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Author: TheGuardian

An Autocratic Agenda: Distorted “crime wave” narrative follows old playbook of fearmongering

There has been a wave of media coverage this summer about an increase in homicides across the United States, with attention often focused on the same political question: will Americans still want to defund or even reform the police if “violent crime” is on the rise? Anxiety about violent crime is often used to win elections. Police and politicians routinely share misleading, out-of-context crime statistics to advance their agendas. Fearmongering about rising crime has also been used for decades to undermine Black Americans’ protests for civil rights. So it’s important to ask: is this homicide increase actually significant? And...

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Trump’s Big Lie: Research shows the corrosive power of his unsubstantiated stolen election claims

Republicans across the country have embraced a similar refrain as they push for new restrictions on voting. A significant chunk of the American electorate doesn’t have confidence in the results of the 2020 election, they argue, so new laws to restore “integrity” to elections are needed. There is no evidence of widespread fraud or other irregularities in the November 2020 election, which officials said was the “most secure” in American history. Nonetheless, public opinion polls regarding the integrity of the 2020 vote are alarming. Nearly a third of Americans believe Joe Biden won the presidency due to voter fraud,...

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Big Oil’s dirty secrets: Petroleum giants face a reckoning for the devastation caused by fossil fuels

After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes. An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way. Coastal cities struggling to keep rising sea levels at bay, midwestern states watching “mega-rains” destroy crops and homes, and fishing communities losing catches to warming waters, are now demanding the oil conglomerates pay...

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How the Olympic Committee perpetuates inequalities in sports by blocking swim caps for natural black hair

Swimming caps designed for natural black hair created by a black-owned brand will not be allowed at the Olympics. The hats, made by Soul Cap, which previously partnered with Alice Dearing, who qualified to become the first black female swimmer to represent Team GB at the Olympics, have been rejected by the International Swimming Federation (Fina). The body said the caps did not fit “the natural form of the head” and to their “best knowledge the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require … caps of such size and configuration.” Danielle Obe, the founding member of...

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The post-Trump onslaught: America is approaching the point where it can no longer be called a democracy

If Donald Trump’s inaugural address can be summed up in two words, “American carnage,” Joe Biden’s might be remembered for three: “Democracy has prevailed.” The new president, speaking from the spot where just two weeks earlier a pro-Trump mob had stormed the US Capitol, promised that the worst was over in a battered, bruised yet resilient Washington. But now, almost five months later the alarm bells are sounding on American democracy again. Even as the coronavirus retreats, the pandemic of Trump’s “big lie” about a stolen election spreads, manifest in Republicans’ blocking of a commission to investigate the insurrection....

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Wisconsin’s response to the pandemic foreshadows the national battle against vaccine hesitancy

The fight against the coronavirus hit a milestone in the United States when the Biden administration announcing more than half of adult Americans are now fully vaccinated. But big issues remain and perhaps few states illustrate the struggles ahead better than Wisconsin. Vaccination rates in Wisconsin vary widely between rural and urban areas and political, religious and racial divides – a pattern that mirrors the divide across the nation. The state is almost evenly divided, with 47% of its population vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the Wisconsin department of health. That...

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