Declining Faith in Both Capitalism and Socialism Leaves … What?

This post was originally published on this site  Americans don’t much like each-other and many are willing to fight each other over their differences. But what do the opposing factions believe in? When it comes to economic systems and whether production and consumption should be dictated from above or guided by free exchange, a growing […]

Iran braces for counter rallies as protest deaths mount

Internet access remained severely restricted in Iran ahead of counter rallies on Friday, after a week of protests over the death in police custody of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini that have left at least 17 dead.Amini, 22, died after her arrest by the Islamic republic’s feared morality police for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” way, and news of her death sparked widespread outrage.The official death toll rose to at least 17 on Thursday, including five security personnel, but the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said its sources put the figure much higher.”On the 7th day of #IranProtest, officials admit to at least 17 deaths w/ independent sources say 36,” the CHRI said in a Twitter post.”Expect the number to rise. World leaders must press Iranian officials to allow protest without lethal force.”Government-backed nationwide rallies in support of the hijab and a conservative dress code for women have been announced for Friday by Iran’s Islamic Development Coordination Council, the official news agency IRNA reported.Security forces fired “semi-heavy weapons” at demonstrators during overnight clashes in the northern city of Oshnaviyeh, said the Olso-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw.In the nearby city of Babol, demonstrators were seen setting ablaze a large billboard bearing the image of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to videos shared online which could not be independently verified.Since Amini was pronounced dead on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by Iran’s morality police, protests have spread to most major urban centers of the country, including the capital, Isfahan, Mashhad, Rasht and Saqez.Activists said the woman, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, had suffered a fatal blow to the head, a claim denied by officials who have announced an investigation.’Bleeding profusely’Unprecedented images have shown protesters defacing or burning images of Khamenei and late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani.Some women demonstrators have defiantly taken off their hijabs and burned them in bonfires or symbolically cut their hair before cheering crowds, video footage spread virally on social media has shown.In response, security forces have fired at crowds with birdshot and metal pellets, and deployed tear gas and water cannon, said Amnesty International and other human rights groups.Demonstrators have hurled stones at them, set fire to police cars and chanted anti-government slogans, IRNA reported.”The government has responded with live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, according to videos shared on social media that have also shown protesters bleeding profusely”, CHRI said in a statement.Internet access has been restricted in what web monitor NetBlocks on Thursday called a “curfew-style pattern of disruptions” amid the angry protests sparked by Amini’s death.Pro-hijab ralliesAccess to social media services Instagram and WhatsApp have been blocked since Wednesday night, and connections were still largely disrupted on Friday.The measure was taken in response to “the actions carried out via these social networks by counter-revolutionaries against national security”, Iran’s Fars news agency said.The council responsible for organizing Friday’s pro-hijab rallies called the protesters “mercenaries”.It has accused them of insulting the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed, as well as having burned down mosques and Iran’s flag and “desecrated the women’s hijab”, IRNA reported.#photo3Judiciary chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei on Thursday called on the attorney general and the legal authorities to maintain peace and security and to confront “disruptive elements and professional rioters”.The intelligence services warned in a statement that “due to the exploitation of the situation by counter-revolutionary movements, any participation in illegal demonstrations will be punished by justice”.President Ebrahim Raisi, at a news conference in New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, said: “We must differentiate between demonstrators and vandalism”.The unrest comes at a particularly sensitive time for the leadership, as the Iranian economy remains mired in a crisis largely caused by sanctions over its nuclear program.Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps labelled the protests a “conspiracy of the enemy”.© 2022 AFP

Klobuchar, Cruz strike deal to advance journalism antitrust bill

This post was originally published on this siteA bill that would let most news outlets collectively negotiate with dominant tech platforms for compensation to distribute their content advanced out of a Senate committee Thursday after Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) struck a deal. The Journalism Competition and Protection Act aims to help […]

A judge blocks the Indiana abortion ban a week after it took effect

Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued a preliminary injunction against the ban being enforced, putting the new law on hold as abortion clinic operators argue that it violates the state constitution.

Rubio edges Demings by 2 points in new Florida Senate poll

This post was originally published on this siteIncumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) leads his Democratic challenger, Rep. Val Demings, by 2 percentage points, according to a Civiqs poll released on Thursday. The poll found 49 percent of likely voters expressed support for Rubio, compared to 47 percent support for Demings. A majority of independents — […]

US lawmakers take baby steps towards election reform

US lawmakers voted Wednesday in favor of narrow reforms to a loosely-worded 135-year-old law that former president Donald Trump tried to exploit to overturn his presidential election defeat. The action comes less than 50 days before the US midterm elections that decide which party controls Congress, with a sharp rise in candidates who refuse to accept the 2020 results, sparking fears for the health of US democracy.After losing to Democrat Joe Biden, the Trump campaign attempted to take advantage of ambiguities in the 1887 Electoral Count Act in a failed bid to have then-vice president Mike Pence block certification of the election results. The Presidential Election Reform Act tightens the wording of the ECA — which lays out how the state-by-state Electoral College results are tallied — on the vice president’s role and on how many lawmakers are required to object to a state’s election results.The controversy was at the heart of the 2021 US Capitol insurrection, and there is cross-party enthusiasm in both chambers of Congress to ensure there is no repeat of the violence that left scores of police with injuries and was linked to five deaths.”This bill will prevent Congress from illegally choosing the president itself,” said Republican Liz Cheney, who co-authored the text and has a leading role in the congressional investigation into Trump’s actions before and during last year’s violence.The House bill passed by 229-203, with eight other Republicans crossing the aisle.But it looks unlikely to prevail in upcoming negotiations to merge the legislation with a narrower Senate version that appears already to have the Republican support required to get to Biden’s desk. Neither effort is as comprehensive as the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which fell to a Republican blockade in the Senate. Progressive Democrats see the latest drive as a poor substitute for those bills, which took aim at restrictive voting laws being introduced in Republican-led states across the country.© Agence France-Presse

What you need to know about the complex legal challenges to Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights 

This post was originally published on this siteThe incendiary issue of the transportation of migrants has flared once again — and it’s not going anywhere. The latest spark came when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) organized two flights of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on Sep. 14. Beyond the fact that around 50 people, […]

Manchin’s permitting reform deal on life support in face of GOP opposition

This post was originally published on this siteThe controversial permitting reform bill unveiled by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) late Wednesday has only a slim chance of passing the Senate next week as Republicans don’t want to give the West Virginia senator a victory after he resurrected President Biden’s tax and climate agenda in late July. […]

Take Putin’s Nuclear Threat Seriously, But Not Too Seriously

This post was originally published on this siteFew think the Russian leader would be foolish enough to escalate radically, but there’s also a strong argument to be made that he’s not bluffing.

GOP feeling better about Walker’s chances in Georgia

This post was originally published on this siteRepublicans are experiencing a jolt of optimism in Georgia’s hotly contested Senate race amid signs that their candidate, former football star Herschel Walker, is starting to close the gap with Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). After a series of early stumbles that prompted intense handwringing among top Senate Republicans, […]