Mexico risks becoming known the world over as the place where journalists go to die after the murder of Rubén Espinosa nearly two weeks ago. Mr. Espinosa is the 13th journalist to die in the state of Veracruz, in the southern part of Mexico, since 2011 -- when Veracruz's governor, who has been in the habit of threatening reporters, came to power. A Veracruz state official may have even threatened Mr. Espinosa directly -- "stop taking pictures if you don't want to end up like Regina," the official supposedly said, referring to another murdered journalist, Regina Martínez. Yet thousands of good Mexican citizens have not been afraid to take to the streets in protest of these murders, so Avaaz helps you demand that the Mexican government investigate the deaths of Mr. Espinosa and the four others who appear to have been tortured and murdered along with him, and also that they investigate the Governor of Veracruz. There is no hope for freedom of the press in Mexico -- or, indeed, freedom -- if politicians can murder journalists without paying the price for their crimes.
Meanwhile, the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba means that Americans can now bring back $400 in goods from Cuba, including $100 in cigars and rum, when traveling. However, Americans can't bring back medicines with them, and Cuban scientists have apparently been rather innovative over the years -- over 150,000 patients worldwide have received the Cuban drug Heberprot, which could do a lot to help restore gangrenous tissue in diabetic patients, and thus help them save limbs that would otherwise have to be amputated. Meanwhile, the one FDA-approved drug for this purpose, Regranex, rarely gets prescribed because it might well cause cancer. So Roots Action helps you tell President Obama to allow the FDA to test Cuban drugs and, if the FDA approves them, to allow good Americans to import them into the United States. Note well that we're certainly not asking for Cuban medicines to be imported into America willy-nilly -- the medicines should only come here if we can verify they're safe and effective. That's what civilized societies do, after all.
Finally, the good news out of Australia is that the Federal Court of Australia has overturned the Australian Environment Minister's approval of the Carmichael Coal Mine, on the grounds that the approval didn't properly account for two endangered species found in the area, so the Sierra Club helps you tell Australia's Environment Minister to reject the Carmichael project once and for all, and thus protect the Great Barrier Reef from further destruction. Approving the coal mine doesn't end at allowing the mines to be dug, as you know -- it also involved dredging Great Barrier Reef waters, which would have damaged the one-of-a-kind reef and the fragile ecosystems that depend on it. Despite its far-right bent, Australia's government has some incentive to reject the project now -- it was depending on America's Export-Import Bank to provide much of the funding, but Congress hasn't been able to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, so the money may not come, which could give the Australian government a free pass to appear greener than they really are. But I care less about short-term victories than about the space to win long-term ones.