France is considering a bill that would give its secret service (the DGSE) the same sort of government spying capabilities our NSA has -- spying on phone calls and vacuuming up data without warrants, with very limited independent oversight on how it's using its powers. Because all that's worked out so well, and has been popular with so many people! Keep in mind, when considering the madness the French Parliament contemplates here, that we're still the only nation with a First Amendment guarantee that the government can't put you in jail merely because you spoke out against it. As a result, citizens of other nations are more likely than we are to consider free speech as something that ought to have "sensible" limits (besides the obvious limits on libel, slander, and terroristic threats), and that opens the door a bit wider for government spying initiatives like this one. But if our great gift to the world is our democracy, then we have a duty to weigh in on what the French government plans to do. Hence Access Now helps you tell the French Senate to reject the surveillance bill passed by the French National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan continues to force many of its citizens into labor every October in that nation's cotton fields, for little or not pay and for the monetary reward of that government's corporate cronies. (Personal to right-wingers constantly squealing about our "socialist" President: this is what a state-run economy looks like.) Worse, the World Bank invests hundreds of millions of dollars into agricultural projects in Uzbekistan, which helps prop up the slave labor regime. And Uzbekistan is the world's fifth-leading cotton exporter, so Uzbek cotton could wind up in your clothes. The World Bank has said it'll withdraw from Uzbekistan if it discovers evidence of slave labor there, but it might not be all that motivated to look hard for it. Hence the International Labor Rights Forum helps you tell the World Bank to investigate the matter vigorously. Let's at least put them in the position of falling back on the old but if we leave, we won't be able to effect change there argument -- which you no doubt recognize by now is a hostage situation.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Consumer Product Safety Commission (or CPSC) to ban flame-retardants in household furniture, then Friends of the Earth still helps you do that. I expect you know the long-story-short by now -- flame retardants don't particularly retard fires even as well as their name would suggest, and they typically contain toxic chemicals scientists have found cause brain-development issues in children, as well as cancer and reproductive issues in everyone. And when furniture with flame retardants does catch fire, it releases toxic fumes and smoke, which makes them harder to contain and thus puts firefighters at more risk. (Yes, firefighting is not a risk-free job, but there's no point in making it riskier if we can avoid doing so.) Deadline for comments to the CPSC is October 19, and we shouldn't expect positive action from Congress (which is still poised to pass a bad chemical safety "reform" bill they had the cojones to name after Frank Lautenberg), so now is the time to get cracking.