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VIDEO: Historic Shutdown of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Site
Reports have emerged of significant police brutality in relation to the 20 mountaintop removal protesters who were arrested for their participation in a demonstration at the Hobet 45 mining complex in West Virginia on July 28. The protesters remain in custody at the Western Regional Jail, with bail set at $25,000 each.
More than 50 people affiliated with the Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (R.A.M.P.S.) campaign stopped mining work for three hours during the protest at the mine in Lincoln County in the largest disruption of an active mountaintop removal site. Several of the protesters locked themselves to a rock truck with banners reading “RESTORE OUR MOUNTAINS RE-EMPLOY OUR MINERS” and “COAL LEAVES CANCER STAYS.”
Twenty-year-old Dustin Steele of Matewan, WV, was beaten by authorities in custody according to witnesses in the jail, while another protester was seen dragged off the site by her pigtails. A third protester has a black eye in his mug shot.
"This brutality and disregard for safety is one of the clearest examples of the hold the coal industry has on the state government," said Junior Walk of Whitesville, WV, “The blatant cooperation between law enforcement and the coal industry makes me embarrassed as a West Virginian.”
Demonstrators who left the mining site after police warnings were subjected to severe harassment from miners and their supporters. Authorities prevented their transport vehicles from driving down the public road to pick them up, forcing them to walk for four hours along the side of Mud River Road while police allowed pro-coal demonstrators to harass them.
Police arrested one activist who they accused of lying to them about not having identification, even though the only identification on him was a debit card, which is not a valid form of ID. After several hours, police confiscated his cell phone and debit card and released him with a ticket on the side of Rt. 94, hours from any town, forcing him to hitchhike home. An independent journalist was also arrested for photographing the incident.
Steele made the following statement before being taken into custody at the protest: “Hopefully the negative reaction of the folks in the coal field and the folks in the mine site won’t be extreme, but even if it’s extreme, realize that they’re feeling that same fear of the future as what we are. They’re oppressed by the same mechanisms and they feel it in the exact same way.”
Now, unless the bail requirement is made more reasonable, Steele will spend his 21st birthday, today, Aug. 1, in prison.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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