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Hostile environment: the UK government’s draconian immigration policy explained

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["First, the burden of proof shifted. Any non-British passport holder was assumed to have violated immigration rules until proven otherwise. Deport first, appeal later. Second, knowing that border controls are only one element of immigration control, the policy shifted to internal controls. This meant that migrants must prove their right to reside at every turn. When they sought medical treatment, rented a home, applied for a driving licence or got a job, they faced immigration checks." *RON*]

Erica Consterdine, The Conversation, 26 April 2018


Immigration policy under Theresa May’s tenure might be the most draconian in Britain’s history. Never has an administration focused so much time and effort on an anti-migration policy – and one that is failing by all counts at that.

Countless restrictive measures have been placed on almost every migration stream since 2010, when the coalition government set itself a flawed net migration target. This…

Arctic sea ice is packed with huge amounts of tiny plastic particles

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[The samples contained up to 12,000 particles per liter of ice. Two-thirds of these particles measured 50 micrometers or smaller in size, "which means they could easily be ingested by Arctic microorganisms like ciliates, but also by copepods. No one can say for certain how harmful these tiny plastic particles are for marine life, or ultimately also for human beings." *RON*]

Nick Lavars, New Atlas, 25 April 2018


The insidious spread of microplastics through our environment is something that we really don't know enough about. Tons and tons of plastic waste washes into the ocean every year, much of which is broken down into pieces smaller than a fingernail that become very difficult to track, with untold consequences for marine life and organisms that consume it (us included). Researchers have now found unexpected quantities of microplastics are lodged in Arctic sea ice, shedding new light on how microplastics move through the ocean.

Th…

8 Years After BP Oil Spill, Sick Cleanup Workers Still Waiting for Day in Court

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[More world-class protections from the oil industry. Bear in mind that Transmountain has told BC Aboriginal communities that oil spills represent employment opportunities for them in the North. *RON*]

Julie Dermansky, DeSmog Blog, 23 April 2018

On the eighth anniversary of the BP oil spill, Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré stood in front of the New Orleans Federal Court House and called “bullshit” on the court’s handling of claims made by those who participated in the cleanup efforts.

Thousands of workers BP hired to clean up the spill that polluted the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 have claimed exposure to oil and the dispersant has made them sick and still have not had their day in court. “It’s a crying damn shame we’ve allowed this in America,” Honoré said.

“Guess who don’t have their life back? The people who did the cleanup, the people who have to go home and get public assistance to stay alive, and it’s had an impact on their family,” Honoré said on A…

US visa applications may soon require five years of social media info

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[Freedom of expression in the surveillance state. The State Department will file a proposed rule change tomorrow. This is a truly incredible intrusion. You can click here to express your opinion directly to the US government. *RON*]

Mallory Locklear, Engadget, 29 March 2018


The State Department wants to require all US visa applicants, both immigrant and non, disclose their social media handles to the US government, CNN reports. In documents that the department will file to the Federal Register tomorrow, it proposes that nearly every individual applying for a US visa be required to hand over any social media handles used on certain platforms in the past five years as well as submit any telephone numbers and email addresses used during that same time period.

Previously, this information was only requested from visa applicants who required more rigorous scrutiny -- such as those who had traveled to regions with notable terrorist activity. But once ena…

Government insiders say Trans Mountain pipeline approval was rigged

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[A lengthy piece and a royal pain to get into the Blogger format. The important part is "Chapter 3. Give cabinet a legally-sound basis for yes," but the whole thing is chock-a-block with interesting revelations and Trudeau-ean duplicity. People have been saying this all along, but this is the first concrete evidence. Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Guy Caron just challenged the Trudeau government to release all the secret cabinet records related to its Kinder Morgan review. You can send your own message to Trudeau and Cabinet by clicking here. *RON*]

Mike De Souza, National Observer, 24 April 2018


An investigation by Mike De Souza
Chief Maureen Thomas was skeptical as she walked out of Canada’s main Parliament Building on a brisk but sunny morning in autumn.

It was Nov. 28, 2016, and she had just given Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr four major reports highlighting extensive warnings about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipelin…