Leaked Microsoft Email Chain Reportedly Describes Hellish Workplace for Women

One Microsoft Partner employee reportedly wrote in the email that she “was asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in one meeting in front of HR and other executives,” stating that they didn’t do anything in response to this violation of the company’s policy. “The person said that he did not have to listen and repeated the request a second time,” she wrote, according to Quartz. “No one said anything.” Another female Microsoft employee said that an employee of a Microsoft partner company threatened to kill her during a work trip if she didn’t engage in sexual acts, according to reports. She also reportedly described HR’s alleged complicity and failure to investigate or discipline the involved party. “I raised immediate attention to HR and management,” she wrote, according to Quartz. “My male manager told me that ‘it sounded like he was just flirting’ and I should ‘get over it’. HR basically said that since there was no evidence, and this man worked for a partner company and not Microsoft, there was nothing they could do.”

Source: Leaked Microsoft Email Chain Reportedly Describes Hellish Workplace for Women

No Bolsonaro, visiting Yad Vashem doesn’t make you a ‘friend of the Jews’

Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Israel this week is just the latest step in Netanyahu’s warming relations with a new cadre of authoritarian leaders. 

By Sergio Storch

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a visit to Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, April 2, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a visit to Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, April 2, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s four-day visit to Israel demonstrates just how important the South American country has become to Netanyahu over the past few years.


The trip includes a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s renowned Holocaust museum, which commemorates one of the worst tragedies in history and sets out to ensure that genocide remains a thing of the past. For many, Yad Vashem serves as an inspiring example of how crucial collective memories are for strengthening both the identities and coping mechanisms of groups who have suffered violent persecution.

And yet, the meaning of a visit to Yad Vashem takes a different tone when the guest of honor represents hatred, oppression, and the devaluation of life. Netanyahu didn’t seem to worry about this when he brings Bolsonaro to the museum. After all, it is not the first time Netanyahu has invited a far-right nationalist leader to Yad Vashem; leaders of Hungary, Poland, and the Philippines — all of them known for their extremist policies and rhetoric — have also visited the museum alongside the Israeli prime minister.

Boslsonaro’s visit comes on the heels of his infamous “anti-crime package,” which increases sentences for serious crimes such as robbery, corruption, and embezzlement, and incorporates Bolsonaro’s campaign promise to back police officers who open fire at suspected criminals deemed dangerous by security forces. Brazilian human rights NGOs have labeled the package a “fake solution” that would only increase violence — as well as incarceration rates — among Brazil’s poor.

Netanyahu is no fool. On the eve of Israeli elections, by appearing with Bolsonaro at Yad Vashem he can sell the image of the leader of a 200 million-strong country ostensibly honoring Jewish suffering. But the visit goes beyond simple political calculus: Bolsonaro is just another leader being used in Netanyahu’s attempt to rewrite history and use the Holocaust as an attempt to justify Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a visit to the Western Wall, Jerusalem's Old City, April 1, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a visit to the Western Wall, Jerusalem’s Old City, April 1, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In turn, these heads of state receive the prime minister’s blessing, and a defense against charges of anti-Semitism, despite their hatred for various other minority groups, whether Muslim refugees, African migrants, Mexicans, or indigenous people. Visiting Yad Vashem washes these leaders of their guilt, even as their governments continue to dabble in anti-Semitism, as is the case in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has dabbled in historical revisionism when it comes to the role of both the Poles and the Palestinians in the Holocaust.

The turn toward authoritarian leaders, and their visits to Yad Vashem, are part of Netanyahu’s attempt to create an equivalency between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel. By visiting the museum, Netanyahu’s new allies prove they are Israel’s friends, thus reinforcing Netanyahu’s thesis. Brazilian Jews who supported Bolosonaro during the country’s elections last year did so based on the fabricated idea that he is a “friend of the Jews” — a notion that will only be bolstered by his visit to the museum.

Taken in its broadest meaning, Bolsonaro’s visit to Yad Vashem is another brick in the worldwide construction of a big lie in which Israelis and Brazilian Jews are duped into believing that an alliance of extremists is somehow in their best interest. And although Jewish communal leaders in Brazil have, in varying degrees, supported this doomed alliance, there is still a possibility for change. It is crucial that all those dedicated to human rights, democracy, and justice distance themselves from both the hubris of the Israeli government, and the authoritarian leaders who give it the backing Netanyahu so desperately needs.

Sergio Storch is a human rights activist in Brazil and a leader in the network of Brazilian Jewish Progressives. A version of this article was first published in Portuguese on Brasil 247.

The post No Bolsonaro, visiting Yad Vashem doesn’t make you a ‘friend of the Jews’ appeared first on +972 Magazine.

Corteva fed fungicide to dogs — but that’s not all


Last month, an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed that Corteva Agriscience had been force-feeding agricultural chemicals to three dozen beagles in a yearlong study on a fungicide’s toxicity.

The beagles were slated for euthanization at the completion of the study, after suffering for months. The dogs were kept in stainless steel cages and were force-fed the fungicide, Adavelt,  up to four times daily.

Corteva’s response to the release of the Humane Society’s investigation and the disturbing images and videos that came with it was swift. The corporation noted it would stop the study and “make every effort to rehome the animals.”

Not fooling anyone

It’s unsurprising that Corteva was so quick to try to distance itself from these abhorrent animal-testing practices — after all, they just spent a great amount of time, effort and, no doubt, money on rebranding . . . because Corteva is the agricultural division of DowDuPont.

When the merger between agrichemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont was finalized — despite widespread public outcry and opposition — we saw the new mega-corporation try to wipe their corporate misdeeds from the minds of consumers by unveiling their new name, “Corteva Agrisciences.” Corteva comes from the words “heart” and “nature.” Fitting for a corporation force-feeding fungicides to beagles that they planned to euthanize after a year, no?

These are the types of practices Corteva (DowDuPont) was trying to gloss over with the rebrand, but years of disregard for human and environmental health and community well-being don’t just go away with a name change:

  • In 1965, Dow Chemical introduced chlorpyrifos. Yes, that chlorpyrifos, the neurotoxic pesticide that causes brain damage in children, that we have been working hard to ban for over 10 years.
  • For more than 50 years, Dow (along with Shell Oil) knowingly included a highly toxic waste chemical in their fumigant pesticide products, rather than paying to dispose of it properly. The chemical, 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), is a known carcinogen that made its way into drinking water.
  • Dow’s controversial herbicide cocktail, Enlist Duo — a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate — has been a key actor in the catastrophic superweed crisis plaguing farmers across the country. And not to mention, glyphosate and 2,4-D are problematic chemicals on their own, with exposure connected to cancer and birth defects.
  • DuPont isn’t innocent by any stretch of the imagination either. Its pesticide Imprelis, originally marketed as having a “low environmental impact” ended up killing hundreds and thousands of trees nationwide. In the past, it has hired a fleet of ex-police officers to patrol the farmlands of North America, ensuring that farmers weren’t trying to replant their genetically engineered seeds.

We’re watching

With a track record like that, it makes sense that Dow and DuPont would try to create a  “clean slate” for themselves following the merger. But we’re too smart to fall for it.

I’m sure Corteva (DowDuPont) panicked with the release of the investigation blowing the reputation of their new name so soon. But they aren’t doing themselves any favors. Despite promising weeks ago to rehome the dogs, they were just released to a shelter on Sunday after ongoing pressure from the media and the public.

The dogs are now in the care of the Michigan Humane Society where they are being evaluated and cared for before they will be released for adoption.

Actions speak louder than words. We’ve seen the villainy of seed and pesticide giants threatening human, animal, and environmental health and well-being in the past. And unfortunately, we’ll likely see it into the future. In this case, pressure from the public did get Corteva to act, saving the lives of dozens of beagles. We’ll continue paying attention, taking note, and highlighting the injustices of actors like Corteva whenever and wherever we can. 

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Latin America Resets Its Strategy against Femicides | Inter Press Service

Spotlight addresses the phenomenon of gender-based killings holistically through six pillars: gender equality legislation, the strengthening of the institutional framework, primary prevention, quality services, data collection and the strengthening of the women’s movement. The campaign launched in Argentina on Mar. 21 also includes El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, which was the first country where it was launched worldwide.

Source: Latin America Resets Its Strategy against Femicides | Inter Press Service

Protests Planned In NYC, Nationwide Tonight To Demand Full Public Release Of Mueller Report

Protests Planned In NYC, Nationwide Tonight To Demand Full Public Release Of Mueller Report

Democrats and other critics of the Trump administration have grown increasingly suspicious that Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s 380+ page report on Russia’s 2016 election interference was woefully inadequate at best, and egregiously misleading at worst. The NY Times, Washington Post and NBC News are all reporting that various members of Mueller’s team believe Barr “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.” Some team members say that Mueller’s findings paint a picture of “a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation.” [ more › ]