Obama pushes health care overhaul

At a news conference Tuesday at the White House President Barack Obama called for the creation of a national health care system that would cover the 47 million now without insurance, a clean energy economy, and for the Iranian government to stop its attacks on political opponents.

Atheist group challenges 'prayer station' in City Hall

The city of Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, is the site of a separation of church and state controversy with a Wisconsin-based group, the Freedom from Religion foundation challenging a “prayer station” set up in the town’s City Hall. According to the Detroit Free Press, the station is to offer solace to residents experiencing job loss and other economic woes.

High court upholds Voting Rights Act

Civil rights leaders hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 8 to 1 ruling June 22 upholding Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) and vowed to continue the struggle to protect African Americans, Latinos, and others targeted for voter disenfranchisement.


COMMENTARY 'No one asked us...'

'Doomsday' budget cuts that hurt society's most vulnerable leads one Illinois worker to question if the 'system' is worth preserving. Today I came home from work with another headache, jaw sore from clenching my teeth, drained emotionally and physically. I spent the whole day with people whose lives are being ripped apart. Hours spent trying to answer questions that had no answers, offer encouragement where none was merited, and ultimately knowing I failed on every level.

Oregon workers fight unemployment, cutbacks

The jobless rate in the western region of the U.S. surged to 10.1 percent in May and Oregon topped the list at 12.4 percent with California close behind at 11.5 percent and Nevada at 11.3 percent. Washington State’s jobless rate virtually matched the national rate 9.4 percent. Workers and their allies in Oregon are beginning to fight back. “United for Oregon,” a coalition initiated by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 503 staged a march of several thousand union members and community activists through downtown Portland Sunday June 7 to protest $2 billion in budget cutbacks in the Oregon State budget.

State after state, budget crises loom

Hundreds of thousands nationwide are protesting against state budget shortfalls that could fall on the backs of working families including those at risk of losing badly needed human services at a time where jobs are scarce and unemployment, homelessness and hunger are on the rise.

Stonewall riots: The beginning of the LGBT movement

This Sunday, June 28, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the event largely regarded as a catalyst for the LGBT movement for civil rights in the United States. At the time, there were not many places where people could be openly gay. New York had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public, and private businesses and gay establishments were regularly raided and shut down.

Reviving Latino workforce key to rebuilding America

The recession has hurt all America’s workers, especially Latino workers. Despite their growing political power, Latinos are still at the bottom of the economic ladder. Until the nation enacts policies that help lift Latinos and other communities of color, the economy cannot fully recover, according to a new report.

Climate change brings new diseases

BERLIN, Jun 19 (IPS) - As its name suggests, the West Nile virus, a leading cause of a form of meningitis and a neuro-invasive disease, has until recently been reported mostly in tropical and sub-tropical African regions. But it is now about to become a global virus.

LGBT civil rights groups score another victory

A US Census Bureau spokesperson reportedly told reporters this past week that his organization intends to count officially the number of same-sex married couples for the 2010 census. Steve Jost of the Bureau told reporters Friday, June 19th, 'They will be counted,' he said, 'and they ought to report the way they see themselves. In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country.'

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