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Last updated: Feb 22 2017 20:54 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Challenging the Racism of At-Large Elections 22.2.2017 Truthout - All Articles
In recent years North Carolina has faced lawsuits charging that congressional and legislative district maps drawn by its Republican-controlled General Assembly represent illegal racial gerrymanders by packing voters of color into a small number of districts and weakening their overall political power. In 2011, voting rights advocacy groups sued over the state's new congressional maps, arguing that the oddly-shaped districts captured large numbers of Democratic-leaning black voters while benefiting the  overwhelmingly white Republican Party , which holds 10 of the state's 13 congressional seats even though  47 percent of voters cast ballots for Democratic candidates  in 2016. A federal court ruled last year that two of those districts were illegal racial gerrymanders and had to be redrawn before the primary. The case is now awaiting a final ruling by the US Supreme Court, which heard arguments in December. Meanwhile, another lawsuit filed in 2015 by North Carolina residents alleges that GOP lawmakers ...
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In New Orleans, it's Fat Tuesday ... and Wednesday ... and Thursday in a city stuffed with 'wow' restaurants 21.2.2017 LA Times: Commentary

If you ask recent visitors to New Orleans to assess their dining experiences, the responses will undoubtedly fall in the range of “great” to “How much time do you have?”

The Crescent City has long been a lure for epicures, a place where the cuisine has been informed by centuries of new arrivals...

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2 dams illustrate challenge of maintaining older designs 19.2.2017 Salt Lake Tribune
Los Angeles • Twelve years ago, widespread destruction from Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast helped compel federal engineers 2,000 miles away in California to remake a 1950s-era dam by constructing a massive steel-and-concrete gutter that would manage surging waters in times of torrential storms. The nearly $1 billion auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam, scheduled to be completed later this year, stands in contrast to the troubles 75 miles away at the state-run Oroville Dam, where thousands of p...
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2 dams illustrate challenge of maintaining older designs 19.2.2017 Seattle Times: Top stories

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twelve years ago, widespread destruction from Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast helped compel federal engineers 2,000 miles away in California to remake a 1950s-era dam by constructing a massive steel-and-concrete gutter that would manage surging waters in times of torrential storms. The nearly $1 billion auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam, […]
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After Tornado, Families In New Orleans Begin Rebuilding Once Again 11.2.2017 NPR: All Things Considered
On Tuesday, a tornado caused damage to parts of New Orleans. For some, it's the second time they'll need to rebuild homes since Hurricane Katrina swamped the city in 2005.
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New Data Undermine Oil and Gas Industry's Pipeline Safety Claims 10.2.2017 Truthout.com
In the debate over construction of new oil and gas pipelines, industry representatives have long argued that pipelines are safer than other methods for moving fossil fuels over long distances. Take for example the recent statement a spokesperson for the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana -- a project spearheaded by Energy Transfer Partners, the same Dallas-based company behind the highly contentious Dakota Access Pipeline -- made to The Advocate of Baton Rouge. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would carry oil from a terminal in Nederland, Texas, across South Louisiana to refineries and export terminals near New Orleans. "Currently, most of the crude oil being delivered to refineries along the Gulf Coast is coming in by truck, rail and marine, all of which are more dangerous to the environment than underground pipelines," Alexis Daniel  told the newspaper  in an email. Research  has shown that, depending on the criteria used to define safety, trucks, trains and boats can be riskier in some ways than ...
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'It's Just A Mess.' New Orleans Residents Clean Up After Tornadoes 8.2.2017 NPR News
Tornadoes injured dozens of people as they moved through southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. In New Orleans East, the National Guard was helping clear streets of debris and downed electrical wires.
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A Step Toward Environmental Justice in North Carolina's Hog Country 8.2.2017 Truthout.com
After years of seeking help from state officials, people living near industrial hog farms across Eastern North Carolina had their fears about health-damaging pollution and industry harassment recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office (ECRCO)  sent a letter  to the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) last month stating that it "has deep concern about the possibility that African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have been subject to discrimination" as a consequence of the state's oversight of its 2,000 hog farms. The farms typically  store animal waste in open lagoons  and  spray it on nearby fields , leading to  air  and  water pollution . The EPA is investigating a federal civil rights complaint related to hog farms that was filed in 2014 by the NC Environmental Justice Network, the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help and Waterkeeper Alliance alleging discrimination by NCDEQ based on race and national origin. ...
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Beyoncé controversially sampled New Orleans culture in 'Lemonade.' Now, she's being sued for it. 8.2.2017 Washington Post
Beyoncé controversially sampled New Orleans culture in 'Lemonade.' Now, she's being sued for it.
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Dozens injured in tornadoes across southern Louisiana 8.2.2017 Seattle Times: Nation & World

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brittany Ross remembers she was savoring the smell of her aunt’s simmering white beans when the storm that injured about 40 people in southeastern Louisiana hit. “The place started shaking, kind of twisting,” she said Tuesday as she stood amid the wreckage at a small trailer park in eastern New Orleans. […]
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Tornadoes touch down, wreak havoc in southern Louisiana 8.2.2017 AP National
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The tornadoes that struck southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday injured about 20 people, destroyed homes and businesses, flipped cars and trucks, and left about 10,000 customers without power, but no deaths were reported, the governor said....
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Tornado slams New Orleans, causing ‘substantial’ damage, dozens of injuries 8.2.2017 Washington Post
Severe thunderstorms rolled through the Southeast, dropping multiple tornadoes in southern Louisiana, one of which did major damage to communities in east New Orleans — among the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
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The Latest: New Orleans family describes surviving tornado 8.2.2017 AP National
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Latest on severe weather in the Deep South (all times local):...
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Trump's botched weekend threatens impressions of presidential competence 31.1.2017 LA Times: Commentary

President Trump’s go-it-alone strategy has put at risk a core quality that must be projected by any successful American commander in chief: competence.

The botched weekend rollout of a refugee and travel ban was reminiscent of President Obama’s stumbling introduction of his healthcare website and...

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U.S. wants to have its immigration cake and eat it too 29.1.2017 LA Times: Commentary

A few years ago, I met a kid whose mother worked in a beef slaughtering plant in Garden City, Kan.

The plant employees were Latino immigrants, and many were in the country illegally. This kid had to massage his mother’s hand after she came home each night because it was frozen in the shape of the...

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Katrina evacuee who was granted new trial on Utah arson charge will not be prosecuted again 20.1.2017 Salt Lake Tribune
A Katrina evacuee who was granted a new trial last year by the Utah Court of Appeals on an arson charge will not be retried. The Utah County Attorney’s Office recently informed the 4th District Court that it did not intend to prosecute Herbert Samuel Landry, a decision that ends the case. Landry served about 7 1/2 years behind bars before being paroled from the Utah State Prison in February 2014, more than two years before he was granted the retrial. Utah County District Attorney Jeff Buhman sa...
Elaine Chao Keeps Mum 13.1.2017 American Prospect
Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch/IPX Elaine Chao testifies on Capitol Hill at her confirmation hearing to become the secretary of transportation.  Members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee asked some very good questions about the Donald Trump administration’s future transportation policy Wednesday. They wanted to know the administration’s positions on privatizing and modernizing the air traffic control system. They had questions about tunnel, highway, and commuter rail projects around the country. They asked about rural infrastructure, federal permitting, and transportation grants and loans. But mostly, the senators wanted to hear about the Trump administration’s highly anticipated national infrastructure investment plan, one of the president-elect’s most eagerly anticipated initiatives. But transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao wasn’t giving up anything, maintaining instead the incoming administration’s disturbing penchant for keeping secrets about their policy plans. Exactly ...
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The Fight Over Seismic Testing for Atlantic Oil and Gas Will Continue Under Trump 11.1.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Last week the Obama administration  announced  that it denied all six pending permits to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas reserves in the Atlantic Ocean, handing environmental advocates a long-sought victory in the effort to protect the area from hazards related to offshore energy exploration. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper cited the potential risk to marine life from seismic testing,  which involves  constantly firing blasts of compressed air into the ocean for weeks and even months on end. The noise from the blasts is so loud that it can be heard up to 2,500 miles away. The US government's own estimates found that seismic testing in the Atlantic could  injure as many as 138,000 marine mammals  like dolphins and whales while disturbing the activities of many other species. In 2015, 75 leading marine scientists  sent a letter  to President Obama warning that "the magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread ...
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North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law Has Cost the State More Than $560 Million So Far 9.1.2017 Truthout.com
Opponents of a North Carolina bill that limited transgender students' bathroom access protest in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 11, 2016. The economic losses caused by the bill is estimated to be more than a half a billion dollars. (Photo: Ray Whitehouse / The New York Times) At a Jan. 4 economic forum sponsored by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, newly elected Gov. Roy Cooper (D) asked businesses for help repealing the state's widely criticized House Bill 2, which, among other things, prevents transgender people from using the restroom that matches their gender identity and bars local governments from passing nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. Cooper said he thinks a clean repeal of HB2 would pass the Republican-dominated General Assembly, and he called on business leaders to pressure legislative leaders to put it to a vote.  Last month state lawmakers held a special session to repeal the law after Cooper, who had not yet been sworn in, brokered a deal with Republican ...
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How Savior Mentality Stands in the Way of Solidarity Organizing: An Interview With Jordan Flaherty 8.1.2017 Truthout.com
History teaches us a lot about the "great men" who changed things and not enough about the collective struggles that forced that change, says Jordan Flaherty in this Truthout interview. Once we understand how real revolutionary change has always come about, we will stop being fooled by would-be heroes and saviors. History teaches us a lot about the "great men" who changed things and not enough about the collective struggles that forced that change, says Jordan Flaherty. (Photo: AK Press) In the real world, people don't need heroes or rescue: They need systemic solutions to racism, patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism. But the seductive myth of the savior complex all too often leads us astray, as Jordan Flaherty shows in No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality. Robin D.G. Kelley calls this book "A perfect gift for the age of Trump." Get your copy by making a tax-deductible donation to Truthout today! "Social movements have an unfortunate history of following the leadership of ...
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