Category: News & Politics

China Has Detained More Than a Million Muslims | Op-Ed | NowThis

China has detained more than a million Muslims in concentration camps — and no one is doing anything about it.
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Aydin Anwar, Uyghur American Activist: ‘Right now, China’s detained over a million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims into concentration camps. They are forced to denounce Islam, adopt atheism, and pledge allegiance to the Chinese state.

They would spend hours on end chanting in their crowded cells, ‘There’s no such thing as religion,’ or ‘all hail the Chinese state,’ or ‘all hail Chinese President Xi Jinping.’ And if the detainees disobey, or if there’s any type of resistance there is torture being used.

Nails are being pulled out, teeth are being pulled out, they’re using snakes to interrogate, people are being beaten until they’re dead, they’re being sterilized – a method used in genocide. They’re being forced to sit on what’s called the ‘tiger chair,’ where they’re clamped down on this chair for hours on end, oftentimes in solitary confinement.

People are being sent to these camps for random reasons. One of them could easily be you were in contact with someone abroad, you have a family member abroad, you engage in religion, so if you pray, if you mention the word God in your speech, if you fast – any type of indication that you are practicing religion, that is enough for you to be sent to the camps. And thousands of people have actually been transferred from these camps to prisons.

One of my relatives, in early 2017, got put inside one of these camps. Last November, he came out dead. One of my relatives got sent to a camp because he went to the United States to attend my cousin’s wedding in 2014. Last August, he got sentenced to 15 years of prison. Many of my relatives, we don’t know if they’re alive or dead, and there’s not a single Uyghur who doesn’t have at least one family member in these camps, or some form of detention or prison.

The worst part is when someone dies, their bodies are not taken to their families, but rather, the bodies are cremated, and that’s another way for China to hide the evidence of bodies coming out of these camps. It doesn’t give us a clear idea of how many people are dying. All this stuff is happening in secret.

Children of these detainees have been sent to state-run orphanages and boarding schools where they are taught to hate their own religion, identity, and are forced to speak Chinese, are subject to abuse and torture. The parents don’t know where their kids are.

Most towns and villages in East Turkestan are almost empty. Around 70-80% of the civilians are all gone. You walk through the street and it’s eerily silent, because most people are in some form of detention or prison. Schools and factories are now being transformed into these concentration camps.

The entire nation of East Turkestan has essentially become a dungeon for its people, because China monitors their every action, even in the home. So, there are millions of Han government caters who are living in Uyghur homes to make sure they’re not engaging in religion and to assess their political views.

Practicing Islam is completely banned. So for me to even say something like, oh, I’ll see you tomorrow, God willing, is prohibited because you said the word God.

Even having an Islamic name is a crime. So you have to change your name from a name like Muhammad or Fatima to an ethnic Han name.

Thousands of Uyghur women are also forced to marry ethnic Han Chinese men. And this is another way to get rid of the next generation of Uyghurs.

So why is China cracking down on Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims specifically? East Turkestan is really rich in minerals and resources, so by putting people into camps and basically carrying out an ethnic cleansing, China is attempting to maintain tight control over the mineral-rich man.

You might wonder why the world has been really silent about this whole issue, and it’s because of a few reasons. Number one, China has tightly controlled its media, so a lot of what’s happening can’t really be revealed outside to the rest of the world’

#China #Muslims #Uyghurs #HumanRights #Turkic

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Who Is Roger Severino? Narrated by Pat Regan | NowThis

Roger Severino is the devout Catholic, conservative mastermind behind the Trump admin’s crusade against transgender Americans — even though his job is to protect the health and well-being of all citizens. Comedian Pat Regan explains how Severino overcame discrimination only to land a job pushing a pro-discrimination agenda.
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As HHS Secretary, Roger Severino has been instrumental in attacking the civil rights and health care of LGBT and Transgender Americans under the guise of “religious liberty”. He’s also been behind the Trump Administration’s decision to deny Transgender soldiers from serving. Trump himself is a draft dodger and hypocrite, just like Severino who faced discrimination for being Hispanic.

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Who Is’ is a weekly miniseries narrated by celebrities that explores the people behind the Trump administration and their complicated, often salacious histories.

NowThis is your premier news outlet providing you with all the videos you need to stay up to date on all the latest in trending news. From entertainment to politics, to viral videos and breaking news stories, we’re delivering all you need to know straight to your social feeds. We live where you live.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff on Acting Fast in Congress | Op-Ed | NowThis

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took on Amazon, joined a sit-in outside Nancy Pelosi’s office, and became an Instagram star — and all during her orientation week. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti relayed the whirlwind week.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti just returned from New House Member Orientation. The week in Washington D.C. was supposed to teach them some early ins and outs about being in Congress and instruct Chakrabarti how to become a chief of staff. Instead, Ocasio-Cortez made headlines by attacking Amazon and its new Queens, New York, headquarters, by visiting a Green New Deal sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office, and lighting up Instagram with her insider insights. According to Chakrabarti, joining Congress is daunting but Ocasio-Cortez is entering office the same way she ran: with courage and conviction. Chakrabarti says they’re pushing the chips in every time to make change.

#Politics #Liberal #Progressive #Congress #AlexandriaOcasioCortez

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How Russian & U.S. Christians Fight Progressivism | The Russia Desk | NowThis

Welcome the World Congress of Families conference: An international radical right wing conference that convenes to organize against the spread of progressive ideas. This is the backdrop by which American Christians learned to rationalize President Donald Trump’s behavior, take the red pill, and go down the rabbit hole that is the newly reformatted Republican party.
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For many of us Americans, understanding of Russian interference in the US begins with hacked emails and fake Facebook accounts, and ends with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. But that’s not the whole picture. As we now know, these efforts stretched back years (even decades)– and included coordination with some of the most heinous, regressive groups currently in the U.S.

One of those groups is the World Congress of Families, or WCF. You’ve probably never heard of the WCF. But over the past decade, they’ve become the leading international organization dedicated to rolling back rights for LGBT individuals across the world.

And, coincidentally, WCF has allowed Russian oligarchs, close to Putin, easy access to America’s Evangelical community via their events. Just a couple weeks ago, the WCF hosted sanctioned Russian politicians and American Religious Right figures for their annual conference in Moldova, with wonderful panels called things like ”The Challenges Facing the Sanctity of Life” and “Gender Ideology — The Latest Attack on the Family.”

Not only have these events let these sanctioned oligarchs build their own relationships with America’s Religious Right, but they’ve helped convince American Evangelicals that Russian interference is actually not that big of a deal — and that Russia is the Religious Right’s ally against so-called “godless liberals” in the U.S., even if it means subverting democracy here in the U.S.

The WCF got its start in a small Moscow apartment, just over 20 years ago. An American named Allan Carlson traveled to Moscow, and met with a couple Russian sociologists to plot out how Americans and Russians could organize a group dedicated to restore quote-unquote “tradition” to their societies. Just like that, the WCF was born. As Carlson wrote in his diary, which he sent to me, he quote “went to sleep content with the world.”

For years, the WCF kind of hung around on the fringe. Holding conferences dedicated to opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and to supposedly protecting children. It became popular in certain circles, and ended up reportedly funded by people like Russian oligarch Vladimir Yakunin, who is one of Putin’s oldest confidants, and who’s now sanctioned by the U.S.

By the early 2010s, though, the group took on a new role. By then, relations between Russia and the West had soured. Russians were suddenly rising up against Putin, who was returning to the presidency in 2012 on the back of a fraudulent election. And in Ukraine, pro-democracy protesters toppled their thuggish president, which led to Russia invading southern Ukraine, claiming Crimea, and backing so-called “separatists” in eastern Ukraine. America led the efforts to sanction Russia — freezing assets, and banning people like Yakunin from traveling to the U.S., citing them as the key players in Russia’s attempt to upend the post-Cold War order. Suddenly, the Kremlin was looking for ways to influence American policy – and to work with sympathetic Americans.

Enter, the WCF. Yakunin, the US sanctioned oligarch, was soon joined by another sanctioned Russian oligarch, Konstantin Malofeev, whose nickname is “God’s oligarch.” Both of them reportedly started funding WCF activities. Along the way, the WCF started becoming more involved in crafting anti-abortion, anti-gay policies in Russia – the group even took credit for crafting quote “the first package of anti-abortion laws in Russia” since the Soviet collapse.

Thanks to the WCF’s work, American Evangelicals started noticing Russia. Some began claiming that Putin was the quote “lion of Christianity,” while others like Pat Buchanan began suggesting that God was on Russia’s side.

#Russia #Christians #RightWing #ChristianRight #World #Politics

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Secret Service Plans Facial Recognition Tech Around White House | NowThis

The White House might start using facial recognition tech — but the ACLU and experts have concerns.
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The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) plans to pilot facial recognition tech around the White House, including surrounding public roads and parks, according to a Nov 26, 2018 Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) document.

The test program will compare footage from existing CCTV cameras to a database of images of the test population, which is a group of volunteer USSS employees. The ultimate goal of the program is to assess whether the tech can help the USSS identify ‘known subjects of interest.’

The DHS recognizes that capturing images of the public raises concerns. It says that any images that aren’t considered a match will be deleted immediately.

The DHS also said that anyone uncomfortable with the test ‘may choose to avoid the area.’ When asked about the program, a USSS spokesperson told NowThis it can’t comment

USSS spokesperson, to NowThis: ‘For operational security purposes we do not comment on the means and methods of how we conduct our protective operations.’

The ACLU suggests the tech poses a problem for protesters in the area.

#WhiteHouse #Trump #SecretService #FacialRecognition #Technology #Surveillance

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Former Chipotle Employee Details Animal Abuse and Inhumane Practices | Op-Ed | NowThis

This former Chipotle manager saw animals living in inhumane conditions in one of the chain’s supplier farms — despite its claim to only serve ‘food with integrity.’
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Rachel Ziegler: ‘Even when I was serving people chicken, I always considered myself an animal lover.

And that’s why I started working at Chipotle. I watched all the beautiful ads and thought they were giving animals the lives they deserve.

I was responsible for training employees to tell people there was no animal cruelty in our meat.

I was proud to tell our customers that we were serving Food with Integrity.

But then I noticed something odd. Our suppliers were changing back and forth all the time

And names on the boxes were from big factory farms – the same factory farms we said we were no longer using.

When I asked why we weren’t telling our customers, my bosses got angry and told me to follow the talking points. It was my first sign that something was very wrong.

And then I saw an investigation of ‘humane’ chicken farms by an animal rights group called DxE

The animals were diseased and covered in feces.

Later that year, Chipotle’s own food started making people sick, because of feces from diseased animals, and I knew we were lying about doing things better.

I decided that if my bosses wouldn’t tell me the truth, I needed to see it for myself. I took an address from one of the boxes and drove an hour to the plant.

I was expecting to see a pasture with birds outdoors, like what I saw in our training videos.

And instead the place was a huge fortress. There were severed body parts and bloody feathers on the ground.

I sent the info to DxE, and asked them what I should do.

And they said, bring a camera, and go inside.

And from the moment I walked in, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

There were thousands of birds crammed into a massive shed.

Dozens of them were collapsed on the ground, starving to death.
Chipotle needs to grow chickens cheap and fast, so they raise birds who are genetically deformed. They grow so fast that their little legs eventually collapse.

I saw birds who could barely move. And I had to take some of them out.

I’m an animal lover, and that’s what my mom taught me to do if you see an animal who’s hurt.

I can be arrested for what I did. And I don’t want to go to prison.

But I also believe in the values Chipotle taught me.

That animals deserve to be treated with respect, and real respect means not abusing their bodies

So I’m going public with what I found. And I’m taking it straight to corporate headquarters.

I’m asking Chipotle’s CEO to give customers the right to know, to open up the barn doors, and to rescue the sick and suffering animals.

And I’m hoping you will help.

Sign the petition asking Chipotle to drop their humane label at dxe.io/chipotle.’

#Chipotle #Animals #AnimalAbuse #AnimalCruelty #AnimalWelfare

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Why Politicians Need To Run On Climate Change | Op-Ed | NowThis

We can’t give up on climate change prevention just because of who’s in the White House — here’s how cities can act now to save our planet, according to NYC Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr.
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In the face of increasing wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, and reports that warn of even more dire consequences of climate change, NYC Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. says cities can do their part to roll back the tide of global warming. ‘Throwing up our hands is not an option,’ Espinal says, instead cities could embrace bold solutions without federal government action. WE can reduce waste by encouraging composting, getting rid of single-use plastics, installing green roofs on buildings, requiring emissions-free vehicles, and protecting and expanding green spaces. This city-level efforts can serve as a model for governments around the world.

#ClimateChange #GlobalWarming #ClimateAction #Activism #Politics

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Why There Should Be a Comedian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner | Op-Ed | NowThis

Here’s why it’s a huge mistake not to have a comedian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, according to former Obama staffer David Litt.
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Last year, as you probably remember, the Trump White House manufactured this huge, fake controversy over Michelle Wolf’s performance at the Correspondents’ Dinner.

This year the White House Correspondents Association’ said, forget it. No more comedian. Here’s why that’s a big mistake.

Bob hope done the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. George Carlin. Richard Pryor. Paula Poundstone. Wanda Sykes. We have had a comedian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for decades straight.

And I will tell you as a former presidential staffer, no White House likes being made fun of. Every year, people made fun of Obama.

But we never manufactured a bunch of outrage for no reason, because it’s just a joke. What’s the big deal? If you have such a thin skin, you should not be in politics in the first place.

And more important, there’s something fundamentally democratic about having someone stand up in front of the leader of the free world and make fun of them a little bit.

Think about what the White House said when they tried to pull Jim Acosta’s press pass for the briefing room. The word they used was ‘decorum.’

This is a White House that is obsessed with gestures of respect, and so the Correspondents’ Association, in a weird way, is a celebration of disrespect. For one night only, we are reminding everyone that yeah, you can make fun of powerful people to their face in a democracy, and you don’t have to apologize for that.

It’s a reminder that in a democracy, we don’t just talk about free speech, we exercise free speech. Can you imagine this happening in Putin’s Russia, or in Saudi Arabia, or in China?

Of course not. But it happens in America, and it’s kind of special, even when it crosses the line a tiny bit.

#Comedy #Politics #WHCD #WhiteHouse #Trump #WhiteHouseCorrespondentsDinner

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Congressman-Elect Max Rose On Rejecting Lobbyist Money | Op-Ed | NowThis

‘It’s time for Democrats, and all politicians for that matter, to tell federal lobbyists to keep their damn money.’ —Congressman-elect Max Rose is done with lobbyists buying policy.
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Staten Island, New York, Congressman-elect Max Rose is speaking out against the power of lobbyist money in Washington. Rose says the power of Washington D.C. doesn’t lie on Capitol Hill or The White House but instead on K Street, where all of the lobbyists have their offices. Rose argues that policy is predominantly influenced by how much lobbyists pay and to whom. Thousands of lobbyists are bringing ‘stacks of checks’ to sway politicians and buy votes. Rose wants an end to this system and believes lobbyists should impact legislation on the strength of their ideas not the depth of their pockets. Democrats say a sweeping anti-corruption bill will be priority number one in 2019.

#Lobbyists #Politics #Liberal #MaxRose

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Alexis Bloom: Filmmaker of ‘Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Alies’ | NowThis

‘You’d have to be a half-witted martian not to see that women’s value on Fox is sexual.’ — Filmmaker Alexis Bloom is exposing Fox News and former CEO Roger Ailes in her new doc.
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‘It was clear that women were objectified at Fox. You’d have to be, like, a half-witted martian You know women’s value on Fox is sexual.’

Alexis Bloom directed a documentary about former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

‘What wasn’t clear was that Roger was kind of priming women. For the enjoyment of primarily a male demographic out there in the world but that they were also being used kind of for the pleasure of people inside the building.’

‘Roger was one of the first people to be deposed in the Me Too movement. We didn’t know it was going to be a movement. You know, he had an allegation of sexual harassment leveled against him and it ended up costing him his job.

He is defined by what he did to women and by what they did in turn to him.’

In July 2016, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing Ailes of ‘pervasive sexual harassment.’ Two weeks later Ailes resigned.

‘Bear in mind he’d had one before. It had been settled internally you know for three million dollars and nothing had happened. Bill O’Reilly had had multiple cases nothing had happened.’

‘When Gretchen Carlson filed her suit and when in fact he ended up resigning or being fired depending on which way you look at it. We knew that there was a chink in the armor and that this was a good time to make a film about him.’

Bloom says she was first inspired to tell Ailes’ story to discover how America has become so politically divided.

‘My kids are American. My husband’s American. You know I’m in the process of applying for citizenship so I cared deeply about America. Roger Ailes has been incredibly influential for decades. He’s important in terms of understanding Donald Trump. I mean Donald Trump I don’t think would be he wouldn’t be president had there not been a Roger Ailes.

You can sort of see the arc of the rise of the right and the the rise of, you know, I call it ‘flamethrower TV’ where kind of the more outrageous things you say, the better.’

‘Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes’ also exposed additional harassment at Fox.

‘I didn’t know this going into the film, but some of the women at Fox get settlements, and then you have to sign not only a non-disclosure which means you’ll never talk about it, but you have to sign an agreement that you’ll never seek employment again from 21st Century Fox ever in your lifetime or any of its affiliates. So you’re kind of being punished for something that happened to you. If the Murdochs are going to do something, you know, truly kind of admirable in terms of what’s happened at FOX It’s not like saying, Oh I’m so sorry it happened to women. It’s bring them back.That’s that’s a big point. We try to make in this film. There’s this woman called Tamara Holder and she said, all we wanted to do was work.’

#FoxNews #Documentary #RogerAiles #DivideAndConquer

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