News Articles for October 24, 2021

banks, big oil, christians, Climate Change, cold war, conspiricy, corporate, Corruption, covid 19, economy, employment, Environment, equal rights, facebook, Guantánamo, investment, julian assange, pollution, privatization, protest, space, Uncategorized, War, war crimes

By penetrating the realities of war and pulling it out of its carefully orchestrated public context, by publicizing its raw horrors, he became a danger to the country's political status quo.

The Pentagon's offer of "condolence money" to the relatives of the ten people (seven of them children) who were killed in the final U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan—originally declared righteous and necessary—bears a troubling connection to the government's ongoing efforts to get its hands on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and punish him for exposing the inconvenient truth of war.

You know, the "classified" stuff—like Apache helicopter crewmen laughing after they killed a bunch of men on a street in Baghdad in 2007 ("Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards") and then smirked some more after killing the ones who started picking up the bodies, in the process also injuring several children who were in the van they just blasted. This is not stuff the American public needs to know about!

At the time of the release of that particular video, in 2010, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates decried the fact that the public was seeing a fragment of the war on terror "out of context."And, indeed, he was right. As I later wrote:

"The Department of Defense is supposed to have total control over context; on the home front, war is 100 percent public relations. The public's role is to be spectators, consumers of orchestrated news; they can watch smart bombs dropped from on high and be told that this is protecting them from terrorism and spreading democracy. That's context." READ MORE


Assange: A Threat to War Itself


Africa Will Lose All Three of Its Icebergs to Climate Change

The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro are nothing short of iconic. Photographs of the dormant volcano in Tanzania often highlight the white streaks on the side, which grow thicker as they rise toward the top. When you arrive at the cap of the volcano, it becomes nothing but white, like a dollop of cream pressed flat and smeared over the top of a lava cake.

Thanks to climate change, however, Mount Kilimanjaro is warming up. That means that while there still may be snow atop the mountain in a few decades, it is likely that the glaciers will disappear.

There are only three mountains on the entire African continent that are covered by glaciers, according to a recent report by the World Meteorological Organization and other agencies. In addition to Kilimanjaro, these include the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda and the Mount Kenya massif in Kenya, and they are vital to the economies of the surrounding areas... READ MORE

Before it’s too late, we need to ask ourselves a crucial question: Do we really — I mean truly — want a new Cold War with China?

Because that’s just where the Biden administration is clearly taking us. If you need proof, check out last month’s announcement of an “AUKUS” (Australia, United Kingdom, U.S.) military alliance in Asia. Believe me, it’s far scarier (and more racist) than the nuclear-powered submarine deal and the French diplomatic kerfuffle that dominated the media coverage of it. By focusing on the dramatically angry French reaction to losing their own agreement to sell non-nuclear subs to Australia, most of the media missed a much bigger story: that the U.S. government and its allies have all but formally declared a new Cold War by launching a coordinated military buildup in East Asia unmistakably aimed at China. READ MORE


The Biden Administration Is Building Back to the Brink of a New Cold War


Biden and Other Democrats Helped Colin Powell Spread George W. Bush’s Iraq Lies

While the death of former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell has elicited praise-filled eulogies in the mainstream media and officials in Washington, many Americans still carry bitter feelings over Powell’s support for the illegal, unnecessary and predictably disastrous war in Iraq. In particular, critics cite his February 2003 speech before the United Nations Security Council in which he put forward a litany of demonstrably false statements in making the case that Iraq had compiled a dangerous arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” and was actively supporting the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

In light of the negative reaction from the arms control community and other knowledgeable sources, as well as many of the United States’ European allies and others, Powell’s speech would not have had anything close to the war-justifying impact it did were it not for efforts by prominent Democrats — including then-Sen. Joe Biden — to defend him. READ MORE

Neoliberalism is not dead — it’s simply mutating. Austerity politics and privatization have been repackaged as public-private partnerships and forced upon communities without their consent. Growing communal resistance to corporate capitalism has emerged in different ways and in different places. One such place is Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans, both on the island and in the diaspora, have been mounting fierce resistance to the privatization of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. Residents have been experiencing widespread power outages, utility price hikes, voltage fluctuations (power surges that damage appliances) and a plethora of ongoing issues since the start of the public-private partnership between Luma Energy — the U.S.-Canadian company that seized control of the island’s power transmission and distribution system — and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) — the island’s public energy corporation, which is in charge of power generation. READ MORE


Puerto Ricans Fight Privatization of Energy and Demand Democratic Ownership

Agroup of New York City taxi drivers launched a hunger strike Wednesday demanding the city provide debt relief from their taxi medallion loans. Since 9/11, thousands of taxi drivers have accrued massive debt largely due to the city artificially inflating the cost of taxi medallions, the permits required to drive a taxi. Drivers have also denounced the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. At least nine have died by suicide. “At this point, drivers have an average debt of $550,000, [and] the city has basically no solution. They’ve come out with what’s really just a cash bailout to the banks with no relief for the drivers,” says Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “Thousands of families are going to be left in a debt that will be beyond their lifetime, and they’ll be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off.” Despite popular congressional support for a solution being put forth by the union, Desai says Mayor Bill de Blasio hasn’t been willing to discuss the proposal. READ MORE

Article | Video

NYC Taxi Drivers Launch Hunger Strike to Demand Relief From Medallion Debt


Rich Jerks in Space

The frivolous use of large amounts of resources by the very rich is a problem for the economy and society.

As a big fan of the original Star Trek, I have to confess that it was kind of neat to see Captain Kirk actually go into space. But there is a real issue here about the silly games of the super-rich that is worth some thought.

There have been numerous stories and papers about the huge increase in the wealth of the super-rich since the pandemic began. Virtually all of this is due to the run-up in the stock market during this period. Part of that is bounce back, the S&P 500 lost almost one-third of its value between its pre-pandemic peak in February of 2020 and its pandemic trough a month later. If we want to tell a really dramatic story we can start at the pandemic trough and take the rise in the stock market from March 20th.

But even if we are being serious, there has been an extraordinary runup in the stock market in the last twenty months. The S&P 500 is more than one-third higher than its pre-pandemic peak. READ MORE

And lo, the permutations of anti-mask/vax/reason/science crackpottery have been many, from world-wide hoax to heathen attack on godly bodily autonomy to conspiracy by Nazis and/or Commies, and yes, it's ongoing. In Iowa, after the Ankeny School Board voted to reinstate a mask mandate, tomahawk-toting QAnon freak Scott McKay, aka "Patriot Streetfighter," threatened "you forkin' scumbags will not walk away from this clean," even though his 81-year-old father died of COVID after attending one of his rallies; he blames the death on "deep-state motherfuckers." Orange County, CA. just saw its first trial of someone for refusing to don a mask - though she did wear a Trump skirt - in a grocery store while proclaiming her "freedom." California's also home to assorted madmen, a right-wing radio host who says he just got COVID on purpose to "walk the walk," and anti-vaxxers who've taken to stalking masked kids and parents en route to school. In one video, Shiva Bagheri, a former dog-walker/dance instructor now cleaning toilets and leading “Beverly Hills Freedom” rallies as a mission "from God" - who evidently told her this summer to punch a cancer patient outside her clinic - screamed at parents outside schools that they're "traumatizing" their kids by putting them in masks. "This is rape," she yelled. "They're going to rape their lives away." In Washington state, where a tiny group of cops and firefighters are quitting rather than get a damn shot for God's sake, a 22-year-veteran state trooper used his last radio call to have a hissy fit on camera and tell the governor to "kiss my ass"; about 20 of his colleagues solemnly gathered to drop off their boots and declare, "Our body is ours, it's God's gift to us." Within minutes of their departure, a group of young people scavenged the boots to give away, announcing, "We're glad we were able to save these shoes for people who actually need them, instead of being wasted for some dramatic, egotistical display." READ MORE


Be Of Good Cheer: Death Cult Christians Say Better To Go Home to the Lord (Albeit With COVID) Than Wear A Mask


'Historic Victory': US Judge Rules Guantánamo Detainee's Imprisonment Illegal

"This is a landmark ruling. For 20 years, successive U.S. administrations have asserted their right to imprison people indefinitely, without charge or trial."

Two weeks after a review board cleared Guantánamo Bay prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul for release, a federal judge ruled this week that the Afghan's imprisonment by the U.S. military in Cuba for over 14 years without charge or trial is illegal.

In a ruling still undergoing classification review, Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday granted Gul's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, making him the first Guantánamo detainee in over a decade to win such a case against the government.

Mehta ruled that the United States had no legal basis for imprisoning Gul, a 40-year-old militant captured in Afghanistan in 2007, because he was not a member of al-Qaeda. READ MORE

"They are using every opportunity to protect their corporate interests and continue with business as usual while the planet burns."

Just ahead of a key United Nations climate summit, a major leak of documents reveals that some fossil fuel-producing nations are encouraging authors of an upcoming U.N. report to omit an assessment that the world must transition away from oil, gas, and coal to tackle the planetary emergency.

"This is an insight into how a small group of coal, oil, and meat producing countries continue to put the profits of a few polluting industries before science and our planet's future," Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan said in a statement Thursday.

"Rather than phasing out fossil fuels and unsustainable meat production," she said, "they are using every opportunity to protect their corporate interests and continue with business as usual while the planet burns."

The comments in question, including from Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Australia as well as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), were in response to a draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group 3. READ MORE


Leaked Docs Reveal Fossil Fuel-Soaked Nations Lobbying to Sabotage Climate Action



In World First, New Zealand Law Will Force Banks to Disclose Climate Impacts of Investments

New Zealand officials on Thursday heralded passage of a groundbreaking law requiring financial institutions to disclose climate-related risks.

"This is a landmark day," Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said in a speech to Parliament.

At issue is the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which had its third reading Thursday.

summary of the measure from the Business Ministry touts the bill as a step toward making the country's "financial system more resilient" and reaching New Zealand's goal of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. According to the ministry, the goals of the bill are to:

  • ensure that the effects of climate change are routinely considered in business, investment, lending, and insurance underwriting decisions;
  • help climate reporting entities better demonstrate responsibility and foresight in their consideration of climate issues; and
  • lead to more efficient allocation of capital, and help smooth the transition to a more sustainable, low emissions economy.

A joint statement Thursday from Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw frames the bill, which will require the annual disclosures starting in 2023, as the first of its kind across the globe. READ MORE

The renewed push comes nearly 50 years after Congress passed the amendment.

U.S. House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to rescind the former Trump administration's "erroneous legal memorandum" blocking adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would enshrine "equal rights for people of all genders in the Constitution."

Maloney's (D-N.Y.) call came in a letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in which she referenced Virginia's ratification of the ERA last year—nearly five decades after Congress approved the amendment and nearly 100 years after it was first proposed.

With that development, which followed similar actions by Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018, the amendment had secured ratification by three-fourths of states.

Now, Maloney wrote, "the archivist of the United States should immediately perform his legal duty" by certifying those three states' ratifications and publishing the ERA as the 28th Amendment. READ MORE


Top Dem Calls on Biden to Toss Legally 'Erroneous' Trump Memo and Ratify Equal Rights Amendment


'He Isn’t Negotiating, He Is Killing the Bill': Ilhan Omar Slams Joe Manchin


"Thanks to the butchering of Manchin, Sinema, and the greed of their corporate lobbyists," said one critic, the Democrats' Build Back Better plan has been slashed down to just $1.9 trillion in spending.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar issued fresh public rebuke of Sen. Joe Manchin late Tuesday night, accusing her fellow Democrat of openly sabotaging the Build Back Better agenda that is at the center of their party's effort to make sweeping social investments to lift up the American working class in the midst of the ongoing pandemic by expanding Medicare, curbing childhood poverty, increasing affordable housing, spending big on climate, offering paid family leave, and initiating universal pre-K and childcare.

With reporting overnight that the White House has agreed in principle to drop the topline number of the reconciliation package down to $1.9 trillion—a number that progressives initially staked for a ten-year program at $10 trillion, later $6 trillion, and then $3.5 trillion—Omar said it was "time we all recognized" what Manchin is doing. READ MORE

WASHINGTON - This afternoon, West Virginians brought together by CPD Action, Greenpeace USA, Race Matters West Virginia, Young West Virginia, Rise Up West Virginia, Black By God West Virginia, and Call to Action for Racial Equality West Virginia, joined forces on land and sea around Joe Manchin’s yacht to demand that he support much-needed investments into healthcare, climate action, and jobs in the Build Back Better Act.

A few weeks ago, after constituents kayaked for days to try to talk to him, Manchin emerged on the deck of his yacht saying “we’re on the same page” while inviting a few West Virginians to meet with him. His actions paint a very different story. Last Friday, the New York Times reported that Manchin told the White House that he is “firmly against a clean electricity program,” which is a key tenet of President Biden’s climate plan. Earlier this week, Axios revealed that Manchin also wants to cut all but one of an expanded child tax credit, paid family medical leave, or subsidies for child care. READ MORE


West Virginians Rally in DC Demanding Manchin Support Build Back Better

Article | Video

New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Entitled The Permian Basin Climate Bomb, the six-part series—produced by Oil Change International, Earthworks, and the Center for International Environmental Law—analyzes the public health, ecological, and economic impacts of expanded drilling in the basin, following "the flow of Permian hydrocarbons from extraction to export" and drawing attention the fossil fuel industry's devastating consequences.

Part 1 of the series features an introductory video that explains how the Permian Basin—home to two million people in west Texas and southeast New Mexico—"emerged as the world's single most prolific oil and gas field" over the past decade. By early 2020, the basin was generating over six million barrels of oil per day—the same amount as Iraq and trailing only Russia and Saudi Arabia in terms of daily yield. READ MORE

The press still has the power to challenge and prevent U.S. wars. However, this power hangs in the balance in the form of Julian Assange's fate.

Within just a few days, the United States will once again make its case in a UK court that it has a right to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be tried under the Espionage Act, in what remains this century's most dangerous attack on global press freedom.

These hearings, taking place on October 27 and 28, are an attempt to appeal the decision that Judge Vanessa Baraitser made earlier this year to not extradite Assange to the United States because it is likely he will commit suicide if subjected to the inhumane conditions of the U.S. prison system. However, while this decision was focused on his health, these hearings are really about what the Assange case has always been about: the United States' determination to silence anyone who exposes the crimes of the U.S. empire.

Leading press freedom and human rights organizations have been clear about the implications of a potential Assange extradition and have called on President Biden to drop the case. If there were still any doubts that the Department of Justice's focus on Assange was corrupt and politically motivated, those who remain skeptical should consider two major revelations about the U.S. campaign against Assange since the last hearing. READ MORE


Fate Of Anti-War Journalism Lies in Upcoming Assange Hearings


Biden Administration Is Undermining the Venezuela Dialogue

The Venezuelan people deserve better than another administration sabotaging a dialogue and imposing more deadly sanctions.

The talks between the Venezuelan government and the extreme-right wing opposition had been going well. There are still outstanding issues to be resolved, like ending the economic war, but the discussions held in Mexico led to concrete electoral developments. The European Union agreed to send an electoral observation mission. The United Nations decided to send a panel of electoral experts. (Both institutions refused to observe the 2018 presidential and 2020 legislative elections, despite invitations from the government.) Thousands of opposition candidates registered to run in the mega-elections, which include voting for governors and mayors, as regional and local legislators.

It's a good thing that agreements on the elections were reached quickly, because the Biden administration, following in the Trump administration's footsteps, has been actively undermining the dialogue. To recap, in 2018, the U.S. threatened an oil embargo and said it would welcome a coup just days before a comprehensive agreement was about to be signed. Then, in 2019, the Trump administration imposed a "full economic embargo" right as talks were going on. Now, it's the Biden administration's turn to try to sabotage the talks, although they're doing it in a much subtler way. READ MORE


Former prisoners of Rikers Island, family members of prisoners who have died at the jail and advocates for closing Rikers Island protest the deaths of 12 prisoners in 2021 on October 1, 2021, outside of City Hall in downtown Manhattan, New York.


“This crisis embodies the violence of a murderous system that is re-legitimized through reforms, any time its true character becomes too visible, like a shapeshifting monster in a horror film. It never stops consuming life,” says Kelly Hayes. In this episode of “Movement Memos,” Hayes digs into the crisis on Rikers Island, why people are dying, and why this isn’t a story about understaffing, but rather, a story about a system that cannot be redeemed.


Kelly Hayes: Welcome to “Movement Memos,” a Truthout podcast about things you should know if you want to change the world. I’m your host, writer and organizer Kelly Hayes. You’ve probably seen headlines in recent weeks about the crisis at Rikers Island, where horrifying conditions, and the deaths of 13 imprisoned people this year, have prompted some New York officials to demand the mass release of people being held at the facility. The more I learned about the situation at Rikers, the more concerned I became about how we talk about it.... READ MORE or LISTEN

Article | Audio

Rikers Island and the Shapeshifting Monster of Reform


US Plastics Industry Will Have More Emissions Than Coal by 2030, New Report Says

With dozens of new plastics manufacturing and recycling facilities in the works, the U.S. plastics industry will release more greenhouse gas emissions than coal-fired power plants by 2030, say the authors of a new report.

Emissions from the plastics sector equaled that of 116 coal-fired power plants last year, according to the report out Thursday from Bennington College’s Beyond Plastics project. Meanwhile, 42 plastics manufacturing and recycling facilities have opened, or are in the process of being built or permitted, since 2019.

“As the world transitions away from fossil fuels for electricity generation and for transportation, the petrochemical industry has found a new market for fossil fuels: plastics,” Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, told reporters on Thursday. READ MORE

Colin Powell died on Monday at the age of 84. Born in New York City in 1937, he attended City College where he studied geology. Over the course of his high-ranking military and government career he formulated the Powell Doctrine and later became known for justifying the illegal Iraq War in 2003. In this interview, international relations scholar Richard Falk reflects on Powell’s life and the US reaction to his passing: including the relevance of identity politics, the question of moderation, his contribution to the horrors of Vietnam and Iraq, and US governmental hypocrisy in the wake of its January 2020 assassination of the comparable Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.  

Daniel Falcone: As the US media mourns the death of Colin Powell and regrets the passing of a “memorable and principled statesman,” can you comment on how the actual history competes with this memory and knowledge construction of this notable figure?

Richard Falk: The legacy of Colin Powell is a complex one that will take time to sort out. There is no doubt that he projected the public image of an African American who was moderate and genuine in his commitment to national military and diplomatic service, and a patriot in the traditional sense of supporting his country, ‘right or wrong.’ He had a notable career in both the armed forces and diplomacy, becoming the first African American to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. These achievements set Powell on a high pedestal, a role model for persons of color, long excluded from the pinnacles of power and influence. READ MORE


Colin Powell: Grotesque Atrocities and the New Liberal Conscience


Workers are Walking Out

After decades of retreat, it might just be that workers are coming into their own as a force for social change. Forty years of punishing austerity and a two-tiered labor system pitting new, temporary, or part-time workers against regular workers have finally found the lowest pay and conditions workers will tolerate. The risk of death and illness from COVID was a profound trigger magnifying an already dire situation. The bosses’ “race to the bottom” finally found the bottom.

The working class is cornered but the working class is fighting back.

It’s a two-pronged labor revolt: an organized strike wave and an unorganized but much larger movement in which millions of workers are quitting their damned jobs. The corporate media is calling it the “Great Resignation.” It’s less polite than that — millions have simply walked off without giving notice. They are not looking back. READ MORE

The trauma that was Trump never completely recedes. Every time the Democrats flub something, which happens often, the possibility of Trump’s return looms like an unwelcome visitor at the front door – a visitor clearly determined to barge in on the slightest pretext. No student loan forgiveness? No Medicare expansion? That sprouts heaps of disappointed Dem voters, too let-down and lethargic to turn out on election day. A fiasco withdrawal from Afghanistan? Here comes Trump, bellowing that he could have done it better. Inflation? Trump lies and boasts that he has the answer. Immigrants entering from Mexico? There’s Trump, whipping up a nativist frenzy, no doubt bragging that his next secretary of defense won’t stop him from sending a quarter of a million troops to the border. And don’t get started on mandatory covid vaccines or masks. He holds whole rallies denouncing those.

Trump was bad enough. Efforts to dislodge him, specifically, the phony Russiagate fiasco, descended to shocking new lows. I get that Trump was a five-alarm fire and the bi-partisan war party was determined to put it out, no matter what. But sinking to “the Russians are coming?” Or a bunch of ads on Facebook had somehow undermined our putative democracy, which had, in fact, succumbed to terminal oligarchic tyranny sometime back in the Reagan administration – this was opening a Pandora’s box and we are very lucky the supersonic missiles didn’t start flying. Trump was a lethal disease (once covid arrived, literally), but the Russiagate attempt to oust him was deadly medicine. READ MORE


The Rightwing Horror That Won’t Go Away


The US Empire: Coercion and Consent

The U.S. military has nearly 800 military bases scattered over 70 countries. China, its most recent competitor, has one.

Spending for the U.S. military is about three times the amount Chinese government spends, and is more than the military budgets of Russia, India, the U.K., Saudi Arabia, France, Japan, Germany and China combined.

“The U.S. will remain a dominant imperial power for a long time into the future,” Daniel Bessner, assistant professor in American Foreign Policy at the University of Washington explained to me, adding, “The sheer power of the U.S. is just overwhelming.”

There has been some “rot” in the U.S. empire, as exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and how swiftly the U.S. supported government in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, and yet, the locus of power in the world is still what U.S. policymakers and their allies desire. Still, the global capitalist system that the U.S. and its allies, especially Europe and Japan, had constructed and maintained post-WWII remains relatively intact, and although some countries, like France and Germany, as historian Adam Tooze writes in his latest work reflecting on the past year of Covid-19, have begun to reorient themselves toward China, the Chinese government do not have the capacity to challenge U.S. hegemony worldwide. READ MORE

My early hopes of finding long-term happiness in America were illusions of a young man who knew nothing about the United States, save for giving opportunities to immigrants from Greece.

The crisis of America

In 2021, American politics and Constitution are on the verge of civil war. The Democrats and Republicans are irreconcilable. The Democratic Party represents for the most part the white middle class, including non-white minorities. The Republican Party, a subsidiary of Trump, fights for the interests of an oligarchy of rich and powerful whites.

Behind both of these gigantic parties, and the national political divisions they generate, there lurk the few billionaires that pull the policy strings, including those of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. The Republicans obey Trump who instigated the invasion of the Capitol in the January 6, 2021 insurrection; he and many Republicans keep repeating the lie that the Democrats stole the 2020 election.

Searching for my Ithaca

Nevertheless, for more than half a century, I have been living in this perplexing, nay ungovernable country. Now I understand how Greek scholars like Polybius, Plutarch, Lucian, Athenaios, Galen, Ptolemaios and Ammianus Marcellinus felt living in Rome, especially in imperial Rome. READ MORE


The Beautiful and the Good


Of Spirits, Martyrs & Legends: the Magic & Sorrow of Vietnam’s Côn Sơn Island

A short up-and-down overwater flight from Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and, voilà, you’ve arrived. While your destination is just off the coast of southern Vietnam, it may as well be another world. In less than an hour, you are transported from the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to the quiet and melancholic beauty of Côn SơnIsland, the largest and most infamous in the 16-island Côn Đảo Archipelago.

Vietnamese come from far and wide not just to enjoy breathtaking views of the sea, fresh seafood, and invigorating walks along pristine beaches, but also to participate in a solemn pilgrimage to dark places that are a legacy of French and US brutality. They are a stark testament to the supreme arrogance of one fading colonial power that handed the blood-stained baton to an ascending neocolonial power, both convinced they had the right to determine the destiny of a country not their own. Many of those who travel here are war veterans and former prisoners who pay homage to their fallen comrades. READ MORE

"This industry is rotten at its core," said one critic, "and the clearest proof of that is what it's doing to our children."

Internal documents dubbed "The Facebook Papers" were published widely Monday by an international consortium of news outlets who jointly obtained the redacted materials recently made available to the U.S. Congress by company whistleblower Frances Haugen.

The papers were shared among 17 U.S. outlets as well as a separate group of news agencies in Europe, with all the journalists involved sharing the same publication date but performing their own reporting based on the documents.

According to the Financial Times, the "thousands of pages of leaked documents paint a damaging picture of a company that has prioritized growth" over other concerns. And the Washington Post concluded that the choices made by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as detailed in the revelations, "led to disastrous outcomes" for the social media giant and its users.

From an overview of the documents and the reporting project by the Associated Press:

The papers themselves are redacted versions of disclosures that Haugen has made over several months to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging Facebook was prioritizing profits over safety and hiding its own research from investors and the public. READ MORE


Profits Before People: 'The Facebook Papers' Expose Tech Giant Greed

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