Hostage Release of 1981: During the 1980 election campaign each party accused the other of plotting an October Surprise to elect their candidate. Subsequently other journalists, notably Robert Parry, accused CIA veterans on the Reagan campaign, of an arguably treasonable but successful plot with Iranians to delay return of the U.S. hostages until Reagan took office on January 20, 1981. About this photo: Former Iran hostages in the hospital after release. Photo Credit: Johnson Babela / Wikimedia

Editors’ Picks for Jan 20

World’s Poorest Get Poorer, Trump’s Attractive ‘Authoritarianism’, Plaintiff Wins $0.07 Against Bank of America, and More Picks

World’s Poorest Get Poorer, Trump’s Attractive ‘Authoritarianism’, Plaintiff Wins $0.07 Against Bank of America, and More Picks

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Climate Change “Danger Zone” Imminent (Russ)

News gets more and more alarming while a suicidal portion of public hunkers down.

World’s Poor Became Much Poorer (Russ)

The wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population declined by a trillion dollars in the past five years. And 62 people have as much as all of them.

Plaintiff in Class Action Lawsuit gets $0.07, Lawyers Get Millions (Klaus)

When the dust had settled on a class action lawsuit against Bank of America, one plaintiff received a big, fat check for $0.07. The attorneys fighting on his behalf (and that of 600,000 lucky beneficiaries), got more than 100 million times as much.

Leila Alaoui, Photographer Wounded in Burkina Faso Siege, Dies at 33 (Trevin)

The attack, which killed at least 30 people and was claimed by Al Qaeda, happened while Ms. Alaoui was on assignment for Amnesty International. In her work, she fought to “give life to those forgotten by society, to homeless people, to migrants, deploying one weapon: photography.”

This South Carolina Republican Wants to Create a “Registry” for Responsible Journalists (Trevin)

State lawmaker Mike Pitts proposed a Trump-like bill that would create a different kind of strange registry—this time to track journalists deemed ‘responsible’ by the state.”

Trump Backers Primarily Attracted to His Authoritarianism (Russ)

That’s what a study finds— and that’s authoritarianism, not authority.  


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