Protesters Target Nuclear Power Bailout Plan

In New York City, dozens of protesters gathered outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s offices Wednesday to oppose a bailout of New York’s aging nuclear power plants that could cost ratepayers up to $7.6 billion over the next 12 years. Bruce Rosen of the group United for Action says New York should instead turn to clean energy sources like solar and wind to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The New York protest came as a draft budget document seen by the website Axios reveals the Trump administration hopes to slash the Energy Department’s renewable and energy efficiency program by nearly 70 percent.

— source democracynow.org

Brazil farmers say GMO corn no longer resistant to pests

Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday. Producers want four major manufacturers of so-called BT corn seeds to reimburse them for the cost of spraying up to three coats of pesticides this year, said Ricardo Tomczyk, president of Aprosoja farm lobby in Mato Grosso state. Experts in the United States have also warned about corn production prospects because of a growing bug resistance to genetically modified corn. Researchers in Iowa found significant damage from rootworms in corn fields last year.

— source reuters.com

Obama presidential center in Chicago could cost $1.5 billion

Earlier this month former US president Barack Obama spoke in Chicago about his plans to build his presidential center on the city’s impoverished South Side. Astonishingly, when the center is completed by 2021, the accumulated cost of building Obama’s monument to his political legacy could exceed $1 billion dollars. According to NBC Chicago, Obama’s library architects indicate the total project could require up to $1.5 billion, more than three times the amount raised by George W. Bush for his presidential center. Bill Clinton by contrast was only able to raise a meager $164 million. In total, the 13 presidential centers aimed at sanitizing the imperialist legacy of the American presidency cost the public more than $64 million each year.

— source wsws.org

100 Years After Bolshevik Revolution and US Red Scare, California May Lift Ban on Communists in Govt

A century after the Bolshevik Russian Revolution of 1917 spurred the United States to implement its Red Scare policies — where fears of communist espionage and overthrow propelled the country to build up anti-communist hysteria — the state of California at least may finally be rolling back some of those laws.

Lawmakers in the state assembly narrowly approved Monday repealing a law enacted during the second Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s that banned communists from holding jobs in government. The bill must now pass through the Senate.

The Communist Party USA, founded in 1919, has an estimated membership of 5,000 nationwide.

— source telesurtv.net

Sydney bus drivers strike against privatisation

Public bus drivers in parts of Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, carried out a 24-hour strike yesterday, opposing an announcement by the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal-National government on Tuesday that it would privatise the operations of the bus services in the city’s inner-west and south. As many as 1,200 drivers took part in the industrial action from depots in the inner-western suburbs of Leichhardt, Tempe, Kingsgrove and Burwood.

— source wsws.org

Families Who Sheltered Edward Snowden in 2013 Face Deportation

In Hong Kong, three families who offered refuge to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden when he was in hiding in 2013 are facing possible deportation after their asylum claims were rejected. The families are from Philippines and Sri Lanka. Their lawyers say Hong Kong authorities intentionally targeted the three families for expedited immigration screening.

— source democracynow.org

WikiLeaks’ lawyers sharply criticize Laura Poitras’ documentary Risk

The lawyers—Margaret Ratner Kunstler (widow of radical lawyer William Kunstler), Deborah Hrbek, Renata Avila and Melinda Taylor—explain they are speaking out because they believe Risk “places our clients in legal jeopardy.” Poitras’ documentary, they argue, “serves to undermine WikiLeaks just as the Trump administration has announced that it intends to prosecute its journalists, editors and associates.” The most logical conclusion to draw is that Poitras, under pressure from the pro-Democratic Party and left-feminist circles in which she travels, has accommodated herself to the anti-WikiLeaks campaign.

— source wsws.org