Tuesday, November 19, 2013



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:













(Unless otherwise noted)













1) Michigan Homeowner Charged in Woman’s Death
By and
November 15, 2013

2) A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk
"About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it. ...The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case 'adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,' the report showed. ...The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being 'openly displayed.' If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it. "
November 14, 2013

3) C.I.A. Collects Global Data on Transfers of Money
By and
November 14, 2013

4) Caught in Unemployment’s Revolving Door
By "The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent."
November 16, 2013

5) Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis
By and
November 16, 2013

6)  The Shame of American Health Care
November 17, 2013

7) Inland, No Aid for Survivors of Typhoon
November 17, 2013

8) Fuel Removal Starts at Japan’s Crippled Nuclear Plant
November 18, 2013

9) Top U.N. Official Warns of Coal Risks
November 18, 2013

10) Extension of Benefits for Jobless Is Set to End
November 17, 2013

11)  Latest Release of Documents on N.S.A. Includes 2004 Ruling on Email Surveillance
By and
November 18, 2013

12) Zimmerman Is Charged With Aggravated Assault
November 18, 2013

13) Coldblooded Does Not Mean Stupid
November 18, 2013

14) Brooklyn Man, Imprisoned 24 Years, Is Acquitted on Murder Charge
November 18, 2013
15) Europeans Fault American Safety Effort in Bangladesh
November 18, 2013

16) Labor Panel Finds Illegal Punishments at Walmart
November 18, 2013

17) In Places Like North St. Louis, Gunfire Still Rules the Night
November 19, 2013 

18) Small Protest in Tahrir Square Restores Dissent to Cairo’s Heart
November 19, 2013

19) Night Falls, and 5Pointz, a Graffiti Mecca, Is Whited Out in Queens
November 19, 2013

20) G’Day From Bushwick
November 19, 2013

21) Doctors Say Heart Drug Raised Risk of an Attack
November 19, 2013










1) Michigan Homeowner Charged in Woman’s Death
By and
November 15, 2013

DETROIT — A suburban Detroit homeowner was formally charged on Friday with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Renisha Marie McBride, a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face with a shotgun as she stood on the man’s porch in the middle of the night nearly two weeks ago.

The defendant, Theodore Paul Wafer, 54, was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony at his arraignment Friday afternoon. His lawyers waived a reading of his charges.

One of his lawyers, Mack L. Carpenter, pledged to mount “a strong defense.”

The shooting in Dearborn Heights almost two weeks ago has stirred racial tensions both in Detroit, a mostly black city, and in its whiter suburbs, including Dearborn Heights, which sits just across the city line.

Much remains unclear about what happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, when Ms. McBride, who was black, crashed her car and hours later ended up on the doorstep of Mr. Wafer, who is white.

Ms. McBride’s relatives have said they believe she had come to Mr. Wafer’s house seeking help. Mr. Wafer has told the police that he believed Ms. McBride had been trying to break in.

Though the case has been compared to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager killed last year in Florida, the Wayne County prosecutor, Kym L. Worthy, said at a news conference Friday morning that “race is not relevant” to the prosecution’s case.

Ms. Worthy said that on Nov. 2, Ms. McBride had knocked on the exterior screen door of Mr. Wafer’s home in Dearborn Heights around 4:30 a.m. About three and a half hours earlier, Ms. McBride had been in a car accident some six blocks away. Tests have subsequently shown that she was legally intoxicated.

Witnesses said that after the car accident, Ms. McBride was bleeding, appeared to be disoriented and walked off into the darkness before returning, then walking away again. Neighbors said they called 911, but by the time the police and an ambulance arrived, Ms. McBride was gone.

The prosecutor said that there was no sign that Ms. McBride had sought to gain entry to Mr. Wafer’s house, but that he had opened the front door and fired a shot through a locked screen door that struck Ms. McBride in the face. Ms. McBride was not armed.

“We do not believe he acted in lawful self-defense,” said Ms. Worthy, adding that prosecutors had decided to charge Mr. Wafer “based on the facts and the evidence.”

Michigan’s “self-defense” act states that a person may use deadly force if “the individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.”

Mr. Wafer’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 18. Civil rights activists said the shooting in Detroit recalled the cases of Mr. Martin and Jonathan Ferrell, a black man who was shot to death by a police officer in Charlotte, N.C., in September when he sought help after a car accident.



2) A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk
"About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it. ...The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case 'adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,' the report showed. ...The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being 'openly displayed.' If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it. "
November 14, 2013

Walking down Eighth Avenue a few weeks ago, I made sure my backpack was fully zipped shut. Inside was a modest stash of pot, bought just an hour or so earlier. A friend knew someone in that world, and after an introduction, then a quiet, discreet meeting, I was on my way to the subway. Never before had I walked through Midtown Manhattan with it on my person. There were four cookies in vacuum-sealed pouches — “edibles” is the technical term — and then a few pinches of what was described as “herb.”

The innovations of Michael R. Bloomberg as mayor are legion, but his enforcement of marijuana laws has broken all records. More people have been arrested for marijuana possession than any other crime on the books. From 2002 through 2012, 442,000 people were charged with misdemeanors for openly displaying or burning 25 grams or less of pot.

I wasn’t sure about the weight of my stash — although a digital scale was used in the transaction, I didn’t see the display — but it didn’t feel too heavy.

Still, I wasn’t about to openly display or burn it.

IT turns out that there was little to fret over. While scores of people are arrested on these charges every day in New York, the laws apparently don’t apply to middle-aged white guys.

Or at least they aren’t enforced against us.

“It is your age that would make you most unusual for an arrest,” said Professor Harry Levine, a Queens College sociologist who has documented marijuana arrests in New York and across the country. “If you were a 56-year-old white woman, you might get to be the first such weed bust ever in New York City — except, possibly, for a mentally ill person.”

About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it.

These drug busts were the No. 1 harvest of the city’s stop, question and frisk policing from 2009 through 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman. Marijuana possession was the most common charge of those arrested during those stops. The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case “adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,” the report showed.

Now, having a little bit of pot, like a joint, is not a crime as long as you don’t burn or openly display it. Having it in my backpack was a violation of law, meaning that it is an offense that is lower than a misdemeanor. Pot in the backpack is approximately the same as making an illegal turn in a car. Taking it out and waving it in the face of a police officer or lighting up a joint on the street would drive it up to the lowest-level misdemeanor.

How was it that all the black and Latino males were displaying or burning pot where it could be seen by the police?

The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being “openly displayed.” If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it.

LAST year, the Bronx Defenders, which represents poor people in criminal court, tried to have suppression hearings in 54 cases involving marijuana possession. In such hearings, the police officer would have been required to testify about the circumstances under which the marijuana was found. If it was the result of an illegal search, the judge could have barred the use of the evidence.

But not once did the hearings go forward: missing paperwork, officer’s day off, the drip, drip of wasted time. On average, each case required five court appearances, and stretched over eight months. Most of the charges were dropped or lowered to noncriminal violations.

The process itself was the punishment, and it was inflicted almost exclusively on blacks and Latinos.

Michael A. Cardozo, the chief lawyer for the city, is eager to get an appeals court to throw out the findings of fact by a judge who ruled against the city in a lawsuit over the stop-and-frisk tactics. Mr. Cardozo appears to believe, mistakenly, that losing a lawsuit is going to damage the legacy of his patron, Mayor Bloomberg.

Undoing a lawsuit will not unstain this history.

As for me, the pot got to a couple of people who might need it to get through some medical storms. It’s too risky for me to use: I already have a hard enough time keeping my backpack zipped.

Email: dwyer@nytimes.com

Twitter: @jimdwyernyt



3) C.I.A. Collects Global Data on Transfers of Money
By and
November 14, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials.

The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete.

Some details of the C.I.A. program were not clear. But it was confirmed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is classified.

The data does not include purely domestic transfers or bank-to-bank transactions, several officials said. Another, while not acknowledging the program, suggested that the surveillance court had imposed rules withholding the identities of any Americans from the data the C.I.A. sees, requiring a tie to a terrorist organization before a search may be run, and mandating that the data be discarded after a certain number of years. The court has imposed several similar rules on the N.S.A. call logs program.

Several officials also said more than one other bulk collection program has yet to come to light.

“The intelligence community collects bulk data in a number of different ways under multiple authorities,” one intelligence official said.

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the C.I.A., declined to confirm whether such a program exists, but said that the agency conducts lawful intelligence collection aimed at foreign — not domestic — activities and that it is subject to extensive oversight.

“The C.I.A. protects the nation and upholds the privacy rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in accordance with U.S. laws,” he said.

Juan Zarate, a White House and Treasury official under President George W. Bush, said that unlike telecommunications information, there has generally been less sensitivity about the collection of financial data, in part because the government already collects information on large transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act.

“There is a longstanding legal baseline for the U.S. government to collect financial information,” said Mr. Zarate, who is also the author of “Treasury’s War,” about the crackdown on terrorist financing. He did not acknowledge the C.I.A. program.

Orders for business records from the surveillance court generally prohibit recipients from talking about them. A spokeswoman for one large company that handles money transfers abroad, Western Union, did not directly address a question about whether it had been ordered to turn over records in bulk, but said that the company complies with legal requirements to provide information.

“We collect consumer information to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and other laws,” said the spokeswoman, Luella Chavez D’Angelo. “In doing so, we also protect our consumers’ privacy.”

In recent months, there have been hints in congressional testimony, declassified documents and litigation that the N.S.A. program — which was disclosed by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor — is not unique in collecting records involving Americans.

For example, the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents related to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the provision that allows the government to compel companies to turn over business records for counterterrorism purposes. After the government declassified the N.S.A. phone records program, it has released many documents about it in response to the suit.

But the government has notified the A.C.L.U. that it is withholding two Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings invoking Section 215 — one dated Aug. 20, 2008, and the other Nov. 23, 2010 — because they discuss matters that remain classified, according to Alexander Abdo, an A.C.L.U. lawyer. “It suggests very strongly that there are other programs of surveillance that the public has a right to know about,” Mr. Abdo said.

In addition, a Justice Department “white paper” on the N.S.A.’s call records program, released in August, said that communications logs are “a context” in which the “collection of a large volume of data” is necessary for investigators to be able to analyze links between terrorism suspects and their associates. It did not say that call records are the only context that meets the criteria for bulk gathering.

In hearings on Capitol Hill, government officials have repeatedly avoided saying that phone logs — which include date, duration and numbers of phone calls, but not their content — are the only type of data that would qualify for bulk collection under the Patriot Act provision. In a little-noticed exchange late in an Oct. 3 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the N.S.A. director, appeared to go further.

At the hearing, Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, asked General Alexander and James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, a sweeping question: “So what are all of the programs run by the N.S.A. or other federal agencies” that used either Section 215 of the Patriot Act or another surveillance law that allows warrantless wiretapping of phone and emails?

General Alexander responded by describing, once again, the N.S.A.’s call records program, adding, “None of that is hid from you.” Mr. Clapper said nothing.

Then, moments later, General Alexander interjected that he was talking only about what the N.S.A. is doing under the Patriot Act provision and appearing to let slip that other agencies are operating their own programs.

“You know, that’s of course a global thing that others use as well, but for ours, it’s just that way,” General Alexander said.

In September, the Obama administration declassified and released a lengthy opinion by Judge Claire Eagan of the surveillance court, written a month earlier and explaining why the panel had given legal blessing to the call log program. A largely overlooked passage of her ruling suggested that the court has also issued orders for at least two other types of bulk data collection.

Specifically, Judge Eagan noted that the court had previously examined the issue of what records are relevant to an investigation for the purpose of “bulk collections,” plural. There followed more than six lines that were censored in the publicly released version of her opinion.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have been trying to gain more information about other bulk collection programs.

In September, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and an author of the original Patriot Act, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asking if the administration was collecting bulk records aside from the phone data. An aide said he had yet to get a response. Even lawmakers on the Intelligence Committees have indicated that they are not sure they understand the entire landscape of what the government is doing in terms of bulk collection.

Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently sent a classified letter to Mr. Clapper asking for a full accounting of every other national security program that involves bulk collection of data at home or abroad, according to government officials.



4) Caught in Unemployment’s Revolving Door
By "The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent."
November 16, 2013

On a cold October morning, just after the federal government shutdown came to an end, Jenner Barrington-Ward headed into court in Boston to declare bankruptcy.

It took weeks to put the paperwork together, given that her papers and belongings were scattered across the country — there was a broken-down car and boxes of paperwork in Virginia Beach, clothes in Colorado and personal possessions at a friend’s house in Somerville, Mass. She managed to estimate her income — maybe $5,000 last year, but maybe half that this year — from odd jobs. Soon, she would officially have nothing.

It has been a painful slide. A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless.

Ms. Barrington-Ward describes it as “my journey through hell.” She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008; she had earned about $50,000 that year. With the recession spurring employers to dump hundreds of thousands of workers a month and the unemployment rate climbing to the double digits, she found that no matter the number of résumés she sent out — she stopped counting in the thousands — she could not find work.

“I’ve been turned down from McDonald’s because I was told I was too articulate,” she says. “I got denied a job scrubbing toilets because I didn’t speak Spanish and turned away from a laundromat because I was ‘too pretty.’ I’ve also been told point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ And the two times I got real interest from a prospective employer, the credit check ended it immediately.”

For Ms. Barrington-Ward, joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans.

The long-term jobless, after all, tend to be in poorer health, and to have higher rates of suicide and strained family relations. Even the children of the long-term unemployed see lower earnings down the road.

The consequences are grave for the country, too: lost production, increased social spending, decreased tax revenue and slower growth. Policy makers and academics are now asking whether an improving economy might absorb those workers in time to prevent long-term economic damage.

“I don’t think we know the answer,” said Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But right now, I think everybody’s worst fears are coming true, as far as we can tell.”

Soon after we first talked in October, Ms. Barrington-Ward left her sister’s house in Ohio, where she had crashed for six weeks, and went back to Boston and filed her bankruptcy paperwork. She contacted a headhunter. “I’ve got to get a job,” she said. “I just have to.” She had two job interviews lined up and her fingers crossed.

Long-term joblessness — the kind that Ms. Barrington-Ward and about four million others are experiencing — is now one of the defining realities of the American work force.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent.

In part, that’s because people don’t return to work in an orderly, first-fired, first-hired fashion. In any given month, a newly jobless worker has about a 20 to 30 percent chance of finding a new job. By the time he or she has been out of work for six months, though, the chance drops to one in 10, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Facing those kinds of odds, some of the long-term jobless have simply given up and dropped out of the labor force. So while official figures show that the number of long-term jobless has fallen steeply from its recessionary high of 6.7 million, many researchers fear that this number could mean as much bad news as good. Workers over 50 may be biding their time until they can start receiving Social Security. Younger workers may be going to school to avoid a tough job market. Others may be going on disability, helping to explain that program’s surging rolls.

Stan Hampton, 59, a veteran of the Iraq war, is now earning his associate degree. But he has not had a job since returning from active duty in 2007, and is now living in an apartment complex for veterans near Las Vegas.

“I’m just trying to hang on until my retirement kicks in,” he said, though he stressed that he would still look for a job. “I have not been in jail or prison, nor am I an alcoholic, drug addict or gambling addict. I am simply old, unemployed and out of money.”

To answer the question of whether the improving economy might help people like Mr. Hampton and Ms. Barrington-Ward, economists often phrase the question as “Is it structural or cyclical?” Cyclical unemployment is temporary, caused by a slack economy. Structural unemployment stems from a mismatch between what businesses want and what workers offer. You are a car mechanic, for example, but the economy needs programmers.

If long-term joblessness is cyclical, a growing economy should bring people back into the job market. But if structural factors are at play, the concern is dire for the whole economy, with a normal unemployment rate “significantly higher than what has been achieved in the past,” said Janet L. Yellen, the presumptive new Federal Reserve chairwoman, in a speech this year.

Right now, most economists argue that unemployment remains primarily cyclical. Ben S. Bernanke, the departing Fed chairman, made this point last summer, adding that an unemployment rate in the 5 percent range — an indication of a healthy economy — was still obtainable. Growth simply hasn’t proved strong enough to spur businesses to hire all the people who want jobs.

Economists come to this conclusion in part because there is no evidence that the long-term jobless are accumulating in any one industry, which would be a signal that the economy needs to move workers from, say, manufacturing into nursing. Long-term unemployment has hit workers young and old, of all industries, races and backgrounds. But the long-term jobless actually tend to be more educated. And long spells of joblessness have hit black workers especially hard, as well as single parents, the disabled and older workers.

With time, however, even people with desired skills can become “structurally” unemployed. Longer spells of unemployment become harder to explain away. Jobless workers’ skills can atrophy. Job seekers find it harder to appear eager. Wounds become scars.

After she lost her job, Ms. Barrington-Ward lived off her 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Two years ago, she had to give up the house she shared with friends outside Boston. She cannot get Medicaid because she does not have a fixed address. She has no car to get around. She does freelance “intuitive” readings, similar to psychic readings, and web production work. A jobless friend committed suicide.

She tries not to let those strains show, but she describes the experience as wearying. “After working since I was 15, I have nothing to show for it,” she said.

“She’s brilliant,” said Allyson Hartzell, a longtime friend with whom Ms. Barrington-Ward is currently staying. “She gets up in the morning. She has her tasks. She’s always working on her personal projects, trying to generate money. She goes to job interviews. She keeps herself in shape.”

Ms. Hartzell continued: “I think it’s emotionally difficult to handle so much rejection, and I think others sometimes feel she needs to justify why she’s in the position she’s in.”

Economists have long thought that the strain of unemployment, plus the erosion of skills and loss of contacts that naturally occur, helps explain the “structural” unemployed in a nation’s work force. But new evidence shows that bias plays a much larger role than previously thought. Some of the long-term unemployed might never find work because businesses simply refuse to hire them.

In a recent study, Rand Ghayad a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, sent out 4,800 dummy résumés to job postings. Those résumés that were supposedly from recently unemployed applicants with no relevant experience were more likely to elicit a call for an interview than those supposedly from experienced workers out of a job for more than six months. Indeed, the callback rate for the long-term jobless ranged from just 1 to 3 percent, versus 9 to 16 percent for newly unemployed workers.

Unemployment becomes a “sorting criterion,” in the words of a separate study with similar findings. It found that being out of a job for more than nine months decreased interview requests by 20 percent among people applying to low- or medium-skilled jobs.

In dozens of interviews, the long-term unemployed described discrimination as being foremost in their minds, though at the same time they said the experience of joblessness had changed them.

Robin Hastey, 53, who lives in Cornwall, N.Y., lost her job in 2009 and has not found steady work since. Her husband went through a spell of unemployment, but eventually found a job that paid half of what he made in the 1990s. They are deeply in debt, she said, estimating that they have about $100 in their bank account.

“We look older,” she said. “I’m not as cute. People aren’t as forgiving. When I was young, you could ask stupid questions and people would hire you anyhow. Now, you’re just a crazy old lady. There’s a lot less forgiveness in the marketplace.”

Still, the slack economy remains the primary culprit behind all the pain in the labor market, economists say. “We’ve got to be doing everything we can,” said Professor Rothstein at Berkeley. “That means direct hiring”— with the government providing jobs — “employment tax credits, just about anything you could think of.”

But the government is now doing the opposite. The mandatory federal budget cuts known as sequestration took as much as 60 percent out of unemployment checks this summer and fall. And, as of this winter, the federal emergency program that extends the maximum number of weeks of jobless payments will end, though the White House is pushing to extend it again.

Some fear that it may already be too late to prevent long-term joblessness from permanently scarring the American work force and broader economy. International Monetary Fund researchers estimate that the level of structural unemployment has increased significantly since the recession. And striking new Federal Reserve research shows that the scars from the recession have knocked the economy off its long-term growth trend.

For the long-term jobless, there is little to do but hope and wait. When I visited Ms. Barrington-Ward in November, she was planning to produce a show for Somerville Community Access Television. Unemployment itself consumes a lot of time. “I’ve been in seven states over the last five years, living with friends and family,” she said. “I usually stay somewhere for three weeks maximum. People want me to leave but don’t want to ask me to leave.”

She never got a second interview for one of the two positions for which she applied. She wrote a detailed plan for and had phone conversations about the other job, this one at a web start-up. She offered to work on a consulting basis. The company told her that it would go with a temp.

On a cold evening in Somerville, she sipped a mocha she had bought with a coupon. She had not given up — not quite. But she was disappointed that jobs hadn’t panned out. Again. “I just know I’m not going to get another full-time job again,” she said. “It’s just so hard.” She had to leave her friend’s house soon. She did not know where she would go.


5) Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis
By and
November 16, 2013

WARSAW — Following a devastating typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines, a routine international climate change conference here turned into an emotional forum, with developing countries demanding compensation from the worst polluting countries for damage they say they are already suffering.

Calling the climate crisis “madness,” the Philippines representative vowed to fast for the duration of the talks. Malia Talakai, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, a group that includes her tiny South Pacific homeland, Nauru, said that without urgent action to stem rising sea levels, “some of our members won’t be around.”

From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call “climate injustice.”

Growing demands to address the issue have become an emotionally charged flash point at negotiations here at the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which continues this week.

“We are in a piece of land which is smaller than Denmark, with a population of 160 million, trying to cope with this extreme weather, trying to cope with the effect of emissions for which we are not responsible,” Farah Kabir, the director in Bangladesh for the anti-poverty organization ActionAid International, said at a news briefing here.

With expectations low for progress here on a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, widely seen as having failed to make a dent in worldwide carbon emissions, some nations were losing patience with decades of endless climate talks, particularly those who see rising oceans as a threat to their existence.

“We are at these climate conferences essentially moving chess figures across the board without ever being able to bring these negotiations to a conclusion,” Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a telephone interview.

Although the divide between rich and poor nations has bedeviled international climate talks for two decades, the debate over how to address the disproportionate effects has steadily gained momentum. Poor nations here are pressing for a new effort that goes beyond reducing emissions and adapting to a changing climate.

While they have no legal means to seek compensation, they have demanded concrete efforts to address the “loss and damage” that the most vulnerable nations will almost certainly face — the result of fragile environments and structures, and limited resources to respond.

The sheer magnitude and complexity of the issue make such compensation unlikely. The notion of seeking justice for a global catastrophe that affects almost every country — with enormous implications for economic development — is not only immensely complicated but also politically daunting.

It assumes the culpability of the world’s most developed nations, including the United States and those in Europe, and implies a moral responsibility to bear the costs, even as those same nations seek to draft a new treaty over the next two years that would for the first time compel reductions by rapidly emerging nations like China and India. As a group, developing countries will within a decade have accounted for more than half of all historical emissions, making them responsible for a large share of the continuing impact humanity will make, if not the impact already made.

Assigning liability for specific events — like Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines with winds of at least 140 miles an hour, making it one of the strongest storms on record — is nearly impossible. It can take scientists years just to determine whether global warming contributed to the severity of a particular weather event, if it can be determined at all.

Many negotiators here have pressed to create a new mechanism that effectively accepts the idea that the results of climate change are irreversible and that the countries that are hit hardest first must be compensated.

“We’ve reached a stage where we cannot adapt anymore,” said Ronald Jumeau, the United Nations representative for the Seychelles, who is his country’s chief negotiator here. He noted the devastating effects not only of extreme storm events, but also of creeping desertification, salinization and erosion that could result in financial losses and even territorial issues that the modern world has never had to face.

“This is new,” he said. “This is like, ‘The Martians are landing!’ What do you do?”

John Kioli, the chairman of the Kenya Climate Change Working Group, a consortium of nongovernmental organizations, called climate change his country’s “biggest enemy.” Kenya, which straddles the Equator, faces some of the biggest challenges from rising temperatures. Arable land is disappearing and diseases like malaria are appearing in highland areas where they had never been seen before.

Developed countries, Mr. Kioli said, have a moral obligation to shoulder the cost, considering the amount of pollution they have emitted since the Industrial Revolution. “If developed countries are reasonable enough, they are able to understand that they have some responsibility,” he said.

How to compensate those nations hardest hit by climate changes remains divisive, even among advocates for such action. Some have argued that wealthy countries need to create a huge pool of money to help poorer countries recover from seemingly inevitable losses of the tangible and intangible, like destroyed traditions.

Mr. Jumeau noted that Congress allocated $60 billion just to rebuild from one storm, Hurricane Sandy, compared with the $100 billion a year that advocates hope to see pledged to a Green Climate Fund by all nations. The fund, intended to help poorer countries reduce emissions and prepare for climate changes, has remained little more than an organizing principle since its creation in 2010, its fund-raising goals unmet.

Others have suggested a sort of insurance program.

The United States and other rich countries have made their opposition to large-scale compensation clear. Todd D. Stern, the State Department’s envoy on climate issues, bluntly told a gathering at Chatham House in London last month that large-scale resources from the world’s richest nations would not be forthcoming.

“The fiscal reality of the United States and other developed countries is not going to allow it,” he said. “This is not just a matter of the recent financial crisis. It is structural, based on the huge obligations we face from aging populations and other pressing needs for infrastructure, education, health care and the like. We must and will strive to keep increasing our climate finance, but it is important that all of us see the world as it is.”

Appeals to rectify the injustice of climate change, he added, will backfire. “Lectures about compensation, reparations and the like will produce nothing but antipathy among developed country policy makers and their publics,” he said.

Juan Pablo Hoffmaister Patiño, a Bolivian who represents the alliance of developing nations known as the Group of 77 and China, said the issue was not so much about assigning culpability for the looming climate disaster as doing something to help those nations hardest hit.

“Trying to assign the blame is something that even scientifically could take us a very long time, and the challenges and problems are actually happening now,” he said in an interview here. “And we need to begin addressing them now rather than identifying who is guilty and to what degree. We can’t make this issue hostage to finding the responsible ones or not.”

Meanwhile, global emissions continue to rise. A report this month by the United Nations Environment Program warned that immediate action must be taken to reduce emissions enough to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. That is the maximum warming that many scientists believe can occur without causing potentially catastrophic climate change.

The current global turbulence, consistent with what scientists expect to happen as the climate changes, is already taking a toll.

As the hundreds of diplomats and advocates assembled for talks here, Justus Lavi was waiting for rain in Kenya. The wheat, beans and potatoes he planted on his farm in Makueni County sprouted, but the rainy season brought only two days of showers, threatening to ruin his yield.

In northern Somalia, Nimcaan Farah Abdi’s 10 acres of corn, tomatoes and other vegetables were ruined as violent storms swept the Horn of Africa. A typhoon last weekend in nearby Puntland killed more than 100 people, a disaster overshadowed by the far more destructive one in the Philippines.

“My farm has been washed away,” Mr. Abdi said. It was the second year in a row of unusually heavy storms to have destroyed his livelihood, leaving him uncertain about how he will provide for his six children. “God knows,” he added, “but I don’t have anything to give now.”

Steven Lee Myers reported from Warsaw, and Nicholas Kulish from Nairobi, Kenya. Justin Gillis contributed reporting from New York, David Jolly from Paris, and Mohammed Ibrahim from Mogadishu, Somalia.



6)  The Shame of American Health Care
November 17, 2013

Even as Americans struggle with the changes required by health care reform, an international survey released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, a research organization, shows why change is so necessary.

The report found that by virtually all measures of cost, access to care and ease of dealing with insurance problems, Americans fared poorly compared with people in other advanced countries. The survey covered 20,000 adults in the United States and 10 other industrial nations — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which put in place universal or near-universal health coverage decades ago. The United States spends far more than any of these countries on a per capita basis and as a percent of the national economy.

For that, it gets meager results. Some 37 percent of American adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions in the past year because of costs, compared with 4 percent in Britain and 6 percent in Sweden. Nearly a quarter of American adults could not pay medical bills or had serious problems paying them compared with less than 13 percent in France and 7 percent or less in five other countries. Even Americans who were insured for the entire year were more likely than adults abroad to forgo care because of costs, an indication of how skimpy some insurance policies are.

When Americans got sick, they had to wait longer than people in most of the other countries to get help. Fewer than half were able to get same-day or next-day appointments with a doctor or nurse; one in four had to wait six days or longer. (Only Canada fared worse on both counts.) But Americans got quicker access to specialists than adults in all but two other countries.

The complexity of the American insurance system is also an issue. Some 32 percent of consumers spent a lot of time on insurance paperwork or in disputes with their insurer over denials of payment for services they thought were covered.

The Affordable Care Act was created to address these problems by covering tens of millions of uninsured people and providing subsidies to help many of them pay for policies; by setting limits on the out-of-pocket costs that patients must bear; and by requiring that all policies cover specified benefits. Americans are understandably frustrated with the Obama administration’s failure to produce a functioning website. President Obama’s erroneous statements that all people who like their current insurance policies can keep them — not true for many people buying insurance in the individual market — has added to anger and misunderstanding. The reform law, however imperfect, is needed to bring the dysfunctional American health care system up to levels already achieved in other advanced nations.



7) Inland, No Aid for Survivors of Typhoon
November 17, 2013

JARO, Philippines — Even as a major international aid effort has begun to take hold around the coastal city of Tacloban, the situation grimly differs just a few miles inland, where large numbers of injured or sick people in interior villages shattered by Typhoon Haiyan more than a week ago have received no assistance.

Well away from the coastal storm surge areas where most of the death toll occurred on the Philippines island of Leyte, the picture is still one of utter devastation — in this case from Haiyan’s record winds. Mile after mile along the inland roads, particularly in the east, practically every home looks as though its roof had been ferociously clawed off.

Coconut palm forests were torn apart, with vast swaths of trees snapped off about 15 feet above the ground. Falling trunks crushed or knocked holes in houses and huts alike.

But while international relief workers in bright blue or red vests and Philippines Department of Health workers in orange vests are now scouring neighborhoods up and down the coast, they are nowhere to be seen in the interior.

Doctors, mayors and local council members in six inland towns and villages here on Leyte Island all said Sunday that their citizens had received no medical treatment or medical supplies and no food, water or tents from the international assistance program. They also had not received any medical assistance from the Philippines government; although town governments had received sacks of rice, village governments had not.

All of them said that with the exception of a handful of people sent to hospitals in Tacloban with clearly life-threatening injuries, most people with typhoon-related lacerations and other injuries were being sent home with little or no care. The inland areas lack doctors and have few if any antibiotics, antiseptic, gauze, or other medical supplies.

All of them also said that they were seeing increasing rates of fever and diarrhea, which they attributed to large numbers of people drinking contaminated water and living in now-roofless homes that offer scant protection from the periodic heavy rains over the past nine days.

Raul Artoza, a 49-year-old local council member in Macanip village, which is under the administrative authority of the town of Jaro, said that he had never seen so many children come down with fever as in the past few days.

Nobody has a thermometer in the village, nobody has taken a child to a health care worker of any sort and no aid has arrived from the Philippines government or any international group since the typhoon, he said.

“We’re just putting leaves on their foreheads,” said one of his neighbors, Milagros Macanip.

Rosalina Doyola, a 22-year-old who completed a university degree in accounting last year, sat in a clinic in Santa Fe on Sunday morning, missing two chunks of her left calf each long and deep enough to put an index finger in lengthwise. She was hurt nine days ago by flying debris and has only received iodine solution as a topical antiseptic, plus inexpensive oral antibiotics, with no attempt at suturing her wounds.

“We were escaping from our house and I was hit by an iron roof; maybe it was the church’s roof,” said Miss Doyola, adding that both her brothers had been injured by stepping on nails since the typhoon, but that her two sisters were fine.

Virginia Anoya Macasaet, the 51-year-old midwife who has run the clinic for many years, said that she had no formal training in wound care. She said that she had initially put gauze on Miss Doyola’s wounds nine days ago but later changed her mind.

“We bandaged it, but it smelled bad, so we left it open,” she said.

Mrs. Macasaet and Miss Doyola both expressed surprise when told that German and Belgian medical aid groups had opened free field hospitals just three miles away in coastal Palo. An ambulance was parked in front of the Santa Fe clinic and available to take them to Palo, and gasoline has become available again in the past couple days after disappearing from sale for a week after the typhoon.

Mrs. Macasaet mentioned that flying debris during the typhoon had also gouged out the left eye of a 9-year-old girl and that she had been sent home with little care. She asked that the mayor, who was standing nearby, be told that the town’s ambulance should be used.

Oscar Monteza, the mayor of Santa Fe, a town of 20,000 people, said that “hundreds” of people had been injured by flying debris during the typhoon. He said that his main priority with the renewed availability of gasoline was to fix and start a generator to produce electricity, but he later agreed to authorize use of the ambulance.

Miss Doyola was fortunate to have received oral antibiotics for more than a week, although they were inexpensive ones to which many bacteria are resistant. Rosaura Diola, the registered nurse who runs the main clinic in downtown Jaro, said that she rationed patients to only three of the 21 tablets they need to complete a weeklong course of antibiotics. Medicine is in such short supply after the typhoon that patients must figure out for themselves how to obtain the rest of the tablets needed to complete treatment, she said.

The clinic typically performs 70 obstetric deliveries a month, but lost its roof in the typhoon. Its upstairs is now open to the heavy rains, although the very damp downstairs still provides partial shelter. Asked how the clinic operates at night without electricity, Mrs. Diola shrugged and said, “There is moonlight.”

Clinics elsewhere are even worse: The clinic in Buenavista village is deserted and has no roof and no windows and such a completely gutted interior that it would be completely unrecognizable as anything other than a long-abandoned building were it not for the sign still labeling it as the village clinic.

All of the towns and villages visited had been without electricity since the typhoon, as temperatures have swung between sweltering heat and sometimes cool breezes after rain. In all of the towns and villages, tetanus vaccines are either out of stock or nearly so, and the few vaccines still being injected had been quite warm for more than a week; pharmaceutical guidelines call for them to be kept cool for full potency, although warm vaccines may be better than none.

Ricky Carandang, a presidential spokesman for the Philippines, said that aid shipments had begun to all town governments on Leyte Island, and these governments were responsible for passing on shipments to village governments. He expressed concern upon being told that village leaders in places like Macanip and Buenavista said that they had not received any relief, not even food, adding that, “We will look into these reports and take appropriate action.”

Inland towns and villages tend to have fewer people and far fewer dead than coastal cities hit by the storm surge. Catalina Agda, the mayor of Tunga, an inland town of 7,000, said that there had been only one typhoon-related death there, caused by a falling coconut tree, and 75 confirmed injuries. Santa Fe had 10 confirmed dead and Jaro had 13, local officials said.

But the extreme damage to housing, coupled with a tendency of inland residents not to go to a clinic when they are injured or sick because of an awareness of the limited medical supplies available, make it likely that injuries and sickness are more widespread in inland areas than anyone on the coast realizes, local officials said.

After town officials in Santa Fe were told of the assistance available in nearby Palo, the ambulance was to take Miss Doyola, the 9-year-old girl and another person there for help. But their fate was still a mystery on Sunday night.

Thomas Laackmann, the medical team leader based in Palo for International Search and Rescue Germany, a nonprofit group based in Duisburg, said that he did not know what became of the 9-year-old girl. But he had seen Miss Doyola’s leg and been concerned that her injury was potentially life threatening. He said he had told the Santa Fe ambulance crew to take her to the Australian field hospital at the Tacloban airport. But as night closed in, and curfew took hold in Tacloban, medical officials at the hospital said they had no record of her arrival.



8) Fuel Removal Starts at Japan’s Crippled Nuclear Plant
November 18, 2013

TOKYO — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant on Monday began removing nuclear fuel assemblies from a storage pool atop one of the site’s blown-out reactor buildings, a delicate yet critical operation that could help reduce risks at the plant.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company released frequent updates about its progress on Monday, when it extracted four of the 1,533 fuel assemblies that lie in a pool of water at the plant’s No. 4 reactor.

That reactor, along with three others, was heavily damaged by hydrogen explosions in the early days of the accident, triggered by the enormous earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.

The state of the No. 4 reactor has been a particular concern because all the fuel at the unit, which was shut down for checks when the crisis hit, lies inside a spent-fuel pool that is perched on the damaged reactor’s upper floors. Experts had warned that leaving the fuel assemblies atop a structurally compromised building was extremely dangerous.

Over the past months, Tepco has focused on devising a plan to place the fuel assemblies in a steel cask, which will be lifted out of the water and transported by trailer to a more secure fuel pool on the ground. To prevent the nuclear fuel assemblies from overheating, engineers must keep them covered with water.

On Monday morning, workers carefully lowered the cask into the spent fuel pool. They then used a crane to extract the first fuel assembly from racks inside the pool and transferred the assembly into the cask. By Tuesday, engineers will transfer 21 more fuel assemblies into the cask before they lift it out of the water and onto a trailer.

Naomi Hirose, the president of Tepco, called the start of the work at the No. 4 unit a milestone in a cleanup and decommissioning process that is expected to take decades. Tepco hopes to finish removing fuel from the No. 4 reactor pool by the end of next year.

“The extraction process represents the beginning of a new and important chapter in our work,” Mr. Hirose said in a statement.

But Japan’s nuclear regulator has pointed out that the process also poses some risks. If damaged or left uncovered, the fuel assemblies could overheat or emit large amounts of radiation. Another difficulty is that engineers could have trouble extracting the fuel assemblies from storage racks in the pool, which is strewn with debris that might cause some assemblies to jam.

Lake Barrett, a former United States nuclear regulator involved with the cleanup after the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, said he had been invited by Tepco to review its contingency plans and found them thorough. Even if assemblies got jammed, for example, Tepco engineers could ultimately use underwater cutters to free them, he said in a telephone interview. “I’m not trivializing what is an important operation. And yes, there’s small debris on top. Several of the assemblies will probably get stuck,” he said. “But it can be dealt with. The technological safety risk of moving the fuel is very, very low, and I believe they’re ready to go.”



9) Top U.N. Official Warns of Coal Risks
November 18, 2013

WARSAW — Most of the world’s coal needs to stay in the ground if greenhouse gas emissions are to be held in check, the United Nations’ top climate change official said Monday in a speech to coal industry executives here in Poland, one of the most coal-dependent nations on Earth.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, told industry officials here that they were putting the global climate and their shareholders at risk by failing to support the search for alternative methods of producing energy.

“Let me be clear from the outset that my joining you today is neither a tacit approval of coal use, nor is it a call for the immediate disappearance of coal,” Ms. Figueres said at an industry conference timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the United Nations climate body. “But I am here to say that coal must change rapidly and dramatically for everyone’s sake.”

Ms. Figures reminded the executives that the 195 members of the United Nations climate treaty agreed in 2010 to hold the rise in global temperatures to below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, from preindustrial levels, and she said that continuing along the current path would make reaching that target impossible.

Ignoring that mandate, she said, poses a “business continuation risk” to the coal industry that it cannot afford to ignore. “Like any other industry, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your work force and shareholders,” she said. “And by now it is abundantly clear that further capital expenditures on coal can only go ahead if they are compatible with the 2 degree Celsius limit.”

Ms. Figueres was speaking at the World Coal Summit, called somewhat incongruously by the Polish government to run at the same time as the 19th meeting of the United Nations climate conference. Poland relies on coal for more than 88 percent of its electricity, and the government has roiled the European mainstream by spurning efforts to slow the use of the fuel.

Godfrey G. Gomwe, chairman of the World Coal Association’s energy and climate committee, responded in a speech that, with “1.3 billion people in the world who live without access to electricity,” the questions of climate change and poverty reduction could not be separated.

“A life lived without access to modern energy is a life lived in poverty,” said Mr. Gomwe, who is also chief executive of the mining company Anglo American’s thermal coal business. “As much as some may wish it, coal is not going away.”

The answer to coal’s carbon pollution problem, Mr. Gomwe said, was investment in higher efficiency plants to reduce emissions, with the developed world helping poorer countries if needed.

Environmentalists criticized the very existence of the coal summit. Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an American advocacy group, called the summit “a distraction.”

“The summit’s focus on continued reliance on coal is directly counter to the goal of these climate negotiations,” Mr. Meyer said in a statement, “which is to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Every year countries come together at these negotiations to find a global solution to climate change, and yet our host is embracing a chief cause of the problem.”

Delegates to the United Nations conference began meeting here last week to chart the road toward a global agreement, planned for a 2015 meeting in Paris, to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which technically expired last year. Discussions are focusing on the details of process, as well as the thorny questions of how the developed world can help poor countries cope with a warming planet, both financially and technologically, and questions of historical responsibility for global warming.

The climate meeting draws thousands of delegates and activists, who use it as a forum for networking and criticizing countries they consider barriers to an enforceable global treaty. In a departure from recent climate meetings, the Americans are not being portrayed as among the chief villains, in part because President Obama appears sincerely committed to reining in greenhouse gases and helping poorer countries adapt. Environmentalists’ wrath is now more directed at Japan and Australia, who are seen as backtracking on earlier climate-friendly policies.

Japan on Friday retreated from its previous emissions target, saying that the loss of its nuclear power base in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe had caused it to revise its outlook for clean energy production.

Australia, meanwhile, has taken an increasingly cool approach to the question of global warming, keeping its environment minister home to work on legislation to repeal a carbon tax enacted by the previous government.

“All the Americans have to do is stand next to the Australians and Japanese, and in the current climate, they appear as the leaders,” Ria Voorhaar, a spokeswoman for the Climate Action Network, an alliance of environmental organizations, said.

Separately, in Beijing on Monday, the president of China, Xi Jinping, told former President Bill Clinton that climate change policy and energy were among the areas where their two countries should cooperate more, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported.

“With the shared efforts of successive leaders of both countries, Sino-U.S. relations have been built into a skyscraper,” Mr. Xi told Mr. Clinton. “Both our sides must continue our efforts, and add building blocks to Sino-U.S. relations.”

Mr. Xi said: “Our two sides have been enhancing cooperation in politics, economics and trade, at a people-to-people level, and in other areas, and we should respond together to challenges such as climate change and energy security.”



10) Extension of Benefits for Jobless Is Set to End
November 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — Unless Congress acts, during the last week of December an estimated 1.3 million people will lose access to an emergency program providing them with additional weeks of jobless benefits. A further 850,000 will be denied benefits in the first quarter of 2014.

Congressional Democrats and the White House, pointing to the sluggish recovery and the still-high jobless rate, are pushing once again to extend the period covered by the unemployment insurance program. But with Congress still far from a budget deal and still struggling to find alternatives to the $1 trillion in long-term cuts known as sequestration, lawmakers say the chances of an extension before Congress adjourns in two weeks are slim.

As a result, one of the largest stimulus measures passed during the recession is likely to come to an end, and jobless workers in many states are likely to receive considerably fewer weeks of benefits.

In all, as many as 4.8 million people could be affected by expiring unemployment benefits through 2014, estimated Gene Sperling, President Obama’s top economic adviser.

“Historically, there has not been a time where the unemployment rate has been this high where you have not extended it,” Mr. Sperling said in an interview. “Why would you not extend now, when you’re dealing with the nearly unprecedented levels of long-term unemployment coming off such a historic recession? This would be the wrong time to do it.”

Democrats are pushing for an extension of the emergency insurance program as part of the broader budget talks designed to avert a repeat of the government shutdown in October. But negotiators in the House and Senate are discussing a relatively small deal focused on replacing or altering the sequestration cuts, which would probably not include an extension of the jobless program.

Both Republicans and Democrats are skeptical that even such a small deal is possible given how divided the parties are.

Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington and chairwoman of the Budget Committee, “clearly supports the policy, is interested in doing it and is hopeful there will be a path in this budget conference,” said a senior Democratic aide with knowledge of the discussions. “She will continue to work with Republicans to see if it’s possible in this deal.”

Republican aides declined to discuss the talks. But Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House budget chairman, “is committed to finding common ground,” said William Allison, a spokesman. “He hopes both parties can work together to cut spending in a smarter way.”

Congress initially created the federally funded unemployment insurance extension in 2008, as a way to combat poverty and to help unemployed workers get through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Congress has repeatedly extended the program since then, with the Congressional Budget Office calling it among the most effective forms of government stimulus.

But with each extension, legislators have haggled over the program’s cost and over how many weeks of benefits the government should provide. Extending the current program through 2014 would cost about $25 billion. The program has cost roughly $250 billion so far.

The end of the emergency program would come as the economy is improving, if slowly. Employers are now adding jobs at a pace of around 200,000 a month, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.3 percent.

But weakness persists beyond the headline numbers. About four million Americans have been looking for work for more than six months, and the share of the working-age population with a job has declined over the past year.

In part that is because the government has slashed spending even as private businesses have picked up their hiring. Sequestration forced federal agencies to enact sudden budget cuts this year. And a number of recession-era programs beyond the emergency jobless aid program are ending. This month, for example, an expansion of the food stamp program expired.

The left-of-center Economic Policy Institute has estimated that the expiration of the emergency jobless benefits program would reduce job growth by 310,000 positions next year because consumers over all would have less money to spend. Michael Feroli, chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase, has estimated that it would drain about four-tenths of a percentage point from first-quarter economic growth.

Already, about 2.5 million unemployed people who have not worked in six months or more are receiving no federal jobless benefits.

Those include Jonathan Galliher, a 31-year-old computer programmer in Chicago who is living with family and freelancing while searching for a full-time job. “For a long time, I felt like I didn’t have any momentum,” he said. “It has been difficult. I spend my days sitting at home, working and not really seeing a lot of other people. That kind of isolation is not good for people.”

The odds of finding a job once out of work for a long spell are slim — about 1 in 10 during any given month. That has spurred hundreds of thousands of workers to simply drop out of the labor force, with long-lasting economic consequences for those workers and for the country.

“When I go for an interview and I get asked, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ ” said Nancy Copeland, 56, who lives in Kansas City, Kan., and is looking for a job in medical billing. “I’m made to feel like it’s the Sunday night before a term paper is due, I’ve known about it for months, and I just started on it Wednesday afternoon and now my mom is asking me why I waited so long.”




11)  Latest Release of Documents on N.S.A. Includes 2004 Ruling on Email Surveillance
By and
November 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration released hundreds of pages of newly declassified documents related to National Security Agency surveillance late Monday, including an 87-page ruling in which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court first approved a program to systematically track Americans’ emails during the Bush administration.

“The raw volume of the proposed collection is enormous,” wrote Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who was then the chief judge on the secret surveillance court. The government censored the date of her ruling in the publicly released document, and many sections — including a description of what she had been told about terrorism threats — were heavily redacted.

The ruling was among a trove of documents that were declassified and made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, including those by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

Many of the documents have historic significance, showing how Bush administration surveillance programs that were initially conducted without court oversight and outside statutory authorization were brought under the authority of the surveillance court and subjected to oversight rules. The documents also included reports to Congress, training slides and regulations issued under President Obama.

The Bush administration temporarily shut down its bulk collection of email logs after Justice Department lawyers raised legal concerns in March 2004. Judge Kollar-Kotelly declared the collection lawful in July 2004, according to documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

The email metadata — information like the identities of senders and recipients and the and the dates of messages, but not the content — was used in searches of unknown associates of terrorism suspects. The Obama administration has said it shut down the email metadata program in 2011 for “operational and resource” reasons.

Several other court documents released on Monday indicated that the program had difficulties with collecting Internet communications beyond the scope of what the court had authorized. Redactions made it difficult to understand the specifics of the problems, but an accompanying statement offered more details. At one point, it said, the government had shut down the program for several months “because of the significance and complexity of these incidents.”

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the N.S.A. had intercepted private email messages and phone calls of Americans on a scale that went beyond broad legal limits. A statement released on Monday said that an excess collection problem in 2009 was the result of “longstanding compliance issues associated with N.S.A.’s electronic communications and telephony bulk metadata collection programs” and that the N.S.A. “recognized that its compliance and oversight structure had not kept pace with its operational momentum.”

In a statement, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said that with the new releases, nearly 2,000 pages about surveillance matters had been declassified since President Obama instructed him in June to “make public as much information as possible about certain sensitive programs while being mindful of the need to protect sensitive classified intelligence activities and national security.”

“Release of these documents reflects the executive branch’s continued commitment to making information about this intelligence collection program publicly available when appropriate and consistent with the national security of the United States,” he said.

The trove also included the Bush administration’s 2006 application for initial approval by the surveillance court to collect bulk logs of all domestic phone calls under a provision of the Patriot Act that allows the collection of business records deemed “relevant” to an investigation, another program it had previously undertaken unilaterally. The call record program is still active.

“Here, the government’s interest is the most compelling imaginable: the defense of the nation in wartime from attacks that may take thousands of lives,” said the Justice Department brief, which was signed by Alberto Gonzales, who was then attorney general. “On the other side of the ledger, the intrusion is minimal” into privacy concerns because the calling logs did not include any content of communications.

The documents show that as early as 2006, an inspector general review recommended tighter controls over the bulk telephone metadata program to reduce the risk that they would violate the limits on the collection of data. In 2009, the court would sharply rebuke the N.S.A. for violating its own procedures and misleading the nation’s intelligence court about how it used the telephone call logs.

Jameel Jaffer, a senior lawyer with the A.C.L.U., argued that the release of the documents demonstrated what he argued were structural problems with the surveillance court, which decides major issues.

“This is a reminder a lot of the most important and far-reaching decisions of the past decade were issued by this court, which meets in secret and hears only from the government and doesn’t publish its decisions,” Mr. Jaffer said.

The full scope and details of any revelations in the documents were not immediately clear because of the large volume of materials and the late hour at which they became available. It appeared likely to take days for journalists, privacy advocates and other close watchers of surveillance policy issues to finish scouring the trove.



12) Zimmerman Is Charged With Aggravated Assault
November 18, 2013

ATLANTA — Barely four months after he was acquitted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager that spurred demonstrations across the country, George Zimmerman was arrested on Monday in Florida following a dispute with his girlfriend, the authorities said.

Mr. Zimmerman, 30, was charged with domestic aggravated assault, domestic battery and criminal mischief after he and his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, had an argument at their home in Apopka, northwest of Orlando, said Chief Deputy Sheriff Dennis Lemma of Seminole County. Ms. Scheibe told investigators that she had asked Mr. Zimmerman to leave the residence, and that he had begun packing his belongings, including two firearms, before growing agitated and turning violent.

Deputy Lemma said that Mr. Zimmerman had “broken a table and, at one point, pointed a long-barreled shotgun” at Ms. Scheibe, who said he had aimed at her for about a minute. Later in the altercation, the authorities said, Mr. Zimmerman forced Ms. Scheibe, who was uninjured, out of the home before obstructing a doorway with furniture.

“He just pushed me out of my house and locked me out,” Ms. Scheibe told a 911 dispatcher.

Law enforcement officials arrived soon after.

“The deputies were able to open the door and push away the furniture that was blocking the door, and confronted George Zimmerman as he sat there,” Deputy Lemma said during a news conference in Sanford, Fla. “At that time, he was unarmed.”

Mr. Zimmerman was being held without bond ahead of a court appearance on Tuesday, which officials said was typical in a domestic violence case.

In his own 911 call before the deputies entered the home, Mr. Zimmerman said that Ms. Scheibe was pregnant with his child and that he wanted “everyone to know the truth” about Monday’s episode.

“I never pulled a firearm. I never displayed it,” he said. “When I was packing it, I’m sure she saw it. I mean, we keep it next to the bed.”

He also said Ms. Scheibe was responsible for the broken table when she started “smashing stuff, taking stuff that belonged to me, throwing it outside, throwing it out of her room, throwing it all over the house.”

Deputy Lemma said Mr. Zimmerman was the subject of “administrative confinement,” a designation for prominent inmates who are housed alone and checked on hourly.

Mr. Zimmerman became a national figure after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, while working as a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford in February 2012. Mr. Martin’s death — and the initial absence of charges against Mr. Zimmerman — prompted outcry nationwide, and Mr. Zimmerman was ultimately charged with second-degree murder after Gov. Rick Scott asked a Jacksonville prosecutor to review the case. During Mr. Zimmerman’s trial, the authorities contended that he was a “wannabe cop” who had defied the instructions of an emergency dispatcher on the night of the shooting while he “profiled” Mr. Martin.

After his acquittal, Mr. Zimmerman remained in the news, public fodder because of his troubled personal life and his repeated encounters with law enforcement officials in Florida and elsewhere.

In September, the police in Lake Mary, Fla., investigated a dispute between Mr. Zimmerman and his estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, although he was not charged. Shortly before that episode, Ms. Zimmerman filed for divorce.



13) Coldblooded Does Not Mean Stupid
November 18, 2013

Humans have no exclusive claim on intelligence. Across the animal kingdom, all sorts of creatures have performed impressive intellectual feats. A bonobo named Kanzi uses an array of symbols to communicate with humans. Chaser the border collie knows the English words for more than 1,000 objects. Crows make sophisticated tools, elephants recognize themselves in the mirror, and dolphins have a rudimentary number sense.

And reptiles? Well, at least they have their looks.

In the plethora of research over the past few decades on the cognitive capabilities of various species, lizards, turtles and snakes have been left in the back of the class. Few scientists bothered to peer into the reptile mind, and those who did were largely unimpressed.

“Reptiles don’t really have great press,” said Gordon M. Burghardt, a comparative psychologist at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. “Certainly in the past, people didn’t really think too much of their intelligence. They were thought of as instinct machines.” But now that is beginning to change, thanks to a growing interest in “coldblooded cognition” and recent studies revealing that reptile brains are not as primitive as we imagined. The research could not only redeem reptiles but also shed new light on cognitive evolution.

Because reptiles, birds and mammals diverged so long ago, with a common ancestor that lived 280 million years ago, the emerging data suggest that certain sophisticated mental skills may be more ancient than had been assumed — or so adaptive that they evolved multiple times.

For evidence of reptilian intelligence, one need look no further than the maze, a time-honored laboratory test. Anna Wilkinson, a comparative psychologist at the University of Lincoln in England, tested a female red-footed tortoise named Moses in the radial arm maze, which has eight spokes radiating out from a central platform. Moses’ task was to “solve” the maze as efficiently as possible: to snatch a piece of strawberry from the end of each arm without returning to one she had already visited.

“That requires quite a memory load because you have to remember where you’ve been,” Dr. Wilkinson said.

Moses managed admirably, performing significantly better than if she had been choosing arms at random. Further investigation revealed that she was not using smell to find the treats. Instead, she seemed to be using external landmarks to navigate, just as mammals do.

Things became even more interesting when Dr. Wilkinson hung a black curtain around the maze, depriving Moses of the rich environmental cues that had surrounded her. The tortoise adopted a new navigational strategy, exploring the maze systematically by entering whatever arm was directly adjacent to the one she had just left. This approach is “an enormously great” way of solving the task, Dr. Wilkinson said, and a strategy rarely seen in mammals.

Navigational skills are important, but the research also hints at something even more impressive: behavioral flexibility, or the ability to alter one’s behavior as external circumstances change. This flexibility, which allows animals to take advantage of new environments or food sources, has been well documented in birds and primates, and scientists are now beginning to believe that it exists in reptiles, too.

Anole, a tropical lizard, have a very specific method of acquiring food, striking at moving prey from above. But Manuel S. Leal, a biologist at Duke University, created a situation in which this strategy simply would not work, hiding a tasty insect larva inside a small hole and covering the hole with a tightfitting blue cap.

Two of the six lizards he tested tried to extract the treat by attacking the blue disk from above, to no avail. But the other four puzzled out new approaches. Two lizards came at the disk sideways, using their mouths to bite and lift it, while the others used their snouts as levers to pry it off the baited well.

Then Dr. Leal increased the difficulty by hiding the larvae under a new cap, this one blue and yellow. He used the solid blue disk to cover an adjacent, empty well. In tests of four lizards, two recognized the switch and learned that getting the bait now required flipping the multicolored disk instead of the blue one.

Other studies have documented similar levels of flexibility and problem solving. Dr. Burghardt, for instance, presented monitor lizards with an utterly unfamiliar apparatus, a clear plastic tube with two hinged doors and several live mice inside. The lizards rapidly figured out how to rotate the tube and open the doors to capture the prey. “It really amazed us that they all solved the problem very quickly and then did much better the second time,” Dr. Burghardt said. “That’s a sign of real learning.”

So how did we miss this for so long? Scientists say that many early studies of reptile cognition, conducted in the 1950s and ’60s, had critical design flaws.

By using experiments originally designed for mammals, researchers may have been setting reptiles up for failure. For instance, scientists commonly use “aversive stimuli,” such as loud sounds and bright lights, to shape rodent behavior. But reptiles respond to many of these stimuli by freezing, thereby not performing.

Scientists may also have been asking reptiles to perform impossible tasks. Lizards do not use their legs to manipulate objects, Dr. Leal said, “so you cannot develop an experiment where you’re expecting them to unwrap a box, for example.”

What’s more, because they are coldblooded, reptiles are particularly sensitive to environmental conditions. Rats and mice can run a maze just fine in a 70-degree lab, but many reptilian species need a much warmer environment — with air temperatures in the mid-80s or 90s. “They seem to learn the quickest at body temperatures that are very uncomfortable for us,” Dr. Burghardt said.

Now that scientists have gotten better at designing experiments for reptiles, they are uncovering all kinds of surprising abilities. Some of the most intriguing work involves social learning. The conventional wisdom is that because reptiles are largely solitary, asocial creatures, they are incapable of learning through observation.

New research calls that assumption into question. In another study of red-footed tortoises, Dr. Wilkinson deposited a tortoise on one side of a wire fence and a piece of strawberry on the other, in sight but just out of reach. To get their snouts on the treat, the tortoises needed to take a long detour around the edge of the fence.

Not one tortoise figured this out on its own. (Unable to reach the reward, some of the animals simply decided to nap.) But when they watched a trained tortoise navigate around the fence, all the observers learned to follow suit.

Other studies of reptiles have turned up similar results, challenging the popular theory that social learning evolved as a byproduct of — and a special adaptation for — group living. Instead, Dr. Wilkinson said, social learning may be merely an outgrowth of an animal’s general ability to learn. The field of reptile cognition is in its infancy, but it already suggests that “intelligence” may be more widely distributed through the animal kingdom than had been imagined. As Dr. Burghardt put it, “People are starting to take some of the tests that were developed for the ‘smart’ animals and adapting them to use with other species, and finding that the ‘smart’ animals may not be so special.”



14) Brooklyn Man, Imprisoned 24 Years, Is Acquitted on Murder Charge
November 18, 2013

A Brooklyn jury has acquitted a 58-year-old man who had been imprisoned for 24 years on a murder charge.

The man, Derrick Deacon, had been convicted in the 1989 shooting death of Anthony Wynn during a robbery in a Flatbush apartment complex. 

Mr. Deacon was granted a new trial in 2012 after someone cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified a different man as the gunman and after a separate witness recanted.
On Monday, it took a jury just nine minutes to declare Mr. Deacon not guilty. 

His lawyer says Mr. Deacon, a Jamaican, is being held by immigration authorities but is expected to be released in about a week.



15) Europeans Fault American Safety Effort in Bangladesh
November 18, 2013

Tensions broke into the open on Monday involving two large groups of retailers — one overwhelmingly American, the other dominated by Europeans — that have formed to improve factory safety in Bangladesh.

An official from the European group voiced concern that the American retailers would piggyback at no cost on the efforts of the Europeans — which includes H&M, Carrefour and more than 100 other retailers — in financing safety upgrades at hundreds of factories.

The members of the European-led group, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, have made binding commitments to help pay for fire safety measures and building upgrades when shortcomings in safety are found in the more than 1,600 garment factories its members use in Bangladesh. While the American-dominated group, which has 26 members, including Walmart Stores, Target and Gap, has stopped short of making such a binding commitment, it has pledged to provide loans for the improvements.

Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, a labor rights group based in Washington that is a member of the Europe-led accord, said members had a “significant concern about a free-rider situation.”

Jeff R. Krilla, the president of the American-dominated group, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, said he was surprised by the criticism, noting that his alliance had agreed to make $100 million in low-cost loans available to Bangladesh factory owners to finance safety improvements.

In a sharp exchange in a telephone conference call on worker safety in Bangladesh that was organized by the Boston Global Forum, a nonprofit research organization, Mr. Krilla said his group’s members were making a significant financial commitment to improving safety, including a total of $50 million over five years in contributions by retailers in the alliance. The two groups, founded after the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed last April, killing more than 1,100 workers, are just beginning factory inspections. Despite the friction, they have been working closely together to develop joint inspection standards on fire and building safety.

Srinivas B. Reddy, director of the International Labor Organization’s office in Bangladesh, described a change in attitude among Bangladesh factory owners who have frequently been criticized by the United States and other countries for shunning safety concerns and suppressing labor unions.

“The factory owners in Bangladesh have clearly realized that unless these issues are addressed in terms of improving safety and labor rights, the industry may land in crisis,” Mr. Reddy said.

That could lead to the loss of orders from Western companies. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporting nation after China, exporting nearly $20 billion in apparel each year.

In the conference call, Mr. Nova, in a clear reference to the American-led alliance, said that members were concerned about “the tremendous lack of worker involvement” in some factory safety efforts.

The European-led accord has two giant union federations as members with tens of millions of members, IndustriALL and Uni Global. The American alliance does not have any formal union participation, but Mr. Krilla said his alliance expected to work closely with Bangladeshi unions.

In recent months, Walmart, H&M and other retailers have sponsored their own emergency safety inspections of factories, in part to prevent any new disasters before inspections called for in the groups’ accord begin at hundreds of factories.

Late Sunday, Walmart posted on its website the results of 75 inspections that it commissioned for factories it uses in Bangladesh.

Kevin Gardner, a Walmart spokesman, said the reports showed that many factories had “made real improvements that are making the supply chain safer for thousands of workers in Bangladesh.”

Mr. Gardner said that 34 of the 75 factories had moved from having a D or C rating to having an A or B rating.

“This is the first time a retailer has published results of factory audits on this scale,” Mr. Gardner said. “We believe transparency is vital to improve worker safety in Bangladesh.”

In a separate interview, Mr. Nova criticized Walmart’s inspection reports as inadequate.

“I expected to see much more substantive detail,” he said. “They really don’t point out specific or actual hazards.” He praised Walmart for disclosing the names of its factories, which many retailers refuse to do. “But in terms of public disclosure, it’s pretty useless,” he added. “There’s no way for workers at a factory to tell what specific hazards they face, whether it’s a lack of smokeproof enclosed staircases or something else.”



16) Labor Panel Finds Illegal Punishments at Walmart
November 18, 2013

Walmart illegally disciplined and fired employees over strikes and protests, the National Labor Relations Board said on Monday.

In addition, the board’s general counsel said an inquiry found evidence that a Walmart spokesman, appearing on national television, had unlawfully threatened employees who were considering taking part in the protests.

While the board authorized the filing of a complaint asserting violations of workers’ rights, no complaint was filed on Monday. The board counsel’s office said it would give the parties a chance to reach a settlement.

Walmart denied the accusations, and it called the board’s steps “procedural.”

The board’s general counsel was investigating accusations made against Walmart stemming from protest activities planned last year for Black Friday, among others.

The scope of the accusations was wide, spanning activities in more than a dozen states, and according to the United Food and Commercial Workers union, it covered actions taken against about 100 Walmart employees.

“It’s a major case in terms of the number of stores,” said James J. Brudney, a professor at Fordham University Law School. “And it has a national scope in terms of unlawful threats and terminations.”

Last year, a union-backed group called Our Walmart organized protests at 1,000 Walmart stores in 46 states, a spokeswoman said. Thousands of people participated, demonstrating against retaliation against workers and in support of higher wages, although the company asserted that many were not employees.

In advance of that day of heavy discounts and widely publicized protests, David Tovar, a Walmart spokesman, said on CBS News, “If associates are scheduled to work on Black Friday, we expect them to show up and to do their job, and if they don’t, depending on the circumstances, there could be consequences.”

A news release distributed by the board counsel’s office said Mr. Tovar “threatened employees with reprisal” on two national television broadcasts. The general counsel also asserted that Walmart “unlawfully threatened,” disciplined or fired employees for engaging in strikes or protests in more than a dozen states, including California, Colorado, Texas and Massachusetts. The board also said that Walmart disciplined or fired employees for activities other than strikes in four states.

A union spokeswoman said that at least 43 workers were disciplined and at least 23 were fired.

Whether employees are unionized or not, federal law, under the National Labor Relations Act, protects certain activities, like protesting or organizing for better wages or working conditions.

In a statement, a Walmart spokesman strongly disagreed with the general counsel’s move.

“This is just a procedural step and we will pursue our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified,” said Kory Lundberg, the spokesman.

“It’s important to note that there has not been one decision in the last five years by the N.L.R.B. or by a court finding that Walmart violated the National Labor Relations Act,” Mr. Lundberg said. “That is because we take our obligations under the act very seriously and we train our managers accordingly.”

In a conference call with reporters Monday about planning for another round of protests this year on Black Friday, during which the labor board’s complaint was first announced, several labor activists and union leaders celebrated the board’s decision, including Joseph Hansen, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

“In this morning’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, a Walmart spokesman said the company had a very strong anti-retaliation policy,” Mr. Hansen said. “Yet today, the government confirmed it will prosecute Walmart for illegally firing and disciplining workers who just exercised their rights. Quite frankly, enough is enough.”

The article in The Plain Dealer was not primarily about retaliation, but about wages. The article described a holiday food drive at a Walmart in nearby Canton, Ohio, which included a sign that said, “Please donate food items here so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” The article went viral, and activists said it showed that Walmart employees were poorly paid.

Mr. Lundberg said the decision to host the drive was made at the store level to help employees in unexpected hardships, not chronically in need. He said that last year the drive benefited a woman who had stopped receiving child support payments.

In addition to the findings that are at issue between Walmart and the labor relations board, the general counsel’s office said it found no evidence to support other accusations made. Among these findings: the company did not interfere with workers’ right to strike by telling protesters to move off store property in Illinois and Texas, and stores in California and Washington did not illegally change work schedules or coerce employees in retaliation.

During this holiday season, Walmart has been active in a public-relations campaign, including TV ads, featuring the treatment of its workers. On Monday, Walmart said it promoted more than 350 employees during town hall meetings in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.



17) In Places Like North St. Louis, Gunfire Still Rules the Night
November 19, 2013 

ST. LOUIS — The unmistakable pop of a gunshot ricocheted through the park in the humid air, and Montez Wayne could only hope that the bullet did not have his name on it. He sprang from his seat beneath a sprawling bald cypress, ready to make his move.

Was today the day?

He had seen it play out too many times before: the blast of gunfire, the blood, the body. In Mr. Wayne’s neighborhood and others on the North Side of St. Louis, drugs, poverty and struggle go hand in hand with gun violence. He barely knows his father. His mother died when he was 14, around the time he started selling drugs. His list of dead friends grows each year.

Mr. Wayne lives in a poor, mostly black community, where, as in similar neighborhoods across America, residents are fed up with persistent gun violence. Victims die one by one, or in clusters. In Chicago, 23 people were shot in a matter of hours in September, 13 of them in a park in a gang-related attack. Three died.

Last month in North St. Louis, a 16-year-old was fatally shot in a park as he was waiting for a school bus — a month after his friend was shot to death. And last week, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the face walking to his school bus stop on the city’s North Side. He survived.

Even as St. Louis and many other cities celebrate significant decreases in crime over the past two decades, concentrated pockets of violence remain, and sometimes grow, a cruel imbalance that criminologists and police departments nationwide are struggling to correct.

In the 27th Ward in North St. Louis, for example, there were 17 murders
last year, up from five in 2009. This, even as homicides citywide have dropped nearly 60 percent (113 last year) since peaking at 267 two decades ago.

Mr. Wayne, 23, is hardly an innocent, with repeated arrests for drug possession or trafficking. He will not discuss whether he has ever killed anyone, but says there was a time when he used to arm himself with a gun and break into the homes of drug dealers to steal. He was a hard-core dealer and user, he said, before trying to straighten out. He still hangs out with a crew that calls itself the 20th Street Gang, part of a larger group called the Water Tower Mafia that pledges allegiance to the Crips.

His daily routine gives a glimpse of how life here can be marked by shockingly violent interludes on seemingly ordinary days. They come out of nowhere to disrupt a trip to school or the supermarket. “I done seen so many people die like, man, there have been times I just thought I was next,” he said.

‘A Never-Ending Cycle’

When people in crime-ridden communities hear public officials declare that their cities are safer, they snicker.

“There’s a sense of hopelessness on behalf of a lot of people,” said Prince Carter, whose brother,
Garland, 52, was shot and killed in February in O’Fallon, another neighborhood on the city’s North Side.

The killing has rattled Mr. Carter, 49, who sells concessions at a market. He can barely stand to drive past the liquor store where he had to identify his brother’s bloodied body on a snowy afternoon. He now sleeps with a shotgun, avoids going out at night, constantly surveys his surroundings and is planning to leave St. Louis, where he has spent his entire life.

Mr. Wayne, too, is on constant alert. On that hot afternoon this summer when the gunshot rang out in the park, interrupting a conversation with this reporter, Mr. Wayne’s lips curled. He jumped up, twisted his shirtless torso and crouched like a sprinter awaiting a relay baton. But the tension quickly ebbed when he saw a smiling friend clutching a smoking pistol — he was just test firing the weapon into the grass.

“It’s scary, man,” Mr. Wayne said later. “Whoever tells you they ain’t scared of this life, they lying to you.”

What Mr. Wayne sees on these streets does not correspond with dropping crime statistics. “It ain’t getting better,” he said. “Beef ain’t going to ever stop because if you shoot him, his people going to come back and shoot one of your people. That’s a never-ending cycle.”

He almost saw his time come in August of last year.

After a night of clubbing, Mr. Wayne hopped into a gray Monte Carlo with two friends and his cousin, Darryl Haywood, who was driving. They pulled off the highway, slowing as they came to a yield sign and a cross street when a black Pontiac Grand Am pulled up on their left. They heard a series of loud pops, and glass started flying. “I’m hit,” Mr. Wayne thought, as he curled up in the back seat behind the driver. He implored his cousin, “Go! Go! Go!”

Mr. Haywood peeled right, up a hill, hung a wide left after two blocks and lost control of the car. It crashed into a brick church, coming to rest beneath an arched stained-glass window.

Mr. Haywood, 26, had been shot in the heart, lost consciousness and died, just shy of his college graduation and leaving behind a son and a pregnant girlfriend. A bullet grazed Mr. Wayne’s testicles, ripped through his right leg and clipped the right side of his rib cage. It was the first time he had been shot.

To this day, Mr. Wayne said he does not know who shot them or why. The police have not made an

Life in these neighborhoods can be dangerously random like that.

After his mother died nearly a decade ago, Mr. Wayne moved into a house with his younger brother and older sister. He contributed to expenses by working at Walmart and selling drugs, he said. He attended high school in Brentwood, a suburb, as part of a desegregation program, and was suspended for a year as a sophomore after he was caught with drugs for a second time. But he went to the district’s alternative school and graduated on time in
2009, just days before his daughter was born.

That same year, he was arrested on charges of drug trafficking and possession, which got him three years’ probation. Two years later, he was arrested again for drug possession as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, and got three more years’

Mr. Wayne, who has a narrow, bony face and a noticeable gap between his front teeth, speaks in a drowsy monotone. He is taking a music production course sponsored by Nelly, a rapper from St. Louis, at Vatterott College.

One afternoon this summer, he dialed up the volume on the car stereo when his current favorite song, “Type of Way” by Rich Homie Quan, came on. Driving through the College Hill
neighborhood, which has experienced spasms of violence this year, Mr. Wayne pointed to the south of Grand Avenue, a major thoroughfare, near 19th Street, saying they called that area The D.U.B. — Deadly Upon Birth. To the north, they call it John Murderville.

He pulled up to M and V Supermarket, a dingy corner store with a peach-colored facade, where people gather outside the front door beneath a sign warning that loitering could result in a $500 fine.

Neighborhood Roots

Inside the store, some smoked cigarettes next to a freezer with ice cream. While the store has an array of offerings — doo rags, false eye lashes, hair weave — most seem to come for the drinks or hot food: sandwiches, chicken wings or, Mr. Wayne’s favorite, Doritos covered in ground beef, cheese and sour cream.

In front of the store, with the sun beating down, Mr. Wayne’s younger brother and another man squared up against each other like boxers, but they were only play fighting. People bartered cigarettes and haggled over borrowing $5 here, $10 there.

But for all the chatter and horseplay, their eyes never veered too far from their surroundings. The group snapped to attention when a silver Pontiac with tinted windows that nobody recognized slowly rolled by and parked across the street.

“They better stop rolling before they get aired out,” said Mr. Wayne’s brother, who goes by the nickname Mal Mal.

A woman with long, blond braids smoking a cigarette moved from one side of the doorway to the other, out of the vehicle’s line of sight.

After a few minutes, the Pontiac pulled away. Everyone relaxed. For Mal Mal, that meant sitting on the pavement, next to the glass double-door entrance to the store. When a young woman walked in, he leaned back, trying to peek up her skirt.

Debra Gordon, who lives in a building next to the store, seemed to pop out of nowhere. The young woman is her niece.

“Don’t mess with my family,” she yelled at Mal Mal.

They call her Ms. Debra. At 45, she is considered the neighborhood mother. When she graces the corner, even the toughest of the lot tend to straighten up. Fights and hand-to-hand transactions cease. “Ms. Debra, what are you doing down here?” is a common refrain.

Her credibility is unchallenged as someone long familiar with the destruction of these streets. While one of her sons is scheduled to enter the police academy in January, another is serving a 12-year sentence for dealing drugs and other charges. She sees him in the faces of the young men trolling her block.

“I’ll call the police on you if you’re doing wrong,” she said. “But I’ll also take you to a job interview. I’ll drive you to school. I’ll give you my last dollar.”

Having lived on this block since the third grade, Ms. Gordon has seen a diverse middle-class neighborhood of white and black families transform into one of abandoned, overgrown lots and boarded-up houses. As in many downtrodden parts of St. Louis, the middle class fled for the suburbs, leaving behind those with less economic mobility and causing property values to drop, the education system to crumble and feeding a sense of desperation that leads people to sell drugs and steal.

“Most people in North St. Louis are law-abiding people,” said Shelia Pargo, 58, who lives and grew up in the O’Fallon neighborhood, which neighbors College Hill, and has worked as a community advocate. “The people who are breaking the laws are the squeakier wheels. They’re getting all the attention.”

In many inner-city crimes, it is difficult to get witnesses to come forward, and not simply because of a disdain for the police. Residents often fear that someone may come after them if they talk to the authorities.

Police departments across the nation are looking at crime on the micro level, homing in on specific streets and corners and on the time of day that criminal activity takes place, and flooding those zones with officers. The practice, known as hot spot policing, is expected to become the norm under the city’s new police chief, Sam Dotson, who took over this year.

Chief Dotson said that next February he planned to make permanent a pilot program in which officers are added to each police district, supplementing regular patrols. The additional officers will not answer radio calls, but instead focus exclusively on looking for guns, drug dealing and crimes in progress, Chief Dotson said.

“And that’s what we’re hoping will drive crime down,” he said.

The department also is working with the city prosecutor, or circuit attorney, Jennifer M. Joyce, on what they call the Neighborhood Ownership Model, in which residents police their own communities by doing things like asking judges to order that specific criminals be barred from coming into their neighborhoods and giving impact statements in court about how a defendant has hurt their neighborhood.

Strategies for Change

Some communities have begun their own initiatives. The 21st Ward was the first to install street surveillance cameras, spending $600,000 out of the ward’s capital improvement budget on 25 of them. A 46-inch flat-screen television in a community center shows footage from every camera, but no one currently monitors them full time. Shortly after they went up two years ago, one camera caught a drive-by shooting. The police caught the assailants a short time later, said Antonio French, the ward’s alderman.

“Most of the violent crime was occurring in the same areas,” concentrated around vacant buildings, Mr. French said, “where people felt free to openly sell drugs.”

He added, “By focusing our efforts and our surveillance cameras on those areas, that helped bring crime down tremendously.”

Mr. Wayne says he himself has put the brakes on his high-risk life. He no longer smokes marijuana, he said, and sells drugs only occasionally when he needs a couple of extra dollars. He also stopped carrying a gun, he said.

The change, he said, is in large part because of a bubbly, caramel-skinned 4-year-old with braids: his daughter, Jaylynn, who on this night is clutching a red fruit drink in a plastic bottle and tugging at his gray sweatpants as he sits on the porch of her mother’s townhome.

“I miss you,” he says. “Give me a kiss.”

They peck on the lips. He asks if she is ready for school. Later, she shows off a plastic toy car big enough for her to sit in and drive. She clings to him while he holds a cigarette in one hand and a soda in the other. When Mr. Wayne says he is leaving, she cries, wraps her arms around his neck and will not let go. He whispers that he will pick her up the next day and take her for ice cream.

As much as Mr. Wayne is intent on bettering his life for Jaylynn’s sake, the pull of the streets is strong.

After leaving her, he drives up a dead end street, where a couple of men from the neighborhood mill about. They tell him to stop the car and cut off the lights. Mr. Wayne hops out and chats for a few minutes with a man standing behind a white sedan.

They make an exchange. Mr. Wayne slips an anti-anxiety pill that he bought for $5 under his tongue as he walks back to the car, where he hands one to his brother. He pulls off and takes a swig of Pepsi, a soothing cocktail for another unpredictable St. Louis night.

Steven Yaccino contributed reporting from Chicago. Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.



18) Small Protest in Tahrir Square Restores Dissent to Cairo’s Heart
November 19, 2013

CAIRO — The protesters’ numbers were small, compared with the millions who have marched through Egypt’s streets in recent months. And at one point, a soccer game on television seemed more urgent than the chants.

Even so, a demonstration on Tuesday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square seemed to represent a breakthrough for young leftists and other revolutionary activists who have struggled to find their voice since
the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July, splitting the country into polarized, feuding camps.

Galvanized by anger and marching under the banners of slain comrades on Tuesday, the activists tried to offer an alternative in Egypt’s sclerotic political scene. As they have in the past, the activists condemned Mr. Morsi’s Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. But now, just as vigorously, they denounced the military and its leader,
Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, brazenly defying Egypt’s ultranationalist mood.

The protests seemed to temporarily restore Tahrir Square as a sanctuary for dissent after the many pro-military rallies in the square that followed Mr. Morsi’s fall, a change that seemed to stun some of the military’s fans.

With arguments, and then rocks, activists clashed with some of General Sisi’s supporters on the edge of the square. Other protesters defaced a memorial that had been erected by the military-led government the day before, seeing it as an insidious attempt to appropriate the memory of their struggle.

Hundreds of demonstrators chanted: “Down with military rule.”

By late Tuesday, security forces had
regained control of the square and state news media reported that one person had died and another 17 were injured.

The protest, by a few thousand people, was a break from Egypt’s exhausting routine, dominated by the quarrel between its most powerful political actors. Since July, the security services have worked to dismantle the Brotherhood, detaining thousands of its members and killing hundreds of Mr. Morsi’s supporters in a brutal crackdown. The Islamists have continued their protests, vowing to settle for nothing less than the reversal of the military takeover.

As the military and the Islamists have cast themselves as protectors of Egypt’s revolution, activists who participated in the
uprising against the former president, Hosni Mubarak, in 2011 have struggled to find their place.

The military-backed government gave them an opportunity on Monday, when officials dedicated the foundation of a monument to slain protesters. Activists were appalled by the government’s attempt at solidarity with people killed by the state’s own security services. They were also angered by the timing: the dedication coincided with the anniversary of antigovernment clashes in 2011 and 2012 that left at least 48 protesters dead.

After the ministers left, protesters set about destroying the monument. By Tuesday evening, it had been chipped and chiseled, scarred with slogans and turned into a platform for a coffin constructed by the protesters. One person mocked the cost. “A million pounds, and the people need one pound,” they wrote.

Mayy El Sheikh contributed reporting.



19) Night Falls, and 5Pointz, a Graffiti Mecca, Is Whited Out in Queens
November 19, 2013

Graffiti is often denounced as vandalism, but the deliriously festooned, sprawling warehouses at the western edge of Queens rose far above that. Blanketed with giddy images, drawing street artists from around the world,
5Pointz was a decades-old legal haven considered both a “United Nations of Graffiti” and a semi-rebellious statement in a city some feel is growing too antiseptic. “Save 5Pointz,” the infamous British street artist Banksy urged in his final message to New Yorkers, after he wrapped his monthlong spree clandestinely decorating the city’s streets in October.

But early Tuesday, under the cover of night, painters quietly blanketed much of the walls of 5Pointz with whitewash, erasing the work of hundreds and seemingly putting the final nail in the long battle between the building’s owners, who plan to erect luxury apartments, and the artists who fought to save it.

“This is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said a teary-eyed Marie Cecile Flaguel, a spokeswoman for the group behind 5Pointz, which sprang like a rainbow from the gray sidewalks near Jackson Avenue in Long Island City. “He’s painted over the work of at least 1,500 artists.”

The owner of the buildings, Jerry Wolkoff, however, said painting over the artwork was the humane thing to do. A recent order by a federal judge allows him to move forward with his plans to demolish the buildings by year’s end, and, he said, watching the art-covered walls be pulled down piece by piece would be “torture.”

He also wanted to avoid a confrontation, adding that there would be a 60-foot-high wall near the new towers where graffiti painters can work again.

“I am telling you, I did not like what they did — I loved what they did,” said Mr. Wolkoff, who bought the buildings in 1971 and plans to build high-rise towers in their stead. “I cried this morning, I swear to you.”

Yet many supporters of 5Pointz, which became so well established that tourists flocked to it by the busload, saw the clandestine erasing as a cruel, vindictive move.

“The fact that they destroyed the art before they razed the building, it’s a really big slap in the face,” said Eric Felisbret, an expert on street art and the author of “Graffiti New York.” “So many people put so much passion and energy into it.”

Though there are other spots in New York City where graffiti artists could legally work, Mr. Felisbret said, “There’s nothing that was as large and that big of a draw internationally” as 5Pointz.

Forty years ago, after buying the buildings, which were mostly abandoned at the time, Mr. Wolkoff leased the space to a company that made record player accessories, then eight-track tapes and then CD covers before moving out in the early 1990s.

Casting about for new tenants, Mr. Wolkoff rented studios to artists for a few hundred dollars a month. Around that time he was also approached by a man who removed graffiti from buildings around the city, and wanted to know if the painters could use Mr. Wolkoff’s walls as canvases. Liking their work, Mr. Wolkoff gave them more and more space. In 2002, a graffiti artist named Meres One took the endeavor over, becoming its curator and christening it 5Pointz.

Five stories high, the buildings occupied most of a city block, a playful, wacky visual counterpoint to the solemn low-slung MoMA PS 1 site across the street. The canary yellow walls were covered with constantly changing artwork — Brobdingnagian bubble letters, colorful cartoons and meticulously wrought images created by painters from France, Italy, Japan and beyond. Stepping into 5Pointz’s interior courtyard was like plunging into a lurid fever dream.

Though street art is meant to be temporary, 5Pointz became known as a graffiti museum. And the medium itself, once considered a symbol of urban unraveling, became a sought after gallery-worthy commodity, with work from street artists like Banksy commanding millions of dollars. Which is one of the reasons the whitewashing of 5Pointz’s walls was greeted with such vociferous dismay. “What?! What did they do?!” cried a tour guide named Hans Von Rittern, as he raced out of a tour bus early Tuesday, his arms wide, his face crumpling as soon as he caught sight of Ms. Flaguel. They embraced tightly and wept.

Mr. Von Rittern regularly brought busloads of Europeans to the site, which he considered the crowning glory of his tour of boroughs outside Manhattan. “I don’t understand. How can you erase 12 years of history?” he said. “It’s cruel.”

But Mr. Wolkoff said that graffiti was ephemeral, and that there would be plenty of space for artists’ work around his new buildings. He decided to erect high-rise towers after the real estate market began heating up — Long Island City has sprouted many new residential towers with glass and steel replacing the brick and mortar that once dominated the working-class neighborhood. The 5Pointz artists and supporters had been scrambling to get landmark status, but were turned down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in August because the buildings lacked architectural distinction and the artwork was less than 30 years old. In October, the City Council approved Mr. Wolkoff’s plan, and this month a federal judge ruled against the 5Pointz group, saying that he could not stop the buildings’ demolition.

Mr. Wolkoff said he decided that painting over the art at night without fanfare or notice was the kindest way to end an era. He estimated that demolition would take three to four months and would be agonizing to watch if the artwork remained, and also said he wanted to avoid trouble. “I had nothing but admiration” for the artists, he said. “The last thing I want is for any of them to get arrested.”

But in quarters near and far, 5Pointz’s artists and admirers reeled in shock. They gathered in the chill of Tuesday morning, quiet and dismayed, and planned a candlelight vigil for the evening.

One street artist, who would give his name only as Just, had at least two works painted over. He spent hours early Tuesday gazing at the whitewashed buildings, leaning against a red-brick wall across the street. Then he bought himself a tall glass of beer, which he sipped slowly from a brown paper bag. “Heartbreaking,” he said. “This is not just about graffiti — it’s about the unity of people who met here from all over the world.” He paused and took a drink. “That’s what really hurts.”



20) G’Day From Bushwick
November 19, 2013

Standing in the dining room of the early 1900s-era brick rowhouse, deep in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn with not a frozen yogurt shop or Starbucks to be found, Alan Dixon, an investor from Australia, struggled to tally the houses he had bought in the area over the last year.

“What, 70? 72?” he asked, raising his eyebrows in question at a group of investors, contractors and designers standing nearby. A dozen construction workers scurried around, fastening plasterboard to walls and laying tile on floors, readying the four-bedroom house that the group purchased in June for $635,000 for leasing in less than two weeks’ time for as much as $5,490 a month.

Finally, someone locates the number on a piece of paper — 70, later corrected to 71. “That sounds right. Something like that,” Mr. Dixon said with a laugh, tugging on the cuff of the pink shirt he wore under his gray suit jacket.

It’s easy to understand why it might be difficult for Mr. Dixon to keep track. In just two years, the investment fund he oversees for Australian investors and retirees has purchased more than 538 homes, townhouses and brownstones from Jersey City to Queens and Brooklyn.

Mr. Dixon and his investments in New York area residential real estate are a microcosm of a much bigger trend sweeping the country.

A handful of large private equity and real estate investment firms, including the Blackstone Group and Colony Capital,
have bought billions of dollars’ worth of single-family homes in some of the areas most affected by the housing collapse.

The goal for these Wall Street investors is not to buy and flip the properties for a quick profit à la real estate bubble of the early 2000s. Instead, they are hunting for steady, dividend-like returns they believe can be earned by
renting out the homes.

Where these investors see opportunity, however, their critics see opportunists. They say these types of investors, be they giants like Blackstone or smaller firms like Mr. Dixon’s, often come in waving wads of cash and crowd out first-time home buyers.

Executives at the big firms defend the purchases, saying they prefer to buy dozens or even hundreds of homes in a single swoop at bank auctions where few first-time homeowners can participate because often payment must be in cash. Furthermore, they say they are gobbling up overhanging home inventories in crucial markets, supporting and even
increasing overall home prices in these areas.

Those arguments may hold up in places like Phoenix or Las Vegas, which were overbuilt during the boom and struggled when the housing market collapsed. But prices have soared in parts of the market that weathered the housing storm, like Brooklyn, increasingly frustrating the dreams of first-time home buyers, analysts say.

The median price of a home in Brooklyn climbed nearly 12 percent in just the past year to hit a 10-year record, according to a recent report released by the real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman. Prices for highly desirable one-family brownstones in Brooklyn have leapt almost 40 percent in the last year to a median price of $1.6 million.

Some real estate agents say investors, more often than not, have been at the forefront of buying activity.

“I’d say by the spring, maybe 70 percent of the sales we were seeing were to hedge funds, investors and others taking advantage of what was happening in Brooklyn,” said Stephanie O’Brien, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman in Brooklyn. “Only about 30 percent were actual end users or first-time buyers.”

The higher prices have changed the character and makeup of neighborhoods, often pushing more lower- and middle-income families farther east in the borough. “What’s happening is good, because it increases real estate values, but on the other hand people who have been living in these neighborhoods and hoping to one day buy or rent a larger apartment are getting priced out,” said Ron Schweiger, the Brooklyn borough historian.

Mr. Dixon brushes aside assertions that his group’s investments have thwarted individual home buyers.

He said many of the brownstones and other homes his group had purchased were vacant or single-room occupancy housing, requiring extensive repairs or remodeling as well as successful navigation of the city’s labyrinth of agencies to obtain the necessary certificates and permits. He said his competition for homes tended to be small developers and construction firms interested in fixing up the homes and reselling them quickly for a profit.

And Brooklyn real estate agents say Mr. Dixon’s group has been beaten out for properties by homeowners coming to the table with cash.

“I don’t see them as competition to the home buyer because they generally don’t bid as high as somebody who is going to be an end user of the home,” said Deborah Rieders, a real estate agent with Corcoran in Brooklyn. “They’ve lost out on a lot of my listings because they were outbid by other buyers.”

Mr. Dixon entered the New York property market through Dixon Advisory, a Canberra-based wealth advisory firm founded by his father,
Daryl Dixon, a prominent Australian economist and investment consultant.

During his travels to the United States in 2008 and 2009, Alan Dixon and others at the firm noted the steep decline in housing prices, wondering if there was an opportunity to pick up good homes at distressed prices in the New York area. In 2011, Dixon Advisory held an initial public offering for the
US Masters Residential Property Fund, a property trust that trades on the Australian Securities Exchange.

With an initial pool of 70 million Australian dollars raised from investors (the group now controls 380 million dollars from more than 3,700 Australians), Mr. Dixon and his team bought their first homes in Hudson County, N.J., in 2011. They moved into Brooklyn about a year ago.

While his fund has sold a few properties already, Mr. Dixon says the general idea is to hold onto the properties, deriving steady income from rents. Mr. Dixon says that in the early years, as the fund invests in homes, renovates them and rents them, he expects returns could average about 5 percent each year. But as property values and rents increase, he estimates those returns could climb to 12 to 18 percent annually. If the homes are held for five years or longer, the income for the Australian investors will be taxed at a rate that Mr. Dixon says equals about 7.5 percent.

Like the bigger funds, Mr. Dixon and his team are betting that housing prices have stabilized. But his group also believes another demographic shift is occurring, of families coming back to cities and looking for bigger homes.

If Mr. Dixon has a regret, it is not moving faster, especially in Brooklyn, where prices quickly began to climb. His group has been essentially priced out of well-established neighborhoods like Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights.

Furthermore, some of the hottest areas of Brooklyn are seeing a wave of construction and conversions on the horizon to meet increased rental demands. Real estate agents say an estimated 2,700 rentals are expected to hit the Williamsburg market over the next six months, which they say could depress rents.

That has pushed Mr. Dixon and his group farther afield in Brooklyn, where they are buying up dilapidated brownstones like one on MacDonough Street in Stuyvesant Heights.

Gingerly stepping over holes in the floorboards while ducking under exposed electrical wiring dangling from the ceiling, Mr. Dixon points to a threadbare carpet on the floor when asked for the source of the dank smell filling the home. In an upstairs bedroom, a steady flow of rainwater from the ceiling — much of the roof had to be removed because of asbestos — drips down an interior wall.

Mr. Dixon’s firm purchased the home early this year for $539,000. Plans for expansion will push it 12 feet into the backyard, with an outdoor deck on top of the extension. He hopes to have it fixed up in time to rent next summer.

Driving between homes, Mr. Dixon hardly paused when asked what he and his partners could get wrong. “Crime,” he quickly answered, before rattling off statistics that he says show New York’s crime rate is low — relatively speaking.

“Right now, these neighborhoods are benefiting from the low crime rate,” Mr. Dixon said. “But that is something we could get wrong if it went the other way.”




21) Doctors Say Heart Drug Raised Risk of an Attack
November 19, 2013

Cardiologists have accused a small drug company of withholding data from a clinical trial showing that the company’s drug, meant to reduce the risk of heart attacks, increased the risk instead.

The cardiologists said that the company, Anthera Pharmaceuticals, did not turn over data to academic investigators, as it was required to do, for more than a year.

“Despite a contract that required transfer to the academic authors, the company stonewalled every attempt to acquire the data,” Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said in an email on Tuesday.

Dr. Nissen was the senior author of a report on the data that was published online Monday by The Journal of the American Medical Association and presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas. In unveiling the results there, the lead investigator, Dr. Stephen Nicholls, publicly admonished the company.

Dr. Colin Hislop, the chief medical officer at Anthera, denied the accusations, saying it simply took time to gather and organize the data. “I don’t think the timeline was particularly protracted, nor were we being difficult,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

Studies and lawsuits have shown that many clinical trial results, particularly negative ones, are not published. Critics say that hampers medical practice and violates an obligation to patients, who try experimental treatments in part to advance knowledge.

“We think that when you enter into a clinical trial, and we enter into contracts with our patients, there’s an obligation that we are going to do the right thing,” said Dr. Nicholls, a cardiologist at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide.

The Phase 3 trial involved 5,145 patients in various countries with
acute coronary syndrome, a sudden blockage of blood flow to heart muscles. It tested whether the drug varespladib could reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, death and chest pains requiring hospitalization.

The trial was terminated early by the safety monitoring committee in March 2012. The company announced that the committee had determined that there was no chance the drug would succeed in the trial.

The results show that patients who got the drug actually had a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, mainly heart attacks, than those who received a placebo.

Dr. Nicholls said in an interview that Anthera continually promised to provide the complete data but did not. Finally, the company told him this spring that it had given the drug back to Eli Lilly, the original developer of the drug. The investigators were then able to get the data almost immediately from Lilly, he said.

Dr. Nicholls said that Anthera was also supposed to ensure that all patients were surveyed six months after the trial ended to see if they were still alive. But that data was collected for only 31 percent of the patients, making it impossible to clearly determine if the drug had increased the risk of death, he said.

Dr. Hislop of Anthera said the organization hired by the company to oversee the trial had tried vigorously to get that data. But some investigators, who were the ones who knew the patients’ identities, did not cooperate.

He said that because of the need to collect the six-month follow-up data, the study database was kept open until early this year. That was just before the company gave back the drug to Lilly.

Anthera, based in Hayward, Calif., was founded in 2004 and does not yet have a drug on the market. It is testing a treatment for lupus.

























































U.S. Court of Appeals Rules Against Lorenzo Johnson’s
New Legal Challenge to His Frame-up Conviction!
Demand the PA Attorney General Dismiss the Charges!
Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied Lorenzo Johnson’s motion to file a Second Habeas Corpus Petition. The order contained the outrageous declaration that Johnson hadn’t made a “prima facie case” that he had new evidence of his innocence. This not only puts a legal obstacle in Johnson’s path as his fight for freedom makes its way (again) through the state and federal courts—but it undermines the newly filed Pennsylvania state appeal that is pending in the Court of Common Pleas.

Stripped of  “legalese,” the court’s October 15, 2013 order says Johnson’s new evidence was not brought into court soon enough—although it was the prosecution and police who withheld evidence and coerced witnesses into lying or not coming forward with the truth! This, despite over fifteen years and rounds of legal battles to uncover the evidence of government misconduct. This is a set-back for Lorenzo Johnson’s renewed fight for his freedom, but Johnson is even more determined as his PA state court appeal continues.

Increased public support and protest is needed. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson’s freedom is not only a fight for this courageous man and family. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson is also a fight for all the innocent others who have been framed and are sitting in the slow death of prison. The PA Attorney General is directly pursuing the charges against Lorenzo, despite the evidence of his innocence and the corruption of the police. Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!

—Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq.
   October 25, 2013

For more on the federal court and PA state court legal filings.
Hear Mumia’s latest commentary, “Cat Cries”
Go to: www.FreeLorenzoJohnson.org for more information, to sign the petition, and how to help.





Call and write Ft Leavenworth today and tell them to honor Manning's wishes around her name and gender:
Chelsea's supporters were awarded the title “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Private Manning has been an icon both for the government transparency movement and LGBTQ activists because of her fearlessness and acts of conscience. Now, as she begins serving her sentence, Chelsea has asked for help with legal appeals, family visits, education, and support for undergoing gender transition. The latter is a decision she’s made following years of experiencing gender dysphoria and examining her options. At a difficult time in her life, she joined the military out of hope–the hope that she could use her service to save lives, and also the hope that it would help to suppress her feelings of gender dysphoria. But after serving time in Iraq, Private Manning realized what mattered to her most was the truth, personal as well as political, even when it proved challenging.

Now she wants the Fort Leavenworth military prison to allow her access to hormone replacement therapy which she has offered to pay for herself, as she pursues the process to have her name legally changed to ‘Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.’

To encourage the prison to honor her transgender identity, we’re calling on progressive supporters and allies to contact Fort Leavenworth officials demanding they acknowledge her requested name change immediately. Currently, prison officials are not required to respect Chelsea’s identity, and can even refuse to deliver mail addressed to the name ‘Chelsea Manning.’ However, it’s within prison administrators’ power to begin using the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ now, in advance of the legal name change which will most likely be approved sometime next year. It’s also up to these officials to approve Private Manning’s request for hormone therapy.

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Tell them: “Transgender rights are human rights! Respect Private Manning’s identity by acknowledging the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ whenever possible, including in mail addressed to her, and by allowing her access to appropriate medical treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT).”

While openly transgender individuals are allowed to serve in many other militaries around the world, the US military continues to deny their existence. Now, by speaking up for Chelsea’s right to treatment, you can support one brave whistleblower in her personal struggle, and help set an important benchmark for the rights of transgender individuals everywhere. (Remember that letters written with focus and a respectful tone are more likely to be effective.) Feel free to copy this sample letter.

Earlier this year, the Private Manning Support Network won the title of most “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade, the largest celebration of its kind for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) people nationwide. Over one thousand people marched for Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in that parade, to show LGBTQ community pride for the Iraq War’s most well-known whistleblower.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.


Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.


484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610




Please sign the NEW petition for Lynne Stewart.

Your signature will send a letter to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels and to Attorney General Holder requesting that they expedite Lynne Stewart’s current application for compassionate release. The NEW petition is at https://www.change.org/petitions/new-petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-support-compassionate-release

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

By Ralph Poynter, Brooklyn, NY  
Renowned defense attorney Lynne Stewart, unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with a fearless defense, is dying of cancer while imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas.

Your action now can lead to her freedom so that she may live out her remaining days with the comfort and joy of her family and those closest to her, including her devoted husband Ralph Poynter, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

The conservative medical prognosis by the oncologist contracted by the prison is that Lynne Stewart has but 16-months to live. Breast cancer, in remission prior to her imprisonment, reached Stage Four more than a year ago, emerging in her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs.

Despite repeated courses of chemotherapy, cancer advances in her lungs, resistant to treatment. Compounding her dire condition, Lynne Stewart’s white blood cell count dropped so low that she has been isolated in a prison hospital room since April 2013 to reduce risk of generalized infection.

Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, upon a prisoner’s request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling reasons,” life threatening illness foremost among these.

Lynne Stewart’s recent re-application for compassionate release meets all the criteria specified in guidelines issued by the Bureau of Prisons in August 2013.

These “new guidelines” followed a searing report and testimony before Congress by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. His findings corroborated a definitive report by Human Rights Watch. Inspector General Horowitz excoriated the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the restrictive crippling of the compassionate release program. In a 20-year period, the Bureau had released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

Over 30,000 people of conscience from all walks of life in the United States and internationally took action to free Lynne Stewart following her first application for compassionate release in April of this year.

Among those who raised their voices are former Attorney General Ramsey Clark – who was co-counsel in the case that led to Lynne Stewart’s imprisonment, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Ed Asner, Daniel Berrigan, Liz McAllister Berrigan, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West, Dick Gregory, Alice Walker and Bianca Jagger.

They along with thousands of individuals and organizations, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, directed letters, phone calls and public declarations to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Dick Gregory has refused all solid food since April 4 and his remarkable moral witness will not end until Lynne Stewart is released.

We call upon all to amplify this outpouring of support. We ask all within our reach to convey to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels his obligation to approve Lynne Stewart’s application and instruct the federal attorney to file the requisite motion for Lynne Stewart’s compassionate release.

Please sign this new petition and reach out to others to sign. The letter below will be sent on your behalf via email to Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Telephone calls also can be made to the Bureau of Prisons:
(202) 307-3250/3262.

Write to Lynne Stewart at:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX  76127

or via:

What you can do:
Demand Compassionate Release for Lynne Now!

Write and call:

President Obama
The White House
Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1111

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
(202) 353-1555

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
(202) 307-3250/3262

Write to Lynne Stewart:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Unit 2N, Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX  76127

Write to Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at:
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information: 718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759


Kimberly Rivera

Imprisoned pregnant resister seeks early release for birth

  • Print
495 supporters from around the world write letters in support of clemency application
By James Branum and Courage to Resist. November 4, 2013
Fort Carson, Colorado – Imprisoned war resister PFC Kimberly Rivera has submitted a clemency application seeking a reduction by 45 days in the 10 month prison sentence she received for seeking asylum in Canada rather return to her unit in Iraq.

The request for clemency was based on humanitarian reasons due to pregnancy. Unless clemency is granted, Private First Class Kimberly Rivera will be forced to give birth in prison and then immediately relinquish custody of her son while she continues to serve the remainder of her sentence.

Unfortunately military regulations provide no provisions for her to be able to breastfeed her infant son while she is in prison.
Fort Carson Senior Commander Brigadier General Michael A. Bills will be making a decision on PFC Rivera’s clemency request in the coming weeks.
PFC Rivera’s case made international news when she was the first female US soldier in the current era to flee to Canada for reasons of conscience. After a protracted struggle through the Canadian legal system, she was deported back to the United States in September 2012. She was then immediately arrested and sent back to the Army to stand trial.
In an interview with Courage to Resist  on the eve of her court-martial, Rivera said, “When I saw the little girl [in Iraq] shaking in fear, in fear of me, because of my uniform, I couldn’t fathom what she had been through and all I saw was my little girl and I just wanted to hold her and comfort her. But I knew I couldn’t. It broke my heart. I am against hurting anyone… I would harm myself first. I felt this also made me a liability to my unit and I could not let me be a reason for anyone to be harmed—so I left... Even though I did not fill out the official application to obtain conscientious objector status, I consider myself a conscientious objector to all war.”
On April 29, 2013, PFC Rivera pled to charges of desertion. She was sentenced by the military judge to fourteen months in prison, loss of rank and pay, and a dishonorable discharge; thanks to a pre-trial agreement her sentence was reduced to an actual sentence to ten months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera has been recognized by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience.” She is the mother of four children, ages 11, 9, 4 and 2.
Kimberly Rivera’s request for clemency was accompanied by 495 letters of support, written by family members, friends, as well as members of Amnesty International from 19 countries.
“We have many organizations to thank for the outpouring of support for Kimberly Rivera, including Amnesty International, Courage to Resist, the War Resisters Support Campaign of Canada, Veterans for Peace and Coffee Strong,” said James M. Branum, civilian defense attorney for PFC Rivera. “We also want to recognize the tireless efforts of local supporters in Colorado Springs and San Diego who have taken the time to visit Kim in prison as well as to provide important support to Kim’s family in her absence.”
While the official clemency request is now complete, supporters of PFC Rivera are still encouraged to continue to speak out on her behalf. Letters in support of PFC Rivera’s clemency request can be sent directly to:
Brigadier General Michael A. Bills
c/o Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
1626 Ellis Street
Suite 200, Building 1118
Fort Carson, CO 80913
(fax: 1-719-526-1021)
Supporters are also encouraged to sign an online petition posted at:

Photos: Top-Kimberly with husband Mario during her court martial. Middle-Kimberly in Canada prior to being deported. Bottom-Courage to Resist rallies outside Canadian Consulate, San Francisco CA, prior to Kimberly's forced return.
Initial press release by The Center for Conscience in Action, an Oklahoma City-based organization dedicated to the intersection of peace, conscience and direct action. CCA’s Legal Support Project provides low and no cost legal representation to military service members seeking discharge on the grounds of conscience.
For more information or to schedule an interview about this subject, please contact James M. Branum, lead defense counsel for PFC Rivera, at 405-494-0562 or girightslawyer(at)gmail(dot)com. Consolidated Brig Miramar generally forbids inmates from doing interviews with the press, but you are welcome to see if an exception can be made by contacting the Brig Public Affairs office at 858-577-7071.
Additional case updates will be posted at couragetoresist.org and freekimberlyrivera.org.




Two campaigns that need funds – Please donate!

Cartoon by Anthonty Mata for CCSF Guardsman

We are working to ensure that the ACCJC’s authority is not renewed by the Department of Education this December when they are up for their 5-year renewal. Our campaign made it possible for over 50 Third Party Comments to be sent to the DOE re: the ACCJC. Our next step in this campaign is to send a delegation from CCSF to Washington, D.C. to give oral comments at the hearing on December 12th. We expect to have an array of forces aligned on the other side who have much more money and resources than we do.
So please support this effort to get ACCJC authority revoked!

Save CCSF members have been meeting with Attorney Dan Siegel since last May to explore legal avenues to fight the ACCJC. After much consideration, and consultation with AFT 2121’s attorney as well as the SF City Attorney’s office, Dan has come up with a legal strategy that is complimentary to what is already being pursued. In fact, AFT 2121’s attorney is encouraging us to go forward.
The total costs of pursuing this (depositions, etc.) will be substantially more than $15,000. However, Dan is willing to do it for a fixed fee of $15,000. He will not expect a retainer, i.e. payment in advance, but we should start payments ASAP. If we win the ACCJC will have to pay our costs.

Checks can be made out to Save CCSF Coalition with “legal” in the memo line and sent to:
Save CCSF Coalition
2132 Prince St.
Berkeley, CA 94705
Or you may donate online:  http://www.gofundme.com/4841ns




16 Years in Solitary Confinement Is Like a "Living Tomb"
American Civil Liberties Union petition to end long-term solitary confinement:
California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard: We stand with the prisoners on hunger strike. We urge you to comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement.
Sign the petition:
In California, hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for more than a decade – some for infractions as trivial as reading Machiavelli's "The Prince."

Gabriel Reyes describes the pain of being isolated for at least 22 hours a day for the last 16 years:

“Unless you have lived it, you cannot imagine what it feels like to be by yourself, between four cold walls, with little concept of time…. It is a living tomb …’ I have not been allowed physical contact with any of my loved ones since 1995…I feel helpless and hopeless. In short, I am being psychologically tortured.”

That’s why over 30,000 prisoners in California began a hunger strike – the biggest the state has ever seen. They’re refusing food to protest prisoners being held for decades in solitary and to push for other changes to improve their basic conditions.

California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard has tried to dismiss the strikers and refuses to negotiate, but the media pressure is building through the strike. If tens of thousands of us take action, we can help keep this issue in the spotlight so that Secretary Beard can’t ignore the inhumane treatment of prisoners.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Solitary is such an extreme form of punishment that a United Nations torture rapporteur called for an international ban on the practice except in rare occasions. Here’s why:

The majority of the 80,000 people held in solitary in this country are severely mentally ill or because of a minor infraction (it’s a myth that it’s only for violent prisoners)
Even for people with stable mental health, solitary causes severe psychological reactions, often leading people to attempt suicide
It jeopardizes public safety because prisoners held in solitary have a harder time reintegrating into society.

And to add insult to injury, the hunger strikers are now facing retaliation – their lawyers are being restricted from visiting and the strikers are being punished. But the media continues to write about the hunger strike and we can help keep the pressure on Secretary Beard by signing this petition.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Our criminal justice system should keep communities safe and treat people fairly. The use of solitary confinement undermines both of these goals – but little by little, we can help put a stop to such cruelty.

Thank you,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team
P.S. The hunger strikers have developed five core demands to address their basic conditions, the main one being an end to long-term solitary confinement. They are:

-End group punishment – prisoners say that officials often punish groups to address individual rule violations

-Abolish the debriefing policy, which is often demanded in return for better food or release from solitary

-End long-term solitary confinement

-Provide adequate and nutritious food

-Expand or provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates

“Solitary - and anger - in California's prisons.” Los Angeles Times July 13, 2013
“Pelican Bay Prison Hunger-Strikers' Stories: Gabriel Reyes.” TruthOut July 9, 2013
“Solitary confinement should be banned in most cases, UN expert says.” UN News October 18, 2011
"Stop Solitary - Two Pager" ACLU.org

What you Didn't know about NYPD's Stop and Frisk program !


Egypt: The Next President -- a little Egyptian boy speaks his remarkable mind!


Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe video...bw]




Read the transcription of hero Bradley Manning's 35-page statement explaining why he leaked "state secrets" to WikiLeaks.

March 1, 2013


The statement was read by Pfc. Bradley Manning at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O'Brien at Thursday's pretrial hearing and first appeared on Salon.com.




Call for a Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart:
Attorney General Eric Holder: 202-514-2001
White House President Obama: 202-456-1414
Bureau of Prisons Director Charles Samuels: 202-307-3198 ext 3

Urgent: Please sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart

For more information, go to http://www.lynnestewart.org

Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
??Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127



You Have the Right to Remain Silent: NLG Guide to Law Enforcement Encounters

Posted 1 day ago on July 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a nonviolent movement for social and economic justice, but in recent days disturbing reports have emerged of Occupy-affiliated activists being targeted by US law enforcement, including agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. To help ensure Occupiers and allied activists know their rights when encountering law enforcement, we are publishing in full the National Lawyers Guild's booklet: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. The NLG provides invaluable support to the Occupy movement and other activists – please click here to support the NLG.

We strongly encourage all Occupiers to read and share the information provided below. We also recommend you enter the NLG's national hotline number (888-654-3265) into your cellphone (if you have one) and keep a copy handy. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact the NLG or a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters

What Rights Do I Have?

Whether or not you're a citizen, you have rights under the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives every person the right to remain silent: not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government's power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government's power to conduct surveillance. The First Amendment protects your right to speak freely and to advocate for social change. However, if you are a non-citizen, the Department of Homeland Security may target you based on your political activities.

Standing Up For Free Speech

The government's crusade against politically-active individuals is intended to disrupt and suppress the exercise of time-honored free speech activities, such as boycotts, protests, grassroots organizing and solidarity work. Remember that you have the right to stand up to the intimidation tactics of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials who, with political motives, are targeting organizing and free speech activities. Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others' rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all. The National Lawyers Guild has a long tradition of standing up to government repression. The organization itself was labeled a "subversive" group during the McCarthy Era and was subject to FBI surveillance and infiltration for many years. Guild attorneys have defended FBI-targeted members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican independence movement. The NLG exposed FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics that were detailed during the 1975-76 COINTELPRO hearings. In 1989 the NLG prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of several activist organizations, including the Guild, that forced the FBI to expose the extent to which it had been spying on activist movements. Under the settlement, the FBI turned over roughly 400,000 pages of its files on the Guild, which are now available at the Tamiment Library at New York University.

What if FBI Agents or Police Contact Me?

What if an agent or police officer comes to the door?

Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.

Do I have to answer questions?

You have the constitutional right to remain silent. It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to consult an attorney. Once you make the request to speak to a lawyer, do not say anything else. The Supreme Court recently ruled that answering law enforcement questions may be taken as a waiver of your right to remain silent, so it is important that you assert your rights and maintain them. Only a judge can order you to answer questions. There is one exception: some states have "stop and identify" statutes which require you to provide identity information or your name if you have been detained on reasonable suspicion that you may have committed a crime. A lawyer in your state can advise you of the status of these requirements where you reside.

Do I have to give my name?

As above, in some states you can be detained or arrested for merely refusing to give your name. And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious or more hostile and lead to your arrest, even without just cause, so use your judgment. Giving a false name could in some circumstances be a crime.

Do I need a lawyer?

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from law enforcement. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are considering answering any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any interview. The lawyer's job is to protect your rights. Once you tell the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer, he or she should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any investigator who visits you, and give that information to your lawyer. The government does not have to provide you with a free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG or another organization may be able to help you find a lawyer for free or at a reduced rate.

If I refuse to answer questions or say I want a lawyer, won't it seem like I have something to hide?

Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you and others. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used or manipulated to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not to talk is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Keep in mind that although law enforcement agents are allowed to lie to you, lying to a government agent is a crime. Remaining silent is not. The safest things to say are "I am going to remain silent," "I want to speak to my lawyer," and "I do not consent to a search." It is a common practice for law enforcement agents to try to get you to waive your rights by telling you that if you have nothing to hide you would talk or that talking would "just clear things up." The fact is, if they are questioning you, they are looking to incriminate you or someone you may know, or they are engaged in political intelligence gathering. You should feel comfortable standing firm in protection and defense of your rights and refusing to answer questions.

Can agents search my home or office?

You do not have to let police or agents into your home or office unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. Interfering with a warrantless search probably will not stop it and you might get arrested. But you should say "I do not consent to a search," and call a criminal defense lawyer or the NLG. You should be aware that a roommate or guest can legally consent to a search of your house if the police believe that person has the authority to give consent, and your employer can consent to a search of your workspace without your permission.

What if agents have a search warrant?

If you are present when agents come for the search, you can ask to see the warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away. Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer. You do not have to answer questions. Talk to a lawyer first. (Note: If agents present an arrest warrant, they may only perform a cursory visual search of the premises to see if the person named in the arrest warrant is present.)

Do I have to answer questions if I have been arrested?

No. If you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to assert your right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer right away. Do not say anything else. Repeat to every officer who tries to talk to or question you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. You should always talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions.

What if I speak to government agents anyway?

Even if you have already answered some questions, you can refuse to answer other questions until you have a lawyer. If you find yourself talking, stop. Assert that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer.

What if the police stop me on the street?

Ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, consider just walking away. If the police say you are not under arrest, but are not free to go, then you are being detained. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing if they have reason to suspect you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, "I do not consent to a search." They may keep searching anyway. If this happens, do not resist because you can be charged with assault or resisting arrest. You do not have to answer any questions. You do not have to open bags or any closed container. Tell the officers you do not consent to a search of your bags or other property.

What if police or agents stop me in my car?

Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you are driving a vehicle, you must show your license, registration and, in some states, proof of insurance. You do not have to consent to a search. But the police may have legal grounds to search your car anyway. Clearly state that you do not consent. Officers may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.

What if I am treated badly by the police or the FBI?

Write down the officer's badge number, name or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers. If you are injured, seek medical attention and take pictures of the injuries as soon as you can. Call a lawyer as soon as possible.

What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury subpoena if I don't answer their questions?

A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to court and testify about information you may have. It is common for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk to them. If they are going to subpoena you, they will do so anyway. You should not volunteer to speak just because you are threatened with a subpoena. You should consult a lawyer.

What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?

Grand jury proceedings are not the same as testifying at an open court trial. You are not allowed to have a lawyer present (although one may wait in the hallway and you may ask to consult with him or her after each question) and you may be asked to answer questions about your activities and associations. Because of the witness's limited rights in this situation, the government has frequently used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about activists and political organizations. It is common for the FBI to threaten activists with a subpoena in order to elicit information about their political views and activities and those of their associates. There are legal grounds for stopping ("quashing") subpoenas, and receiving one does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of a crime. If you do receive a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The government regularly uses grand jury subpoena power to investigate and seek evidence related to politically-active individuals and social movements. This practice is aimed at prosecuting activists and, through intimidation and disruption, discouraging continued activism.

Federal grand jury subpoenas are served in person. If you receive one, it is critically important that you retain the services of an attorney, preferably one who understands your goals and, if applicable, understands the nature of your political work, and has experience with these issues. Most lawyers are trained to provide the best legal defense for their client, often at the expense of others. Beware lawyers who summarily advise you to cooperate with grand juries, testify against friends, or cut off contact with your friends and political activists. Cooperation usually leads to others being subpoenaed and investigated. You also run the risk of being charged with perjury, a felony, should you omit any pertinent information or should there be inconsistencies in your testimony.

Frequently prosecutors will offer "use immunity," meaning that the prosecutor is prohibited from using your testimony or any leads from it to bring charges against you. If a subsequent prosecution is brought, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that all of its evidence was obtained independent of the immunized testimony. You should be aware, however, that they will use anything you say to manipulate associates into sharing more information about you by suggesting that you have betrayed confidences.

In front of a grand jury you can "take the Fifth" (exercise your right to remain silent). However, the prosecutor may impose immunity on you, which strips you of Fifth Amendment protection and subjects you to the possibility of being cited for contempt and jailed if you refuse to answer further. In front of a grand jury you have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, although you can consult with a lawyer outside the grand jury room after each question.

What if I don't cooperate with the grand jury?

If you receive a grand jury subpoena and elect to not cooperate, you may be held in civil contempt. There is a chance that you may be jailed or imprisoned for the length of the grand jury in an effort to coerce you to cooperate. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, which can be extended up to a total of 24 months. It is lawful to hold you in order to coerce your cooperation, but unlawful to hold you as a means of punishment. In rare instances you may face criminal contempt charges.

What If I Am Not a Citizen and the DHS Contacts Me?

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been renamed and reorganized into: 1. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); 2. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and 3. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three bureaus will be referred to as DHS for the purposes of this pamphlet.

? Assert your rights. If you do not demand your rights or if you sign papers waiving your rights, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport you before you see a lawyer or an immigration judge. Never sign anything without reading, understanding and knowing the consequences of signing it.

? Talk to a lawyer. If possible, carry with you the name and telephone number of an immigration lawyer who will take your calls. The immigration laws are hard to understand and there have been many recent changes. DHS will not explain your options to you. As soon as you encounter a DHS agent, call your attorney. If you can't do it right away, keep trying. Always talk to an immigration lawyer before leaving the U.S. Even some legal permanent residents can be barred from returning.

Based on today's laws, regulations and DHS guidelines, non-citizens usually have the following rights, no matter what their immigration status. This information may change, so it is important to contact a lawyer. The following rights apply to non-citizens who are inside the U.S. Non-citizens at the border who are trying to enter the U.S. do not have all the same rights.

Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any DHS questions or signing any DHS papers?

Yes. You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained, and you have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention. You have the right to have your attorney with you at any hearing before an immigration judge. You do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney for immigration proceedings, but if you have been arrested, immigration officials must show you a list of free or low cost legal service providers.

Should I carry my green card or other immigration papers with me?

If you have documents authorizing you to stay in the U.S., you must carry them with you. Presenting false or expired papers to DHS may lead to deportation or criminal prosecution. An unexpired green card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, Border Crossing Card or other papers that prove you are in legal status will satisfy this requirement. If you do not carry these papers with you, you could be charged with a crime. Always keep a copy of your immigration papers with a trusted family member or friend who can fax them to you, if need be. Check with your immigration lawyer about your specific case.

Am I required to talk to government officers about my immigration history?

If you are undocumented, out of status, a legal permanent resident (green card holder), or a citizen, you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration history. (You may want to consider giving your name; see above for more information about this.) If you are not in any of these categories, and you are being questioned by a DHS or FBI agent, then you may create problems with your immigration status if you refuse to provide information requested by the agent. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the agent that your lawyer will answer questions on your behalf. If answering questions could lead the agent to information that connects you with criminal activity, you should consider refusing to talk to the agent at all.

If I am arrested for immigration violations, do I have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge to defend myself against deportation charges?

Yes. In most cases only an immigration judge can order you deported. But if you waive your rights or take "voluntary departure," agreeing to leave the country, you could be deported without a hearing. If you have criminal convictions, were arrested at the border, came to the U.S. through the visa waiver program or have been ordered deported in the past, you could be deported without a hearing. Contact a lawyer immediately to see if there is any relief for you.

Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?

Yes. Non-citizens arrested in the U.S. have the right to call their consulate or to have the police tell the consulate of your arrest. The police must let your consulate visit or speak with you if consular officials decide to do so. Your consulate might help you find a lawyer or offer other help. You also have the right to refuse help from your consulate.

What happens if I give up my right to a hearing or leave the U.S. before the hearing is over?

You could lose your eligibility for certain immigration benefits, and you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a number of years. You should always talk to an immigration lawyer before you decide to give up your right to a hearing.

What should I do if I want to contact DHS?

Always talk to a lawyer before contacting DHS, even on the phone. Many DHS officers view "enforcement" as their primary job and will not explain all of your options to you.

What Are My Rights at Airports?

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal for law enforcement to perform any stops, searches, detentions or removals based solely on your race, national origin, religion, sex or ethnicity.

If I am entering the U.S. with valid travel papers can a U.S. customs agent stop and search me?

Yes. Customs agents have the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.

Can my bags or I be searched after going through metal detectors with no problem or after security sees that my bags do not contain a weapon?

Yes. Even if the initial screen of your bags reveals nothing suspicious, the screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.

If I am on an airplane, can an airline employee interrogate me or ask me to get off the plane?

The pilot of an airplane has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot's decision must be reasonable and based on observations of you, not stereotypes.

What If I Am Under 18?

Do I have to answer questions?

No. Minors too have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police, probation officers, or school officials, except in some states you may have to give your name if you have been detained.

What if I am detained?

If you are detained at a community detention facility or Juvenile Hall, you normally must be released to a parent or guardian. If charges are filed against you, in most states you are entitled to counsel (just like an adult) at no cost.

Do I have the right to express political views at school?

Public school students generally have a First Amendment right to politically organize at school by passing out leaflets, holding meetings, etc., as long as those activities are not disruptive and do not violate legitimate school rules. You may not be singled out based on your politics, ethnicity or religion.

Can my backpack or locker be searched?

School officials can search students' backpacks and lockers without a warrant if they reasonably suspect that you are involved in criminal activity or carrying drugs or weapons. Do not consent to the police or school officials searching your property, but do not physically resist or you may face criminal charges.


This booklet is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

NLG National Hotline for Activists Contacted by the FBI





Free Mumia NOW!


Write to Mumia:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335

SCI Mahanoy

301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein

August 21, 2011 (917) 689-4009








"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against

Censorship" book




Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana

state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:









Write to Bradley


View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning


Courage to Resist

484 Lake Park Ave. #41

Oakland, CA 94610



"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends

Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."


This is also a Facebook event



Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:


"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning

has been defending and supporting our Constitution." --Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon

Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

Please donate today.


P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly

becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to

make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might also be interested in

supporting GI resisters.




The Battle Is Still On To


The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610





Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper

Chronicle Editorial

Monday, December 13, 2010


Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's

death row!




- From Amnesty International USA

17 December 2010

Click here to take action online:



To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to


For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):




Short Video About Al-Awda's Work

The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's

work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown

on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l

Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected

over the past nine years.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl

Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial

support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to


and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!











[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website:

http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]








Exceptional art from the streets of Oakland:

Oakland Street Dancing





On Gun Control, Martin Luther King, the Deacons of Defense and the history of Black Liberation



Fukushima Never Again


"Fukushima, Never Again" tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children's school grounds was safe and then

when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for "peaceful atoms" was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups in the safety at the Fukushima plant and was retaliated against by GE. This documentary allows the voices of the people and workers to speak out about the reality of the disaster and what this means not only for the people of Japan but the people of the world as the US government and nuclear industry continue to push for more new plants and government subsidies. This film breaks

the information blockade story line of the corporate media in Japan, the US and around the world that Fukushima is over.

Production Of Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172



For information on obtaining the video go to:




1000 year of war through the world



Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan


Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to http://www.youtube.com/user/journeymanpictures

Follow us on Facebook (http://goo.gl/YRw42) or Twitter


The recent massacre of 17 civilians by a rogue US soldier has been shrouded in

mystery. But through unprecedented access to those involved, this report

confronts the accusations that Bales didn't act alone.

"They came into my room and they killed my family". Stories like this are common

amongst the survivors in Aklozai and Najiban. As are the shocking accusations

that Sergeant Bales was not acting alone. Even President Karzai has announced

"one man can not do that". Chief investigator, General Karimi, is suspicious

that despite being fully armed, Bales freely left his base without raising

alarm. "How come he leaves at night and nobody is aware? Every time we have

weapon accountability and personal accountability." These are just a few of the

questions the American army and government are yet to answer. One thing however

is very clear, the massacre has unleashed a wave of grief and outrage which

means relations in Kandahar will be tense for years to come: "If I could lay my

hands on those infidels, I would rip them apart with my bare hands."

A Film By SBS

Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

April 2012


Photo of George Zimmerman, in 2005 photo, left, and in a more recent photo.



SPD Security Cams.wmv



Kids being put on buses and transported from school to "alternate locations" in

Terror Drills



Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity



Attack Dogs used on a High School Walkout in MD, Four Students Charged With

"Thought Crimes"



Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors



Organizing and Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman



Rep News 12: Yes We Kony



The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video



Japan One Year Later



The CIA's Heart Attack Gun




The Invisible American Workforce



Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment


For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.


The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus



Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces


February 1, 2012, 10:56 am




This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political


behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black

and Brown people in the United States.


If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this

video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community

as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing


This speech took place at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on January 12,





I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding

the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused

WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People

platform on WhiteHouse.gov.

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may

decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or

similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or

agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice

system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the

specific case raised in this petition...

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be

charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the

President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with

a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-

Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at

fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political



Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)



Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks



School police increasingly arresting American students?




Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are

plotted visually and audibly on a world map.



We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to

choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are

suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay

and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1

percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?






We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools




In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at

GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip

isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was

Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support

of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National

Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were

pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers

alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress

of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story'

- Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight

at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the

strike was really won!

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike




HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov






ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown


Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of

Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank

and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and

the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to


For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:


Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org


UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11



UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed




Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis



UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car


Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed






Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland



Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs



Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets



Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest

were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest



Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests


G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail




Occupy Oakland Protest


Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland


Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police


Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES


KTVU TV Video of Police violence


Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown



Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland


Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like



Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share



Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I


Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II



#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of

Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!



#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street

By adele pham



Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change







One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw


"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson


Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)

Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am



Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand

Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.

"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."

"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse

Sharkey, Vice

President, Chicago Teachers Union



Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale




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