“Feature Stories” archives

Nov 21 2014

Roberto Lovato Excoriates Democrats Over Obama Exec. Action, Makes Links With Mexico Crisis

President Obama, in a prime-time televised address yesterday, finally announced his much anticipated executive action on immigration policy in a brief 15 minute speech, heartening immigrant rights activists and angering conservatives.

Specifically the President, using his executive authority, will enable about 4 million undocumented immigrants to remain the US without fear of deportation, if they pass a background check and verify that they are paying taxes. The order also eases requirements for high-tech workers to …

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Nov 21 2014

UK Students Demand Free Education, While UC Students Rally Against Tuition Increases

Germany’s decision to provide a free higher education to all its citizens struck a chord with other students in Europe. This week, more than ten thousand students from the United Kingdom took to the streets of central London demanding free education.

Challenging Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity measures which raised the yearly ceiling on tuition from $4,700 to over $14,000, students are hoping to not only eliminate tuition fees, but also to obtain higher cost …

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Nov 21 2014

New Report on Shocking Violence Against Native Children Makes Recommendations: Who Will Listen?

Here is perhaps one of the most disturbing statistics in the entire United States: Native American children today experience post-traumatic stress disorder from violence at rates similar to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A new report by the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, has reiterated what many who pay attention to these issues already knew: that there is an epidemic of violence facing indigenous …

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Nov 20 2014

FARC Kidnapping Thwarts Talks, But US Policy is Colombia’s Real Roadblock to Peace

Colombia’s two year-old peace process between the government and the FARC rebel group is in jeopardy. FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has been waging a war against the state for 50 years and for the first time in its history, abducted a high-ranking general named Ruben Dario Alzate, potentially derailing talks.

Alzate was traveling in a civilian capacity in a rural part of northern Colombia when he was snatched by rebel soldiers. A …

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Nov 20 2014

Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil

The idea that babies are blank slates waiting for adults to shape their personalities and values from the ground up has been thoroughly debunked by recent advances in neuroscience.

We now know babies are far smarter than we think. But what about their values? Are babies born with an innate sense of right and wrong, of justice?

GUEST: Dr. Paul Bloom, the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. …

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Nov 20 2014

Putting the Controversy Over Cosby Into Context

The legendary comedian and actor Bill Cosby was all set for an on-screen comeback with two major projects when executives at NBC decided to drop his show, and Netflix announced an indefinite postponement of a comedy special. Cosby has been hit with allegations for many years and these have resurfaced in recent days.

While we will leave the details of the allegations to the tabloid press, what has emerged is a disturbing pattern of abuse: …

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Nov 19 2014

Understanding Burkina Faso’s Regime Change

Seventy two year old Michel Kafando is Burkina Faso’s new president. Sworn in as a transitional head of state, the former UN ambassador will not be able to run in upcoming elections. The current state of affairs is the result of protesters burning down a Parliament building in the capital Ouagadougou last month, leading long-time President Blaise Compaore to flee to Cote d’Ivoire.

Lt. Col. Isaac Yacouba Zida, who heads Burkina Faso’s military, took charge …

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Nov 19 2014

Keystone Senate Bill Fails By One Vote But Ball is In Obama’s Court

The US Senate narrowly failed to pass a bill approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline late yesterday, just days after the House passed a similar bill. Louisiana Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu was leading the push in the Senate, desperately attempting to garner 15 Democratic votes to join Republicans to pass the bill.

Independent Senator Angus King changed his mind at the last minute, saying “Congress is not – nor should it be – in the …

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Nov 19 2014

Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better

The passage of Proposition 47 in California earlier this month was a watershed moment for advocates of prison reform. The ballot measure passed by voters would effectively reduce the numbers of people in prison by downgrading some felonies to misdemeanors and divert the freed up funds to education and mental health counseling.

Some law enforcement officials are upset at the passage of the measure saying it would increase crime. Others like California Attorney General Kamala …

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Nov 18 2014

President Obama’s Political Calculations on Immigration Executive Action

President Obama is expected to announce his executive policy on reducing deportations of undocumented immigrants in a widely anticipated move. Mr. Obama had promised an announcement over the summer but then changed his mind, waiting until after the midterm elections. Many interpreted this move as a cynical ploy to appease a conservative electorate, which ended up voted for Republicans anyway.

Now, according to leaked reports of what the President intends, his executive action is expected …

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