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A retired coal miner in eastern Kentucky recently sent me an early Christmas card warning. “Whatever you do,” he wrote, “I prefer dirty coal from Santa Claus instead of the annual drivel of ‘Christmas in Appalachia’ pity.”

Pity, poverty, depravity, coal despair, even the picturesque — name your favorite Appalachian or hillbilly caricature of the Mountain South over the past century.

On Friday, December 20, Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren finally separated herself clearly from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regarding the issue of climate change and global warming.

TransCanada Corporation wants to build the Keystone XL Pipeline to carry oil from Alberta Canada's tar sands to two refineries owned by Koch Industries near the Texas Gulf Coast, for export to Europe. Hillary Clinton has helped to make that happen, while Elizabeth Warren has now taken the opposite side.

With all the clamor over the website woes of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act finally ebbing, let's hope the media can begin to notice some changes in the delivery of health care that will have more far-reaching consequences for health care quality and access long after the sign-up problems are a distant memory.

Saturday, 21 December 2013 22:35

Get Ready for the 2014 Trade Tsunami

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Hard work, smart planning and perseverance made 2013 a year of inspiring fair-trade activism. Vibrant grassroots activism and dogged D.C. advocacy resulted in a new level of public and congressional concern about the perils of Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

While the natural gas industry has long insisted that pipelines are a safe means of transportation, hundreds of accidents have punctuated the shale gas boom of the last five years.

On January 10, 1965, the beat poet Allen Ginsberg led a march for marijuana legalization outside the New York Women’s House of Detention in lower Manhattan. A dozen demonstrators waved placards and chanted slogans, resulting in one of the iconic images of the 1960s: a picture of Ginsberg, snowflakes on his beard and thinning hair, wearing a sign that said "Pot Is Fun." Another picket sign read "Pot Is a Reality Kick."

Following the success of their initial series last summer, a coalition of civil rights groups is partnering again for a 10-city tour of Virginia to raise awareness around justice issues that affect people with criminal records, and to provide direct services. Called the Mobile Justice Tour, the event re-launches on Saturday, December 14, with a focus on three key issues: civil rights restoration for citizens with felony convictions, removing questions about an applicant’s criminal background from initial employment forms, and sentencing reform to end mass incarceration in Virginia.

Four years after the late Sen. Robert Byrd's frank admission that "most members of Congress, like most Americans, oppose the practice" of mountaintop removal mining, "and we may not yet fully understand the effects of mountaintop removal mining on the health of our citizens," 

A billion-dollar showdown is looming in Central America this week as a Calgary-based mining company announced it will sue the country of Costa Rica, infuriating residents who say their sovereignty is being taken away.

Infinito Gold was hoping to operate an open-pit gold mine in the Crucitas region of Costa Rica’s north.

Negotiators fail to close deal amid revelations of internal discord over US corporate bullying. The Obama administration's pro-corporate Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agenda appears to have missed a deadline.

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