Top News Picks March 8, 2011

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By Rowan Wolf

Here are my picks of today’s top news stories.

Felicity Lawrence at the Guardian introduces the film on migrant workers in Spain –  “Spain’s salad growers are modern day slaves, say charities.” The video is well worth the time to watch. The Guardian’s own investigation found:

• Migrant workers from Africa living in shacks made of old boxes and plastic sheeting, without sanitation or access to drinking water.

• Wages that are routinely less than half the legal minimum wage.

• Workers without papers being told they will be reported to the police if they complain.

• Allegations of segregation enforced by police harassment when African workers stray outside the hothouse areas into tourist areas.”

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Also from the Guardian, MEP’s Back Robin Hood tax on Banks. Essentially, this is a transaction tax, and in my opinion does not go far enough, but…

“The German and French governments are both pushing this; Austria and Spain are in support and today the European parliament threw its weight behind a tiny tax on financial transactions that could help us fulfil our commitments to tackling poverty and climate change, and help prevent such huge cuts in public spending.”

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Will the Supreme Court support protecting us from random search and seizure? Mohan at The Progressive discusses whether a “Case will decide fate of Fourth Amendment.”


At stake is the prosecutor’s right to absolute or, at the very least, qualified immunity. But the larger issue for concerned Americans is whether the government can, in the name of national security, attack the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of protection from search and seizure.

Lavoni Kidd was born of American parents in the United States. In the 1990s, while attending the University of Idaho, where he was a star football player, he converted to Islam. He changed his name to Abdullah al-Kidd.

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As Obama continues down the wrong path, Dafna Linzer at ProPublica writes “Obama Makes Indefinite Detention and Military Commissions His Own.”

President Obama yesterday formalized indefinite detention for dozens of men held at Guantanamo Bay and announced that the Pentagon would move ahead with military trials for a handful of other detainees. In an executive order [1], which we first reported on in June 2009 [2], the White House created a board to periodically review the dangerousness of prisoners being held without charge or trial. The order says the new process will allow detainees — some in custody for nearly a decade — to challenge the government’s determination that they pose a threat if released.

In an executive order [1], which we first reported on in June 2009 [2], the White House created a board to periodically review the dangerousness of prisoners being held without charge or trial. The order says the new process will allow detainees — some in custody for nearly a decade — to challenge the government’s determination that they pose a threat if released.

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The  World Socialist Web Site comes in with a very noteworthy article: US intensifies military operations in Lybia

Unlike its response to the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt—Obama did not once call for the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali or Hosni Mubarak and is supporting the retention of their regimes headed by new personnel—the US government has openly called for Gaddafi’s removal. Washington is doing so in the name of democracy and humanitarian concerns even as it backs, and continues to arm, anti-democratic regimes across the region, notably in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen, while they use police-state repression and violence to suppress popular uprisings. The US is intent on working with top-level defectors from the Gaddafi regime, including those in the opposition interim government in Benghazi, to establish a puppet administration in Libya that will not only protect the substantial oil and gas interests of the US and other Western countries, but also provide a staging post for operations against the revolutionary struggles that are continuing in neighbouring countries.


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