NH Lawmaker Brandon Phinney Defends Church State Separation

NH Lawmaker Brandon Phinney Defends Church State Separation

State Rep. Brandon Phinney is an atheist who rejects “archaic beliefs that deny reality.” The New Hampshire lawmaker recently issued an eloquent letter to the…

by Michael Stone
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At Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons, Children Face a Nightmare of Solitary Confinement and Abuse

At Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons, Children Face a Nightmare of Solitary Confinement and Abuse

by Valerie Kiebala

At the Lincoln Hills School for Boys (LHS), a juvenile correctional facility in far northern Wisconsin, two entire buildings called the Krueger Unit and the Roosevelt Unit exist solely for the purpose of holding children in solitary confinement for 22 to 23 hours a day. Each unit holds two-dozen isolation cells, which measure seven by […]

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Israel blocks EU lawmakers’ entry into besieged Gaza Strip

Israel blocks EU lawmakers’ entry into besieged Gaza Strip

Press TV – February 22, 2017

The Tel Aviv regime has prevented five European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave remains under an inhumane Israeli siege.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Neoklis Sylikiotis, a Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP), denounced the Israeli obstruction of the lawmakers’ access to the Palestinian coastal sliver.

“The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable,” the statement read.

However, Israel claimed that the MEPs were not among those allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.

Similar European delegations have been barred from Gaza since 2011 though a team led by the head of the European Parliament’s budget committee was allowed to visit once, the statement added.

“What is there to hide from us?” it further asked, condemning Israel’s “systematic” entry bans to Gaza.

It also called on the international community to pressure the Tel Aviv regime to lift the Gaza blockade that has been in place Since June 2007 and affected almost all the two million inhabitants of the enclave.

The World Bank and the United Nations say the Gaza siege has killed all exports and damaged the Palestinian territory’s economy.

Tel Aviv has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive that left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

Israel’s demolition plan ‘unacceptable’

Separately on Wednesday, Robert Piper, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, visited the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank and voiced alarm over an Israeli plan to demolish structures there.

On Sunday, Israeli forces distributed demolition orders to 40 structures, including tents, huts and a school in the village.

According to Palestinian media outlets, Khan al-Ahmar residents were given until Thursday to vacate the village.

“Khan al-Ahmar is one of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank struggling to maintain a minimum standard of living in the face of intense pressure from the Israeli authorities to move,” Piper said in a statement. “This is unacceptable and it must stop.”

International bodies and rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes are aimed at uprooting Palestinians from their native territories, and expropriating more land for the expansion of settlements.

Tel Aviv is has accelerated its land grab and settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian lands after pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office.

Israeli forces have demolished over 48,000 Palestinian homes and buildings since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Canada’s Pledge To Bring In Yazidis Praised By Refugees In Iraq

Canada’s promise to resettle hundreds of Yazidis by the end of the year is being welcomed in Iraq, where Yazidi women and girls have endured horrific abuse and persecution at the hands of ISIL.

Among those who have greeted the news with open arms is Saud Khalid, who was kidnapped by ISIL in August 2014 and sold as a sex slave three times before escaping after a year in captivity.

The Trump administration has rescinded protections for transgender students that allowed them to use bathrooms of their choice

The Trump administration has rescinded protections for transgender students that allowed them to use bathrooms of their choice

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:58 PM EST

The Trump administration on Wednesday rescinded federal rules that allowed transgender students to use the bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.
The new policy overruled the advice of President Trump’s education secretary and placed his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.
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WH Staffers Fired Over Background Check

WH Staffers Fired Over Background Check
Six White House staffers were escorted off the premises last week after reportedly failing to pass a FBI background check, Politico reported on Wednesday. Among the reportedly removed staffers was White House Chief Digital Officer Gerrit Lansing, who previously led the Republican National Convention’s digital efforts. Additionally, Politico reported, Trump’s director of scheduling Caroline Wiles did not pass the background check and resigned on Friday. The background check on White House employees who cover national security issues, according to Politico, dives into the applicant’s credit score, past substance use, and other matters.

7 Earth-Sized Planets Orbit Nearby Star

7 Earth-Sized Planets Orbit Nearby Star
NASA announced on Wednesday that seven Earth-sized planets have been spotted around a small star in the Aquarius constellation. Michaël Gillon, an astrophysicist at the University of Liège in Belgium, said the star is “so small and cold that the seven planets are temperate, which means that they could have some liquid water and maybe life, by extension, on the surface.” The discovery marks the first time that so many planets close to Earth’s size have been found in orbit around the same star, called Trappist-1. Scientists have said the news brings new hope that the Milky Way may resemble our own home and even could spur on the hunt for alien life.

Report: Kellyanne Was Sidelined from TV

Report: Kellyanne Was Sidelined from TV
White House spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway was sidelined from appearing on television in the wake of her on-air remarks contradicting official comments on the Michael Flynn controversy, CNN reported on Wednesday. Conway has not appeared on television since remarking last week that Flynn offered to resign in the wake of his scandal surrounding his discussion of sanctions with a Russian ambassador. That same day, however, the White House officially said President Trump asked Flynn to resign. Conway was “off message,” a White House source told CNN. “Clearly they’re having much more of a drama-free week,” another source close to the White House said. “Having Kellyanne off television is helping them.” Conway had also come under fire the week prior for openly promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing line during an interview with Fox News—an ethical violation, as suggested by the House Oversight Committee’s bipartisan leadership.

Trump on Slavery: ‘Boy, That’s Not Good’

Trump on Slavery: ‘Boy, That’s Not Good’
President Trump on Wednesday visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture and was reportedly moved to audibly comment on the horrific nature of slavery during his tour. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece Alveda King accompanied the president and, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said that when Trump came upon a stone auction block for selling slaves, he commented: “Boy, that is just not good. That is not good.” Later, when he saw a set of shackles used on slave children, he said, according to King: “That is really bad. That is really bad.”