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Mar 26, 2018

Native Opinon Episode 120

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Articles Featured in this episode:

ARTICLE 1: TITLE: American Indian teens head to Vatican, hoping to overturn historic papal decrees

Mitch Walking Elk and his students are unlikely Vatican visitors. But if all goes as planned, they will meet with Vatican officials in May with a plea: “Rescind the historic papal decrees that justified the domination of native peoples.” These 500-year-old decrees are at the center of a surprising flurry of faith-based activism and interest in the Twin Cities, home to one of the nation’s largest urban American Indian populations. Critics charge they formed the basis of the so-called Doctrine of Discovery, which asserted that the people and wealth of non-Christian lands belonged to those who “discovered” them. Its legacy shapes federal Indian policy to this day and haunts Indians’ well-being, they say. READ MORE

ARTICLE 2 TITLE: Cambridge Analytica Execs Bragged Of Using Fake News, Sex To Sway Elections

Disturbing undercover interviews with executives from U.K.-based political research firm Cambridge Analytica have revealed admissions of bribery, entrapment and the use of sex workers to sway political elections around the world, according to an investigative series airing Monday. The results of a months’ long investigation by Britain’s Channel 4 News revealed Cambridge Analytica’s inner workings as told by Alexander Nix, the company’s chief executive, and Mark Turnbull, the managing director of CA Political Global, to a reporter posing as a client. The interviews are part of Channel 4 News’ “Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks”, investigation series. During phone calls and in-person meetings at a London hotel from November 2017 to January 2018, Nix was recorded bragging that his firm and parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) secretly influenced more than 200 elections around the world, including those in Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India and Argentina.


ARTICLE 3 TITLE: Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can’t Buy Firearms

If you have a medical marijuana card, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that you can’t buy a gun. The court ruled 3–0 on Wednesday that a ban preventing medical marijuana card holders from purchasing firearms is not in violation of the Second Amendment, the Associated Press reports. There are nine western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction, including Nevada, where the case originated.

A lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson after she tried to purchase a gun for self-defense and was denied based on a federal ban on the sale of guns to users of illegal drugs. Though marijuana has been legalized in some places on a state-by-state basis, it remains illegal under federal law. The court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”


ARTICLE 4 TITLE: Public lands are being sold in secret on the internet

Ayers Energy LLC is, ostensibly, an energy company based out of either Bedford, Texas, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, depending on what day you look at the results of the Bureau of Land Management’s most recent oil and gas auction. Public information about the company is scarce: It’s not listed as a taxable entity by the Texas Comptroller, and doesn’t appear to be a registered corporation in the state of Texas or Wyoming. In fact, a search for Ayers Energy through Vigilant, a public records database, did not yield any registration records for the company in any state.

On March 21, Ayers’ address — according to federal documents — was listed as on Pecan Bend Drive in Bedford, Texas. As of March 22, that address had changed to Central Ave in Cheyenne. But, despite the vague and ever-changing information about Ayers Energy LLC, the company, as of March 20, owns the rights to pursue oil and gas development on 19 parcels of federally-owned lands in San Juan County, Utah, just outside of the boundary of Hovenweep National Monument.


ARTICLE 5 TITLE: TV station’s closed captioning slurs Austin bombing victim Draylen Mason as “this monkey”

A Texas television station has cut ties with a vendor after closed captioning used racist language to insult a black victim of the Austin bomber. Local ABC affiliate KVUE-TV reported Tuesday night on the death of 17-year-old Draylen Mason, who was identified in closed captioning as “this monkey,” reported the Statesman.

The station blamed VITAC, an outside company that provides live captioning to KVUE newscasts, and on Thursday terminated its contract with the firm.

“We are taking this mistake very seriously and we are heartsick about this terrible error,” KVUE said in a statement. “We apologize to Draylen’s family and to our community. We have demanded an explanation and an apology to Draylen’s family, and VITAC is complying.”


ARTICLE 6 TITLE: Congress’s new $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, explained

On Wednesday night, congressional leaders unveiled the “omni”: a massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill covering everything from defense to border security to opioids. In Congress, a spending bill spanning multiple budget areas is known as an “omnibus.”

On Thursday, the House and Senate passed the bill. If signed by President Trump, the legislation will keep the government open through September 30, giving us at least six months without a major budgetary showdown.


ARTICLE 6 Poll: Native Americans See Far More Discrimination In Areas Where They Are A Majority

More than half of Native Americans living on tribal lands or other majority-Native areas say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination when interacting with police (55 percent) and applying for jobs (54 percent). That’s according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.