Human Rights

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Hearing the Russian Perspective

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony  on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

The neocons and liberal hawks who dominate the U.S. foreign policy and media establishment are pushing the world toward a nuclear showdown with Russia as few people hear a comprehensive response from the other side, an imbalance that a new Russian documentary addresses, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

John Brown’s Anti-Slavery Legacy

Abolitionist John Brown.

For some American abolitionists, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, was a long time coming, but it was a moment for rejoicing among a racially mixed force in Kansas that included veterans of John Brown’s anti-slavery uprisings, writes William Loren Katz.

A Look-Back at 2015 Stories

new-year-fireworks

At Consortiumnews, we mix today’s journalism with historical analyses on a wide range of topics, showing how current events fit into a larger context, an approach often lacking in the mainstream media. So a selection of our stories from 2015 is an intriguing way to look back – and to understand – the year just ended.

When New Year’s Meant Freedom

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Some white Americans still try to dismiss the evils of slavery, pretending that many slaves were happy serving their white masters. But the morning of Jan. 1, 1863, showed a different reality when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and blacks celebrated, as William Loren Katz recalls.

Probing Bernie Sanders’s Identity

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may be a strong voice on income inequality but his positions on military spending and foreign policy are muddled and his criticism of ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s neocon-oriented world view is muted, as anti-war activist David Swanson notes in this book review.

Mideast’s Expected and Unexpected

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

At year’s end, it’s often worthy to think back on how you thought the year would go and compare it to what actually happened. For writers who have made predictions, it represents a more public challenge, as ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller explains.

One County’s Global Warming Failure

An Innovia light-rail train offered by Bombardier Transportation.

Exclusive: Even communities where many citizens agree that global warming is a threat to humankind – and have the money to take action – find that the politics of doing something can be complicated and seemingly insurmountable, like the case of Arlington, Virginia, reports Robert Parry.

The Misinformation Mess

President Barack Obama returning to the White House on Jan. 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As Americans approach Election Year 2016, the crisis of misinformation is growing more and more dangerous. On issues from foreign policy to the economy, almost none of the candidates in the race appears to be addressing the real world, writes Robert Parry.

A Christmas Message of Peace

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Despite the commercialism of Christmas, some positive messages break through, often in movie classics, such as Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” But another entry should be “Joyeux Noel,” a movie about the soldiers’ Christmas truce in 1914, writes Gary G. Kohls.

A Brief Moment of Christmas Peace

British and German soldiers exchanging headgear during the Christmas Truce of 1914. (From The Illustrated London News of Jan. 9, 1915)

The impromptu Christmas truce of 1914 was a rare moment when human solidarity overrode the demands of hatred and war, when the guns fell silent over the Western Front of World War I and enemies became briefly friends, as Michael Winship recalls.