Human Rights

Israel’s Troubling Walls

A wall erected around the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1941.

The Israeli government is planning to build more and more walls to keep Palestinians and Arabs out of Jewish-held territory, a troubling twist on a dark history when walls were used to lock Jews in, Lawrence Davidson observes.

America’s Real-Life ‘Hunger Games’

hunger-games-catching-fire

Congressional Republicans are eager to ladle more subsidies onto agribusinesses while slashing, if not eliminating, food stamps for the poor, a twisted version of America’s own “Hunger Games,” writes Michael Winship.

The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage

Eight girls sewing by hand on material held in their laps, during a sweatshop inspection in Chicago, Illinois. 
(Photo credit: Chicago Historical Society)

The Tea Party claims to represent average Americans but its anti-government zealotry lines up with the interests of big-business elites, such as opposition to an increased minimum wage, a plan that would help millions of average Americans, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

Will NSA Reforms Protect Citizens?

nationalsecurityagency

Exclusive: Common citizens around the world may be alarmed at the NSA’s electronic dragnet prying into their personal lives, but reforms may focus mostly on the privacy of government leaders and corporate executives, writes Andrés Cala.

Pressing Japan on No-War Pledge

A residential section of Tokyo destroyed by U.S. firebombing near the end of World War II.

While reducing U.S. forces in the Mideast, President Obama has pivoted toward a more robust presence in the Pacific, including pushing allies like Japan to bolster their militaries, notes Ann Wright.

The CIA’s Drone-Strike Revenge

Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a reported CIA drone strike on Nov. 1, 2013.

Despite President Obama’s plan to curtail the use of lethal drones, he assented to a CIA strike this month against a Taliban leader as part of the CIA’s revenge for a 2009 suicide bombing that killed seven of its people, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Kerry’s Saudi-Israeli Appeasement Tour

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry is scurrying from capital to capital across the Mideast in what looks like an apology tour, seeking to soothe the hurt feelings of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the appeasement may encourage more resistance to U.S. policies, writes Robert Parry.

Guns But No Butter

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin

The Right’s war on the poor rages on, driven in part by the belief that racial and ethnic minorities are getting much of the help. Yet, as food stamps are slashed, Congress lavishes money on military projects that are judged wasteful or useless, John LaForge writes.

Gunning Down a Boy with a Toy Gun

Andy Lopez, who was slain on Oct. 22, 2013, by a sheriff's deputy in Santa Rosa, California.

Exclusive: The Trayvon Martin case, in which a community watch volunteer killed an unarmed black teen-ager in a hoodie, roiled the U.S. last year. Now, a California deputy has gunned down a Latino boy carrying a toy AK-47, raising other troubling questions, as Dennis J Bernstein reports.

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.