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08 Nov

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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Observers on both sides of the party’s divide suggest presidential primary debate confirms a resurgence of more populist economic policies

The McGlynn: We should put aside the Clintons, the irresponsible, disastrous, pathologically narcissistic, opportunistic, and patently dishonest scandalous couple that has ruthlessly enriched themselves to the tune of over $100 million while pretending to have our interests at heart – and now want to resume their rampage overseeing a world that is fraught with conflict and nuclear dangers. We would never survive it as a planet.

Hillary – no; Bernie Sanders – yes.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders speaks in New Hampshire last week. Photograph: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Leading architects of the “New Democrat” movement are sounding the alarm over a lurch to the left in the party, after candidates at the latest presidential primary debate confirmed a resurgence of more populist economic policies.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley spoke passionately about the need to reduce wage inequality and corporate power during a forum in South Carolina on Friday in which all three distanced themselves from the establishment orthodoxy that has long prevailed in Washington.

It followed a similar performance from Clinton at the first official debate, in Las Vegas, last month that restored her lead over Sanders – who describes himself as a democratic socialist – but has nonetheless left the party with one of its most radical policy platforms in decades.

“We’re at a point in history right now where both our democracy and our economy are not working for the majority,” the former secretary of state told MSNBC moderator Rachel Maddow at the South Carolina event.

“People rightly believe that corporations and the powerful have stacked the deck in their favour and against everybody else.”

How committed Clinton is to her new anti-establishment agenda remains a matter of fierce debate, not least among Sanders supporters, but Guardian interviews with leading activists on both sides of the party’s divide suggest the lurch to the left is not limited to presidential politics.

“The battle for the soul of the Democratic party is coming to an end,” claims Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a champion of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.

“It’s not just Sanders and O’Malley [who are pushing Clinton]; there is an entire Warren wing of American politics that includes certain politicians, think tanks and advocacy groups [and] has fundamentally shifted the national debate in an economic populist direction.”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a leading voice on the Democratic left. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Activists point to near-universal rejection among Democrats of Barack Obama’s free trade agreement, a lasting revolt against his plans to cut social security and radical promises to curb student debt as signs that the Democratic mainstream has outstripped a progressive president who once seemed too radical for his party.

Yet signs are growing of a backlash within what remains of the party’s more business-friendly and economically conservative New Democrat wing……………..

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Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who investigators say killed himself to hide an embezzlement scheme, was accused of death threats and sexual harrassment

A sign honoring Fox Lake police lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz is defaced outside Fox Lake police department.

A sign honoring Fox Lake police lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz is defaced outside Fox Lake police department. Photograph: Lauren Zumbach/AP

On 1 September, police lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, 52, radioed in to Fox Lake headquarters to say he was pursuing three suspicious individuals on foot. The man many in the town knew as “GI Joe” was later found dead, from a gunshot wound to the chest, a short distance away from his cruiser.

A massive manhunt was set into motion. As the town mourned a beloved community hero, it received an outpouring of national support.

This week, however, a different picture emerged. Gliniewicz’s death, investigators said, was actually a “carefully staged suicide”, carried out to cover up an embezzlement scheme.

Text messages revealed that he had considered framing – or even having killed – a new village administrator who was auditing his department.

His personnel file would tell the story of an officer with a contentious history, including an alleged death threat.

“He used his knowledge to his advantage,” said Lake County, Illinois, sheriff’s spokesperson Christopher Covelli, of Gliniewicz’s three-decade career in law enforcement. “This was intricately done to look like a homicide.”

In a matter of days, Gliniewicz went from hero to villain, rocking this town of 10,000 people some 50 miles north of Chicago.

“Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community,” Lake County major crimes task force commander George Filenko said at a press conference on Wednesday. “The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.”…………….

ill off

  • Athletes call for the resignation of university president
  • Coach expresses support for players’ actions
University of Missouri

The University of Missouri has one of the most high-profile college teams in the United States. Photograph: Public Domain

Black players from the Missouri Tigers football team say they will not participate in team activities until the university president, Tim Wolfe, resigns. On Sunday, Missouri governor Jay Nixon said the university must act to address concerns over “racism and intolerance”.

There have been several incidents of racial harassment in recent weeks on the college campus and Wolfe has come under criticism for his handling of the situation. In one recent incident, excrement in the shape of a swastika was smeared on a dormitory wall while other students have complained that racist slurs are common at the university. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student at the college, is currently on hunger strike over the issue.

On Saturday night, the Legion of Black Collegians posted a message on Twitter calling for Wolfe to resign.

“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,’” the tweet said. “We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”

Athletes from the team, including star running back Russell Hanbrough, featured in a photo accompanying the tweet.

Governor Nixon on Sunday said that the university must be “a place where all students can pursue their dreams in an environment of respect, tolerance and inclusion.”

The Missouri athletics department issued a statement on Saturday that supported the athletes’ right to protest. “The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes,” it said. “We all must come together with leaders from across our campus to tackle these challenging issues and we support our student-athletes right to do so.”

Tigers cornerback John Gibson III said the protest was backed by the team’s coaching staff. “Has nothing to do with our coaches. Our coaches are 100% behind us. Including the white ones,” he tweeted.

Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel showed his support…………….

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State has put 18 convicted killers to death in past two years, a figure second only to Texas’s – but death sentences are declining and appeals remain

Earl Forrest could face execution soon

Earl Forrest could face execution soon. Photograph: AP

Eighteen convicted killers have been executed in Missouri in the last two years, a pace that is expected to slow significantly with death sentences on the decline and many of the 28 remaining death row inmates still filing appeals.

Only the state of Texas, with 24, has performed more executions than Missouri since November 2013. But execution appears to be imminent for just one Missouri inmate.

“They’ve basically run out of people to kill, to put it in an undiplomatic way,” said Kent Gipson, a Kansas City-based attorney who represents several inmates.

Executions across the US were largely on hold for many years due to a de facto moratorium as the supreme court grappled with the constitutionality of lethal injection. Once that cleared, execution drugs became hard to obtain because major companies refused to sell drugs for lethal use.

Missouri eventually turned to pentobarbital, obtained from a source the state won’t disclose, in late 2013. By then, there was a backlog of inmates whose appeals were exhausted. Attorney general Chris Koster asked the state supreme court to set execution dates for many of them, and the court obliged, scheduling one a month since November 2013. Some were halted by court action or clemency.

At the same time, death sentences have been on the decline for many years. Nationally, the 72 death sentences issued last year were the fewest since 1976, according to Amnesty International. None were issued in Missouri………………

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U.S. Politics

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