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Author: Common Dreams

A Propaganda Mill: Allegations surface about Facebook using GOP firm for dirty tricks campaign

The new revelation that Facebook hired one of the largest Republican consulting firms in the United States to carry out a public attack campaign against rival platform TikTok was seen as further evidence of the social media behemoth’s growing alliance with the rightwing political apparatus. According to the Washington Post, which first reported Facebook’s move, the campaign against TikTok orchestrated by Targeted Victory, a digital-first agency based in Virginia, “includes placing Op-Eds and letters to the editor in major regional news outlets, promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook, and pushing to draw political...

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A Domestic Threat: The FBI ignored White Nationalists while spying continuously on Muslim Americans

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson excused one of the leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers organization implicated in the January 6th insurrection by describing him as “a devout Christian.” It is safe to surmise that he would not have offered a similar defense for a Muslim American. Since September 11th, and even before that ominous date, they have suffered bitterly from discrimination and hate crimes in this country, while their religion has been demonized. During the first year of the Trump administration, about half of Muslim Americans polled said that they had personally experienced some type of discrimination. No matter...

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A false political unity: Why the mythical vision of bipartisanship is an actual threat to progress

After the initial flush of optimism from the passage of the landmark infrastructure bill, the Biden Presidency is starting the year on a political down note. Both the “Build Back Better” and voting reform acts have stalled seemingly indefinitely. Just as troubling his approval rating and the public’s overall optimism about the nation’s direction have plummeted to near historic lows. Biden’s response is as predictable as it is lamentable. He has blamed the scourge of hyper-partisanship and mourns the golden age of political bipartisanship that reigned supreme in the recent past. He lamented on a popular late-night show that...

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Falling short of its mission: How NPR can better support its local affiliates against commercial radio

The reasons Congress created NPR (National Public Radio) under the Nixon Administration was to fill the yawning gaps of commercial radio in local, national, and international news coverage and to give voice to the people, without ads. It was to be publicly funded by taxpayers. Almost 51 years later, NPR is now funded heavily by national corporations, with its local affiliates soliciting local business advertisements. Apart from excellent features around the country and the world, NPR should give voice to what civic groups are doing to improve our country locally and nationally. NPR is heavy on entertainment and entertainers...

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A freefall into poverty: UN report estimates that war has destroyed $100B worth of Ukraine’s infrastructure

While peace talks and humanitarian aid for civilians remain top global priorities amid Russia’s ongoing assault of Ukraine, a United Nations report released on March 16 estimates that over $100 billion in damage has already been done to the country’s battered infrastructure. As more than three million Ukrainians have fled and the death toll and war crimes allegations against Russia have mounted, the invading forces have severely damaged infrastructure across Ukraine, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). “Early UNDP projections suggest that already in the short- to medium-term, the development setbacks for Ukraine will be significant,” the...

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Fears of global food crisis: Putin’s assault on Ukraine has disrupted the output of a major “breadbasket”

As Russia intensifies its war on Ukraine, agricultural output from one of the world’s most productive growing regions has ground to a halt, causing the price of key food staples and fertilizer to approach record levels and sparking fears of worsening global hunger. “The escalation of the conflict is now putting markets into serious turmoil,” the Agricultural Market Information System said Monday in a report. “Any serious disruption of production and exports from these suppliers will no doubt drive up prices further and erode food security for millions of people.” David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program...

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