In a new 132-page report — Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street — members of a national consortium of law school clinics, lawyers, law professors and other legal experts “catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists” in New York City. The experts note that, to date, only one police officer is known to have been disciplined for misconduct related to Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC. Read the full report here.
Daily Life In Kabul
A young Afghan boy looks on as his hand is held roadside by a woman wearing a burqa in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
This article is part of a series wherein GlobalPost correspondents write the backstory of their own reporting.
JABAL AL-ZAWIYA, Syria — Two shots cut through the forest silence. The gunmen dropped instantly behind their rocky shelters. Six hundred meters away, two regime soldiers were down.
Those precious bullets, a scarce commodity among Syrian rebel fighters, had found their targets. It took a few minutes for the spray of return fire to begin penetrating the trees in a wide radius surrounding the government checkpoint.
We stayed low and quiet, attempting to analyze the gunfire. A frightened stray dog burst through the trees. As it darted back into the forest, a collective chuckle of relief after the unexpected invasion of our hiding place broke the lingering tension.
Continue reading at GlobalPost.
By Jessica Phelan
Cyclone Nilam has reached the southeast coast of India, where residents are braced for floods, power cuts and widespread damage.
Nilam made landfall south of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, at about 4.30 p.m. local time, NDTV reported.
It was carrying winds of up to 62mph and is said to have uprooted several trees, though no major damage has yet been reported.
Forecasters are warning people to expect a storm surge of up to 1.5 meters, high seas, gale force winds and heavy rainfall for up to 48 hours in Tamil Nadu, neighboring Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
India’s Meteorological Department expects “extensive damage” to vulnerable rural homes, as well as the destruction of crops.
Fishermen have been warned to stay out of the sea for at least 24 hours.
An oil tanker was stranded in rough waters in the Bay of Bengal, the Times of India reported, and a lifeboat sent to rescue the crew capsized. Six people have been brought to shore so far; another eight remain at sea.
The area in Nilam’s path houses a nuclear power plant, the Madras Atomic Power Station at Kalpakkam.
The Times of India cites officials as saying that both the site’s reactors were operating safely and extra staff had been deployed to monitor key systems. The plant is designed to withstand winds of up to 160kmph (99mph), the statement said.
The region has been hit by similar disasters in the past, including the 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 12,000 people in Tamil Nadu, and last year’s Cyclone Thane, in which around 30 people died.
This latest storm will test the extra preparation measures put in place by the government at a cost of billions of rupees, the Wall Street Journal said.
Almost 4,000 people had been evacuated from Tamil Nadu by the time the storm hit, NDTV said, and hundreds of emergency shelters set up in Chennai.
Cyclone Nilam has already brought floods to Sri Lanka, which is still feeling the effects of its strong winds and rains, the BBC reported. The worst of the storm did not hit the country directly, however.
A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas as people protest against the destruction of trees in a park brought about by a pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (via Editor’s choice | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters)
|—||Donna McAleer, a West Point graduate, army veteran, award-winning author, speaker, and member of the Defense Advisory Council on Women in the Military at The Best Defense | FOREIGN POLICY|
Here, instead, is the fable we’ve been offered: Sad as it might be for some workers, towns, cities, and regions, the end of industry is the unfortunate, yet necessary, prelude to a happier future pioneered by “financial engineers.” Equipped with the mathematical and technological know-how that can turn money into more money (while bypassing the messiness of producing anything), they are our new wizards of prosperity!
Unfortunately, this uplifting tale rests on a categorical misapprehension. The ascendancy of high finance didn’t just replace an industrial heartland in the process of being gutted; it initiated that gutting and then lived off it, particularly during its formative decades. The FIRE sector, that is, not only supplanted industry, but grew at its expense — and at the expense of the high wages it used to pay and the capital that used to flow into it.
Think back to the days of junk bonds, leveraged buy-outs, megamergers and acquisitions, and asset stripping in the 1980s and 1990s. (Think, in fact, of Bain Capital.) What was getting bought and stripped and closed up supported windfall profits in high-interest-paying junk bonds. The stupendous fees and commissions that went to those “engineering” such transactions were being picked from the carcass of a century and a half of American productive capacity. The hollowing out of the United States was well under way long before anyone dreamed up the “fiscal cliff.”
For some long time now, our political economy has been driven by investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, real estate developers, insurance goliaths, and a whole menagerie of ancillary enterprises that service them. But high times in FIRE land have depended on the downward mobility of working people and the poor, cut adrift from more secure industrial havens and increasingly from the lifelines of public support. They have been living instead in the “pit of austerity.” Soon many more of us will join them.
|—||Columbia University professor and top economic historian Steve Fraser on the fiscal cliff, “debtpocalypse,” Wall Street and the death of industrial America. (via nickturse)|
Syrian Death Map
Via the Guardian:
The conflict in Syria continues to claim lives, over a year since the war started - especially in west of the country. This map, created for us by the team at CartoDB, uses data from Syrian Shuhada - also used by the UN - and each circle represents the number of people who died each day. The play button starts the calendar of deaths, which can be paused at any point
One of these online activists involved in “the media war” is curating a casualties database based on information from several websites that have already documented killings or casualties from direct sources. The “Syrian Revolution Martyr Database” (www.SyrianShuhada.com) currently collects detailed info and links to 22.601 deaths since March, 2011…
…The Vizzuality team worked on the visualization. The map is powered by CartoDB to manage and serve the timeseries data and uses d3.js for the animated datapoints and graph.
The man behind the Syrian Suhada database —who did not share his personal information— launched the project in early May 2011. He designed the website and back-end database, and populated it initially with the first available data on casualties. Currently a team of 2 curate the data contained on the site
Image: Screenshot, Syria conflict: a year of deaths mapped. Via The Guardian.