2019-02-13: News Headlines

Democracy Now! (2019-02-13). Atlanta School Cheating Scandal: The Untold Story of Corporate Greed & Criminalization of Teachers. democracynow.org As teacher strikes in Denver and Los Angeles join a wave of recent labor actions bringing attention to the plight of the American public school system, we take a fresh look at one of the largest public school scandals in U.S. history. Public schools in Atlanta, Georgia, were thrown into chaos in 2015 when 11 former educators were convicted in 2015 of racketeering and other charges for allegedly facilitating a massive cheating operation on standardized tests. Prosecutors said the teachers were forced to modify incorrect answers and students were even allowed to fix their responses during exams. The case has fueled…

teleSUR (2019-02-13). 70 More Bodies Found, 2 Clandestine Graves Uncovered in Mexico. telesurenglish.net Mexican authorities say they have found 49 clandestine graves with 69 bodies inside on a rural property in Colima state. | RELATED: | 2 Migrant Caravans Detained at US-Mexico Border After Crossing | The State Prosecutor's Office says they are working to have all 69 cadavers identified through DNA and forensic examinations. The office also stated that around 70 federal employees have been put on the job to investigate the discovery located in a community just outside of Tecoman…

amnesty (2019-02-13). Egypt steps up executions as six people put to death within two weeks. amnesty.org Egyptian authorities today hanged three prisoners convicted of killing a police officer during clashes that erupted in the weeks following the deadly Rabaa massacre. The executions brought the total number of executions in Egypt to six within a span of two weeks. | Responding to the news, Amnesty International's North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said: | "These executions, which come just days after three other people were put to death in separate cases, mark an alarming escalation in executions so far this year. | "The death pe…

commondreams (2019-02-13). Activists Arrested During Elliot Abrams Testimony in Congressional Hearing on Venezuela. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Shared by Cherise (2019-02-13). The Untold Story Behind the Atlanta School Cheating Scandal. truthout.org As teacher strikes in Denver and Los Angeles join a wave of recent labor actions bringing attention to the plight of the American public school system, we take a fresh look at one of the largest public school scandals in U.S. history. Public schools in Atlanta, Georgia, were thrown into chaos in 2015 when 11 former educators were convicted in 2015 of racketeering and other charges for allegedly facilitating a massive cheating operation on standardized tests. Prosecutors said the teachers were forced to modify incorrect answers and students were even allowed to fix their responses during exams. The case has fue…

Shared by Merula Furtado (2019-02-13). Incarcerated Immigrants Are Being Tortured. truthout.org In El Paso, Texas, not far from where President Trump delivered a speech riddled with falsehoods and jingoism at a pro-wall rally on Tuesday, at least nine Sikh men reportedly fleeing persecution in India have been on hunger strike in an immigration jail known for weeks. | The asylum seekers are protesting their detention and the conditions of the jail, and Immigration and Customs Enfo…

Jessica Corbett, staff writer (2019-02-13). Global Condemnation After Journalist Who Blamed Trump for Duterte's Attacks on Free Press Arrested in Philippines. commondreams.org Just a few months after directly blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for fueling crackdowns on the press in her country, award-winning Filipina journalist Maria Ressa—a long-time critic of the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte—was arrested Wednesday for what reporters and media advocates around the world denounced as "trumped-up and politically-motivated" libel charges designed to intimidate and silence Ressa and her colleagues. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-13). Headlines for February 13, 2019. democracynow.org Trump Remains Evasive on Funding Deal as Shutdown Deadline Approaches, Venezuelans Take to the Streets as Guaidó Sets Deadline for Aid to Enter Country, Venezuela's Guaidó Says He's in Talks to Restore Ties with Israel, Venezuelan President Maduro Says Trump Admin Run by KKK, Philippines: Journalist and Rappler Founder Maria Ressa Arrested, Spain: Catalan Leaders Stand Trial for 2017 Independence Bid, Turkey Issues 1,100 Arrest Warrants in Opposition Crackdown, Acting Defense Secretary Makes Surprise Trip to Iraq, Senate Passes Bill Protecting 1 Million Acres of Public Lands, NYC Jury Finds El Chapo Guilty on All…

Revolution Books (2019-02-13). Film The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution. indybay.org Revolution Books, 2444 Durant Ave. Berkeley CA 94704…

Tyler Durden (2019-02-13). US Charges Air Force Counterintelligence Agent With Spying for Iran, Committing Cybercrimes. theantimedia.com (ZH) — A former US Air Force counterintelligence agent with access to top secret national defense information was charged with spying for Iran after she defected to the Islamic Republic and helped it target her former colleagues, according to a seven-count indictment made public on Wednesday (see below). According to prosecutors, Monica Elfriede Witt a.k.a. Fatemah Zahra, a.k.a. Narges …

T.J. Coles (2019-02-12). London Gangs: a Tragic Remnant of British Colonialism. counterpunch.org London is plagued by street gangs. By the year 2016 there were an estimated 3,600 gangsters. According to government figures, these form some 225 gangs. Of these, 58 gangs are regularly active and are thought by police to be responsible for two-thirds of gang-related offences, including assault, theft, murder and, most of all, drugs. Ethnically, gangsters are mainly white, Asian, black and Eastern European. In the absence of official data, on-the-ground reports suggest that the majority of gangsters dealing in drugs, where the most violent crimes occur, are young black males, particularly Jamaican. This is not on…

ACLU (2019-02-12). 'Policing For Profit' Is Alive and Well in South Carolina. aclu.org An investigative series finds that police have amassed millions through civil asset forfeiture, mostly affecting the poor and people of color. | In Conway, South Carolina, a 72-year-old widow hides inside, her curtains drawn, fearing that local law enforcement will attempt to take away her home for a third time. Ella Bromell has never been convicted of a crime. So how has her house been at risk of seizure for over a decade? | The answer is simple, but the process is obscure, discriminatory, and all-too commonplace: civil asset forfeiture. | Civil asset forfeiture grants law enforcement officers the authority to t…

Human Rights Watch (2019-02-12). Egypt: A Move to Enhance Authoritarian Rule. hrw.org | | Egyptian policemen standing guard outside a polling station with an electoral banner depicting incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seen with a caption reading in Arabic 'for the sake of Egypt we will continue the story of a nation', in the capital Cairo's central neighborhood of Zamalek, March 26, 2018. | © 2018 Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images | (Beirut) — Proposed amendments to Egypt's constitution, including granting the armed…

Brian Gilmore (2019-02-11). Why Trump Won't Get the Black Vote. progressive.org By failing to address issues such as housing, maternal mortality, and mass incarceration, Trump will continue to marginalize black constituents.

Democracy Now! (2019-02-11). "This Is Just the Beginning": Greenwald on Rising State Violence & Homophobia in Bolsonaro's Brazil. democracynow.org On Friday, an operation by Brazilian military police in Rio de Janeiro left at least 13 people dead after a shootout in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Police say they were there to investigate suspected drug traffickers but encountered gunfire when they entered the area. Last month, Rio's new governor, Wilson Witzel, said that city security forces were authorized to shoot to kill suspects. He also said Rio should have its own Guantánamo Bay to house criminals, whom he labeled "terrorists." Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to intensify the war on drugs. While running for president, Bolsonaro sa…

Human Rights Watch (2019-02-11). Lebanon: No Justification for LGBT Crackdown. hrw.org | | Activists take part in a protest outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut on May 15, 2016, demanding the release of four transgender women and calling for the abolishment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal code, which prohibits having sexual relations that 'contradict the laws of nature'. | © 2016 ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images | (Beirut) — Lebanese security forces have repeatedly interfered with human rights events related to gender a…

Human Rights Watch (2019-02-11). Thailand: Bahraini Footballer Goes Home to Australia. hrw.org | (New York) — Thailand has freed a Bahraini refugee football player threatened with extradition since November 2018 following global pressure from athletes, sports federations, and rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. | On February 11, 2019, Thai prosecutors dropped their extradition case against Hakeem Al-Araibi, sought by…

Fight Back (2019-02-11). Anti-War protesters say 'No' to Klobuchar presidential bid. fightbacknews.org Minneapolis, MN – A contingent of demonstrators braved the cold and dense snowfall, February 10, establishing an anti-war presence at Boom Island Park, where Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced her 2020 presidential bid. | Klobuchar has a long history of voting with Republicans on the issues of foreign intervention and militarism, to include voting "Yea" on bills that imposed economic sanctions on Syria and Iran, added $61 billion to the defense budget, extended the expiration date of the PATRIOT Act, and authorized President Trump to transfer precision guided munitions to the Israeli apartheid regime. She…

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-11). How Aggressive Policing Fuels America's Inequality Machine. therealnews.com The recent in-custody police death of Anton Black and inadequate civilian oversight in Baltimore reveal how the underlying imperative of policing in the U.S. is not public safety, but instead heightening the rampant inequality that continues to plague urban America

RT (2019-02-11). 'I did inhale!' Kamala Harris pulls a giggly U-turn on pot legalization. rt.com Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has jumped on the pro-pot bandwagon after decades of locking smokers up as a prosecutor, not only admitting she has "inhaled" — but implying she'd do it again if it was legal.

Human Rights Watch (2019-02-09). Victim Lands Behind Bars in Tunisia. hrw.org | Correction/Clarification: Contrary to what Human Rights Watch reported, the authorities arrested and prosecuted the alleged assailants along with A.F., the complainant. The court sentenced all three on February 11 to six months in prison for "sodomy" under article 230 of the penal code. It also sentenced the alleged assailants to an additional two months for robbery and violence. According to one defense lawyer, A.F. retracted his allegation of rape, both during his interrogation at the police station and during his appearance before the judge. He also denied having…

Eoin Higgins (2019-02-09). Larry Krasner Responds to Progressive Critics: Mumia Abu-Jamal Appeal Is "Incredibly Complex and Nuanced" theintercept.com Larry Krasner has come under fire for fighting an appeal from incarcerated activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of killing a police officer.

Rann Miller (2019-02-08). It's Not Just Ralph Northam—Anti-Blackness is 'Vintage Americana'. progressive.org It's Black Lives Matter at School Week, but black children in continue to suffer because America isn't ready to confront its anti-blackness.

ACLU (2019-02-08). New Bill Limits When California Police Can Use Deadly Force. aclu.org State legislators must pass legislation to stem California's wider epidemic of police violence and to specifically protect communities of color. | As a nation, we must address the brutal reality and deadly consequences of police violence. We have seen far too many people, particularly Black and brown people, killed by police. We have seen too many families and communities shattered by loss and tragedy. Enough is enough. We must limit when police officers can use deadly force and take someone's life. | Current laws in California fail to protect against unnecessary killings by police officers. Officers here —…

Human Rights Watch (2019-02-08). Indonesia: Free Three Papuan Activists. hrw.org | | Yanto Awerkion (far left) detained in the Timika police station in September 2017 for his role in organizing a petition calling on the UN to organize a referendum in Papua. | (Jakarta) — Indonesian authorities should release and drop treason charges against three Papuan activists for peaceful advocacy in the Papua mining town of Timika, Human Rights Watch said today. The Indonesian government is currently imprisoning at least nine people…

ACLU (2019-02-07). Pennsylvania Can't Be a Model for Reform if We Undermine People's Rights. aclu.org Members of the state's General Assembly should deny ballot access to a "victims' rights" constitutional amendment that threatens due process. | Elected officials and corrections administrators in Pennsylvania have been doing a bit of a victory lap after the recent announcement that our state prison population dropped by 1,000 people in 2018. On the heels of the passage of the Clean Slate Act — a new law to automatically seal some people's criminal records from public view — some ha…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-07). Headlines for February 7, 2019. democracynow.org Professor Details Sexual Assault Allegations Against Virginia Lt. Gov., Virginia AG Mark Herring Says He Wore Blackface at 1980 College Party, NASA and NOAA Data Show 2018 Was Among Hottest Years on Record, House Democrats Hold Hearing on Bill to Expand Gun Background Checks, House Advances Bill to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen, Taliban Says U.S. Has Agreed to Halve Its Afghanistan Troop Presence, Honduran Prosecutors: Energy Executive Masterminded Berta Cáceres Murder, New Mexico Governor Withdraws National Guard from U.S.-Mexico Border, Pentagon Deploys 3,750 Additional Troops to U.S.-Mexico Borde…

stuart_m (2019-02-07). Spanish state vs Catalonia: putting a political trial on trial. greenleft.org.au On February 12, the trial of 12 Catalan politicians and social movement leaders involved in the October 1, 2017 independence referendum is set to begin in the Spanish Supreme Court. | The leaders face sanctions as harsh as 25 year's jail for their alleged offences — rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds. | It is the first of three trials. Other defendants, including former police chief, José Lluís Trapero, will face the National High Court. Those members of the Catalan parliament who allowed discussion and voting on the referendum enabling law will face the High Court of Justice of Catalonia…

Nick R. Martin (2019-01-31). Extremists Go Knocking on Dems' Doors – Police Are Returning the Favor. splcenter.org The staff for an Arizona congressman asked the U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday to look into the extremist group Patriot Movement AZ (PMAZ) after its leaders posted photos and video of the congressman's house and information about security measures for the property.

splcenter (2019-01-30). Feds File Hate Crime Charges in Tree of Life Shooting, Cite Antisemitic Posts on Gab. splcenter.org Federal prosecutors are saying overtly for the first time that the man charged with killing 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue did so because he's antisemitic and his intended victims were Jewish.

Paul Dobson (2019-01-21). Venezuela: Dozens Arrested in Short-Lived National Guard Mutiny. venezuelanalysis.com The National Guardsmen who rebelled in Caracas early Monday morning have been arrested and are reportedly providing information to authorities.

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