http://www.commondreams.org/

Israel: Quarry Shutdown Harms Palestinians

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Israeli military authorities closed down about 35 Palestinian quarries in the West Bank in late March 2016 and confiscated millions of dollars’ worth of equipment. The crackdown, which has paralyzed the quarries, puts the livelihoods of up to 3,500 workers at risk and highlights the discriminatory nature of Israeli rules for Palestinian quarries, which have been unable to obtain new licenses for more than 20 years.

Historic Democracy Mobilization Marks New Phase in Movement for Reforms

Public Citizen

A week’s worth of historic actions in Washington, D.C., to rescue our democracy have now concluded. All of the hundreds of organizations involved in the mass mobilization agree: This is a beginning, not an end. It is the beginning of a new nationwide push for democracy reforms, involving more people, more protests and more nonviolent civil disobedience.

CAIR-LA Assists Jewish Student Penalized for Missing Exam on Religious Holiday

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today welcomed the decision of a graduate pharmacy school in Los Angeles to allow students to observe their religious holiday without being penalized.

CAIR-LA’s legal department recently assisted a Jewish grad student in her second year of pharmacy school who was penalized for missing an exam on a religious holiday.

350.org Statement on the Signing of the Paris Agreement in New York

350.org

350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued the following statement ahead of the formal signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement taking place at the UN this Friday. This signing is purely ceremonial, most countries still need to ratify the agreement at a national level.  The treaty will only enter into force when at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.

Thursday Press Conference: World Leaders Call for Decriminalization and Regulation of Drugs during Historic UN Special Session

Drug Policy Alliance

On Thursday April 21 – the last day of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs – several members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy will hold a press conference in New York. The Global Commission will evaluate the outcome of the UN meeting and call for concrete steps to ensure more effective drug policy reform in the years ahead. The UNGASS is taking place in New York from April 19-21 and is the first such gathering of governments in 18 years.

Climate Denial Advances through Senate

Friends of the Earth

Today, the Senate passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012).  Prior to the vote, Friends of the Earth joined over 75 environmental and community organizations to oppose the bill because of provisions that would instruct federal agencies to disregard the scientific consensus that burning biomass for electricity has significant greenhouse gas emissions.  

Legal Petition Pushes President Obama to End Crude Oil Exports, Declare Climate Emergency

Center for Biological Diversity

As the Obama administration prepares to sign the Paris climate agreement, 350 environmental, social-justice, health and faith organizations filed a legal petition today urging President Barack Obama to declare a national climate emergency and end all U.S. crude oil exports. The ban would keep millions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution from escaping into the atmosphere and worsening the climate crisis.

25,000 Endangered Species Condoms to Be Given Away for Earth Day

Center for Biological Diversity

Earth Day may get people thinking about recycling, cutting back on driving or getting out into nature, but the Center for Biological Diversity is also asking them to think about saving the planet through safe sex. The Center is distributing 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms nationwide for Earth Day to highlight the connection between reproductive rights and the wildlife extinction crisis.

The condoms will be given away by 300 volunteers at Earth Day events, rallies, and on college campuses in 46 states.

EPA Takes Next Step Toward Banning Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

Earthjustice

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will convene an independent Scientific Advisory Panel today through Thursday to review health-based limits for the dangerous and widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos. This decision comes after years of advocacy by farmworker, environmental health and conservation groups, urging EPA to ban chlorpyrifos because of the neurodevelopmental harm it causes to children.

D.C. Circuit Court Hears Environmental Challenge to Feds’ Approval of Cove Point Gas Export Facility in Maryland

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Environmental groups faced off with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today, arguing that the agency illegally overlooked significant pollution and human safety risks in approving a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal along the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland.

Obama Must Raise Juvenile Executions on Saudi Arabia Trip

Reprieve

Mr Obama is due to travel to Saudi Arabia today (19th) on what is expected to be the last visit of his Presidency. The trip comes amid concerns for the fate of Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher, who face execution on charges relating to their attendance at protests in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province in 2012. All three were children when they were arrested, and were forced under torture to sign ‘confessions’ that led to their conviction in the country’s secretive Specialized Criminal Court.

Russia: Constitutional Court Backs Selective Justice

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Russia’s Constitutional Court has, for the first time, ruled that a binding decision of an international human rights body was “non-executable” and cannot be carried out, Human Rights Watch said today. The court said that a July 4, 2013 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights requiring reform of an absolute ban on voting rights for prisoners violates Russia’s constitution.

Lampedusa One Year On: EU Still Failing to Deal with Migration Crisis as Death Toll Rises

Oxfam International

Despite 800 people drowning off Lampedusa in the Mediterranean on this day last year, Europe is still failing to deal effectively with the migration crisis. Vulnerable people seeking safety and dignity remain at risk of death, torture and exploitation as they try to reach and cross the Mediterranean to then face a legal limbo once in Europe, said Oxfam in a new report today, 'EU hotspots spread fear and doubt'.

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