FSRN Weekly Edition – March 10, 2017
- Trump signs revised executive order banning immigration from Muslim majority countries
- Russia probe is elephant in the room at confirmation hearings for Deputy and Associate Attorneys General
- ACA repeal advances through two committees; next stop Budget Committee
- Arkansas bill would ban Howard Zinn’s writings from classrooms
- UN representative meets with various Native American tribes about indigenous rights
- Indian acid attack survivors strip away stigma while serving up orders at groundbreaking cafés
- Kenyan community project restores mangroves while selling carbon credits
With no public ceremony or fanfare, President Donald Trump took a second crack at a controversial travel ban this week. Monday morning, he quietly signed another executive order, this time blocking new visas for individuals from six Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and restarting a 120-day ban on refugees entering the country, though this time around Syrians are not indefinitely barred from entry.
By Wednesday, Hawaii filed suit against the action saying the ban would hurt the state’s tourism sector. And four others states, led by Washington, are asking a U.S. District court to apply the temporary restraining order that blocked the first ban to the second version as well, arguing the two are effectively the same. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continued the confirmation process for high level posts in the U.S. Department of Justice this week, with a joint hearing for Deputy Attorney General and Associate Attorney General nominees. The hearings came amid calls for an independent investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, and on the heels of revelations that recently confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions made misleading statements under oath during his own confirmation hearing before the same panel. FSRN’s Reaux Packard has more.
The GOP unveiled its long-promised proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act this week and opposition was swift, with critics ranging from the healthcare industry, to senior citizens groups to reproductive health providers to advocates for the poor. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
Lawmakers in Arkansas are considering banning any material by or about historian Howard Zinn from public or state-supported school coursework. Zinn is best known for “A People’s History of the United States” a book that looks at the nation’s history from the perspective of marginalized and disadvantaged communities. Shannon Young has more.
Representatives of Native American nations and tribes are in Washington DC as part of a series of actions to put indigenous issues on the national political agenda. Standing Rock Sioux leaders led a prayer march Friday morning while drawing attention to the intersection of indigenous sovereignty rights and environmental protection. Indigenous activists and their allies are also marching in Los Angeles, calling on the City Council to cut financial ties with Wells Fargo over the bank’s financing of the nearly $4 billion, four-state Dakota Access pipeline project. So far three cities have taken divestment action: Seattle, Santa Monica and Davis, California.
Oil could start to flow through the controversial pipeline as early as next week; Wednesday a federal judge turned down an eleventh hour bid to block work on the last leg of project. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz recently visited North Dakota. She spoke with FSRN’s Jim Kent at the conclusion of her mission.
This week brought International Women’s Day, and women across the US and around world marked the occasion by wearing red and observing a Day Without Women; calling out of work and not spending any money.
But for many, not showing up for work simply isn’t an option; for others having a job is a political statement in and of itself.
In India, some of the more than 200 women a year who suffer disfiguring acid attacks are stripping away at the stigma associated with the assaults, while earning a living at a groundbreaking chain of restaurants. Please note, this story contains graphic descriptions of violence. FSRN’s Jasvinder Seghal has more.
In its first few weeks in office, the Trump administration has already rolled back a number of Obama-era measures meant to protect the environment. And while some warn this could lead to a cascading effect of nations pulling out of international climate commitments, small scale efforts to heal damaged ecosystems continue in developing countries. Diana Wanyonyi has this story about an initiative in two coastal villages in southern Kenya to restore Indian Ocean mangroves while earning money by selling carbon credits on the international market.