• Google gendergate aka #anti-diversitymanifesto(plus ou moins dans l’ordre)
    A Google employee wrote an anti-diversity ‘manifesto’ that’s going viral inside the company
    The document has been widely condemned by company employees

    Google on Anti-Diversity Manifesto: Employees Must ’Feel Safe Sharing Their Opinions’

    The ugly, pseudoscientific history behind that sexist Google manifesto
    Ex-Googler James #Damore’s biologically deterministic manifesto is the latest in a long lineage of #pseudoscience

    Here Are the Citations for the Anti-Diversity Manifesto Circulating at Google

    What the Google gender ‘manifesto’ really says about Silicon Valley

    Google engineer fired over memo files labor complaint

    Google fires engineer who “crossed the line” with diversity memo

    Google says the post “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”
    Legal experts say the case may have legs
    The perfect culture war: how conservative pundits reacted to Google’s fired engineer

    Pundits identify with James Damore, who wrote a 10-page manifesto suggesting gender inequality in Silicon Valley was natural
    Google CEO Cancels Gender-Diversity Meeting After Employees Targeted Online

    #genre #alphabet

  • Washington Post didn’t disclose that writer who penned positive piece about Trump’s Saudi trip is paid by Saudi government -

    The Washington Post allowed contributor Ed Rogers to praise Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia without disclosing that he’s a lobbyist for the Saudi Royal Court. The Post has repeatedly allowed Rogers to promote his lobbying clients’ interests without disclosure.

    Rogers is the chairman of the BGR Group, a leading Washington, D.C., lobbying group. BGR is part of a vast network of American lobbying and public relations firms that work for the Saudi government. The Post itself has reported on Rogers’ role in promoting Saudi interests. An April 2016 article stated that Rogers “did not immediately return a request for comment” about his lobbying work for the Saudi government and that “Rogers is a contributor to the Washington Post’s PostPartisan blog.”

    Rogers and BGR signed an agreement letter with the Saudi Royal Court on August 24, 2015, to “provide public relations and media management services for The Center [for Studies and Media Affairs at The Saudi Royal Court], which includes both traditional and social media forums.” The contract is worth $500,000 per year.

  • How the DudeBros ruined everything: A totally clear-headed guide to political reality -

    When “#liberals” become a political grouping morbidly obsessed with their left-wing critics, constantly accusing them of being too idealistic and too intransigent and of being covert agents for the enemy, they have stopped being liberals and become conservatives. Which indeed happened some time ago, when the old “conservatives” became radical fanatics. When “the left” endlessly debates which core issues or constituencies must be sacrificed for political gain, as if economic justice for the poor and the working class could be separated from social justice for women and people of color and the LGBT community and immigrants and people with disabilities, it is no longer functioning as the left.


  • ’You were supposed to die tonight’: US anti-terror strategy linked to torture in Africa | World news | The Guardian

    Just before his torturers pushed him out of the van, barely conscious, on to the Nairobi pavement, Abdi was told he was one of the lucky ones: “You were supposed to die tonight.”

    The security operatives who picked him up were Kenyan, but new research from the Angaza Foundation for African Reporting suggests they are part of a US-funded counter-terrorism strategy across Africa that is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

    Since Kenya invaded Somalia in 2011 in an effort to dislodge the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, thousands of ethnic Somalis like Abdi living in Kenya have been detained, many on dubious grounds.

    Les #amis des #Etats-Unis

  • Ordering deadly drugs from China is easy -

    SHANGHAI (AP) — A few thousand dollars, a few minutes and a decent internet connection are all it takes to source carfentanil online from multiple Chinese vendors.

    Two Associated Press reporters, working independently, documented multiple offers from the companies listed below to export carfentanil, a substance so toxic it has been researched as a chemical weapon and described as a terrorist threat.

    These are not your typical drug barons. Many come off as solicitous business owners, starting emails with “Hi, dear,” and writing scrupulous follow-up notes to drum up sales. They sent price lists and photos of their merchandise, and promoted their wares, in English, on major business-to-business websites.

    Carfentanil — whose median October price from the companies below was $3,700 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) —is banned from general use in the United States, where it is suspected in hundreds of overdoses. Fentanyl, acetylfentanyl and alpha-PVP are controlled substances in both China and the U.S. Many vendors also bragged openly about their ability to circumvent customs authorities around the world.

    The companies’ cheery let’s-do-business attitude changed when the AP followed up with questions about the legality of the sales.

    #opiacés #santé_publique #commerce_mondial

  • The North isn’t better than the South: The real history of modern racism and segregation above the Mason-Dixon line -

    For Edward Brooke, the North pulsed with promise. Brooke first set foot in New England during World War Two, when his army regiment trained in Massachusetts. He was a native of Washington, D.C., and Washington was a Jim Crow city. When the war ended, Brooke moved to Boston and enrolled in law school. He voted for the first time in his life. And he did much more. Brooke was elected the state’s attorney general in 1962; four years later, he won election to the United States Senate. Brooke achieved all of this in a state that was 97 percent white. What constituted political reality in Massachusetts—an African American man winning one million white votes—was the stuff of hallucinations below the Mason-Dixon line.

    #états-unis #racisme

  • Climate Change Conversations Are Targeted in Questionnaire to Energy Department

    The questionnaire requests “a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any Interagency Working Group meetings” to design a measurement known as the Social Cost of Carbon, a figure used by the Obama administration to measure the economic effects of carbon dioxide pollution, and to justify the economic cost of #climate regulations. That question goes on to demand “a list of when those meetings were” as well as “emails associated with those meetings.”

    A separate question asks for “a list of Department employees or contractors who attended any” United Nations climate change conference “in the last five years.” Still another inquires about which office led the department’s efforts to complete the five-nation nuclear weapons deal with Iran.

    Even the Energy Information Administration, the department’s independent statistics office, was not immune. The questionnaire demands justification for the office’s measurements of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution.

  • Plongée dans mes archives de novembre 2004 (eh oui, je garde tout!).

    George W. Bush est réélu le 2 novembre contre John Kerry (et Ralph Nader dans le rôle de Jill Stein) alors que son bilan est terrible et que “tout le monde” pense la victoire de Kerry nécessaire et évidente...

    Les articles du New-York Times pourraient être publiés ces jours ci en changeant juste quelques noms propres, si ça vous amuse de les relire...

    Si l’analyse est bonne (mais ça se discute toujours: est-ce la “faute” des pauvres, incultes, sexistes et racistes, qui votent mal ou de l’establishment démocrate dans sa tour d’ivoire qui a perdu le contact avec la réalité?), les leçons, douze ans après, ne semblent pas avoir été tirées.

    D’autre part, l’un des articles (et un autre de Michael Moore que je n’inclue pas ici) insiste sur le fait que les jeunes, eux, ont “bien” voté, sous entendant que le vote républicain est un vote du passé et que l’avenir appartient aux démocrates. Douze ans plus tard, les jeunes sont devenus vieux et la promesse n’a pas été tenue...

    Op-Ed Columnist: Living Poor, Voting Rich
    NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, The New York Times Company, November 3, 2004
    OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: The Day the Enlightenment Went Out
    GARRY WILLS, The New-York Times, November 4, 2004
    The Red Zone
    MAUREEN DOWD, The New-York Times, 4 November 2004
    A Blue City (Disconsolate, Even) Bewildered by a Red America
    JOSEPH BERGER, The New-York Times, November 4, 2004
    Scrooge’s nightmare
    Leonard Steinhorn, Salon, November 25, 2004
    On recevait aussi à l’époque des messages plus ou moins humoristiques sur la situation. Aujourd’hui ce serait plutôt sur Facebook, mais ce sont à peu près les mêmes:

    Blue America Charter
    Barbara Moran and Brian Collins, November 3, 2004

    Fellow citizens!

    It gives me great happiness to unveil our plans for the liberation of Blue America. For the past three years, we have, in conjunction with a handful of MIT engineers, been constructing a giant, cordless circular saw, which is now complete. With this saw, we plan to carve our thriving, prosperous eastern Blue nation away from the spreading infection of red america. We will then set a mighty sail, which will carry us around the tip of South America and allow us to join our Blue compadres on the West Coast. We will use our giant saw to free our friends, then join our two lands together and sail to a designated point in the Pacific Ocean. There, we will establish our new country: Blue America.

    Basic Tenets
    Blue America will be founded on the same ideals as the former United States of America. These ideals, sadly, have been decimated by the same red plague that scrambled the brains of so many of our unfortunate former fellow-citizens. These ideals include:
    - The Separation of Church and State
    - Freedom of Speech
    - Freedom of Assembly and Protest
    - Equal rights for all and due process under the Constitution

    Blue America will have many additional aspirations not shared by red america, including:
    - The goal of giving every citizen high quality education and health care (even prescription drugs!), regardless of their race, ethnic background or income
    - The right to a satisfying career with fair pay, job security and an eight-hour workday
    - Respect for other cultures and honesty in our dealings with other countries
    - The right to worship the deity of your choice (or not)
    - Family values, meaning the right of anyone to form a family if they wish
    - Compassion for the poor and sick
    - Belief in the value of: fresh food, recycling, renewable energy, independent bookstores and movie theatres, literacy, the free exchange of ideas, clean air, clean water, sushi, Julia Child cookbooks, Scrabble, humor, honesty, exercise, art, poetry, community gardens, mass transit, local cheese, the scientific process, the theory of Evolution, national parks, bicycles, music, sidewalks, trees, books, family farms, locally-owned diners with revolving pie cabinets, and decent coffee.

    Membership in Blue America will be limited to residents of states that voted “blue” in the 2004 election, with the following exceptions:

    1. Red “carriers” (or “vectors”) who are currently living in Blue America are kindly asked to leave before the liberation.
    2. Members of certain Blue outposts in red america (like Austin, Texas) will be allowed to apply for Blue America citizenship.
    3. Members of Blue outposts in Ohio (Oberlin) will also be allowed to apply for citizenship. However, if accepted they must accept a one-year probationary period. Similarly, members of Blue outposts in Florida (South Beach) will also be allowed to apply, but must accept a two-year probationary period.
    4. Members of the Bush family are excluded for life, as are members of the Bush cabinet and all Fox News anchors, and Kid Rock. (Sorry, Colin Powell, but you had your chance.)

    The first official sports team of Blue America will be the Boston Red Sox (hereby re-named the Boston Blue Sox). However, red propagandist Curt Schilling will be cut from the Sox and banished to the worst team in baseball. Also, we’ll take Derek Jeter, if he’s interested.

    Engineers have already begun separating northern Maine from the continent. We plan to be fully liberated and set sail on Blue Inauguration day, January 21, 2005. Pack your guitars, books and Hawaiian shirts, and let’s hear it for the blue, white and blue!

    Bring on the saw!
    Barb and Brian
    Disaffected Americans look north to ’better government’
    MARINA JIMÉNEZ, 4 November 2004

    Some Americans are willing to do anything to avoid another four years of George W. Bush — even move to Canada.

    Joe Auerbach is so disappointed with Mr. Bush’s election victory that he is planning to give up a job as a systems analyst and leave his comfortable life in Columbus, Ohio, to move to a country with “a better government and more reasonable people.”

    “Today, once the Bush victory was clear, my e-mail was burning up with people vowing to leave the U.S. for Canada,” said Mr. Auerbach, 27.

    “I don’t want to be living in the U.S. when China decides we are a threat and when George Bush starts drafting computer engineers into the army. I’m morally opposed to the Bush administration.”

    He and several other disenchanted Americans are contacting immigration lawyers north of the border to see whether they qualify to immigrate to Canada. It is too soon to say whether this is political hot air or the start of a new trend in immigration.

    But among some middle-class, liberal Americans, there is a growing sense of political disengagement as they realize the majority of their fellow citizens support the conservative agenda of Mr. Bush, who received 51 per cent of the popular vote, winning more votes than any other president in U.S. history.

    “Mr. Auerbach is one of many middle-class Americans who have a philosophical difference with the direction the U.S. is taking,” said Sergio Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer. “I have received several inquiries from people like him who want to move here.”

    Jacqueline Bart, a Toronto immigration lawyer, said she recently attended a conference in New York and more than a dozen U.S. lawyers asked her about sending their children to study in Canada. “There is a sense of hesitation about the direction Bush is taking the country in,” she said.

    Clyde Williamson, a libertarian from Ohio, feels the Bush administration is too conservative on social-justice issues such as gay rights, abortion and the medicinal use of marijuana. He is also opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

    “I don’t think the U.S. is going to turn into Nazi Germany or anything. But it is going to become a much more conservative country,” said the 29-year-old computer-security engineer.

    Others feel Mr. Bush’s unilateralist foreign policy is more troubling even than his social conservatism. A former U.S. diplomat who has already applied for permanent-resident status said yesterday that Mr. Bush’s election victory has accelerated his determination to relocate permanently to Vancouver.

    “I’m watching this administration preside over the virtual destruction of relations with the Muslim world — and, I fear, end up strengthening the forces of terrorism as a result,” he said.

    “The values of Canada are what I thought the values of the U.S. used to be: personal freedoms, a sense of need for a global community and consensus. The U.S. is losing its way.”

    A Toronto lawyer representing three U.S. soldiers who have fled to Canada to avoid fighting in Iraq said Mr. Bush’s re-election means more U.S. deserters are likely to seek refugee status north of the border.

    Jeffry House, a Vietnam-era draft-dodger who is steering the refugee claims of the three young men, says he has received about 80 e-mails from other U.S. soldiers stationed around the world, inquiring about escaping to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq. At least five U.S. soldiers are believed to have fled to Canada.

    Maria Iadinardi, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said it is too soon to say whether there has been a spike in the number of Americans being granted permanent residency, noting the number has fluctuated in recent years from a low of 4,437 in 1998 to a high of 5,604 in 2001.

    So far this year, 5,353 Americans have become permanent residents.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, drop your borders: Now that George W. Bush has been officially elected, single, sexy, American liberals - already a threatened species - will be desperate to escape. These lonely, afraid (did we mention really hot?) progressives will need a safe haven. You can help. Open your heart, and your home. Marry an American. Legions of Canadians have already pledged to sacrifice their singlehood to save our southern neighbours from four more years of cowboy conservatism...” To be continued on:
    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
    –- H.L. Mencken, journalist and satirist (1880-1956)

    Get that abortion you’ve always wanted
    Drink a nice clean glass of water
    Two words - doggy style
    Cash your social security check
    See a doctor of your own choosing
    Hug your draft age child
    Visit Syria, or any foreign country for that matter
    Get that gas mask you’ve been putting off buying
    Move out of the red states
    Horde gas
    Buy all the porn you can carry
    Borrow questionable books from the library - constitutional law books, Catcher
    in the Rye, Harry Potter, Tropic of Cancer
    If you have an idea for an art piece involving a crucifix - do it now
    Two words - come out - then go back in - HURRY!
    Jam in all the Alzheimer’s stem cell research you can
    Stay out late before the curfews start
    Get within 6 feet of a stripper in a state where its still allowed
    Go see Bruce Springsteen before he has his “accident”
    Go see Mount Rushmore before the “W” addition
    Use the phrase - “you can’t do that - this is America”
    If you’re white - marry a black person, if you’re black - marry a white person.
    If you’re gay, learn to pass.
    Take a snowmobile-noise free walk in Yosemite, without being hit by a base-jumper.
    Enroll your kid in art or music class
    Start your school day “without” a prayer
    Pass on secrets of evolution to future genes
    Learn French
    Let’s go and live in France.
    Attend a commitment ceremony with your gay friends.
    Take a factory tour anywhere in the US.
    Try to take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.
    Visit Florida before the polar ice caps melt.
    Visit Nevada before it becomes radioactive.
    Visit Alaska before “The Big Spill”.
    Visit Massachusetts while it is still a State.
    Et deux sites web qui sont encore valables, 12 ans plus tard:

    #Etats-Unis #Donald_Trump #Hillary_Clinton #George_Bush #John_Kerry #2016 #2004 #histoire #élections_présidentielles

  • State of New Jersey takes over Atlantic City - World Socialist Web Site

    Petit rappel, et consulter aussi :

    The New Jersey administration of Governor Chris Christie took control of Atlantic City on Wednesday, approving a five-year takeover plan to prevent the city from declaring bankruptcy.

    The city’s elected officials, led by Republican Mayor Donald Guardian, had submitted their own plan to meet an end-of-October deadline, but the state’s Local Finance Board rejected it in voting for the state takeover.

    The state board, established under the state’s dubiously named Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act, will have the power to overrule the City Council, break union contracts, sell off assets, and hire and fire municipal workers.

    #trump #atlantic_city

  • On remarquera que le DNC (comité national démocrate) a magouillé pour sortir #sanders des primaires (choisissant la candidate la moins populaire, une personne faisant remarquer que c’était le contraire du but d’une primaire), et a poussé un candidat très à droite en début de campagne (pour obliger le candidat plus probable à virer à droite et perdre les voix indécises au tour final au profit d’#Hillary, cf #leaks de Podesta).

    Et maintenant les électeurs blament ceux de Sanders, Stein et Johnson (ils auraient fait perdre la Floride)

  • Ordering deadly drugs from China is easy -

    A few thousand dollars, a few minutes and a decent internet connection are all it takes to source #carfentanil online from multiple Chinese vendors.

    Two Associated Press reporters, working independently, documented multiple offers from the companies listed below to export carfentanil, a substance so toxic it has been researched as a chemical weapon and described as a terrorist threat.


    “Carfentanil is 10000 times more potent than m.o.r.p.h.i.n.e and 5000 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) h.e.r.o.i.n according to the illicit drug conversion table that issued by China Food and Drug Administration,” the company said in its product listings.

    #drogues #santé #chine #ecommerce (à noter comme #morphine et #heroin sont des tags dangereux, tandis que #carfentanil peut être écrit sans points intermédiaires)

  • What’s universal grammar? Evidence rebuts Chomsky’s theory of language learning -

    The idea that we have brains hardwired with a mental template for learning grammar — famously espoused by Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — has dominated linguistics for almost half a century. Recently, though, cognitive scientists and linguists have abandoned Chomsky’s “universal grammar” theory in droves because of new research examining many different languages — and the way young children learn to understand and speak the tongues of their communities. That work fails to support Chomsky’s assertions.


  • Elites’ strange plot to take over the world


    Questions of sovereignty still exists – as just one of many examples, the U.S. still refuses to sign the Law of the Sea Treaty, which is a nod to the Liberty League. But the history and reflexive embrace of globalism is far more complicated than we want to admit. And it’s time to begin grappling with the international architecture that we have. This means recognizing that the Cold War involved constructing a “deep state” to partially subordinate national sovereignty, and therefore, voting populations, to transnational elites.

    As the spying scandal, a truly global scandal, continues, activists, citizens and journalists are recognizing the powerful remnants of this Cold War-era global deep state. The players in the scandal hop from country to country, some safe zones and some not. The Guardian is a British newspaper, and is now partnering with the New York Times, to keep the global intelligence services at bay. Cyberspace is a new and strange transnational front combining elements of war, trade, journalism, finance, activism, surveillance and applied government power. The Syrian situation too is a global security problem, with the French and the British tied to the American political order. The American executive is finding himself buffeted by British debates that should be irrelevant in a sovereign state acting solely in its vital national security interests.

    Streit never achieved his goal of having a formal “Atlantic Union.” But with an international “intelligence community,” globalized supply chains, increasingly global free trade agreements that subordinate national court systems, and globalized private and central banks, all couched under the rubric of promoting “freedom,” he has as much claim to being the true animating force behind what we’re facing today as anyone else.

    • #border_angels

      Border Angels is an all volunteer, non profit organisation that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border. Border Angels engages in community education and awareness programs that include guided trips to the desert to place water along migrant crossing routes as well as to the border to learn about the history of US-Mexico border policy and experience the border fence firsthand.

      Border Angels also works to serve San Diego County’s immigrant population through various migrant outreach programs such as Day Laborer outreach and our free legal assistance program held in our office every Tuesday. Border Angels works to dispel the various myths surrounding immigration in the United States and to bring back truth and justice.
      #solidarité #anges

    • Water in the desert. Inside the effort to prevent migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border

      “I had no idea how many people had died. I had no idea the extent of the humanitarian crisis.”

      In the lead-up to the US midterm elections, President Donald Trump has stoked fears about undocumented immigration. After repeatedly saying that immigrants from Latin America are criminals and peddling baseless claims that unidentified people from the Middle East are part of a “caravan of migrants” making its way north from Honduras, Trump ordered the deployment of more than 5,000 soldiers to the southern US border.

      Decades of acrimonious public debate over undocumented immigration in the United States has focused on security, crime, and economics while largely overlooking the people at the centre of the issue and the consequences of US attempts to prevent them from entering the country.

      One of the starkest facts about this humanitarian emergency is that at least 6,700 bodies have been found since 2000 – likely only a fraction of the actual number of people who have died trying to cross the southern US border over this period. More than a third of these bodies have been found in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, where migration routes have been pushed into increasingly harsh and remote terrain.

      Seldom reported and virtually unheard of outside the border region, these bodies have become a cause for a small constellation of humanitarian groups in southern Arizona, spawning an unlikely effort to prevent deaths by placing drinking water along migration trails in the desert.

      “I found it shocking,” Brian Best, a volunteer who moved to Arizona a couple years ago, says of the situation in the desert. “I had no idea how many people had died. I had no idea the extent of the humanitarian crisis.”

      Trying to save lives in this way is not uncontroversial. Undocumented immigration is one of the most polarising issues in US politics and aid groups operate in the same areas that cartels use to smuggle drugs into the country. Inevitably, humanitarian efforts are caught up in the politics and paranoia surrounding these two issues.

      The intensity of the situation has led to a strained relationship between the humanitarians and the Border Patrol, the federal agency tasked with preventing undocumented immigration. Nearly two decades after aid efforts began, the numbers crossing the border have reached a historic low but the proportion of people dying is rising.

      Early on a Friday morning, Stephen Saltonstall, 74, sits behind the steering wheel of a flatbed pickup as it shakes and rattles towards the US-Mexico border. The back of the truck is loaded with equipment: a 300-gallon plastic tank of drinking water, a gas operated pump to pull the water out, and a long, lead-free hose to deliver it into barrels at the water stations Humane Borders, the NGO Saltonstall volunteers with, maintains across southern Arizona.

      It’s mid-September and the temperature is already climbing. By midday it will reach well over 100 degrees (38 celsius), and there are no clouds to interrupt the sun as it bakes the hardscrabble landscape of the Sonoran Desert, surprisingly green from the recently departed monsoon rains. Scraggly mesquite trees and saguaro cactuses with comically tubular arms whir past as Saltonstall guides the truck along Route 286 southwest of Tucson. A veteran of the civil rights movement with a lifelong commitment to social justice – like many others involved in the humanitarian aid effort here – he has made this drive more than 150 times in the three years since moving to Arizona from the northeastern United States.

      Around mile marker 38 – signifying 38 miles north of the border – 13 miles north of an inland US Border Patrol checkpoint, Saltonstall eases the truck off to the side of the road. Stepping out, he walks to the top of a small hill about 10 feet from where the asphalt ends. Stopping next to a small wooden cross planted in the cracked earth, he puts his hands together and offers a silent prayer.

      “I’m sorry that you died an awful death here,” Saltonstall says when he’s finished praying. “Wherever you are now, I hope you are in a better place.”

      The cross is painted red and draped with a strand of rosary beads. It marks the spot – on top of this small hill, in plain sight of the road – where the body of someone who irregularly crossed the border into the United States was found in July 2017. The person likely succumbed to thirst or hyperthermia after spending days trekking through this harsh, remote environment. But no one knows for sure. By the time someone came across the remains, scavenging birds and animals had stripped the body down to a skeleton. There’s no official cause of death and the person’s identity is unknown.

      Nearly 3,000 human remains like this one have been found in southern Arizona since the year 2000. Many more are probably lost in this vast and sparsely populated desert, lying in areas too remote and infrequently trafficked to be discovered before they decompose and end up being carried off in pieces by feasting animals, scattered and rendered invisible.

      Prevention through deterrence

      It wasn’t always like this in southern Arizona.

      The office of Pima County medical examiner Dr. Greg Hess receives all the human remains found near the migration trails in three of the four Arizonan counties that border Mexico.

      “In the 1990s we would average about 15 of these types of remains being recovered every year,” says Hess. Starting in 2002, that average jumped to 160 bodies per year, he adds.

      Most people irregularly crossing the border used to simply sneak over in urban areas where it wasn’t too dangerous. But things started to change in the mid 1990s with the introduction of a federal policy called “prevention through deterrence”. The policy directed Border Patrol to concentrate agents and resources in the urban areas where most people were crossing. The architects of the strategy predicted that “illegal traffic will be deterred, or forced over more hostile terrain, less suited for crossing and more suited for enforcement.”

      The construction of border walls between urban areas in northern Mexico and their neighbouring towns and cities in the United States soon followed. That funnelled the movement of migrants decisively into remote areas like the desert in southern Arizona, but had no discernible impact on the number of people irregularly entering the United States.

      Corlata Wray, 62, watched in the early 2000s as federal policy brought a humanitarian crisis to her back yard. Born in Durango, Mexico, Wray has lived in the small, rural town of Arivaca, Arizona, 12 miles from the border, for the better part of four decades. A slow trickle of people has always moved through Arivaca given its location, but in the late 1990s the number of people trekking across the desert close to Wray’s home dramatically increased.

      In the early years people would knock on the door and Wray would give them water and a little bit of food before they continued on their way. Helping migrants in this way was a normal part of life, according to many people IRIN spoke to living in the border region. But as enforcement efforts ramped up, “everything changed”, says Wray, who now volunteers regularly with organisations providing aid and support to migrants. “I started to see more suffering with the migrants.”

      Now the people who end up on her property are usually in a desperate situation – parched and sunburnt, with bloodied and blistered feet and twisted or broken limbs. “They don’t know which way to go, and that’s when their life is in danger because they’re lost. They have no water. They have no food. And then the desert is not beautiful anymore. Es mortal,” Wray says, switching into Spanish – “It’s deadly”.
      “We have to do something”

      As the “prevention through deterrence” policy came into full effect in the early 2000s, the fact that migrants were dying in the desert at an alarming rate was hard for some people to overlook. Ila Abernathy, a long-time resident of Tucson, 65 miles north of the border, remembers a point in July 2002 when a dozen or more bodies were found in one weekend.

      Fifty-nine at the time, Abernathy had moved to Tucson as a young adult and had been active in the waning years of the sanctuary movement, which sought to provide safe-haven to refugees fleeing civil wars in Central America in the 1980s as the US government restricted their ability to seek asylum. A decade and half later, the network from that movement was still intact.

      Following the news of the deaths in July 2002, a meeting was called at the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. “This is a new crisis. We have to do something,” Abernathy recalls of the meeting’s conclusion. “We need to advocate and we need to get out there and search for people before they die.”

      In the beginning, that meant giving aid to people directly. Between 2002 and 2008, Border Patrol apprehended between 300,000 and 500,000 people every year in the area south of Tucson. “You’d just drive down the road early in the morning and there would be clusters of people either ready to give up or else already in Border Patrol capture,” Abernathy says.

      The group that formed out of the meeting at the Southside Presbyterian Church, the Tucson Samaritans, travelled the roads providing food, water, and medical aid to people in need. Two other groups, Humane Borders and No More Deaths, formed around the same time with similar missions. Their members tended to be active in multiple groups at the same time and were often veterans of the sanctuary or civil rights movements, like Abernathy and Saltonstall. Others were young people who came to the region on educational trips and decided to stay, or longtime residents of southern Arizona who had watched the crisis develop and felt compelled to try to help.

      But their work soon got harder. In 2006, the administration of US president George W. Bush announced a massive expansion of the Border Patrol. With nearly double the number of agents in the field and more resources, it became increasingly rare to find migrants along the roads, or even close to them, according to Abernathy. Unable to deliver aid to people directly, groups started hiking into the remote desert to find the trails migrants were using and leave behind gallon jugs of drinking water in the hope they would be found by people in need. It’s an effort that has continued now for close to 12 years.
      Into the desert

      On a Sunday morning, Best, 59, is picking his way along a migration trail deep in the Sonoran Desert with two other volunteers from the Tucson Samaritans. If you could travel in a straight line, the nearest paved road would be about 10 miles away. But moving in a straight line isn’t an option out here.

      Best and the other volunteers left their four wheel drive SUV behind some time ago after following the winding, rocky roads as far as they could. They are now hiking on foot towards the US-Mexico border. The landscape doesn’t distinguish between the two countries. In every direction, cactuses and mesquite trees carpet low, jagged hills. At the far limits of the vast, open expanse, towering mountains run like rows of crooked shark’s teeth along the horizon.

      This is the “hostile terrain” referred to by the architects of “prevention through deterrence” where migration routes have been pushed. There’s no man-made wall at the border here – just a rusted barbed wire fence. But someone would have to hike about 30 miles to make it north of the inland Border Patrol checkpoint on Route 286 to reach a potential pick-up point, or 60 miles to make it to Tucson. Humanitarian aid volunteers say the trip usually takes from three to 10 days.

      In the summertime the temperature reaches 120 degrees (49 celsius) and in the winter it drops low enough for people to die of hypothermia. There are 17 species of rattlesnakes in this desert, which is also home to the venomous gila monster lizard, tarantulas, scorpions, and other potentially dangerous animals. Natural water sources are few and far between, Border Patrol agents traverse the area in all-terrain vehicles and pickup trucks, on horseback and in helicopters; and there’s surveillance equipment laced throughout the landscape. “I’m really surprised that anybody gets through,” says one humanitarian volunteer, “but they do.”

      On the trail where Best is walking, the ground is uneven and rocks jut out at menacing angles. It’s easy to twist an ankle and impossible to move forward without getting scraped by mesquite branches or poked by cactus spines.

      Best has been visiting this area of the desert for a little over a year. In the beginning, there were a lot of signs that migrants were passing through – black plastic water bottles from Mexico, food wrappers with recent expiration dates, even discarded backpacks and clothing – so the Samaritans started putting jugs of water here hoping it would help fortify people against the dangers of the long journey ahead. But recently the jugs have been sitting untouched. It looks like the route has shifted elsewhere.

      During the second half of the morning Best will explore new territory – literally bushwhacking through the desert – to try to figure out where the route has moved to and where water should be placed. More than a decade after humanitarian aid groups started hiking out into the desert, there are still plenty of places they have yet to set foot in. Figuring out where people are moving and then putting out water is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process of trial and error. “It is very slow and inefficient in some ways, but I think really important,” Best says. “There’s no other way to do it.”

      In the 12 years since they started, over the course of innumerable hikes like this one, the Samaritans have mapped somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 miles of trails south of Tucson, according to volunteers. Two different groups go out every day, bringing water to hundreds of locations over the course of any given week. In total in the past two years, according to one volunteer, the group has placed 3,295 gallon jugs of water in the desert. No More Deaths, which also relies on volunteers to hike water into the desert, says it has put out 31,558 gallons in past three years, 86 percent of which was used.

      Humane Borders, the organisation that Saltonstall volunteers with, operates using a slightly different model. It maintains fixed water stations at 51 locations on public and private land in southern Arizona that it services by truck. Each station consists of a 55-gallon barrel with a blue flag flying high in the sky to mark its location. Last year the group put 70,000 gallons of water into these stations. Between the three groups, comprised of a couple hundred active volunteers, that’s equivalent to about 10 backyard swimming pools full of water placed along migration trails in the desert, one bottle or barrel at a time.
      Not so straightforward

      The terrain where the humanitarian aid groups put water is some of the most politically charged in the US, at the heart of debates about both undocumented immigration and the movement of illicit drugs into the country. Needless to say, not everybody supports what the groups are doing.

      Cartels have a strong presence in the towns and cities of northern Mexico, and control and profit from the movement of both people and drugs across the border. Critics of the humanitarian groups say they are helping people break the law both by assisting migrants who are irregularly entering the United States and by putting water out that cartel drug runners and scouts can drink just as easily as anyone else.

      Humane Borders receives public funding from the Board of Supervisors in Pima County, but the vote to approve the funding is split: three Democratic members in favour and two Republican members against. Both Republican supervisors declined to comment when IRIN asked about their opposition to the funding – a spokesperson for one said the vote “speaks for itself.”

      The relationship between the humanitarian aid groups and Border Patrol has also been rocky. In particular, No More Deaths has been openly critical of Border Patrol, documenting agents destroying water drops and arguing that the agency’s tactics are contributing to deaths and disappearances in the desert. Border Patrol says it doesn’t condone the destruction of humanitarian aid drops and that it ultimately views its work as humanitarian as well.

      Nine members of No More Deaths have also been arrested on various charges related to their humanitarian work, ranging from trespassing and littering to harbouring illegal aliens, in what volunteers see as an effort to criminalise aid activities in the desert. One of those arrested faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, and the Intercept has reported that court documents and other evidence suggest some of the arrests were retaliation against No More Deaths for publicising Border Patrol abuses.

      As far as whether water drops are benefitting cartel members or helping people break the law, the questions aren’t really important to many volunteers. “The real basic, humane argument is that nobody should be dying out here,” Best, the Samaritans volunteer, says.

      A more important question is whether the water drops are effective at saving lives. There’s anecdotal evidence from migrants who are caught by Border Patrol and later deported to northern Mexico that it is reaching people in need, but there’s no way to tell how many.

      There’s also the fact that, even as the number of people crossing the desert south of Tucson has decreased, the number of bodies found has remained relatively consistent. Also, not every death in the desert is caused by dehydration. “If somebody has heat stroke it may not be a process of having water available,” explains Hess, the medical examiner. “They may have water with them. It’s just that you’re too hot.”
      “What value can you put on saving even one life?”

      Considering that Border Patrol apprehended an average of over 100 people per day south of Tucson last year, and that an untold number of others crossed without being caught, and that the water isn’t necessarily in all of the places where people are trekking, the volunteers are aware of the limits of what they do. One estimated that over the course of an eight- to 10-hour hike a group of four people could only put enough water out to sustain 15 migrants for one day.

      “What we do is small, and we know it does some good,” Abernathy says. “We don’t want to delude ourselves into thinking this is the solution… [But] what value can you put on saving even one life?”

      Short of a major change to the “prevention through deterrence” policy, many don’t see an alternative to what they are doing. And humanitarian aid efforts have expanded over the years westward from the area south of Tucson to even more remote and sparsely populated parts of the desert where people have to walk 85 to 100 miles through nearly empty wilderness before reaching a point where they can be picked up.

      The old copper mining town of Ajo, Arizona – home to around 3,000 people – is in the heart of one of these far flung, desolate places. One hundred and thirty miles west of Tucson, this outpost of old clapboard and adobe houses is bordered by a national park, wildlife refuge, and US Air Force bombing range that combined constitute a relatively uninhabited and untouched area of desert the size of the state of Connecticut.

      On a warm dry night, volunteers from various humanitarian aid groups are gathered here in the town square, under the light of dim street lamps and a nearly full moon, to pay homage to what binds their community together: the people who have died in the desert.

      Some of the volunteers will wake at 4:45am to try to avoid the heat as best they can and hike out along the trails carrying their gallon jugs of water. But tonight at this vigil they form a line and one by one pick up white wooden crosses, holding them in front of their bodies. Each one represents the remains of a person that were found in the area surrounding Ajo in 2017 and is inscribed with a name or the word desconocido – Spanish for “unknown”. There are about 30 volunteers, and they have to pass through the line more than once. There are more crosses than people to hold them.
      #eau #résistance #désert #frontières #mourir_aux_frontières #hostile_environment

    • Four women found guilty after leaving food and water for migrants in Arizona desert

      A federal judge on Friday reportedly found four women guilty of misdemeanors after they illegally entered a national wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border to leave water and food for migrants.

      According to The Arizona Republic, the four women were aid volunteers for No More Deaths, an advocacy group dedicated to ending the deaths of migrants crossing desert regions near the southern border.

      One of the volunteers with the group, Natalie Hoffman, was found guilty of three charges against her, including operating a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, entering a federally protected wilderness area without a permit and leaving behind gallons on water and bean cans.

      The charges reportedly stemmed from an August 2017 encounter with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer at the wildlife refuge.

      The three other co-defendants — Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick — were reportedly passengers in Hoffman’s truck at the time and were also charged with entering federally protected area without a permit and leaving behind personal property.

      Each of the women face up to six months in prison for the charges and a $500 fine after being found guilty.

      In his three-page order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco reportedly wrote that the defendants did not “get an access permit, they did not remain on the designated roads, and they left water, food, and crates in the Refuge."

      “All of this, in addition to violating the law, erodes the national decision to maintain the Refuge in its pristine nature,” he continued.

      He also criticized the No More Deaths group for failing to adequately warn the women of all of the possible consequences they faced for violating the protected area’s regulations, saying in his decision that “no one in charge of No More Deaths ever informed them that their conduct could be prosecuted as a criminal offense nor did any of the Defendants make any independent inquiry into the legality or consequences of their activities.”

      Another volunteer with No More Deaths, Catherine Gaffney, slammed Velasco’s ruling in a statement to The Arizona Republic.

      “This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country,” Gaffney said.

      “If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?” she continued.

      According to The Associated Press, the ruling marks the first conviction brought against humanitarian aid volunteers in 10 years.
      #délit_de_solidarité #solidarité
      signalé par @fil

    • Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants

      Federal judge finds activists guilty of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit to give aid to migrants

      A federal judge has found four women guilty of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit as they sought to place food and water in the Arizona desert for migrants.

      US magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco’s ruling on Friday marked the first conviction against humanitarian aid volunteers in a decade.

      The four found guilty of misdemeanours in the recent case were volunteers for No More Deaths, which said in a statement the group had been providing life-saving aid to migrants.

      The volunteers include Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick.

      Hoffman was found guilty of operating a vehicle inside Cabeza Prieta national wildlife refuge, entering the federally protected area without a permit, and leaving water jugs and cans of beans there in August 2017.

      The others were found guilty of entering without a permit and leaving behind personal property.

    • Convicted for leaving water for migrants in the desert: This is Trump’s justice

      A FEW weeks ago, federal prosecutors in Arizona secured a conviction against four humanitarian aid workers who left water in the desert for migrants who might otherwise die of heat exposure and thirst. Separately, they dropped manslaughter charges against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired 16 times across the border, killing a teenage Mexican boy. The aid workers face a fine and up to six months in jail. The Border Patrol officer faces no further legal consequences.

      That is a snapshot of twisted frontier justice in the age of Trump. Save a migrant’s life, and you risk becoming a political prisoner. Kill a Mexican teenager, and you walk free.

      The four aid workers, all women, were volunteers in service to an organization, No More Deaths, whose religious views inform its mission to prevent undocumented migrants from dying during their perilous northward trek. They drove into the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, about 100 miles southwest of Phoenix, to leave water jugs along with some canned beans.

      The women — Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick — made no effort to conceal their work. Confronted by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer, they said they believed everyone deserved access to basic survival needs. One of them, Ms. Orozco-McCormick, compared the wildlife refuge to a graveyard, such is the ubiquity of human remains there.

      Since the turn of the century, more than 2,100 undocumented migrants have died in that sun-scorched region of southern Arizona, according to Humane Borders, a nonprofit group that keeps track of the numbers. Last year, according to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office, the remains of 127 dead migrants were recovered there.

      In the past, prosecutors declined to press charges against the volunteers who try to help by leaving water and canned food in the desert. But the four women, arrested in August 2017, were tried for the misdemeanor offenses of entering a refuge without a permit, abandoning personal property and, in the case of Ms. Hoffman, driving in a restricted area. U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco, who presided over the bench trial, said their actions ran afoul of the “national decision to maintain the Reserve in its pristine nature.”

      In fact, prosecutors have broad discretion in deciding whether to press such minor charges — just as they do in more consequential cases such as the manslaughter charge against Lonnie Swartz, the Border Patrol agent who killed 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez in October 2012. According to Mr. Swartz, he opened fire on the boy, shooting 16 times in what the agent said was self-defense, through the fence that divides the city of Nogales along the Arizona-Mexico border. He said the boy had been throwing stones at him across the frontier.

      Mr. Swartz was acquitted on second-degree murder charges last spring, but the jury deadlocked on manslaughter charges. In a second trial, last fall, the jury also failed to reach a verdict on manslaughter. Last month, prosecutors declined to seek a third trial.

      While the aid workers seek to avoid prison time, Americans may well wonder about a system in which justice is rendered so perversely.

  • Leaked DNC email: Sanders’ attempt to moderate Israel stance “disturbing,” Clinton campaign used it to “marginalize Bernie” -

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, [..] called the attempt by the Bernie Sanders campaign to moderate the party’s stance on Israel “disturbing.”

    A top DNC official also noted that the Hillary Clinton campaign used Israel “to marginalize Bernie.”

    This is according to an email released by Wikileaks. The whistleblowing journalism organization released approximately 20,000 DNC emails on Friday.

  • Syria conflict: Rebels ’filmed beheading boy’ in Aleppo

    One video shows five men posing with the frightened child, who could be as young as 10, in the back of a truck. One of the men grips him by the hair.

    The same man is later filmed apparently cutting the boy’s head off.

    The incident is reported to have taken place in Handarat, north of Aleppo, where there has been heavy fighting.


    A report published by the human rights group Amnesty International earlier this month detailed a series of violations allegedly committed by Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement fighters, including abductions and torture.

    The group is reported to have benefited from financial and military support from the US, UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf Arab states in the past.