NYC Taxi Drivers Launch Hunger Strike

in New York City, where a group of taxi drivers are launching a hunger strike today, demanding the city enact debt relief for thousands of drivers who have been devastated by massive debt, accrued largely due to the artificially inflated cost of taxi medallions. This comes after taxi drivers held a 30-day, round-the-clock protest outside City Hall. Drivers have also been denouncing the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. At least nine drivers have died by suicide.

it’s just been really devastating. I mean, we’ve had nine driver suicides. And at this point, where drivers have an average debt of $550,000, the city has basically no solution. They’ve come out with what’s really just a cash bailout to the banks, with no real relief for the drivers. Thousands and thousands of families are going to be left in a debt, that it will be beyond their lifetime, and they’ll be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off.

— source | Oct 20, 2021

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Google, Amazon workers demand to cut ties with Israel’s Project Nimbus

Nearly 400 Google and Amazon workers have demanded that their employers cut ties with Project Nimbus, an Israeli government-backed initiative to establish secure local cloud computing sites across the country. In an open letter published in the British newspaper The Guardian, 90 Google and 300 Amazon employees, writing anonymously, condemned the cloud computing giants’ decision to “sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government.”

Project Nimbus calls for Amazon and Google to develop cloud-storage sites across Israel at an initial investment of 4 billion shekels ($1.2 billion). The sites will enable Israel to keep data within its borders under strict security guidelines.

Tuesday’s letter follows another by a group of 250 “diverse Jewish and allied Googlers,” published during the May fighting. In it, the authors urged “a review of all Alphabet business contracts and corporate donations and the termination of contracts with institutions that support Israeli violations of Palestinian rights,” including the Israeli military. Alphabet is Google’s parent company.

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | 13 Oct 2021

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US Records Significant Increase in Prison Suicides

According to a new study, in the last two decades, the number of inmates who took their own lives in state and federal prisons increased by 83%, whereas in local prisoners, the figure rose 13%. Since 2000, according to U.S. Justice Department figures, over 10,000 inmates have committed suicide, the vast majority taking place in California (615), Texas (448), and Florida (333). Moreover, the vast majority of inmates at the time of suicide had not even been convicted of a crime, and 44% of those who committed suicide did so within the first week of their imprisonment.

— source | 13 Oct 2021

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Over 173,000 children infected and 22 killed by COVID-19 in the US last week

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its weekly report on COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths among children across the US. The results are once again horrific, with 173,469 children testing positive for COVID-19 and 22 dying from the virus last week. In total, some 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 and 520 have died in the US since the start of the pandemic. Since schools began reopening throughout the US in late July, more than 1,772,578 children have officially tested positive and 171 have died from COVID-19, as the highly transmissible Delta variant has spread rapidly in poorly-ventilated, overcrowded classrooms across the country.

Across the US and internationally, opposition is building among parents, educators and students to the homicidal school reopening policies that have infected millions of children and killed thousands worldwide. This was sharply expressed in the October 1 global school strike, with the central hashtag #SchoolStrike2021 trending for hours that day and used over 26,000 times in the week leading up to and including the strike.

— source | 5 Oct 2021

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John Deere workers go on strike after rejecting wage deal

About 10,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike against farm and construction equipment maker John Deere early Thursday morning. The UAW had reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year contact with the company two weeks ago, only to see 90% of the rank-and-file members of the union reject it in a ratification vote that concluded this past Sunday. Union and management negotiators talked into the night Wednesday trying to reach a new deal but were unable to do so. This is the nation’s largest private-sector strike since the UAW waged a costly six-week strike against General Motors (GM) two years ago. The union said that 98.6% of members had voted to authorize a strike if there is no new deal by then.

— source | Oct 14, 2021

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Maryland city deploys BYD electric Class 6 refuse truck

Hyattsville, Maryland, is deploying a BYD 6R Class 6 electric refuse truck, one of several fully-electric or hybrid vehicles in the City’s fleet, and the first commercially deployed Class 6 refuse truck in the country, according to BYD. The BYD 6R is capable of working an entire shift without recharging. With its short wheelbase, this truck is more compact, allowing for excellent maneuverability on urban streets where space is limited. The truck has 211 KWh of initial battery capacity and is capable of 120 kW DC CCS1 charging. A 390 kW motor delivers 3,152 N·m of torque, with a top speed of 113 km/h with maximum gradeabilityi of 25%.

— source | 05 Oct 2021

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Racist Medical System Stole Henrietta’s Cells

The family of Henrietta Lacks, the African American cancer patient whose cells were taken by Johns Hopkins University Hospital without her consent in 1951, is suing the pharmaceutical company Thermo Fisher Scientific and demanding reparations and the intellectual property of those cells.

Henrietta Lacks was a young Black mother in segregated Baltimore who suffered from metastatic cervical cancer. Doctors took tissue samples from her womb, unknowingly, that went on to become one of the most productive cell lines, leading to groundbreaking research that became a cornerstone of modern medicine, from cancer care and HIV/AIDS treatment to helping scientists produce remedies for several diseases, including the first polio vaccine and even COVID-19 vaccines. Her cells were just known as “HeLa” cells — H-E-L-A — the first two letters of Henrietta Lacks’s first and last name. But even her family had no clue about her legacy until more than 20 years after her death.

— source | Oct 08, 2021

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Union minister’s son hit the protesters with his cars, 8 people died

Until Sunday morning, Banbirpur under Tikonia police station, a small village which falls under Lakhimpur Kheri district headquarter and very close to the India-Nepal border, was peaceful. But, in the afternoon, the village witnessed a bloodbath where at least eight people, including four farmers and a journalist were killed and over 13 others were severely injured after a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Union Minister of State for Home and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ajay Mishra Teni, hit a group of farm protesters. The incident allegedly took place as the farmers were dispersing from the protest site when all of sudden, three cars in the convoy of Mishra ran over the famers, alleged Gurmeet Singh Virk, a farmer who was leading the protest. An eyewitness, Paurndeep Singh, alleged that minister’s son Ashish tried to flee after his vehicle was overturned. He shot dead one farmer who tried to catch him after he fell on the ground and tried to escape from the spot. He continuously fired multiple rounds in the air to keep farmers away and police rescued him, he alleged.

— source | 05 Oct 2021

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Bolivia Requests Arrest of Añez Regime’s Economy Minister

Bolivia’s Special Anti-Crime Force (FELCC) requested the arrest of former Economy Minister Jose Luis Parada for the irregular contracting of a US$346 million loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez (2019-2020). On Aug. 28, Parada should have appeared before the Public Prosecutor’s Office to testify. Given that he never showed up, the FELCC sent a request for his arrest to Prosecutor Mauricio Jara, who is handling the matter. This case also implicates the former “Interim” president Añez and Guillermo Aponte, the former president of the Bolivian Central Bank (BCB). Previously, Carlos Schlink, the former Vice Minister of Finance, was detained. Bolivian Justice also announced that it will try Parada for unconstitutional offenses, anti-economic behavior, and breach of duty.

— source | 30 Sep 2021

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Drone war whistleblower Daniel Hale sentenced to 45 months in prison

Daniel Hale, the whistleblower and former military intelligence analyst who leaked details of the US drone warfare program to the Intercept in 2014, was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison on Tuesday for violating the Espionage Act. In a backhanded acknowledgement of the significance of Hale’s revelations, US District Judge Liam O’Grady said that the 33-year-old’s disclosure of documents went beyond his “courageous and principled” opposition to the military’s deadly use of drones.

In his statement to the court prior to sentencing on Tuesday morning, Hale said, “With drone warfare, sometimes nine out of 10 people killed are innocent. You have to kill part of your conscience to do your job.”

With the sentencing of Hale, the Biden administration now joins that of Obama and Trump with the distinction of jailing someone with the honesty, courage and determination to stand up to the most powerful military apparatus in world history. Since 2010 there have been ten prosecutions of individuals under the Espionage Act for either leaking classified information to the media

— source | 27 Jul 2021

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