21 Aug

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective



St Louis police reveal Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, was killed by gunshot wound to the back, adding weight to witnesses who had challenged official account

Mansur Ball-Bey vigil

Chris Ball-Bey, the brother of Mansur Ball-Bey, sits by his brother’s memorial after a candlelight vigil on Walton Ave in St Louis on Thursday. Photograph: Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

A black 18-year-old killed by police in St Louis earlier this week was shot in the back, authorities said on Friday, adding weight to protests that have challenged the official account of his death.

A preliminary autopsy by the city medical examiner determined that Mansur Ball-Bey “sustained a single fatal gunshot wound to his back”, according to a statement released by the St Louis metropolitan police department.

Police chief Sam Dotson acknowledged to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, which first reported the autopsy finding earlier on Friday, that it may mean Ball-Bey was shot while running away. He said, however, “I just don’t know yet.” The shooting is being investigated by the department itself.

Renewed protests broke out in St Louis on Wednesday evening after Ball-Bey was killed as officers executed a search warrant at his aunt’s home that morning. Police deployed teargas and smoke canisters to sweep demonstrators from the streets and nine people were arrested, as some threw rocks and bottles at police lines……………..


‘We wouldn’t be here today if the employee had followed government policy,’ says judge Emmet Sullivan in Freedom of Information case

hillary clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton joked that she liked the social media platform Snapchat because messages disappear by themselves. Photograph: John Locher/AP

Hillary Clinton violated government policy in her use of a personal email server, a federal judge said on Thursday.

“We wouldn’t be here today if the employee had followed government policy,” judge Emmet Sullivan said.

Hearing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department, seeking access to the records of Clinton’s staff, Sullivan said that the former secretary of state had hindered State’s ability to provide records.

Sullivan ordered the department to ask the FBI for any emails relating to the lawsuit that have been recovered from Clinton’s server but are not in the department’s possession.

When a Justice Department lawyer raised concerns about the government’s right to search the private email of an official, Sullivan said: “There was a violation of government policy.”

“We’re not talking about a search of anyone’s random email,” he said, after Justice Department lawyers argued with the plaintiffs over how far the government could reach in records requests.

Clinton herself is not under investigation in the suit before Sullivan, a DC district judge who was appointed by Bill Clinton. It pertains to the records regarding Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin, who was for a time deputy chief of staff at the State Department………………….She and her campaign have characterized the controversy, which has raised concerns over possible security lapses and weaknesses with classified information, as a dispute between agencies over labeling. She has also defended her right to deem some emails personal, and delete them: “My personal emails are my personal business, right?”…………….

Migrants clash with police near Greek border day after country declares a state of emergency

Several thousand people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, many of them Syrian refugees, spent a cold night in no-man’s land after Macedonia on Thursday declared a state of emergency and effectively sealed its southern frontier to migrants and refugees. Riot police behind barbed wire fire teargas to drive back an angry crowd demanding passage into Macedonia so they can travel further north into the EU

Macedonian special police forces have fired stun grenades to disperse thousands of migrants stuck in a no-man’s land near the Greek border, a day after declaring a state of emergency on its border in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants heading north to the European Union.

A crowd of 3,000 migrants who spent the night out in the open made several attempts on Friday morning to charge Macedonian police after the border was shut the previous day. At least eight people were injured in the melee, according to Greek police.

One person was bleeding from what appeared to be shrapnel from stun grenades fired directly into the crowd.

Police backed by armoured vehicles also spread coils of razor wire over rail tracks used by migrants to cross on foot from Greece to Macedonia.

The migrants, many with babies and young children, spent the cold and windy night in a dust field without food and with little water. Some ate corn they picked from nearby fields……………….


Other News & Analyses




Of all of the possible people to blame for America’s problems, why do the Republicans choose teachers so often? Photograph: Dann Tardif/LWA-Dann Tardif/CORBIS

It’s August, the heat is miserable, kids are going back to school and that means one thing for America’s conservatives: it’s the perfect time to take a cheap shot at the nation’s teachers.

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio – who is generally considered less extreme than Texas Senator Ted Cruz, less dynastic than former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and less crazy than professional troll Donald Trump – recently said: “If I were, not president, if I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges where they sit together and worry about ‘woe is us’.”

Kasich addressed a New Hampshire “education summit” sponsored by the 74 Million, an education “news site” which Huffington Post points out is run by failed CNN host Campbell Brown “despite having little to no training in education, and never having taught students herself.” Many other Republican presidential hopefuls, including Governors Bush, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey, addressed the gathering.

Republicans love to hate teachers and imply that all the ills of US society are the result of their laziness. If only schools could be turned over to market forces and not held back by greedy teacher unions, conservative logic goes, everything would be fine – even though charter schools perform no better than traditional schools. Trying to bust unions in general (and those of teachers in particular) turns conservatives on as much as trying to deny climate change, defend the NRA, defund Planned Parenthood or battle for a check from the Koch brothers.

But trying to deny teachers a place to rest for a few minutes between classes, as Kasich is fantasizing about, is ludicrous. What’s wrong with having a place to eat a snack between classes or talk to other teachers about lesson plans and their common students without 30 children within ear shot?…………………………….




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