Headlines September 28, 2022 from Democracy Now!

Puerto Rico’s Governor Calls on Biden to Waive Shipping Restrictions in Aftermath of Hurricane

Sep 27, 2022

 

In Puerto Rico, an estimated three-quarters of a million homes and businesses remain without electricity nearly 10 days after Hurricane Fiona devastated the island’s fragile electrical grid. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to face shortages of clean water, fuel, medicine and other necessities.

Milagros Mercado: “We have spent a week without water or power. The authorities haven’t done anything for us. It’s very bad here. It’s rough. Those who come by give us a little water and leave. We are in a rough shape. We lost everything. We are in a bad situation.”

On Monday, Puerto Rico’s Governor Pedro Pierlusi called on President Biden to waive shipping restrictions under the Jones Act — a century-old law requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships carry goods between two points in the U.S. This comes as a ship carrying diesel for the BP oil company remains idling off the coast of Puerto Rico. 

Hurricane Ian Forces NASA to Delay Test Launch of New Moon Rocket

Sep 27, 2022

 

Hurricane Ian has delayed NASA’s plans to test launch its massive new moon rocket, the Space Launch System. This morning, officials began rolling the 320-foot-tall rocket back to its hangar at Cape Canaveral ahead of the storm’s arrival.   NASA

 

NASA Crashes Spacecraft into Asteroid in First-Ever Planetary Defense Test

Sep 27, 2022

 

In more space news, NASA has successfully crashed a robotic spacecraft into an asteroid, in a first-of-its-kind test of technology that could one day, perhaps, prevent a comet or asteroid from hitting the Earth. Mission engineers at the Applied Physics Laboratory erupted in cheers Monday as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, or DART, live-streamed its final moments plunging toward the asteroid Dimorphos at 14,000 miles per hour.

Lori Glaze: “Oh wow!”

Samson Reiny: “Awaiting visual confirmation.”

Lori Glaze: “All right! We got it?”

Samson Reiny: “Waiting”

Lori Glaze: “Waiting. Come on.”

Samson Reiny: “And we have impact!”

Lori Glaze: “And we’ve done it!”

Samson Reiny: “A giant leap for humanity in the name of planetary defense.”

Astronomers will observe Dimorphos and the much larger asteroid it orbits to measure how DART altered their path around the sun. Impacts from comets and asteroids have been described as “the only preventable natural disasters,” though the odds of a catastrophic impact in any given year are remote.

This comes amid warnings from NASA over the ongoing threat of unnatural disasters. Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tweeted, “It’s great that NASA is testing the ability to deflect an asteroid or comet if necessary, but the actual clear and present danger to humanity is of course Earth breakdown from burning fossil fuels. #DontLookUp.”  Climate Crisis

 

Protesters Rally at Mississippi Governor’s Mansion to Demand Clean Water for Jackson

Sep 27, 2022

 

In Mississippi, about a thousand homes and businesses are once again under “boil water” orders, after construction crews accidentally severed a water line on Monday, leading to a drop in pressure. It’s the latest of about 300 “boil water” notices issued in Jackson over the past two years, including a citywide advisory lasting 40 days that began in August, when torrential rains flooded Jackson’s main water treatment plant. On Monday, pastor and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign Dr. William Barber led a rally outside the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson, demanding elected officials reverse decades of disinvestment that’s left the water unfit to drink in Mississippi’s capital city, where 80% of residents are African American.

Bishop William Barber II: “People are willing to use every voice of love and justice and movement building. And I believe some of y’all are ready even for nonviolent direct action, because you’re tired of drinking poison. You’re tired of your members washing their babies in poison. And there comes a time you must show people how tired you are.”

Topic:   Water

 

Russia Grants Citizenship to NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Sep 27, 2022

 

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Monday granting Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who in 2013 leaked a trove of secret documents about how the United States built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans and people across the globe. After sharing the documents with American reporters in Hong Kong, Snowden was charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he fled in an attempt to reach political exile in Latin America, Snowden became stranded at Moscow’s international airport after the U.S. revoked his passport. He has lived in political exile in Russia ever since. In 2019, Snowden offered to return to the United States if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.      Edward Snowden

 

Thousands Protest Outside State Funeral for Japan’s Assassinated Former Leader Shinzo Abe

Sep 27, 2022

 

In Japan, hundreds of dignitaries and more than 50 current and former world leaders gathered in Tokyo earlier today for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, three months after he was shot dead by an assassin wielding a homemade gun. Members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces fired cannons in a 19-gun salute, as Abe’s widow, Akie Abe, carried the late leader’s ashes to a funeral ceremony. Among those attending were Vice President Kamala Harris and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters marched through Tokyo’s streets chanting, “No state funeral!” Protesters took aim at Abe’s push to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution, his ultranationalist views and his refusal to apologize for war crimes committed by Japanese soldiers during World War II.   Japan

 

Two-Thirds of Cuban Voters Approve Referendum on Marriage and Gender Equality

Sep 27, 2022

 

Cubans have voted overwhelmingly to legalize marriage equality. In a nationwide referendum held Sunday, more than two-thirds of Cuban voters backed a family code that allows LGBTQ people to marry or form civil unions, and to adopt children. It also promotes the equal distribution of domestic responsibilities between men and women and takes steps to address domestic- and gender-based violence. On Monday, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted, “Starting today, we will be a better nation.” He added the hashtag “#ElAmorYaEsLey,” or “Love is now the law.”  Marriage Equality

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