Children being seen and heard: Refugees leave their homes in search of a better life free from the unrest in their native lands. It's a tough life at any age, but it's especially hard for children. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), these kids can fall prey to violence, abuse, and exploitation while they are displaced. A new report from UNICEF shines a light on the experiences of refugee and migrant children on their journey to reach their destination. It also includes information on how to protect these uprooted minors from the dangers of predators. Ready to be a part of the solution? Here's how you can help.
PFC Manning goes home: Today, after a seven-year-long journey to freedom, Chelsea Manning will be released from prison. Manning is a former military intelligence analyst who gained notoriety for becoming one of the biggest whistleblowers in US military history after giving tons of classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010. Her role in history is debated by many. Critics have called her a traitor, while supporters have praised her heroism in airing the military's dirty laundry. In 2013, she was convicted of espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years in prison. While in military prison, Manning, who identifies as a trans woman, was incarcerated in a men's facility, putting her safety at risk. She was also denied hormone therapy and, prior to her trial, restricted to solitary confinement. In 2016, then-President Obama commuted Chelsea's sentence, meaning she would be released earlier than when she would be eligible for parole. Her release is significant for whistleblower rights, free speech and LGBTQ rights, but she's appealing her conviction so her legal battles aren't over yet.
Loose lips sink ships: On Monday, President Trump met with a Russian foreign minister and ambassador at the White House when he let the cat out of the bag on some classified information. The intel had to do with how the US is handling ISIS, which, needless to say, could compromise our national security and the safety of our sources on the ground. It's another gaffe that's caused the administration to wind up with egg on their face yet again.
Cutting pipeline cashflow: Divestment means having an economy with less reliance on fossil fuel. Getting 100 percent clean energy is the dream, but we're finally seeing a financial institution turn it into a reality. US Bank is the first major bank to formally tell gas and oil pipelines that they're not going to finance their projects. Execute three snaps in "Z" formation.
Screwed the pooch, again: It turns out that President Trump asked former FBI director James Comey, who he fired like an episode of the Celebrity Apprentice, to stop investigating former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. This information comes from a detailed memo that Comey wrote shortly after meeting with the President and paints a picture that Trump is getting in the way of both the Justice Department and the FBI. All the drama leads back to the White House's ties to Russia, but they're pointing the finger at Comey and denying his version of events.
The bottom of the barrel: Planned Parenthood just put Texas on blast for being a shitty ass state for women's health. According to the organization, the state ranks 48th in the country for women's health outcomes but things could get much worse. On their site, Planned Parenthood says, "Texas is asking the Trump Administration to bend the rules in a backdoor attempt to "defund" Planned Parenthood and cut off women's access to healthcare." It's an absolute dumpster fire of a proposal, and the program is oddly named "Healthy Texas Women." How ironic. If you want to defend the health of women in Texas, show your support by signing this petition and put Texas legislators on watch.
Empire State moves towards healthcare for all: New York's State Assembly just passed a single-payer healthcare bill, which will dramatically improve the lives of low-income people who need affordable healthcare. Given Congress's fetish for keeping people uninsured, many states are passing their own versions of a medicare-for-all legislation. The bill still has a long way to go in the more conservative state senate, but this is a big step in realizing more healthcare in a big state.