The Dissenter

Police guard the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, UK on August 16, 2012. Police are on guard outside this embassy 24-hours a day to ensure that Julian Assange does not receive even a moment of freedom or fresh air. (Flickr / κύριαsity)
26 Aug 2015

WikiLeaks Attorneys Oppose Diplomatic Retaliation by UK Against Ecuador

Attorneys for WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and other staff members of the media organization have condemned the United Kingdom’s diplomatic protest against Ecuador for continuing to provide Assange asylum. According to lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights, the United Kingdom has threatened to storm the Ecuadorean Embassy in clear violation of international law.

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File: A redacted email. (Flickr / opensource.com)
26 Aug 2015

Ruling Makes It Harder For U.S. To Charge High FOIA Fees To Media, Nonprofits

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision which could make a huge difference for alternative media and nonprofit organizations seeking to have fees waived when making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. More and more agencies—at all levels of government—charge high fees for public documents.

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File: The lethal injection room at San Quentin prison, photographed on August 3, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons / California Department of Corrections)
26 Aug 2015

State Appeals After Federal Judge Halts Mississippi Executions

The state government of Mississippi appealed a federal judge’s temporary restraining order against the use of two execution drugs, which effectively brought executions to a halt. Even if the state’s appeal fails, the death penalty in Mississippi would remain entirely intact.

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File: At a Guantanamo protest, a sign on the back of a prisoner jumpsuit reads "CLEARED FOR RELEASE." (Flickr / Debra Sweet)
25 Aug 2015

Obama Administration Would Rather Subject Gravely Ill Guantanamo Prisoner to More Torture Than Release Him

President Barack Obama’s administration would rather subject a gravely ill Guantanamo Bay prisoner to continuous abusive force-feedings, which amount to torture, than support his release from the military prison because he is sick.

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Prison Protest

File: A rainbow Pride flag blows in the wind. (Flickr / torbakhopper)
25 Aug 2015

Chicago LGBTQ Inmates Speak Out Against Solitary Confinement, Homophobia

LGBTQ prison abolition group Black & Pink began publishing letters from inmates in solitary confinement last month in an effort to shed light on the abuse and harassment they suffer. Black & Pink explained that last summer, their Chicago chapter contacted to over 100 inmates in isolation to ask for their experiences.

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A glimpse through the entryway of the Santa Rita Jail, photographed on February 15, 2013. (Flickr / Daniel Arauz)
24 Aug 2015

Inmate Claims Epilepsy Went Untreated At Santa Rita Jail

An inmate suffered a Grand Mal seizure after deputies at the Santa Rita jail in Alameda County, California denied his repeated requests for epilepsy medication, according to a federal lawsuit [PDF] filed against the county and various sheriff’s deputies at the end of July.

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File: A stylized image of Bradley Ballard against the backdrop of a prison yard. (Prison Protest / Brian Sonenstein)
21 Aug 2015

New York City Distancing Itself From Corizon Health Services

New York City left private jail medical contractor Corizon Health Services to defend itself against a federal lawsuit brought by the mother of a deceased inmate named Bradley Ballard. Ballard’s death was one of the motivating cases behind the wave of reforms currently aimed at the city’s jail system.

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File: Close-up of a hand hovering above a smartphone in a dark room. (Flickr / Japanexperterna.se)
20 Aug 2015

High-Tech Youth Surveillance, Rikers Island And The Pitfalls Of Jail ‘Reform’

New York City will begin a surveillance pilot program aimed at keeping juvenile defendants accused of committing certain felonies off of Rikers Island. As The New York Times reported on August 14, eligible youth between the ages of sixteen and eighteen will be outfitted with lightweight bracelets tethered electronically to smartphones that are to be carried with them at all times and cannot be turned off.

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The Bullpen

File: A keychain with several keys and metal charms attached. Heavy key chains could cause a defect in some General Motors' vehicles to shut off the engine, causing over 100 deaths according to the latest figures. (Morguefile)
25 Aug 2015

More Deaths Linked To General Motors’ Ignition Switches

A study by a consultant hired by GM has led to a nearly ten fold increase in the number of deaths linked to the faulty switches. The new estimate, released on August 21 by a consulting group led by famed attorney Kenneth Feinberg, puts the number of deaths from the defected ignition switches at 124. Previously, GM said it only knew of 13 deaths.

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File: A paper cup branded with the Coca-Cola logo sits on a ledge. (Flickr / Leo Hidalgo)
24 Aug 2015

Coca-Cola To Stop Funding Fake Health Studies, No Word On Union Killings

On August 19th, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent wherein Kent admitted that Coca-Cola funded scientific studies that attempted to shift blame for the growing obesity crisis off diet and onto exercise. Kent said the scheme to fund questionable studies was meant to take attention away from the beverage company he runs but was “not working” and that this behavior by Coca-Cola “does not reflect our intent or our values.”

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The entrance to a Merrill Lynch office in Dallas, photographed on April 26, 2010. (Flickr / Neff Conner)
21 Aug 2015

Banker Sentenced To Prison For TARP Fraud

Former Park Avenue Bank President Charles Antonucci has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Antonucci will also pay $54.6 million in restitution and forfeit $11.2 million.

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File: A collection of packaged seafood, including prawn, shrimp and shellfish, in a grocery store. (Flickr / Adam Kahtava)
20 Aug 2015

Lawsuit Filed After Walmart & Costco Sold Slave Labor Seafood

On August 19, Monica Sud, a woman from California, filed a class action lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation claiming that the retailer knowingly sold prawns produced by slave labor and never disclosed these practices to customers like herself who bought the products without knowing they were produced by illegal labor.

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