UK student leaders reject “partisan” anti-Semitism report | The Electronic Intifada

In an open letter, the student leaders condemn an influential parliamentary committee’s “selective and partisan” report on anti-Semitism in the UK, which was published on Sunday.The NUS itself has also criticized the report’s politicized approach to anti-Semitism.The student leaders say that the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report is an attempt “to delegitimize NUS and discredit Malia Bouattia as its president.”The parliamentary committee is dominated by the governing Conservative Party.Despite admitting there is no evidence that Labour under left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn is any more prone to anti-Semitism than any other party, the report overwhelmingly focuses on the Labour Party.Corbyn on Sunday hit back that the select committee was guilty of “politicizing anti-Semitism” and neglecting to combat it in the Conservative Party.VilificationThe report has also come in for flak over its call to outlaw criticism of Zionism, Israel’s official ideology.First published Sunday night, the open letter has now garnered the signatures of almost 400 student leaders.The select committee’s report claims that Bouattia’s characterization of the University of Birmingham as an outpost of Zionism “smacks of outright racism.”In a 2011 blog post, Bouattia wrote that the leadership of the university’s Jewish society was “dominated by Zionist activists.”The open letter demands a “revised report that is impartial” and the retraction of what it says are false statements about NUS policy on campus anti-Semitism, “along with an apology to those who have been vilified by the inaccuracies and partisan biases it contains.”The report includes a large section on anti-Semitism in UK universities, which mostly focuses on Bouattia.It criticizes her record as a campaigner for Palestinian rights, saying her “choice of language” suggests “a worrying disregard for her duty to represent all sections of the student population and promote balanced and respectful debate.”Bouattia, an advocate of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, has faced attack from right-wing media and Israel lobby groups since she was elected NUS president in April.Singled outIn their open letter, the student leaders say they are “alarmed” at how Bouattia “is being singled out for her views on Israel by the [Home Affairs Select Committee] in its report, and depicted as the source of anti-Semitism in higher education.”On Sunday, an NUS spokesperson said the report “fails to address the reality for students” and that it was “partial and inaccurate in relation to NUS work in tackling anti-Semitism.”Bouattia welcomed parts of the report, saying that its “data on increasing anti-Semitism and targeting of the Jewish community is deeply concerning.”She affirmed that “there is no place for anti-Semitism in the student movement.”The student leaders’ letter said that the report’s focus on the Labour Party and the NUS “casts doubt upon its authors’ intentions.”They reject the parliamentary committee’s recommendation suggesting that “legitimate criticism of Zionism … be considered as hate-crimes by the government, effectively equating them with anti-Semitism.”“Zionism is a political ideology that continues to express itself through the actions of the state of Israel. It is one that is held or rejected by both Jewish people and non-Jewish people,” the student leaders state. “As with all political ideologies, it should be open to discussion, scrutiny and debate.”

Source: UK student leaders reject “partisan” anti-Semitism report | The Electronic Intifada

Donald Trump’s Defiance Is Seen as ‘Colossal Mistake’ That Threatens U.S. Image – The New York Times – For his ego, he is willing to sell out the US!

“What many if not most foreigners admire about us, about the United States, is the durability of our democracy and the fact that we alternate power,” Mr. Burns said. “It’s how we are fundamentally different from Russia and China, and it gives us an enormous advantage.”Mr. Burns, who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton for president, called Mr. Trump’s remarks a flagrant violation of American democratic traditions. “I don’t think we’ve had a serious national leader say that since the Confederate leaders of 1860 who refused to accept the election of Lincoln,” he said.William M. Daley, a former White House chief of staff who was the chairman of Al Gore’s campaign during the 2000 standoff in Florida, said Mr. Trump seemed indifferent to the possibility that his words might weaken trust in the American government, at home and overseas.Mr. Daley said the Gore team had been cautious not to say anything during the Florida recount that might cripple the next president’s legitimacy, to the point that other Democrats criticized them for being overly cautious. Mr. Trump, he said, was taking the opposite approach.“He really has no appreciation for our history, which most of the world looks at with great admiration, as opposed to some banana republic,” Mr. Daley said. On election night, Mr. Daley said, “he could be tweeting at 3 in the morning and trying to undercut the new administration coming in.”

Source: Donald Trump’s Defiance Is Seen as ‘Colossal Mistake’ That Threatens U.S. Image – The New York Times

Abbi Jacobson Didn’t Expect Hillary Clinton to Come on Her Show – The New York Times

Clinton appeared on your show in March. Were you surprised to get her? Yeah! We wrote the episode a year before it came out. Hillary was the only person running at the time — not that we would have ever had another candidate on — but we wrote it not thinking we would ever actually get her on. Afterward, I said in some interview that it wasn’t a political statement, which was a stupid statement to make. Of course it’s a political statement! For us, it felt like we were justifying our show in a different way — it felt historic. Plus, before we shot Hillary, Amy Poehler was her stand-in. She didn’t do the impression.WRITE A COMMENTWere you thinking that you had to be on your best behavior? Like, everybody, put down your joints and detox for 48 hours before she shows up? Yeah. Everyone had to be background-checked. There was Secret Service. It was really intense.Do you think she did it because she watches the show herself or because someone advised her that it would help her reach a certain audience? Listen, I don’t think she and Bill are watching our show. Maybe Chelsea would?

Source: Abbi Jacobson Didn’t Expect Hillary Clinton to Come on Her Show – The New York Times

Argentinian Women Take to the Streets in the Thousands to Protest the Murder of a 16-year-old Girl – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

Women wore black and left workplaces for an hour at midday on Wednesday, “in mourning for all of the dead women, all of the women killed simply for being women, ” as one Ni Una Menos activist described it. They had previously organized on social media under hashtags like #NiUnaMenos (“Not one less” indicating that every day one more woman’s life is lost to violence) and #MiercolesNegro (BlackWednesday).The Argentinian women marching in black are also reminiscent of the victorious Polish women’s protests earlier this month that overturned the government’s ridiculous proposal to ban abortion.The nation-wide protest follows a series of women’s protests, since the march on 3rd June 2015 for the death of fourteen-year-old Chiara Paez and recently, in Rosario, demanding abortion rights. Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has proposed a national plan to combat violence against women in July this year — including measures like a hotline for abuse victims, monitoring of abusers, and shelters for women. Activists have said that this may be a beginning but have astutely placed the focus of the problem as that of machismo (an aggravated masculinity), ingrained into the cultural fabric of Latin America. A woman is murdered every 31 hours in Argentina as many reports note. According to the Secretariat of Human Rights, nineteen women and girls have been murdered in the first eighteen days of October. As in India, Argentinian activists are asking, is violent crime against women on the rise or is it being reported and protested more?

Source: Argentinian Women Take to the Streets in the Thousands to Protest the Murder of a 16-year-old Girl – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

CDC report: STDs reached all-time high in 2015 | CIDRAP – As with TB, you do not take STDs for granted because men forget too easy and have too high a delusion rating.

“Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable, but the new numbers make it clear that many Americans are not getting the preventive services they need,” Donnica Smalls, MA, a health communications specialist with the CDC, told CIDRAP News. “We know that this is the second year in a row that all three reportable STDs have increased substantially.”Researchers called the trends “alarming,” especially because young people ages 15 to 24 were the most likely to report new gonorrhea (50% of all infections) and chlamydia (65%) infections in 2015.”We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, in a CDC press release. “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services—or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”

Source: CDC report: STDs reached all-time high in 2015 | CIDRAP

CDC highlights high-risk Zika areas in South Florida | CIDRAP – not going away – wait till next spring for a major outbreak in the Gulf States

Almost 900 US pregnant women infectedIt its weekly Zika case update today the CDC said infections have been reported in 21 more pregnant women in the continental United States, putting the total at 899. The US territories reported 121 more illnesses in pregnant women, boosting its total to 1,927, most of them from Puerto Rico.The number of Zika-affected pregnancies in the states remained at 25 live births and 5 pregnancy losses, and the CDC has not yet posted the latest totals from the territories.For Zika-infected travelers, 71 more cases were reported from US states, bringing the total to 3,878. The CDC subtracted 1 sexual transmission case from its total, putting that number at 32, and added 1 more Zika-related Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) case, making 14 so far.US territories reported 1,443 more local infections, boosting the total to 27,314 illnesses so far, about 99% in hard-hit Puerto Rico. The number of GBS complications held steady at 40.

Source: CDC highlights high-risk Zika areas in South Florida | CIDRAP