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"Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness."
––Seneca

Safe abortion access all who need it
© Doctors Without Borders
January 23, 2020

Talking about abortion is not a crime. These days, however, health care providers and humanitarian workers who receive US funding overseas risk being shut down if they do just that.

The Global Gag Rule—which President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded on January 23, 2017—prohibits doctors, nurses, and other health workers around the world from even speaking about abortion. If they do, they could lose their US government funding. Health workers are relied upon to provide thorough, evidence-based medical information, and now they’ve been silenced in the places where that information is needed the most.

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"Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn."
––Alice Miller

Pence’s outrageous op-ed holds deeper meaning
by Jeremi Suri, © CNN
January 18, 2020

For only the third time in American history, the US Senate has opened a trial for an impeached president. On Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered a special oath to all senators, requiring that they “do impartial justice” in their judgment of the president’s alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors.” What does that mean in practice, when the Senate is so divided by party, with a majority leader who has promised to coordinate closely with the impeached president?

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"If you list the qualities that we consider feminine, they are patience, understanding, empathy, supportiveness, a desire to nurture. Our culture tells us those are feminine traits, but they're really just human."
––Sydney Pollack

Making Rebellion Attractive: Why the Establishment Still Hates John Reed
by P. SAINATH, © Counterpunch
January 28, 2020

‘If Mark Twain or John Reed were alive today and looking for work, would they find it at your newspaper or channel? Could Twain have a column? Would you carry Reed’s despatches?’

That was a question I put to several American editors and journalists in 2000. I was touring the USA as an Eisenhower Fellow and meeting, often interviewing, many media personalities there. My focus was on mavericks, anti-establishment, progressive and radical journalists, including Studs Terkel, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn and Adam Hochschild. However, I did meet some very mainstream ones, including Walter Cronkite, well past 80, but quite alive and articulate. Also, Joe Lelyveld of The New York Times. I usually asked these questions at the end of those very different meetings.

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"Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own."
––Barbara Kingsolver

Greece denies health care severely sick refugee children
© Doctors Without Borders
January 23, 2020

In Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece is deliberately depriving at least 140 children of adequate medical care for chronic, complex, and life-threatening diseases, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, calling on the Greek government to evacuate all severely ill children for treatment on the Greek mainland or in other member states of the European Union.

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