What India’s Sex Workers Want: Power, Not Rescue

By: Monday July 22, 2013 5:45 am

Anu Mokal wasn’t breaking the law when she was out walking with her friend last year, yet to the police, her very existence was criminal. As a sex worker in the Indian state of Maharashtra, she lives under various laws aimed at criminalizing the sex trade, supposedly to protect women from exploitation. But it was the law that became her assailant that day when a police officer viciously attacked her, hurling insults and beating her severely.


Global Rescue Plan

By: Sunday June 23, 2013 9:30 am

The United States alone is perfectly capable, if it chooses, of enacting a global marshall plan, or — better — a global rescue plan.  Every year the United States spends, through various governmental departments, roughly $1.2 trillion on war and war preparations.  Every year the United States foregoes well over $1 trillion in taxes that billionaires and centimillionaires and corporations should be paying.

Aid Groups Fight Anti-Prostitution ‘Oath’ on Free Speech Grounds

By: Saturday January 19, 2013 6:00 pm

One of the few bright spots in the global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been PEPFAR, the United States government’s program to fund treatment and prevention for vulnerable populations across the Global South. But several years ago, lawmakers singled out one group of people as less worthy of that care. In fact, aid groups must publicly denounce them—or risk losing U.S. funding.

That’s the basic idea behind the “anti-prostitution loyalty oath” embedded in the global AIDS initiative legislation. As a condition of receiving federal funds, organizations must adhere to avaguely worded anti-prostitution pledge, essentially swearing to the government that they do not support or promote prostitution.

Clinton Ignores Hold, Approves Humanitarian Aid for West Bank and Gaza

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 9:52 am

The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tried to put a hold on foreign aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It was a manifestation of the same old AIPAC-driven politics, where the US acts punitively toward one side in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

State Department Decides to Deliver All Egyptian Military Aid

By: Friday March 23, 2012 9:45 am

Despite widespread reports of abuse and troubling signs of suppressing dissent, the Egyptian military will get their US funding restored, at least in part. The State Department plans to make the announcement today.

House-Senate Reach Agreement on Omnibus Spending, Defense Authorization Bills

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 9:00 am

Two major year-end pieces of legislation were readied yesterday, and in this case, House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on the measures, expecting to pass them by the end of the week. First, appropriators agreed to a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill covering the rest of the fiscal year (to September 30 of next year) on domestic spending. They also agreed on the defense spending bill, which still allows indefinite detention of suspects.

Shadow Play Over Pakistani Involvement in Bin Laden Raid Continues

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 7:06 am

Leon Panetta is absolutely trying to set up Pakistan publicly. Yesterday he said in an interview that the US never told Pakistan about the forthcoming mission into Abbottabad to kill bin Laden because they would have tipped him off. Implicit in that statement is the idea that at least some Pakistani officials knew where bin Laden was hiding. Otherwise, how could they tip him off? Later that day, Panetta said to Congress – and basically allowed it to be leaked, through evidently not putting too fine a point on the secrecy of that part of the briefing – that Pakistan is either grossly incompetent or culpable.

Lack of Leadership, Elite Failure Crippling Rescue Efforts in Japan

By: Thursday March 17, 2011 6:45 am

The focus on events at Fukushima Daiichi belie the apparently woeful response to the crisis created by the companion natural disasters that have killed at least 10,000 and left up to a half a million homeless.

President Gives Muted Statement on Murders in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya

By: Friday February 18, 2011 3:15 pm

In case you’re coming to this late, we know of at least three dead in Yemen from anti-government protests, with police firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and according to some protesters, live rounds. Libya’s security forces are shooting protesters indiscriminately. And in the most shocking massacre, Bahraini forces from an overhead helicopter fired into a crowd of thousands. There are varying degrees of media access in these countries, so we probably don’t have the full picture. But we know this much: this is a day of blood. And, in response, we get this boilerplate from the White House.

Live Blog: White House Press Briefing on Egypt

By: Friday January 28, 2011 12:16 pm

The official report is that there will be a US press briefing shortly on the Egyptian situation, but privately Administration officials are waiting for Hosni Mubarak to speak.

OK, the press briefing is about to begin.

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