Author: Mariana Lopez (Los Angeles, CA)

World facing 6th mass extinction

A new landmark UN report, based on thousands of scientific studies by 145 experts in 50 countries over 3 years, announced last week that the biodiversity of our planet is in peril. The report states that “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating,… Read more »

U.S. immigration policy misses mark:
deportees to El Salvador often murdered

With all the chaos on the U.S./Mexico border, there’s also been much attention recently to the deportation of many who sought asylum in the U.S. Some of those sent back to El Salvador were murdered there, just as they had feared. El Salvador has become something close to lawless, no longer under state control. The notorious… Read more »

Why Is Alex Acosta Still Labor Secretary?

Last week, the Miami Herald opened wide again their reporting on the gross criminal misdeeds of Palm Beach billionaire and serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein — and the even grosser lack of oversight by Miami’s top prosecutor Alexander Acosta in prosecuting Epstein’s crimes. Epstein was a well-connected financier accused of trafficking minors and sexually molesting… Read more »

Major earthquake clobbers Indonesia

On Friday evening, September 28th, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia, causing an enormous tsunami on the island of Sulawesi. More than 840 are now confirmed dead in and near the city of Palu, with many more still unaccounted for. Many were swept out to sea. The expectation is that the death toll will grow… Read more »

California once again in flames

California continues its battle against the biggest fire in the state’s history, along with a reported 11 other fires. Since July 27th, the Mendocino Complex fires — a combination of two smaller fires — have burned over 300,000 acres. The blaze continues to grow, with SFGATE reporting the fires currently only 60 percent contained. The… Read more »

Guatemala’s Fuego Blows,
with unnecessary loss of life

An estimated 114 people have been killed, and about 200 are still missing following the June 3rd eruptions of a volcano in Guatemala. Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) erupted twice, with the eruptions lasting for over 16 hours and devastating surrounding towns with fast-moving molten rock and gas. San Miguel Los Lote saw some… Read more »

Trump tries loosening ZTE sanctions
(but House committee heads him off)

On April 16th, the U.S. Commerce Department announced sanctions on the Chinese corporation ZTE, effective for 7 years. The sanctions were in response to the company’s violations of U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran and North Korea. The telecommunications company — the second-largest in China, according to the New York Times  — had previously agreed… Read more »

Another One Bites the Dust: Tillerson Fired

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired last week, replaced by former CIA Director Mike Pompeo. President Trump announced the move on Twitter Tuesday morning, tweeting: “Mike Pompeo, Director of CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel… Read more »

In Search of a Fix for “Dreamers”

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Cannot believe how BADLY DACA recipients have been treated by the Democrats…totally abandoned! Republicans are still working hard.” His tweet came the morning after the Senate failed to pass any of the 3 bills proposed to replace DACA. The President’s tweet, however, is in direct contradiction to his actions…. Read more »

John Perry Barlow
Defender of the Internet

John Perry Barlow, an influential defender of the open Internet, died in his sleep on February 7, at the age of 70. Barlow was a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has, since its founding, been the industry leader in cyber activism and the defense of Internet civil liberties. In a statement released… Read more »

Puerto Rico Begs for Help

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria brought high winds, intense flooding, and extensive damage to Puerto Rico, causing something between $45 and $95 billion in damage. More than a week later, the area is still struggling to restore any semblance of daily life. The Category 4 hurricane took at least 16 lives, but that number… Read more »