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25 Nov

Our Children In Gaza

OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING IN GAZA

Our children are dying on their neighborhood streets in Gaza.

Our children are being bombed in their homes and in their schools in Gaza.

Our children are screaming in pain in hospitals, denied the means to soothe and heal in Gaza.

Our children are suffering from an occupation-imposed lack of food and water in Gaza.

Our children are being stripped of the joy, laughter, and sweet memories of childhood in Gaza.

Our children are crying out for help in Gaza.

Our children are asking us, “what have we done to deserve this punishment?”

What do we say to our children in Gaza?

Mary O’Leary McGlinn

More poems by Mary at: Mary O’Leary McGlinn

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26 Nov

Complete grand jury testimony and evidence in the Darren Wilson case

4,799 pages of grand jury testimony and evidence in the Darren Wilson case

byShaun KingFollow forshaunking

attribution: Released Evidence

On Monday evening, the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case decided against indicting him in the shooting death of unarmed Ferguson teenager Mike Brown. Soon thereafter prosecutor Bob McCulloch released 4,799 pages of grand jury testimony. Below are all of the links you’ll need to access it and review it for yourself.

All 4,799 pages can be viewed in a PDF here via the NY Times.

The Washington Post organized the voluminous document into small sections here.

The Guardian broke the testimony up into 76 different documents here.

View just the testimony of Darren Wilson here.

Also, we’ve embedded the entire PDF below (may load slowly, it’s a huge file):

Grand Jury Testimony in the case against Darren Wilson

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26 Nov

The Ferguson grand jury was never intended to bring an indictment

daily

The Ferguson grand jury was never intended to bring an indictment

byJoan McCarterFollow

Wed Nov 26, 2014 at 08:27 AM PST

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announces the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death on Michael Brown at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri, November 24, 2014.

attribution: REUTERS

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch

When you think of a grand jury, you think of a fair system in which the prosecutor makes his or her best case for bringing someone to trial for committing a crime, presenting the best evidence in a coherent narrative that the jury can then weigh to determine whether or not there is probable cause to try that suspect—to indict them. That’s not what happened in St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s grand jury investigation in Officer Darrell Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown.

And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. He also didn’t want a non-indictment. Instead, as he explained it to the 12 members of the grand jury, this proceeding was about investigating the case and letting the jurors decide.

“Everything that’s been collected, every statement that has ever been made, it will all be here for you,” McCulloch said on the first day, August 20. “You need to keep that open mind.”

In other words, he didn’t want his fingerprints on the ultimate decision. But the choices he made in how the evidence was presented and in how his prosecutors behaved when questioning witnesses definitely reflect how he steered this decision. Consider the questioning of Witness #42, who testified, “I didn’t deem it to be a hostile situation to where the officer needed to have his gun raised. […] Mike was coming like, ‘stop shooting’ And he’s shooting him and kept shooting him. I’m like, he don’t pose no threat. […] He was ready to give himself up.” Here’s what Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kathi Alizadeh asked him about that testimony: “The first time you talked to the FBI, which was a week after this happened, you told them a story that had a bunch of lies, isn’t that right?”

Doesn’t that sound like what a defense attorney would ask a witness for the prosecution? Or how about this question to Witness #41? “Do you know what the name of your medication is that you take for your mental health?”

In another instance, prosecutors called to the stand a witness who did not see the shooting. The witness’s boyfriend had seen the shooting and told her about it, and she conveyed it to police as if she had seen it herself.

“When the police came that first time you told them that you saw, but you really didn’t, why did you do that?” prosecutor Sheila Whirley asked. And then later: “So it’s the absolute truth that you did not see it?”

Prosecutors asked the boyfriend, the actual witness, about this as well: “And is it your belief that she did not see part of the incident?”

Lining up witnesses who contradicted Wilson’s testimony, only to discredit them, was clearly the prosecutors’ modus operandi in this investigative grand jury. That’s the kind of procedure that should have been reserved for a courtroom in a criminal trial. But Bob McCulloch made sure that wasn’t going to happen.

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26 Nov

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

guardian

all countries

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ferguson officer

As protesters began to gather on the streets of Ferguson and dozens of other US cities for a second night after the announcement that Darren Wilson had been spared a grand jury indictment for killing Michael Brown, the police officer spoke bluntly about his conviction that he had acted correctly according to his training, telling ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that he had a ‘clear conscience’

Ferguson: protesters take to streets in ‘dozens’ of US cities

Updated

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Michael Brown Sr. holds his wife Cal Brown during a news conference with civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton in Ferguson, Missouri.

Michael Brown Sr. holds his wife Cal Brown during a news conference with civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton in Ferguson, Missouri. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Michael Brown family say ‘process is broken’ after grand jury decision leads to night of riots

  • Attorneys for Brown family attack St Louis County prosecutor
  • National guard and police prepare for possible repeat night of unrest
  • At least 60 arrested, 14 injured and millions of dollars of damage done

The family of an unarmed 18-year-old shot dead by a police officer in Missouri accused the US justice system on Tuesday of systematically failing young black people, after the decision not to charge his killer led to America’s worst night of race-related riots in a generation.

Lawyers for the parents of Michael Brown said that “the process is broken” after a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer whose shooting of Brown in Ferguson in August led to intense unrest and revived a furious debate about race and law enforcement.

“All across America, whether it’s in New York, Los Angeles, California or Cleveland, young people of colour are being killed by police officers,” attorney Benjamin Crump said at a press conference, as residents of Ferguson surveyed the burned wreckage of dozens of buildings……………………

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stu leaders

Joshua Wong and Lester Shum are detained as police and bailiffs attempt to clear the main protest sight at Mong Kok

Hong Kong student leaders arrested as police try to clear protest zone

Joshua Wong and Lester Shum among activists arrested as police try to clear Mong Kok neighbourhood following a court order

Hong Kong police arrested two high-profile student leaders on Wednesday morning, pro-democracy demonstrators said, as scuffles broke out during police attempts to clear one of the zones held by protesters.

Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, whose detention was reported by the Hong Kong Students Federation and the South China Morning Post, came after a night of clashes with police in the Mong Kok neighbourhood…………………..

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Los Angeles smog

Smog envelopes the skyline in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

Obama to unveil new limits on ozone pollution in victory for health groups

New guidelines will bring US up to par with health standards in other industrialised countries and are a victory for environmental groups

The Obama administration will unveil new limits on smog pollution bringing the US up to par with public health standards in other industrialised countries.

The Environmental Protection Agency is under a court-ordered deadline to propose new rules for ground-level ozone by 1 December. The New York Times reported that the announcement would come on Wednesday.

The new standards represent a victory for public health and environment groups which had sued the Obama administration for rejecting stricter controls for political reasons…………………

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Opinion

Ferguson Protest after Grand Jury

A woman joins the protests in Ferguson after the grand jury decision: ‘The inherent nature of the injustice was not systematic, but systemic.’ Photograph: Xinhua Landov / Barcroft Media

The law may have spoken but the Ferguson verdict is not justice

The fact that people expected a white cop like Darren Wilson to escape trial shows the process is a sham

It is customary, when disturbances follow a verdict of the kind delivered by the Ferguson grand jury, for those in authority to buttress their appeals for calm with a higher calling: the rule of law. Without it there would be chaos; only through it can there be order. As President Barack Obama said on Monday: “We are a nation based on the rule of law so we need to accept that this was the special jury’s decision to make.”

The trouble is that the United States, for far longer than it has been a “nation of laws”, has been a nation of injustice. And in the absence of basic justice such laws can amount to little more than codified tyranny. When a white cop, Darren Wilson, shoots an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, dead and then is not indicted, the contradiction is glaring. For a world where it is not only legal for people to shoot you dead while you walk down the street, but where they can do so in the name of the law, is one in which some feel they have nothing to lose. And, in the words of James Baldwin: “There is nothing so dangerous as a man who has nothing to lose. You do not need 10 men. Only one will do.”

It is through this chasm, between the official claim to an impartial legal system and the reality of endemic racial injustice, that Wilson made his escape, with the flames of Ferguson in hot pursuit. For Wilson was not exonerated. The grand jury decided there was not even “probable cause” to put him on trial. As the website FiveThirtyEight points out, this is very rare. The Bureau of Justice reveals that in 2010 US attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases, and grand juries declined to return an indictment in just 11……………………….

Al Jazerra

Opportunists take advantage of east Ukraine leadership confusion

Opportunists take advantage of east Ukraine leadership confusion

Donetsk sees rotating rebel leadership, while a cast of characters claims small cities and towns around Luhansk

Topics:
International
Ukraine Crisis
Ukraine
Russia

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Bangladesh proposes interning, repatriating up to 270K Rohingya to Myanmar

Bangladesh proposes interning, repatriating up to 270K Rohingya to Myanmar

Official government document reveals many Rohingya could be put in temporary camps, sent back to country they fled

Topics:
International
Bangladesh
Myanmar
Refugees

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The end of Mexican democracy

Opinion

The end of Mexican democracy

With help from the Obama administration, Peña Nieto is brutally reshaping Mexican society

Topics:
Mexico
International
Politics
Drug Cartels

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Violence against women soars in Mexico

Violence against women soars in Mexico

Abductions, rapes and murders of women are higher than ever, as UN calls for end to femicide

Topics:
International
Mexico
Women’s Rights
Torture
Rape
Police
Militarization
Human Rights
Gender
Drug Cartels

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26 Nov

Afghanistan & Iraq Occupation Casualties & News

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White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths

Afghan girl

Photographer Muhammed Muheisen took an impressive series of portraits of Afghan refugee children in Islamabad. Here is six-year-old Laiba Hazrat in a slum on the outskirts of the city.

Other Occupation News

Command Sgt. Maj. killed in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A US drone strike killed at least eight suspected militants in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt on Wednesday, security officials said. The unmanned aircraft hit a compound in Kund Sar village, 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region which borders Afghanistan

#2: Gunmen opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan’s restive southwest on Wednesday, killing four of them and forcing authorities to halt an immunisation drive, officials said. The incident happened on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.

#3: “Up to 35 militants were killed and 11 others injured during military operations and clashes in three provinces over the past 24 hours,”the ministry’s spokesman General Zahir Azimi said in his twitter account. Three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing attack over the same period, Azimi said.

#4: A roadside bomb struck a military vehicle in Uruzgan province, southern Afghanistan, on Wednesday, killing an Afghan soldier and injuring another, a local official said.

#5: At least three Taliban insurgents were killed following a drone strike by NATO-led coalition forces in eastern Laghman province.

11/25/14 delmarvanow: Wicomico native killed in Afghanistan

11/25/14 wired-gov.net: British personnel leave southern Afghanistan

11/25/14 WaPo: Two powerful explosions rock Kabul

11/25/14 middle-east-online: Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

11/25/14 cbsnews: ISIS offers reward for foreign spies

11/25/14 dailymail: Aussie initiated strike takes out 100 ISIS fighters

Afghanistan Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 2353

Recently Identified Color denotes today’s confirmation:

Deaths in Afghanistan: A look at the faces of American lives lost

 Afghanistan Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Iraq Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 4488

Recently Identified Color denotes today’s confirmation

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Deaths in Iraq: A look at the faces of American lives lost

IIraq Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .The Military Crisis Line offers free and confidential support to service members in crisis or anyone who knows a service member who is. The service is staffed by caring, qualified responders from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), many who have served in the military themselves. Support is offered through the crisis line, online chat, and text-messaging services for all service members (active, National Guard and reserve) and veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by visiting the Military Crisis Line website at http://www.militarycrisisline.net ;

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