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Alessandro Paronuzzi, Nuove storie naturali. Come sviluppare una relazione con i nostri animali.

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Il titolo rimanda intenzionalmente alle “Storie naturali” di Jules Renard, un classico della letteratura anticipatore dell’osservazione etologica.
L’intento di Alessandro Paronuzzi, veterinario che abitualmente tiene incontri nelle scuole, è di formare persone con una forte coscienza animalista, in grado di condividere un rapporto felice uomo-animale.

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Alessandro Paronuzzi, Nuove storie naturali. Come sviluppare una relazione con i nostri animali.
Collana Ecoalfabeto, Stampa Alternativa, 2010
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L’opera viene rilasciata sotto licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione-Non commerciale-Non opere derivate.

Il testo integrale è disponibile in formato PDF (2,1MB). Per aprirlo occorre Adobe Acrobat Reader, software gratuito.

Download (PDF, 2.05MB)

Pino Casamassima, Armi in pugno. La storia del Nord Est tra politica, terrorismo e criminalità.

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Le Brigate Rosse, la prima volta che uccisero, lo fecero a Padova, la città che assisteva alla nascita dell’Autonomia organizzata e ai teoremi giudiziari che portarono al processo 7 aprile. Ma il Veneto fu anche la culla dell’eversione neofascista, quella di Ordine Nuovo, che metteva le bombe sui treni e che inaugurò gli anni di piombo con la strage di piazza Fontana.
E sempre nel Nord Est nacquero e si svilupparono fenomeni criminali autoctoni, come la mafia del Brenta di Felice Maniero. Un’area che passò dalla miseria e dall’emigrazione alla prosperità economica coltivando alcuni dei fenomeni che hanno fatto la storia dell’intera nazione.

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Pino Casamassima, Armi in pugno. La storia del Nord Est tra politica, terrorismo e criminalità.
Collana Senza finzione, Stampa Alternativa, 2010
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L’opera viene rilasciata sotto licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione-Non commerciale-Non opere derivate.

Il testo integrale è disponibile in formato PDF (614 KB). Per aprirlo occorre Adobe Acrobat Reader, software gratuito.

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Cristiano recibe 90.000 dólares después que había sido despedido ilegalmente por evangelizar

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Un hombre irlandés fue recompensado recientemente con 94.290 dólares por haber sido despedido ilegalmente por lo que una vez fue el Consejo del Condado del Sur de Tipperary donde él había evangelizado en varias ocasiones durante la jornada laboral.

El cristiano John McAteer, había sido advertido durante dos años que no …
Tratto da noticiacristiana.org e protestantedigital.org

La generación ‘millennial’ le dice no al matrimonio, revela estudio

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Según un reciente estudio, la generación ‘millennial’ (nacidos entre las décadas de 1980 y 2000) no desea casarse.

Los adultos jóvenes de hoy en día van en camino a tener los índices más bajos de matrimonio para cuando cumplan 40 años, en comparación con cualquier otra generación anterior.

Si el …
Tratto da noticiacristiana.org e protestantedigital.org

Menos del 3% de la población de EE.UU. se identifica como homosexual

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A pesar de que el público estadounidense cree que la cifra es mucho mayor, menos del 3 por ciento de la población de EE.UU. se identifica como gay, lesbiana o bisexual, según la primera encuesta del gobierno a gran escala que mide la orientación sexual de los estadounidenses, llevada a …
Tratto da noticiacristiana.org e protestantedigital.org

Cristianos chinos impiden retiro de una cruz pero no el cierre de su iglesia

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Pekín.-La Policía china se enfrentó con un grupo de manifestantes cristianos que consiguieron evitar la retirada de una cruz en una iglesia en el condado de Pingyang, en la provincia de Zhejiang, según informaron los testigos que criticaron la presión policial.

Los altercados empezaron a las dos de la mañana y …
Tratto da noticiacristiana.org e protestantedigital.org

Photo: Watching Rockets Flying Over Gaza from Space

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From outer space, astronaut Alexander Gerst watches as Gaza erupts in flames. He tweets:

My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel pic.twitter.com/jNGWxHilSy

— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014

This photograph has been retweeted 33K times so far.

Written by Amira Al Hussaini
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Da: www.globalvoicesonline.org – This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Deadly Day in Gaza as a UN-run School That Was Used as a Shelter, is Shelled

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All of Kamal's family members with him at shelled UN school died. His mother, 2 brothers, sister and stepmother, tweets @sharifkouddous

All of [Hussein]‘s family members with him at shelled UN school died. His mother, 2 brothers, sister and stepmother, tweets @sharifkouddous

A total of 800 Palestinians have so far been killed and more than 5,200 injured since clashes between Israel and Gaza started 18 days ago. Today, a UN-run school in Beit Hanun, serving as a refugee centre for Gazans, who have no where to flee, was shelled.

Israel and the Palestinians are exchanging blame on who hit the school, which killed 15 Palestinians and left more than 200 injured.

The school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza is the third to be hit this week. As civilian death tolls mount, Israel’s military says it warned Gazans living in targeted areas to leave, but Palestinians have no where to go.

The vast majority of Gazans cannot leave Gaza. The narrow 40-kilometer-long coastal strip is surrounded by fences and concrete walls along its north and east with Israel and on its south border with Egypt.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 called Gaza “an open-air prison.” Excessive restrictions from Israel in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank is why most of the world and the United Nations considers this territory “occupied.”

The UNRWA reports on its official Twitter account:

In the 3rd such incident, an UNRWA school in Deir Al Balah sheltering approx. 1500 people took a hit from Israeli fire yesterday morning.

— UNRWA (@UNRWA) July 24, 2014

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, who is based in Jerusalem, says Israel knew of where the UNRWA shelter was. In a series of tweets, he explains:

Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army RT

— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) July 24, 2014

And he adds:

Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army RT

— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) July 24, 2014

Over the course of the day UNRWA tried 2 coodinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians 2 leave & it was never granted RT

— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) July 24, 2014

While, journalist Kristen Chick, who is in Gaza, tells her 19.3K followers:

IDF has implied a Hamas rocket may have misfired and hit school at Beit Hanoun. Witnesses described multiple explosions from tank shelling

— Kristen Chick (@kristenchick) July 24, 2014

On Twitter, ITN cameraman Sean Swan shares this heart-breaking photograph of children wounded in the attack while a paramedic treats them:

Scores killed in attack on a school being used as a shelter #Gaza. pic.twitter.com/kAJEefoQvA

— sean swan (@Irishcamera) July 24, 2014

He shares another photograph of a three-month-old baby being treated after suffering from sharpnel wounds in the attack on the school:

3 Month old Baby with Shrapnel wounds being treated after school being used as Shelter is attacked #gaza. pic.twitter.com/o5FR229Kzt

— sean swan (@Irishcamera) July 24, 2014

And independent journalist Sharif Kouddous shares this photograph of a young Palestinian, Hussein, who lost his entire family in the attack, with his 76.2K followers on Twitter:

All of Kamal's family members with him at shelled UN school died. His mother, 2 brothers, sister and stepmother pic.twitter.com/vg4vxItbsZ

— Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous) July 24, 2014

This photograph has been retweeted at least 1.1K times at the time of writing.

Many journalists lay the blame on Israel, doubting its version of events that Hamas projectile fell on the school.

Journalist Deema Khatib tells her 281K followers:

لا بالله عن جد؟ لهون وصلت؟ قال الجيش الاسرائيلي إنه ليس متأكداً إن كان هو من ضرب مدرسة الأنروا أم حماس! ليكون حماس صار عندها إف١٦ وهيك شغلات

— Dima Khatib أنا ديمة (@Dima_Khatib) July 24, 2014

Seriously? Is this what we are supposed to believe? The IDF says it is not sure whether it has hit the UNRWA school or Hamas! Is it possible that Hamas has F16s and similar weapons?

However, the UNRWA says it has “no evidence to suggest” the school was being used by militants as human shields — Israel's excuse to bomb facilities.

NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel reports to his 163K followers on Twitter:

UNRWA says it has “no evidence to suggest that” school was used by militants as human shields

— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) July 24, 2014

In a follow up tweet, he wonders:

IDF suggests Hamas rocket/rockets hit school. it would mean five inaccurate rockets all hit a small location in rapid succession. likely?

— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) July 24, 2014

Meanwhile, the death toll across Gaza continues to pile up.

Ahmed Al-Faraa from Gaza tweets to his 5,121 followers:

#Breaking | 6 martyrs including Child and 30 injuries and #Israeli warplanes raids on #GazaStrip #GazaUnderAttack

— Ahmed Al-Farra (@AhmdFarra) July 24, 2014

Omar Ghraieb tweets to his 22.7K followers:

Children r being killed, viciously, every day, latest was Ibrahim Omar, 2.5 years, may he #RIP <3 #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack

— Omar Ghraieb (@Omar_Gaza) July 24, 2014

And WhateverInGaza describes the situation as follows:

One thng Israel is practicing & enjoying is attacking many areas by different weaponry at the same minute. #GazaUnderAttack #terroistisrael

— WhateverInGaza (@WhateverInGaza) July 24, 2014

Written by Amira Al Hussaini
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Da: www.globalvoicesonline.org – This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Bahrain’s Shia Muslims Tense as Politicians and Preachers Pledge Allegiance to ISIS

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Picture from the profile of Turky Albinali, a Bahraini scholar who joined ISIS @turky_albinali

For Bahrain's majority Shia-muslim population, five recent events in their small island country ruled by Sunni-muslim al-Khalifa monarchs, have them on edge.

These events involved powerful Sunni-Muslims openly making dangerous sectarian comments in public without consequence, and swearing allegiance to the anti-Shia extremist group ISIS, which recently declared a caliphate (Islamic state) in Iraq. 

Back in 2011, Bahrainis, the majority of whom are Shia-Muslims, complained of political and economic marginalization in the country of 1.3 million people, but recent events suggest a growing trend towards complete marginalization.  

The military cracked down on Shia-Muslim-led protests against the Sunni-Muslim government in 2011, since then Bahrain has been accused of human rights abuses targeting Shia-Muslims. Low-level protests have continued to simmer. According to Mark Lynch at Foreign Policy magazine in 2011, ”the Bahraini regime responded not only with violent force, but also by encouraging a nasty sectarianism in order to divide the popular movement and to build domestic and regional support for a crackdown.”

Among the tools used to sow the seeds of sectarianism that led to the following five incidents, empowering preachers from the country's small extremist Salafist population has been at the top of the list. Besides being anti-Shia, Salafi is a puritanical Sunni sect that has inspired extremist militant organisations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

1. Bahraini preacher pledges allegiance to ISIS

Earlier this month, in a YouTube video Turky Albinalim a Bahraini Sunni preacher, endorsed anti-Shia ISIS, which is accused by the Human Rights Watch of abducting, killing and expelling minorities, including Shia-muslims. Albinali appeared in video declaring his loyalty to ISIS's new khalifa (head of caliphate) Abubaker Albaghdadi [in Arabic]:

 2. Bahrain's top Shia cleric is declared an infidel

Last week, at a press conference of a powerful former military officer, Adel Fulaifel, who has been accused of torture, announced that Bahrain's highest Shia cleric Isa Qassim is an infidel. He added that he “will be hunted like a rat.” He was responding to Isa Qassim call to start a joint Shia-Sunni cleric council. Earlier this year, Bahrain closed the country's main Shia cleric council, a move that started a series of protests around the country.

BahrainMomo tweeted to her 21K followers saying:

استقبال مشايخ تكفيرية و فليفل يكفر ويهدد بقتل علماء الشيعة واليوم اغلاق المجلس العلمائي الشيعي من قبل النظام ! سياسة دولة سلفية داعشية

— أم أحمد البحرينية (@bahrainmomo) July 15, 2014

Welcoming extremists clerics, Fulaifel threatens to kill Shia clerics and today the regime closes the clerics council! A policy of a Salafist state like ISIS.

3. US diplomat kicked out, radical Saudi preacher welcomed

Two days before Fulaifel made his threat, a US diplomat was kicked out of the small oil-rich kingdom, which the US navy has been used as a military base for years. A day later, the controversial sectarian and radical Saudi preacher Mohamed Alarefe was welcomed into Bahrain to give a series of sermons to young Bahrainis, despite the outcry made by netizens. The Saudi preacher has been classified as a threat to the UK.

4. Politician openly supports ISIS

Former member of parliament Nasser Alfadhala who will be contesting the next election from the Al-Menbar party, (which the UK suspects of links to terrorism) openly supported the ISIS, in this YouTube video last month:

«نحن نقف مع هذه الثورة التي صبرت طويلاً وطال انتظارها، لطرد هذا الظلم وهذا الخبث، الذي تدعمه بلاد الفرس، من أجل إذلال بلاد الرشيد، بلاد العزة والكرامة»

We support this revolution [by ISIS] ]that has been initiated to kick out the injustice and malice supported by the land of Persia to humiliate the land of Rasheed (Historic caliphate) the land of glory and dignity.

Twitter user iProtester replied to that by publishing a picture of Alfadhala with flags of ISIS in the background, close to the American embassy:

وقفة قانونية مرخصة لـ #داعش_البحرين (بأعلام منظمة غير إرهابية) أمام السفارة الأمريكية بقيادة ناصر الفضالة. pic.twitter.com/zGv9lslNfp

— iProtestor | Bahrain (@iProtestor) July 19, 2014

An authorized gathering with the flags of a non terrorist organization (sarcasm) in front of the American embassy led by Nasser Alfadhala

Journalist and satirist Faisal Hayyat tweeted:

تمت جرجرة خليل المرزوق بين النيابة والمحاكم بسبب رفع علم الإئتلاف،يا ترى هل سيتم جرجرة ناصر الفضالة بسبب رفع أعلام داعش؟ #مي_مقبولة #البحرين

— رياضيونا رهائن (@FaisalHayyat) July 18, 2014

Khalil Almarzooq was taken to prosecution and court for raising the flag of the youth coalition will Nasser Alfadhala go through the same for raising the flag of ISIS?

Almarzooq is a leading member of the largest opposition group Alwefaq. He was arrested and put to trial for holding a flag of the Bahraini February 14 youth coalition, which led protests in 2011.

5. Bahraini soldier defects

Last week, Sunni-Muslim military officer Mohamed Albinali or Abu Isa Alsalmi as he was dubbed by his fellow soldiers,  tweeted:

أنا محمد بن عيسى البنعلي، ملازم في الداخلية البحرينية أعلن عن #انشقاقي عن هذا النظام منذ اكثر من أربعة أشهر #البحرين

— أبو عيسى السلمي (@bu3utbah) July 15, 2014

I Mohamed Isa Albinali, a lieutenant in Bahrain's ministry of interior declare my defection from this regime since over four months.

Bahrain's ministry of interior have been criticized for it's sectarian selection policy and it's use of systematic torture.

This month, even though the financial watchdog IMF warned Bahrain it might be unable to pay government employees by 2017, the tourism-dependent country banned three-star hotels from selling alcohol or hosting music bands. Bahrain hosted 2 million tourists every year. 

In 2011, when popular New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof visited Bahrain he described it as a quasi-apartheid state. But as supporters of ISIS and preachers of hate and militancy like Fulaifel, Alfadhala and Alarefe are given more free reign in Bahrain, it increasingly seems like a complete apartheid state, meant to economically, politically and socially marginalize the country's majority Shia-Muslims.

Written by Noor Mattar
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Da: www.globalvoicesonline.org – This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

USA: la lenta agonia di Joseph Wood

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di Michele Paris

Il sistema penale statunitense responsabile delle esecuzioni capitali, continua a far registrare raccapriccianti episodi di condanne a morte che si risolvono in sofferenze atroci per i condannati, nonostante siano ormai ben noti i rischi che comportano le attuali modalità di somministrazione dell’iniezione letale. L’ultimo detenuto nel braccio della morte a essere giustiziato al termine di un angosciante procedimento di tortura è stato Joseph Rudolph Wood, condannato ventitré anni fa per gli omicidi della fidanzata e del padre di quest’ultima, avvenuti nel 1989 a Tucson, in Arizona.

Presso il penitenziario statale dell’Arizona a Florence, lo stesso Wood è stato ucciso nel primo pomeriggio di mercoledì dopo una serie di inutili appelli legali e al termine di una lunga agonia nella “camera della morte”.

Secondo il racconto dei fatti di un reporter della Associated Press che ha assistito all’esecuzione, il personale del carcere ha iniziato la procedura inserendo come di consueto un ago in entrambe le braccia del condannato. Dopo una decina di minuti dalla somministrazione delle sostanze letali, Wood ha iniziato a respirare affannosamente “con una frequenza di 5 / 12 secondi” e “per centinaia di volte”.

Le condizioni del condannato sono state controllate ripetutamente dal personale incaricato e uno degli addetti ha ad un certo punto aperto il microfono per comunicare agli spettatori nella stanza di fronte che Wood era ancora sedato, consentendo però ai presenti di sentire il suo ansimare.

La procedura è durata alla fine 117 minuti, durante i quali i legali di Wood hanno addirittura avuto il tempo di presentare (inutilmente) un appello di emergenza a un tribunale federale e alla Corte Suprema statale dell’Arizona per cercare di fermare l’esecuzione.

Dai documenti allegati alla richiesta risulta che il detenuto aveva mosso la bocca circa 6 minuti dopo essere stato dichiarato sedato dallo staff del carcere e che a 70 minuti dalla somministrazione dell’iniezione letale continuava a respirare in maniera pesante con ampi movimenti del torace.

Per una portavoce del procuratore generale dell’Arizona, Wood avrebbe soltanto “russato” durante l’esecuzione, a dimostrazione che era in uno stato di sonno profondo. L’avvocato di Wood, Dale Baich, ha tuttavia espresso più di un dubbio sul fatto che il suo assistito fosse incosciente, per poi sottolineare come una procedura durata quasi due ore, contro i pochi minuti solitamente necessari per giustiziare in questo modo i condannati, sia in ogni caso tutt’altro che normale.

Al termine dell’esecuzione, la Corte Suprema statale ha ordinato il sequestro delle quantità residue dei farmaci utilizzati, mentre l’ufficio del governatore ha chiesto al Dipartimento delle Carceri dell’Arizona di condurre un’indagine sull’accaduto. La governatrice, la repubblicana ultra-reazionaria Jan Brewer, ha però già chiarito quale sia la posizione dei vertici dello stato del sud-ovest degli Stati Unit, dichiarando che “di certo, il detenuto Wood è morto in maniera legale e, secondo i testimoni e lo staff medico, non ha sofferto”.

La responsabilità di quanto è accaduto mercoledì nel carcere di Florence è da attribuire anche alla stessa governatrice dell’Arizona, ai tribunali dello Stato e alla Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti. Pur essendoci stati vari precedenti negli scorsi mesi di esecuzioni condotte in maniera disastrosa, le autorità legali e politiche con il potere quanto meno di sospendere la condanna hanno infatti deciso di lasciare procedere la macchina della morte.

Nel caso di Wood, sabato scorso la Corte d’Appello federale per il Nono Circuito con competenza sull’Arizona aveva accolto la richiesta dei legali del detenuto, emettendo un’ingiunzione per fermare il boia. Martedì, però, con un parere fatto appena di tre frasi, la Corte Suprema di Washington ha cancellato la sospensione dell’esecuzione, portata così a termine il giorno successivo.

L’appello di Wood era motivato dal rifiuto delle autorità penitenziarie dell’Arizona di rendere nota la provenienza delle sostanze utilizzate nella somministrazione dell’iniezione letale. Questo stato, prevede l’impiego di due farmaci – Midazolam e Idromorfone – simili a quelli utilizzati nell’esecuzione a gennaio in Ohio di Dennis McGuire, il quale prima di morire aveva evidenziato sintomi di soffocamento.

Ribaltando una sentenza di primo grado e prima dell’intervento decisivo della Corte Suprema USA, tre giudici della Corte d’Appello federale con una maggioranza di 2 a 1 avevano sospeso l’esecuzione di Joseph Wood fino a quando lo stato dell’Arizona, nel rispetto del Primo Emendamento della Costituzione americana, non avesse fornito informazioni sul reperimento delle sostanze letali.

Molti degli stati americani che ancora prevedono la pena di morte da qualche tempo hanno visto esaurirsi le scorte dei medicinali tradizionalmente usati nelle iniezioni letali e che avevano garantito una certa affidabilità delle procedure di morte. Ciò è dovuto allo stop delle forniture dai produttori europei proprio a causa dell’utilizzo delle sostanze in questione nelle esecuzioni capitali.

Le autorità statali hanno allora ripiegato su soluzioni alternative, impiegando mix di farmaci mai testati in precedenza, spesso reperiti presso fornitori non certificati, con il rischio concreto di infliggere sofferenze equiparabili a torture ai condannati a morte, in violazione dell’Ottavo Emendamento della Costituzione che proibisce punizioni “crudeli e inusuali”.

Per evitare fastidi e prevenire proteste o boicottaggi contro i nuovi fornitori, gli stessi stati hanno approvato svariate leggi volte a tenere segreta la provenienza dei nuovi farmaci, innescando però una valanga di cause legali.

In un sistema legale brutale e vendicativo come quello degli Stati Uniti, i rischi di infliggere vere e proprie torture ai detenuti nell’esecuzione della più barbara delle punizioni non hanno minimamente toccato la gran parte dei politici e dei giudici. Tanto è vero che nel solo 2014 gli episodi raccapriccianti sono stati numerosi.

Il caso più grave finora registrato è stato forse quello di Clayton Lockett, morto in aprile in un carcere dell’Oklahoma in seguito ad arresto cardiaco dopo 43 minuti trascorsi nel tragico tentativo di somministrargli sostanze di più che dubbia efficacia.

Negli ultimi sette anni vari stati americani hanno abolito la pena di morte (New Jersey e New York nel 2007; New Mexico nel 2009; Illinois nel 2011; Connecticut nel 2012; Maryland nel 2013), mentre la percentuale della popolazione favorevole alle esecuzioni capitali è in continua discesa, se non altro per i costi legali che comporta e la percentuale non trascurabile di errori giudiziari. Inoltre, settimana scorsa un tribunale federale aveva giudicato incostituzionale il sistema della pena di morte nello stato della California a causa delle sue evidenti inefficienze.

Ciononostante, la classe dirigente americana continua in buona parte a promuovere la pena capitale, coerentemente con la realtà di un sistema giudiziario repressivo e violento nella cui rete cadono in grandissima parte gli appartenenti alle classi sociali più svantaggiate.

Gli esempi della spietatezza del sistema penale d’oltreoceano sono evidenti quasi ogni giorno, come confermano le recenti rivelazioni sui maltrattamenti e le violenze somministrate regolarmente dai secondini ai detenuti, spesso malati mentali, nel famigerato carcere di Rikers Island a New York oppure l’esecuzione senza pietà in Missouri di John Middleton. Quest’ultimo è stato giustiziato la settimana scorsa senza tenere conto delle evidenti prove del suo ritardo mentale che, secondo la stessa Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti, dovrebbe escludere categoricamente l’emissione di una sentenza capitale.

Tratto da altrenotizie.org

Gaggle by Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, 07/24/14

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Private Residence
Los Angeles, California 

10:33 A.M. PDT

MR. SCHULTZ:  Thank you all for joining us.  I'll just have a brief announcement at the top that the President later today will deliver remarks at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where he will again call for our nation to rally around economic patriotism that says rather than protecting wasteful tax loopholes for a few at the top we should be investing in things like education and job training that grow the economy for everybody. 

Specifically, the President will highlight the need to close one of the country’s most unfair tax loopholes that allows companies to avoid paying taxes here at home and will call on Congress to close it immediately.

With that, I will take your questions.

Q    Eric, can you settle the question of what the President did last night at the hotel?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Sure.  As I mentioned yesterday, the President had a full day of events.  You were with him at each of them.  In fact, you filed 17 pool reports tracking each one of his movements.  (Laughter.)  Last night, the President didn’t have any public events or leave the hotel.  If he had you would have been with him.

Q    Was he meeting with anyone for dinner?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, he didn’t leave the hotel.  And if he would, you would have been with him.  And he didn’t have any public events. 

Q    The Speaker’s office put out a bit of prebuttal to the President’s speech today.  They say that these companies aren't taking advantage of a tax loophole to move overseas.  They say it's not a loophole, but they’re doing this because of the high tax rate.  What’s your response?

MR. SCHULTZ:  To quote Josh Earnest, I don't think that claim withstands scrutiny.  Right now, a few big corporations are shifting their residence for tax purposes outside the country to get out of paying taxes even though they keep their headquarters and most of their business inside the United States.  These transactions are known as inversions.  And the President today will call on Congress to take action to close this specific loophole immediately.

Q    Democrats are divided over whether to take action on inversions.  On Capitol Hill, we have reports saying that today. What is the White House going to do to convince members of their own party to take action?  How likely do you all think legislation is?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Sure, I'd say a few things.  One, we support congressional proposals that have been proposed recently that would make the effective date for action retroactive to early May 2014, given the significant upsurge in activity in this area to date.

As you know, Senators Wyden and Levin and Congressman Levin and Van Hollen have supported legislation to address this abuse of our tax system and make it retroactive.  The President today will call on Republicans in Congress to do what they did 10 years ago when the Republican-led Congress cracked down on corporations moving to offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and do it again.  I'll note that that happened in 2004 and signed into law by a Republican President.

Q    Will the President accept campaign contributions from companies or executives, companies that practice corporate inversions or complete those kinds of mergers?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, the President today is calling on Congress to close this tax loophole.

Q    Does he believe that there’s any realistic chance of it happening, given the track record with Congress?  Or is this another thing that the President proposes and doesn't actually happen?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Isaac, you’re so cynical.  (Laughter.)  I understand the basis for the cynicism, but we do believe that this, again, is an issue that has garnered bipartisan support in the past and we don't understand why it wouldn’t again this time.

Q    Eric, apropos having a basis for cynicism, the reason we were pressing you yesterday and today about the President’s plans last night is because the last time we did this, he had dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg.  Is there a reason you can't just tell us what he did in his hotel, even though it wasn’t a pool movement that we were involved in?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, I understand the interest here.  Our obligation to you is to let you know when there is a public movement or even a private meeting you are often — you often join us for.  There was no public events, and he stayed in the hotel after a long busy day last night.

Q    — economic patriotism, is he suggesting that the CEOs that do these transactions are unpatriotic?

MR. SCHULTZ:  We believe that this is a loophole — let me back up.  The middle class in this country, the President believes, is the engine for economic growth.  And we believe that we should be supporting businesses and working people who contribute to that cause here at home.  That's why when companies are using loopholes to take advantage and reduce the tax base, we believe that should be something addressed; that should be something addressed immediately; that has garnered bipartisan support in the past from Democrats and Republicans, signed into law under a Republican President.  We don't see any reason why that can't happen again.

Q    Does he agree with Senator Reid’s characterization that these are corporate citizenship scams?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I have not spoken with the President about Senator Reid’s statements on this.  But I do think the President has made clear these companies are essentially renouncing their American citizenship by shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes, even as they benefit from all the advantage of being here in America.  That's precisely what we mean by economic patriotism.

Q    Do you have any more on the meeting tomorrow with Central American leaders?  Is there anything you can tell us about what precisely the President is going to ask of them, and any development that might come out of that?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I don’t have a readout of a future meeting yet, so as soon as we have more guidance on that, I will get that to you.

Q    Eric, I just wanted to know about the White House’s developing guidelines on corporate drones — on privacy rights on drones — can you talk a little bit about that?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I have seen that story, but, unfortunately, I don’t have any comment right now for you.  What we have said on this issue in the past is that the interagency continues to develop and review policies concerning the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems, and that remains that case.

Q    Just a quick sanctions question.  The EU is coming out with a sanctions list.  Is the U.S. going to add to that?  And what’s your take on the EU sanctions?  Are they sufficiently severe?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Thank you, Lisa.  We welcome reports that the EU is likely adding additional names to its sanctions list today, but I don’t have any details for you at this moment.  We also understand they’re continuing discussions to impose further, more significant measures.  I know those preparations continue for more robust measures.  We anticipate some of their names will overlap with those already sanctioned — that we have already sanctioned, and we will look closely at that list when it comes out. 

Q    Eric, can we go back to economic patriotism for a second?  Are companies that are not doing what the President wants here and people who are not supporting that legislation not economically patriotic?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I appreciate the question, Isaac.  I would just again reiterate that when companies are renouncing their American citizenship by shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes even as they benefit from all the advantages of being here in America that raises significant questions.  And that’s something that can be addressed very quickly by Congress, as they did in 2004, again signed into law by a Republican President. 

Q    Can you tell us what the administration is doing to make sure that the supplemental gets passed?  It sounds like some Republicans are saying the White House is not actually actively pursuing or working to get that passed.  And it sounds like it’s not going to happen before the recess. 

MR. SCHULTZ:  I’m not going to prognosticate, but I will tell you I take issue with the characterization that the White House isn’t working aggressively on this.  We sent a letter a few weeks ago outlining our request.  We’ve heard a lot of concerns expressed by Republicans in Congress.  We hope that those concerns are backed up by action, because we need to surge resources to the border in order to address the problem.

Q    And if it doesn’t happen by the recess, will you guys transfer funds to cover the period until Congress returns to provide more resources?
MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, our belief is that Congress must act. 

END  
10:42 A.M. PDT

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Gaggle by Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, 07/24/14

24-lug-14

Private Residence
Los Angeles, California 

10:33 A.M. PDT

MR. SCHULTZ:  Thank you all for joining us.  I'll just have a brief announcement at the top that the President later today will deliver remarks at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where he will again call for our nation to rally around economic patriotism that says rather than protecting wasteful tax loopholes for a few at the top we should be investing in things like education and job training that grow the economy for everybody. 

Specifically, the President will highlight the need to close one of the country’s most unfair tax loopholes that allows companies to avoid paying taxes here at home and will call on Congress to close it immediately.

With that, I will take your questions.

Q    Eric, can you settle the question of what the President did last night at the hotel?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Sure.  As I mentioned yesterday, the President had a full day of events.  You were with him at each of them.  In fact, you filed 17 pool reports tracking each one of his movements.  (Laughter.)  Last night, the President didn’t have any public events or leave the hotel.  If he had you would have been with him.

Q    Was he meeting with anyone for dinner?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, he didn’t leave the hotel.  And if he would, you would have been with him.  And he didn’t have any public events. 

Q    The Speaker’s office put out a bit of prebuttal to the President’s speech today.  They say that these companies aren't taking advantage of a tax loophole to move overseas.  They say it's not a loophole, but they’re doing this because of the high tax rate.  What’s your response?

MR. SCHULTZ:  To quote Josh Earnest, I don't think that claim withstands scrutiny.  Right now, a few big corporations are shifting their residence for tax purposes outside the country to get out of paying taxes even though they keep their headquarters and most of their business inside the United States.  These transactions are known as inversions.  And the President today will call on Congress to take action to close this specific loophole immediately.

Q    Democrats are divided over whether to take action on inversions.  On Capitol Hill, we have reports saying that today. What is the White House going to do to convince members of their own party to take action?  How likely do you all think legislation is?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Sure, I'd say a few things.  One, we support congressional proposals that have been proposed recently that would make the effective date for action retroactive to early May 2014, given the significant upsurge in activity in this area to date.

As you know, Senators Wyden and Levin and Congressman Levin and Van Hollen have supported legislation to address this abuse of our tax system and make it retroactive.  The President today will call on Republicans in Congress to do what they did 10 years ago when the Republican-led Congress cracked down on corporations moving to offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and do it again.  I'll note that that happened in 2004 and signed into law by a Republican President.

Q    Will the President accept campaign contributions from companies or executives, companies that practice corporate inversions or complete those kinds of mergers?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, the President today is calling on Congress to close this tax loophole.

Q    Does he believe that there’s any realistic chance of it happening, given the track record with Congress?  Or is this another thing that the President proposes and doesn't actually happen?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Isaac, you’re so cynical.  (Laughter.)  I understand the basis for the cynicism, but we do believe that this, again, is an issue that has garnered bipartisan support in the past and we don't understand why it wouldn’t again this time.

Q    Eric, apropos having a basis for cynicism, the reason we were pressing you yesterday and today about the President’s plans last night is because the last time we did this, he had dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg.  Is there a reason you can't just tell us what he did in his hotel, even though it wasn’t a pool movement that we were involved in?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, I understand the interest here.  Our obligation to you is to let you know when there is a public movement or even a private meeting you are often — you often join us for.  There was no public events, and he stayed in the hotel after a long busy day last night.

Q    — economic patriotism, is he suggesting that the CEOs that do these transactions are unpatriotic?

MR. SCHULTZ:  We believe that this is a loophole — let me back up.  The middle class in this country, the President believes, is the engine for economic growth.  And we believe that we should be supporting businesses and working people who contribute to that cause here at home.  That's why when companies are using loopholes to take advantage and reduce the tax base, we believe that should be something addressed; that should be something addressed immediately; that has garnered bipartisan support in the past from Democrats and Republicans, signed into law under a Republican President.  We don't see any reason why that can't happen again.

Q    Does he agree with Senator Reid’s characterization that these are corporate citizenship scams?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I have not spoken with the President about Senator Reid’s statements on this.  But I do think the President has made clear these companies are essentially renouncing their American citizenship by shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes, even as they benefit from all the advantage of being here in America.  That's precisely what we mean by economic patriotism.

Q    Do you have any more on the meeting tomorrow with Central American leaders?  Is there anything you can tell us about what precisely the President is going to ask of them, and any development that might come out of that?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I don’t have a readout of a future meeting yet, so as soon as we have more guidance on that, I will get that to you.

Q    Eric, I just wanted to know about the White House’s developing guidelines on corporate drones — on privacy rights on drones — can you talk a little bit about that?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I have seen that story, but, unfortunately, I don’t have any comment right now for you.  What we have said on this issue in the past is that the interagency continues to develop and review policies concerning the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems, and that remains that case.

Q    Just a quick sanctions question.  The EU is coming out with a sanctions list.  Is the U.S. going to add to that?  And what’s your take on the EU sanctions?  Are they sufficiently severe?

MR. SCHULTZ:  Thank you, Lisa.  We welcome reports that the EU is likely adding additional names to its sanctions list today, but I don’t have any details for you at this moment.  We also understand they’re continuing discussions to impose further, more significant measures.  I know those preparations continue for more robust measures.  We anticipate some of their names will overlap with those already sanctioned — that we have already sanctioned, and we will look closely at that list when it comes out. 

Q    Eric, can we go back to economic patriotism for a second?  Are companies that are not doing what the President wants here and people who are not supporting that legislation not economically patriotic?

MR. SCHULTZ:  I appreciate the question, Isaac.  I would just again reiterate that when companies are renouncing their American citizenship by shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes even as they benefit from all the advantages of being here in America that raises significant questions.  And that’s something that can be addressed very quickly by Congress, as they did in 2004, again signed into law by a Republican President. 

Q    Can you tell us what the administration is doing to make sure that the supplemental gets passed?  It sounds like some Republicans are saying the White House is not actually actively pursuing or working to get that passed.  And it sounds like it’s not going to happen before the recess. 

MR. SCHULTZ:  I’m not going to prognosticate, but I will tell you I take issue with the characterization that the White House isn’t working aggressively on this.  We sent a letter a few weeks ago outlining our request.  We’ve heard a lot of concerns expressed by Republicans in Congress.  We hope that those concerns are backed up by action, because we need to surge resources to the border in order to address the problem.

Q    And if it doesn’t happen by the recess, will you guys transfer funds to cover the period until Congress returns to provide more resources?
MR. SCHULTZ:  Again, our belief is that Congress must act. 

END  
10:42 A.M. PDT

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