Podcast of Affordances: a new science fiction story that climbs the terrible technology adoption curve

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my short story "Affordances," which was commissioned for Slate/ASU's Future Tense Fiction. it's a tale exploring my theory of "the shitty technology adoption curve," in which terrible technological ideas are first imposed on poor and powerless people, and then refined and normalized until they are spread over all the rest of us. Read the rest

39 Chinese nationals found dead in UK truck, driver charged with murder

39 bodies found in a truck in Essex, England, were identified Thursday as Chinese nationals. Police have not confirmed whether they were victims of a human trafficking or human smuggling operation, but charged the driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, with murder.

The truck was found on a street at the heart of the usually busy industrial area. Police -- who were called to the scene at around 1:40 a.m. on Wednesday -- said the victims were found dead on the scene.

Road haulage experts said the truck appeared to be refrigerated. That could mean freezing temperatures of anywhere between -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-20C to -23C), Richard Burnett, chief executive of trade body the Road Haulage Association, told PA news agency, making conditions "absolutely horrendous" for anyone stuck inside.

"I can't overstate how big a tragedy it is that 39 people felt like they had no better option than to get in the back of this truck and obviously it's ended in an absolute tragedy," Matthew Carter, an emergency communications delegate for the British Red Cross, told CNN at the scene on Wednesday.

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Googlers circulate petition demanding a moratorium on contracts with US border agencies

Despite the departure of its most prominent leaders amid claims of harassment and retaliation, the Googler Uprising lives on, with Google employees circulating an internal petition demanding that the company not contract with US border agencies to provide any kind of services, on the grounds that US immigration authorities are notorious abusers of human rights. Read the rest

Six charts that illuminate the state of US immigration

Working with The Hamilton Project, the BBC has drawn six charts that serve as both a snapshot of the state of US immigration and provide historical context for migration today versus US immigration in both the recent and distant past. Read the rest

Howto: stay civil while discussing the children in America's concentration camps

As our political betters are always there to remind us, civility is important, the key to getting things done -- that's why Gerning Joe was so pallsy wallsy with segregationists -- you wouldn't want to offend the eugenics movement, because there's good people on both sides. Read the rest

Multilingual "red cards" to help immigrants assert their rights during ICE shakedowns

The Immigrant Resource Legal Center offers multilingual, printable templates for "red cards": bust cards adapted for use by immigrants being targeted by ICE squads. Read the rest

Under Trump, immigrants who serve in the armed forces are finding it harder to attain citizenship than those who do not serve

Serving in the US military has long been a path to citizenship for immigrants to the USA, but after a suite of reforms instituted by the Trump regime, immigrants who serve in the US military are less likely to attain citizenship than immigrants who don't serve. Read the rest

Citing transphobic policies, 172+ googlers call for removal of Heritage Foundation from Google's "Advanced Technology External Advisory Council"

The googler uprising continues: after forcing the company to kill its plans to launch a censored Chinese search-engine and its plan to sell AI technology to US drone systems, and forcing out execs who led these projects, and getting the right to sue the company over sexual harassment, more than 170 googlers have signed an open letter demanding that the company reverse its decision to add Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James to its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), an advisory body that provides moral guidance on AI and other technologies. Read the rest

U.S. government now caging asylum seekers under the international bridge in El Paso, Texas

Photographs we're seeing online today, including one by Mark Lambie of the El Paso Times, below, capture the desperation of the unknown number of men, women, and children currently penned in, inside cages, under the Mexico-US international bridge, in El Paso, Texas. Read the rest

The US requires visas for some EU citizens, so now all US citizens visiting the EU will be subjected to border formalities too

Many countries around the world have a policy of reciprocal border treatment -- I once traveled to Uganda and the visa payment demanded at the border varied on your citizenship, based on what your country charged Ugandans to travel there; likewise, after the US started fingerprinting visitors, Brazil starting fingerprinting Americans (and only Americans!) at the border. Read the rest

Trump's properties routinely employed (and abused) undocumented Latinx workers, including dozens from a single Costa Rican town

The Washington Post tracked down workers from Santa Teresa de Cajon in Costa Rica, who say that they and their neighbors were part of a "pipeline" from Central America to Trump properties in New Jersey and elsewhere, where they worked doing construction, groundskeeping, and cleaning, with the full knowledge of their supervisors and Trump Organization managers (a claim verified by a police report detailing a warning from local officials to Trump Organization bosses about the number of undocumented workers on Trump's property). Read the rest

In DHS tests, prototypes of Trump's chosen barrier posts were easily defeated by hacksaws

Trump isn't America's most anti-immigrant president; that honor goes to Obama, the great deporter, who also extensively tested border wall technologies while deporting 2MM undocumented people. Read the rest

San Diego is America's safest city, but Republicans keep claiming that the US-Mexican border is responsible for "gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime"

San Diego and Tijuana are practically a single city, separated by a border, which Donald Trump wants to close, claiming that "The most important way to stop gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime is at our Southern Border." Read the rest

Molly Crabapple's illustrated report from the immigration detention Gulags of Texas

The intrepid and brilliant artist and journalist Molly Crabapple (previously) traveled to the immigration detention centers of the Rio Grande and interviewed and sketched the people she met there. Read the rest

Calexit: a fractured California, where militias and the DHS battle the resistance in Trump's future America

The first time I encountered Matteo Pizzolo, Amancay Nahuelpan and Tyler Boss's comic Calexit, I was skeptical: California separating from the USA is an incredibly stupid idea, predicated on innumerable misconceptions (including the idea that the state that gave us Nixon, Reagan, and Schwarzenegger is uniformly progressive, and also the idea that "the world's sixth largest economy" wouldn't radically contract the instant it lost access to the rest of the country, including the Atlantic Ocean). But when I found the first Calexit collection on the recommended table at the 100% reliable LA comic shop Secret Headquarters, I decided to give it a chance. Read the rest

DHS plans to use credit-scores to judge who may become a citizen

The US Department of Homeland Security has published a new proposed rule that would make people ineligible for US citizenship if their credit-scores were poor. Read the rest

Trump spent $200,000,000 on the election stunt of sending 6,000 troops to the border, then withdrew them before the caravan arrived

Trump's "Operation Faithful Patriot" was a $200,000,000 exercise in which 6,000 US troops were deployed within the USA, to the US/Mexico border, nominally to repel the migrant caravan of desperate, poor, terrified asylum seekers. Read the rest

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