Jan 17 2014

Daily News Flash with Adele Stan on Obama’s NSA Reforms, Restoring the Voting Rights Act, and Gay Rights Under Attack Worldwide

Uprising’s guest expert Adele Stan, longtime chronicler of the right wing, and senior Washington correspondent for RHRealityCheck.org, analyzes today’s news headlines:

President Obama is making a major speech this morning on reforms to the NSA’s spying programs but critics say he won’t go nearly far enough. Months into a relentless series of news stories on how the National Security Agency is spying on practically everyone, everywhere, all the time, Obama is announcing his plan for reform now. Of the nearly 50 recommendations made by a panel he created, he is reported to be recommending only a handful. Most notably, it is reported that the President will promise an end to the NSA’s bulk telephone data collection, but only because an “an as-yet unspecified private entity,” according to the Guardian, will collect it instead. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

In response to a Supreme Court decision last summer that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, members of Congress have unveiled a new bill to undo the court’s damage, and broaden protections of people’s right to vote. Democrat John Conyers is joined by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner in sponsoring the House version, and several Senators are also on board. The bill would make it easier for voters who feel discriminated against to sue, but, in a bid to bring on Republican support, it makes an exception for voter ID laws. Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

In a tiny bit of good news on the international front, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has refused to sign a draconian bill that criminalizes homosexuality with life imprisonment. Despite his use of virulently homophobic language, he said there were better ways to “rescue” people from their “abnormality.” The news is dampened however by reports of Nigeria rounding up people suspected of being gay under a similar new law signed there just this week. Click here for an Al Jazeera article about the story.

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