United States

Briefs: Guatemala river 'ecocide'; Peru mega-mine opposition; Native Americans resist mining land grab

Guatemala: UN says corporate positioning of river 'ecocide'

The United Nations said 23 species of fish and 21 species of birds, reptiles and mammals in Guatemala's Pasion River have been affected by contamination caused by industrial African oil palm production, TeleSUR English said.

Chomsky: US isolation pushed shift on Cuba, amid calls for end to blockade

Internationally renowned US intellectual Noam Chomsky told Mexican newspaper La Jornada on July 20 that it was because Washington was becoming increasingly isolated from “their own backyard” of Latin America, that the US decided to normalise relations with Cuba.

Chomsky said the fourth Summit of the Americas of 2012 in Colombia was a major turning point for the US. It saw itself, along with Canada, completely marginalised from all the crucial issues being debated — including Cuba.

Screwed by vulture funds, Puerto Rico is the US's 'Greece'

The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker.

A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

New doco is your chance to meet Nina Simone

What Happened, Miss Simone?
Directed by Liz Garbus
Distributed by Netflix

Liz Garbus' beautifully composed and riveting documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? honours the African American musician and civil rights activist who came to be known as “The High Priestess of Soul”.

Obama buries Gaza under Iran nuclear deal


Obama publicly supported and assisted Israel's 2014 Gaza massacre that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children.

The deal between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program lifts an ominous shadow from a region already ravaged by bloodshed and conflict.

Yemen: US partly to blame for starvation


Child killed by Saudi bombing of Yemen.

Twenty million people in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, are at risk of dying from hunger or thirst. That’s 80% of the country’s population, which, according to UN agencies, badly needs emergency supplies of food and water, along with fuel and medicine.

This almost unimaginable crisis sounds like something out of a disaster movie. But the cause is not an earthquake or a tsunami.

Dave Zirin: Why Serena Williams is today's Muhammad Ali


Serena Williams has won 21 Grand Slam titles — the same number every other active women’s player has collected combined.

There are many articles — terrific articles — defending Serena Williams against the racism and sexism that have long stalked her career. But we should be similarly aggressive in stating factually just who Serena is becoming before our very eyes.

Letter from the US: Black churches burn as media pushes 'terror plot' scare

In the wake of the political assassination of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17 by a white supremacist, racial tensions remain high.

Since that incident, seven Black churches in the South have suffered fires, recalling many such incidents in the past.

Flag-remover Bree Newsome's song for freedom fighters


Newsome arrested after removing Confederate flag from South Carolina courthouse, June 27.

Cuba, US reopen embassies, Cuba demands end to blockade


Havana, Cuba, July 1.

The US and Cuban governments announced on July 1 the official restoration of formal diplomatic ties by reopening embassies in each country.

The two countries will open embassies as of July 20. The respective US and Cuban special interest sections, which function as diplomatic delegations, will be upgraded to embassies, with ambassadors soon to be appointed.

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