Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Human rights

Google exec pushed company to commit to human rights. Then Google pushed him out

The Washington Post reports: For years, Google tasked Ross LaJeunesse with executing its plan to protect human rights in China, after Google announced a decade ago it would stop censoring search results there to safeguard security and free speech. LaJeunesse took the mission to heart: He later devised a human rights program to formalize Google’s principles supporting free expression and privacy. He began lobbying for it internally in 2017 —

Pharmaceutical companies cashing in on a captive market

Max Blau writes: Alkermes, which manufactures drugs for conditions that are disproportionately found behind bars—such as schizophrenia and alcohol and opioid addiction—is among several companies that have embraced the criminal-justice system as a source of customers. Starting in the early 2010s, Alkermes promoted Vivitrol, a treatment for opioid-use disorder, to correctional facilities. The treatment, generically known as naltrexone, had previously been used for alcohol-use disorder, but the drug floundered. When

Trump administration considering drastic cut in refugees allowed to enter U.S.

The New York Times reports: The White House is considering a plan that would effectively bar refugees from most parts of the world from resettling in the United States by cutting back the decades-old program that admits tens of thousands of people each year who are fleeing war, persecution and famine, according to current and former administration officials. In meetings over the past several weeks, one top administration official has

The search for China’s missing million Uyghurs

Morgan Meaker writes: When Aiziheer Ainiwaer talks about his father, Ainiwa Niyazi, he paints him as a comedian and the joker of his friendship group. He describes how the 57-year-old teacher always had the room in stitches with his impersonations of famous pop stars. But at home, the father-of-two would be more serious. “My father constantly used to tell us we should study and be well educated,” says Aiziheer. Throughout

UN human rights chief ‘deeply shocked’ by migrant detention center conditions in Texas

The Washington Post reports: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Monday that she is “appalled by the conditions” being forced upon migrants after they cross the southern U.S. border and admonished the federal government for failing to find noncustodial alternatives. “Any deprivation of liberty of adult migrants and refugees should be a measure of last resort,” she said, adding that where detention is necessary, it should