The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill Moyers shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California’s Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area’s homeless -- who’ve grown 20 percent in the last two years -- are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps.
“A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government,” says Bill, “while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality.”
Military Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled Tuesday to reduce the potential sentence of Bradley Manning, an Army private accused of releasing classified documents to the infamous WikiLeaks website. Lind's ruling stems from her belief that Manning was subjected to "illegal pretrial punishment" during his nine months of confinement. She called Manning's treatment -- which consisted of solitary confinement in a windowless cell, often without clothing, for 23 hours a day -- "excessive." The 25-year-old is to face 22 charges when his trial begins March 6th. Due to Tuesday's ruling, if he is given a prison sentence he will receive 112 days off of whatever it is.
"Army Col. Denise Lind ruled during a pretrial hearing that authorities went too far in their strict confinement of Pfc. Bradley Manning for nine months in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., in 2010 and 2011. Manning was confined to a windowless cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing. Brig officials said it was to keep him from hurting himself or others."
"Lind said Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary." She added that the conditions "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."'
"Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. His trial begins March 6."
"The 25-year-old intelligence analyst had sought to have the charges thrown out, arguing the conditions were egregious. Military prosecutors had recommended a seven-day sentence reduction, conceding Manning was improperly kept for that length of time on highly restrictive suicide watch, contrary to a psychiatrist's recommendation."
Manning supporters were disappointed with today's ruling. "I don't find it a victory," supporter Mike McKee said. "Credit like that becomes much less valuable if the sentence turns out to be 80 years." McKee was one of about a dozen supporters who were present in the courtroom for Tuesday's ruling.
The scheduled four-day hearing is, in part, to determine if Manning's motivation matters in the case. The prosecution seeks to block the defense from presenting evidence of motive calling it "irrelevent." The defense claims barring such evidence would cripple the defense's ability to argue that Manning leaked only information that he believed couldn't hurt the United States or help a foreign nation.
The United States is spending over $200 billion a year on a justice system that locks up more people than any country on earth. We have more prisoners than China. More than Russia. More than anyone. This colossal system is hitting our communities with staggering financial and human costs.
Our prison system is a beast, gobbling resources that should be going to communities. Watch this video to find out why. To get involved and do something, visit http://beyondbars.org.
The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880.The finding sustains a trend that has seen the 21st century experience nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York released an analysis of how temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience higher temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) higher than the mid-20th century baseline.
July was the hottest month on record for the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895, NOAA says.
Ecuador has said that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has sought out asylum at the South American country’s embassy in London, according to Reuters. A week ago, Assange lost a bid in Britain’s highest court to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is to be questioned on sex-crime allegations. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Pinto told reporters that “Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request.” The controversial Assange has waged a legal war in Britain’s courts for about two years to be allowed to stay in the country, even as his website has continued to publish sensitive documents.
The situation threatens to inflame tensions between the government of Rafael Correa, Ecuador's leftist and ardently anti-Washington president, and U.S. authorities, who accuse Assange of damaging its foreign relations with his leaks.
It is also an embarrassment for Britain, where the Foreign Office whose foreign ministry on Tuesday confirmed Assange was beyond the reach of its police in the Ecuadorean embassy.
"While the department assesses Mr. Assange's application, Mr. Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean Government," the embassy said on its website.
If Ecuador denies Assange's petition for asylum, the only option that remains through the courts is an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
A documentary by Caroline Gray: Occupy Chicago is a film on the Occupy movement that reveals how important the movement truly is and what it means to fight against those who continue to destroy democracy in the United States. "We are collectively figuring out democracy and figuring out what it means to fight" said an Occupy Chicago organizer. Those of you who have misconceptions about the Occupy Movement will hopefully have a change of mind after viewing this documentary. "This is a movement of the people", another occupier in Chicago added, proving that this movement is reinforcing democratic ways, while resisting current conditions in our government that defy democracy and our rights in the United States. Stand up. Fight Back. Occupy.
From the director of "No End In Sight" comes a documentary on the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ways in which it could have been avoided.
"Inside Job" provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
Academy Award winner Matt Damon narrates this unflinching look at the deep-rooted corruption that has left millions of middle-class Americans jobless and homeless as the major corporations get bailed out while paying millions in bonuses.