May 06 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on White House Climate Report, OWS Police Assault Case, and SCOTUS Ruling on Prayer

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The White House’s Climate assessment predicts a grim future for the US and lays the groundwork for adaptation. The National Climate Assessment was last released in 2009. This newly updated report is the culmination of more than 300 experts working together to determine how various regions in the US will cope with a changing climate. According to, “The report breaks the country down by region and identifies specific threats should climate change continue.” Meanwhile President Obama is expected to make a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline project soon, which environmental activists fear would only exacerbate climate change. Click here for a report about the story.

In a bizarre story of police brutality, a 25 year old graduate student was just convicted of second degree assault of a police officer in New York City after she was sexually assaulted and beaten severely during protests marking the Occupy Wall Street movement. A jury decided that Cecily McMillan deliberately elbowed a police officer in the eye after he grabbed her breast. Activists had rallied around McMillan and packed the courtroom during her trial, crying “Shame, shame” when her verdict was read. She was denied bail and awaits sentencing on May 19th. Her conviction could garner her up to seven years in prison. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

The US Supreme Court yesterday ruled narrowly to permit local government meetings to begin their proceedings with prayer, even if a specific religion is favored. Despite the 5-4 ruling, the Washington Post reported, “All nine justices endorsed the concept of legislative prayer, with the four dissenters agreeing that the public forum ‘need not become a religion-free zone,’ in the words of Justice Elena Kagan.” The case centered around the New York town of Greece where meetings were routinely kicked off by Christian prayer. Those in favor of a strict separation of church and state have denounced the Supreme Court ruling. Click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

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