoring the risk of fraud after the Trump administration ceased scrutiny of a $59m fund for nuclear survivors, which is now depleted

Pete McKenzie
Mon 5 Jun 2023 06.00 EDT

Former staff have lashed the US Department of the Interior for failing to predict that a 2017 decision to lift oversight from a $59m trust fund for Pacific Islanders displaced by American nuclear testing would lead to the fund’s exhaustion through mismanagement and alleged fraud.

In 2016, however, Anderson Jibas was elected mayor of the Bikinian council and began pushing the interior department to hand over control of the fund. In 2017, Douglas Domenech, who Donald Trump had appointed as assistant interior secretary, announced that the department would hand over control of the fund, which by then held $59m, to “restore trust and ensure that sovereignty means something”.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the fund had been whittled down to about $100,000, largely through extravagant spending by Jibas on projects including land development in Hawaii, new ships and planes, and an apartment complex in the Marshall Islands.

Annual bank statements reviewed by the Guardian show that some of the money was disbursed directly from the trust fund to the vendors with whom Jibas and other local officials were negotiating. Because those disbursements were direct, they allowed the fund’s trustees to exercise a measure of oversight. But the statements also show that Jibas and the council’s American lawyer, Gordon Benjamin, instructed trustees to disburse large sums of money to a Bank of Guam checking account that they said was being used for “council operations” but which the trustees could not scrutinise. In 2019, for example, Jibas and Benjamin instructed trustees to disburse $15.36m to the Bank of Guam account. When asked about the Bank of Guam account, Jibas said in a written statement that he had “no idea what you are talking about”.

Also in 2019, Benjamin instructed the trustees to send $50,000 directly to Jibas’s Bank of Hawaii personal savings account. Benjamin explained that the money was part of a council-approved “representation package” to pay for “meetings with contractors, consultants, U.S. Government and Marshall Islands’ Government and Local Government representatives”. Benjamin did not respond to questions about the spending.

Jibas told the Guardian that he had also directed between $200,000 and $250,000 from the fund towards the construction of a two-story house for his personal use. He claimed this project had been approved by the Bikinian council.

American spending in the Marshall Islands is largely overseen by the Senate committee on energy kand natural resources. Spokespeople for Senators Lisa Murkowski, Catherine Cortez-Mastro and Maria Cantwell, all members of the committee who expressed concern in 2018 about relinquishing oversight of the fund, did not respond to requests for comment about whether they would investigate the department’s management of the fund.


Special about Ron DeSantis' time at Guantanamo Bay canceled with no explanation


Special about Ron DeSantis' time at Guantanamo Bay canceled with no explanation

Sarah K. Burris
June 4, 2023, 9:30 PM ET

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Showtime pulled a special by Vice News that went into detail about Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and his time working as a JAG officer at Guantanamo Bay.

The episode, titled “The Gitmo Candidate & Chipping Away,” has been "scrubbed from Showtime’s website and press portal. An email sent to press on May 24 noted that a screener of the episode was available; however, on May 30, a follow-up email noted a different installment, titled 'Detransitioners & Draining the DRC,' as episode four."

No information from the network or Vice has been given about why Showtime canceled the show. The description f the show "hinted at potentially explosive material about DeSantis." Very little information is available to the public about DeSantis' time at GitMo.

“Seb Walker investigates allegations from former Guantanamo Bay detainees that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis witnessed acts condemned by the United Nations as torture during his past service at the controversial detention camp as a Navy JAG officer," the description reads.

In April, a report revealed DeSantis' campaign is haunted by what could drop from the governor's role in the military prison. He has already exploded over questions about the subject.

One inmate said: "I will never forget his face, he was laughing and smiling watching me being tortured on the force-feeding chair."


Du-er looking for recommendations


'Much easier to say no': Irish town unites in smartphone ban for young children


‘Much easier to say no’: Irish town unites in smartphone ban for young children

Parents and schools across Greystones adopt voluntary ‘no-smartphone code’ in bid to curb peer pressure

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Sat 3 Jun 2023 04.00 EDT

On the principle of strength in numbers, parents in the Irish town of Greystones have banded together to collectively tell their children they cannot have a smartphone until secondary school.

Parents’ associations across the district’s eight primary schools have adopted a no-smartphone code to present a united front against children’s lobbying.

“If everyone does it across the board you don’t feel like you’re the odd one out. It makes it so much easier to say no,” said Laura Bourne, who has a child in junior infants. “The longer we can preserve their innocence the better.”

Schools and parents in the County Wicklow town took the initiative last month amid concern smartphones were fuelling anxiety and exposing children to adult material. It is a rare example of an entire town taking joint action on the issue.

The voluntary pact is to withhold smartphones from children – at home, in school, everywhere – until they enter secondary school. Applying it to all children in the area will, it is hoped, curb peer pressure and dampen any resentment.


(It takes a village.)

Not a drag Queen: South Carolina youth pastor caught red-handed recording local woman in the shower:


South Carolina youth pastor caught red-handed recording local woman in the shower: police

Sky Palma
June 1, 2023, 9:24 AM ET

A South Carolina youth pastor was arrested and charged after he admitted to video-recording a woman as she showered, WYFF reported.

Daniel Kellan Mayfield, 35, was charged with voyeurism.

Mayfield was a youth pastor at the First Baptist Church in Gowensvill. He was fired when news spread of his arrest.


Here Are the Progressives Who Voted Against the GOP's Debt Ceiling 'Extortion Scheme'


Here Are the Progressives Who Voted Against the GOP's Debt Ceiling 'Extortion Scheme'

We cannot continue to capitulate to a far-right Republican Party and their extreme demands while they inflict policy violence on working-class people, gut our bedrock environmental protections, and decimate our planet," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

Jun 01, 2023

Nearly 40 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus broke with the majority of their House Democratic colleagues late Wednesday to vote against the debt ceiling agreement negotiated by President Joe Biden and Republican leaders.

The legislation, which would lift the debt ceiling until January 2025 and enact painful caps on non-military federal spending, passed the GOP-controlled House by a vote of 314 to 117, with 165 Democrats joining 149 Republicans in supporting the measure.

The bill's passage came after weeks of talks between the White House—which repeatedly said it would not negotiate over the debt ceiling—and Republicans who manufactured the standoff to pursue austerity for low-income Americans, gifts for rich tax cheats, and handouts to the fossil fuel industry.

While Republicans didn't get anything close to what they called for in legislation they passed in late April, progressives who voted against the bill on Wednesday said the final agreement will harm vulnerable people and the planet by imposing new work requirements on aid recipients and approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline—a top priority of fossil fuel industry ally Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

In total, 38 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) voted against the legislation:

Reps. Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Summer Lee (D-Pa.), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ro Khanna, (D-Calif.), Chuy García (D-(Ill.), Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.), Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), Val Hoyle (D-Ore.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Nikema Williams (D-Ga.), Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.).
But the CPC members who joined Republicans in voting yes on the bill, including prominent progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), outnumbered those who opposed it.


WA woman launches home schools for Afghan girls kept out of class


WA woman launches home schools for Afghan girls kept out of class

Marnie Gustavson of Port Orchard has led a Kabul-based organization for 16 years, helping those on the margins of Afghanistan society.

by Hal Bernton / May 31, 2023

Marnie Gustavson got the bad news last Dec. 24, just hours after returning from Afghanistan for a holiday break at her family’s homestead in Port Orchard, Washington.

For 16 years, Gustavson had led a small Kabul-based aid group, PARSA, that assists women and those on the margins of Afghan society.

The Taliban, after reclaiming power in Afghanistan in August 2021, had made that task a lot more difficult with a suite of repressive decrees that included an order keeping girls out of secondary schools and another shutting them out of universities.
In the predawn phone call, a staffer relayed the latest: a prohibition on women leaving home to work for aid organizations.

That meant some 30 women employed at PARSA’s Kabul offices would have to be sent home, and on-site leadership training – Sisters 4 Sisters – involving more than 60 teenage girls would be shut down.
This disheartening and tumultuous end to 2022 did not bode well for the new year.

Yet within the five months since, PARSA has not only survived but launched in a new direction, organizing more than 170 home schools that serve more than 2,000 students, including girls of secondary school age.


And the Josh Hawley connection: Right-wing activists for children craft affair lie about reporter wh


Right-wing activists for children craft affair lie about reporter who exposed allegedly abusive Christian camp

Sarah K. Burris
May 29, 2023, 10:53 PM ET

Kanakuk chief executive officer Joe White once claimed he wasn't sure which would be more popular at the "kamp" Jesus or Newman. He ultimately became a camp director and was sent on the road to recruit campers and raise money for the church camp. Parents were desperate to host him.

"He was also a superpredator. He groomed and abused boys in their own homes. He groomed and abused boys at camp. In fact, he abused boys across the world," The Dispatch reported. "On June 9, 2010, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexually abusing boys. He received a sentence of two life terms, plus 30 years. His guilty plea was but the tip of a terrible iceberg. A civil complaint alleges that there were at least 57 victims, but the prosecutor in his case estimates that the real number could be in the 'hundreds.'"

David French also wrote a column about Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is on his own personal crusade to make men more "manly." Hawley has written a book about the topic, lectured on the topic, and focused intensely on "masculinity."

Meanwhile, Hawley accepted political donations from Joe White, despite allegations that he covered up hundreds of children being molested by someone in the leadership of his church camp, Heartland Signal reported.

This is actually evil," David French responded to Gonzales. "A right-wing personality is mad at me over a column. And what's her response? To publicly level false accusations of adultery against my wife. And people wonder why I sound the alarm over the moral rot on the right. I ignore 99.99 percent of the personal attacks on this hellish website, but when you lie about Nancy, I'm going to show people who you are."


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