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

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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File: A prisoner transport van, photographed on August 2, 2011. (Flickr / C Holmes)
19 Aug 2015

Did Advanced Correctional Healthcare Staff Falsify Records After Inmate Death?

In a federal lawsuit filed in April, the relative of a deceased inmate blames his wrongful death on a private inmate healthcare company and a for-profit inmate transportation company. The lawsuit accuses Advanced Correctional Healthcare and Prisoner Transport Services of neglecting and even mocking the serious medical needs of William Weintraub, PhD, as he died a slow and painful death from a perforated ulcer, shackled in the back of a crowded van.

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The Bullpen

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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File: The famous slanted roof of Citigroup Center in New York City. Citigroup has paid out billions in recent fraud cases. (Flickr / Chris Swann)
19 Aug 2015

Citigroup To Pay $180 Million For Latest Fraud

On August 17, Citigroup agreed to pay $180 million to settle charges from the SEC that two of the megabank’s hedge funds defrauded investors. According to the SEC, Citigroup’s hedge funds “made false and misleading representations to investors” about how risky investing in the funds were.

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File: At an Occupy Wall Street march on March 15, 2012, a banner reads "Foreclose On Banks Not People." (Flickr / Michael Fleshman)
18 Aug 2015

Report: Cost Of Financial Crisis Reached $20 Trillion

Last month, the nonpartisan financial reform organization Better Markets put out a report claiming that the total cost for the 2008 financial crisis and resulting recession reached$20 trillion. The number comes from an estimate of how much of a toll the crash put on the gross domestic product with high unemployment/underemployment and the hollowing out of the middle class through foreclosures, deferred education, and bankruptcies.

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File: A dome or "halo" style surveillance camera, photographed on February 19, 2006. (Flickr / Obeck)
17 Aug 2015

Workers To Face Biosurveillance From Employers

The modern work environment was already becoming more than a bit Orwellian, with employees being electronically spied on by their bosses to ensure productivity, but now the corporate push for total information awareness of workers is hitting new levels of creepiness. According to a report in Bloomberg, companies are now using biosurveillance technologies to monitor workers.

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