Tuesday, September 26, 2017

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017





Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:




Love this guy!


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Steph Curry voices his support for Colin Kaepernick: "He definitely should be in the NFL"
Steph Curry is a Carolina Panthers fan, but before he watched the 49ers struggle against Carolina on Sunday, the Warriors star voiced support for Colin Kaepernick.
Curry posted an Instagram story during the game with the caption, "#FreeKaep.
Kaepernick remains without a team after his national anthem protests of the 2016 season. Kaepernick's replacement in San Francisco, Brian Hoyer, threw for just 105 yards and an interception as the 49ers trailed 23-0 late in the third quarter.
Before the game, Curry spoke to the Charlotte Observer about Kaepernick, offering a vocal support for the NFL quarterback:
"He definitely should be in the NFL. If you've been around the NFL, the top 64 quarterbacks, and he's not one of them? Then I don't know what game I'm watching.
"Obviously his stance and his peaceful protest when he was playing here kind of shook up the world, and I think for the better. But hopefully he gets back in the league – because he deserves to be here and he deserves an opportunity to play. He's in his prime and can make a team better."
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/09/stephen-curry-support-colin-kaepernick-49ers-game-anthem-protest-warriors-nba-nfl 



https://twitter.com/ThompsonScribe/status/906989325233086466/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fftw.usatoday.com%2F2017%2F09%2Fstephen-curry-support-colin-kaepernick-49ers-game-anthem-protest-warriors-nba-nfl

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Berkeley Rally Against White Supremacy:
Defend Our Campus and Reclaim Free Speech!
In solidarity with the faculty-led call to boycott campus business as usual during so-called "Free Speech Week".
We are students, workers, and members of the UC Berkeley campus community, the City of Berkeley, and the larger Bay Area. We are immigrants, people of color, religious minorities, queer and trans people, leftists, liberals, and others. We think it's time to come together in a united front, celebrate our differences in solidarity, and speak out against the hateful currents on our campus while affirming our vision of a free, inclusive, and equitable society. Since the 2016 election, white supremacists have been coming to Berkeley to intimidate, harass, and incite violence against us. This time, the UC Berkeley administration is set to spend hundreds of thousands of public education dollars and heavily militarize the campus to ensure that Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Stephen Bannon, and others speak at our university from September 24-27. We believe these speakers and their supporters are dangerous to our community. They support deportations of our undocumented friends and family and are leading figures of the white supremacist movement. They uphold the structures of power that violently suppress the speech and democratic rights of workers and oppressed people around the world.
But we will not be silenced or intimidated. The massive demonstrations of August 19 in Boston and August 26-27 in the Bay Area proved that when we come together, we can protect our communities and politically defeat the bigots. In that spirit, we are meeting on Crescent Lawn to reject white supremacy, speak to each other about the world we want, and reclaim our campus, our city, and our democratic rights. Join us, bring signs, bring friends!
Confirm you attendance and help us share this event here
In solidarity,
Unite Against Right Wing Violence in the Bay Area Coalition
+ Info about us here
Twitter: @AgainsthateEB

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Prison Radio UPDATE:

Please sign this petition:
Release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case!
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/release-mumia-abu-jamal-case-record
A ruling to implement Judge Leon Tucker's recent order to release Mumia's court documents could be made as soon as May 30, 2017. Please call or e-mail the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office now to pressure them to follow the court's order to release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case.
Phone: 215-686-8000

Judge Orders DA to Produce Complete File for Mumia's Case

Dear Friend,

This just in! Judge Leon Tucker of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia has ordered the District Attorney of Philadelphia to produce the entire case file for Cook v. the Commonwealth- the case file in Mumia Abu-Jamal's criminal conviction, by September 21st.

The DA's office has to produce the entire file for "in camera" review in Judge Tucker's chambers. This mean Judge Tucker thinks that a thorough review of all the relevant files is in order! Or in other words, what has been produced under court order from the DA'a office has been woefully deficient.

Judge Tucker worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the late 90's, so he knows what is in -and not in- files. Cook v. the Commonwealth comprises at least 31 boxes of material held by the DA. Will they turn over "all information and the complete file" for Mumia's case, as Judge Tucker has ordered?

This in camera review by Judge Tucker himself means that an independent jurist will personally inspect the documents the DA produces. See the order here.  Stay tuned for more information following September 21. This is just one step in a long walk to freedom. It is a step that has never been taken before.

OPEN the files. Justice Now!

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Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?


Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media)
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
A Book Review by Robert Fantina

With the recent acquittal of two more police officers in the deaths of unarmed Black men, the question posed by the title of this book is as relevant as it ever was. Through a series of concise, clear essays, Mumia Abu-Jamal details the racism against Blacks, comparing today's behaviors with the lynchings that were common in the south prior to the decade of the sixties. He points out the obvious: The passage of Civil Rights legislation hasn't changed much; it simply changed the way racism operates.

The ways in which the white establishment has worked to oppress Blacks is astounding. After the Civil War, when slavery was no longer legal, "whites realized that the combination of trumped-up legal charges and forced labor as punishment created both a desirable business proposition and an incredibly effective tool for intimidating rank-and-file emancipated African Americans and doing away with their most effective leaders."

Abu-Jamal states that, today, "where once whites killed and terrorized from beneath a KKK hood, now they now did so openly from behind a little badge." He details the killing of Black men and women in the U.S. with almost complete impunity.

There are two related issues Abu-Jamal discusses. The first is the rampant racism that enables the police to kill unarmed Blacks, as young as 12 years old, for no reason, and the second is the "justice" system that allows them to get away with it.

One shocking crime, amid countless others, occurred in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2012; a police officer was acquitted in the deaths of two, unarmed Blacks, after leaping onto the hood of their car and firing 15 rounds from his semi-automatic rifle into the car's occupants. That is 137 shots, at point blank range, into the bodies of two unarmed people.

If this were an anomaly, it would be barbaric, but it is not: it is common practice for the police to kill unarmed Blacks, and, on the rare occasions that they are charged with a crime, for the judges and juries to acquit them.

In the U.S., Black citizens are disproportionally imprisoned. With for-profit prisons on the rise, this injustice will only increase.

Abu-Jamal relates story after story with the same plot, and only the names are different. An unarmed Black man is stopped by the police for any of a variety of reasons ranging from trivial (broken tail light), to more significant (suspect in a robbery). But too often, the outcome is the same: the Black man is dead and the police officer who killed him, more often than not white, is either not charged, or acquitted after being charged.

The Black Lives Matter movement formed to combat this blatant injustice, but it will be an uphill battle. As Abu-Jamal says, "Police serve the ownership and wealth classes of their societies, not the middling or impoverished people. For the latter, it is quite the reverse." As a result, people of color suffer disproportionately, too often winding up on the wrong side of a gun.

What is to be done? Abu-Jamal refers to the writings of Dr. Huey P. Newton, who calls not for community policing, but for community control of the police. Abu-Jamal argues forcefully for a new movement, "driven by commitment, ethics, intelligence, solidarity, and passions; for without passion, the embers may dim and die."

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? is powerful, disturbing, well-written, and an important book for our day.

Robert Fantina is the author of Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy. His articles on foreign policy, most frequently concerning Israel and Palestine, have appeared in such venues as Counterpunch and WarIsaCrime.org.
New York Journal of Books, July 2017

http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/Black-lives


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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:


A) EVENTS, ACTIONS 
AND ONGOING STRUGGLES

B) ARTICLES IN FULL


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A) EVENTS, ACTIONS AND ONGOING STRUGGLES


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No to War Call to Action

October 6 marks the 16th anniversary of the longest foreign war in U.S. history.  Instead of ending it, Trump has announced an escalation of the war on Afganistan. Join us in protest during the week of October 2 - 8.  See the call by leading U.S. antiwar activists: http://notowar.net/no-to-war-call-to-action/


Endorse the Week of action:http://notowar.net/endorse-no- to-war-2017/

Add Your Action to the List of Actions:
http://notowar.net/post-your- action/

For more information:
http://notowar.net/
No to endless war & occupation!
No to white supremacy!
Hands off N. Korea, Iran and Venezuela!
Stop attacks on Immigrants and Muslims!
Bring all the troops home now and close the bases!

October 6, 2017, marks the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan – the longest foreign war in U.S. history.

The Afghan war, which has been a thoroughly bipartisan effort, was originally railed against by Donald Trump when he was running for president. He claimed to be against U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan. Now he is moving forward with a "secret" plan of escalation that will also include Pakistan.  He says the secrecy is to keep the "enemy" from knowing his plans, but it also keeps the U.S. people from knowing what he is doing in our name and from judging the human costs for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States
What we do know is that military escalation has repeatedly failed to bring peace in Afghanistan. It has caused more destruction and more deaths of civilians and soldiers alike and has cost trillions of dollars that could be spent on meeting basic needs here at home while repairing the destruction we have carried out abroad.
Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the US against Black and Brown people and immigrants by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations. US wars of aggression and militarism abroad go hand-in-hand with increased state repression and militarization of the police state here at home.
Trump's new escalation comes at a time when there is no end in sight to the continuous wars, including drone and mercenary warfare, throughout the region and when he is threatening military action against Venezuela, North Korea, Russia, Iran and other countries.
Therefore, we the undersigned antiwar leaders in the U.S. are calling for non-violent protests in cities across the country during the week of the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. We appeal to all antiwar organizations in the United States and around the world to join us.
  • John Amidon, Kateri Peace Conference, VFP
  • Jessica Antonio, BAYAN USA
  • Bahman Azad & Alfred Marder, US Peace Council
  • Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace
  • Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
  • Toby Blome, Code Pink, Bay Area
  • Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition
  • Reece Chanault, US Labor Against the War
  • Bernadette Ellorin – International League for People's Struggle
  • Sara Flounders, International Action Center
  • Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Nuclear Power & Weapons in Space
  • Larry Hamm, People's Organization for Progress
  • Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report
  • Ed Kinane, Upstate Drone Action
  • Matthew Hoh – Veterans for Peace
  • Joe Lombardo & Marilyn Levin, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
  • Judith Bello, Upstate Drone Action
  • Jeff Mackler, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • Maggie Martin, About Face: Veterans Against the War (formerly IVAW)
  • Ray McGovern, Former CIA Analyst and Presidential Advisor
  • Michael McPhearson, Veterans For Peace
  • Nick Mottern, Knowdrones.com
  • Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition
  • Elsa Rassbach, Code Pink & UNAC, Germany
  • Bob Smith, Brandywine Peace Community
  • David Swanson, World Beyond War
  • Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait
  • Ann Wright, Code Pink & Veterans For Peace
  • Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance
  • Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance
(organizations are listed for identification purposes only)

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GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST MILITARY BASES
Week of:  7 October 2017
It's time to resist!  TOGETHER!

 

For decades, determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign bases on their lands.  Their struggles have been courageous and persistant.  Uniting our resistance into a global action for peace and justice will make our voices louder, our power stronger and more radiant. 

This fall, during the first week of October, we invite your organization to plan an anti-militarism action in your community as part of the first annual Global Action Against Military Bases. As we resist together to abolish war and stop the desecration of Mother Earth, we create a world where every human life has equal value and a safe environment in which to live. This is the beginning of an annual effort that will better unite our work and strengthen our connections with each other. Will you join us in this united effort to resist war?


Background:
On October 7, 2001, in response to the events on September 11, the United States and Great Britain launched the "Enduring Freedom" mission against Afghanistan. These military forces began their assault on a country already battered by the Soviet invasion and years of a devastating civil war. Following 9/11, a new doctrine of Permanent Global Warfare was established, and its destabilizing impacts have drastically worsened since that fateful day.

We live in an increasingly more volatile world with ever- expanding global wars. Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan are just some of the hot spots. War has become a strategy for global domination. This perpetual state of war is having a devastating impact on our planet, impoverishing communities and forcing massive movements of people fleeing from war and environmental degradation.  

Today, in the Trump era, global warfare is intensifying rapidly. The US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreements accompanies a destructive energy policy that ignores science and eliminates environmental protections, with consequences that will fall heavily on the future of the planet and all who live on it. 
The use of such weapons as the MOAB, "the mother of all bombs," clearly shows the ever more brutal course of the White House. In this framework, the richest and most powerful country, which possesses 95% of the world's foreign military bases, regularly threatens military intervention against other major powers.  This pushes Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and other countries to grotesquely expand their own militaries, leading to worsening global tensions and instability.
It is time to unify all those around the world who oppose war. We must build a network of resistance to US bases, in solidarity with the many years of active resistance movements in Okinawa, South Korea, Italy, the Philippines, Guam, Germany, England, and elsewhere.

On October 7, 2001, the world's richest country began its perpetual military assault and occupation of Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest nations. We propose the week of October 7, 2017 as the first annual GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST MILITARY BASES. We invite all communities to organize solidarity actions and events sometime during the first or second week of October. Each community can independently organize a resistance that meets their own community's needs. We encourage community organizing meetings, debates, public speaking events, vigils, prayer groups, signature gathering, and direct actions. Each community can choose its own methods and locations of resistance: at military bases, embassies, government buildings, schools, libraries, public squares, etc. To make this possible, we need to work together as a united front, giving strength and visibility to every initiative. Together we ARE more powerful.

As Albert Einstein said: "War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished." Will you join us?  Let's make this possible, together.

With the deepest respect,

First signatories
NoDalMolin (Vicenza – Italy)
NoMuos (Niscemi – Sicily – Italy)
SF Bay Area CODEPINK (S. Francisco – USA)
World Beyond War (USA)
CODEPINK (USA)
Hambastagi (Solidarity Party of Afghanistan)
STOP the War Coalition (Phiilippines)

Environmentalists against War (USA)

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CODEPINK Fall Action at Creech:  
Oct. 5 to Oct. 12    (All welcome!)
(Oct. 7 is the 16th Anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan)

SHUT DOWN CREECH: Spring 2018: Apr. 8-14.  (National Mass Mobilization to Resist Killer Drones)


(Thanks to Sandy Turner, from Ukiah, CA, for sharing this link!)

The Pentagon and CIA now have Brett Velicovich, their own drone veteran and CEO of an "online drone retail store" (Dronepire, Inc. and Expert Drones) , to glorify drone killing. Shameful that NPR couldn't ask the very difficult and important questions.  Lots of public education is needed to help people separate fact from fiction!

Would love for someone to do research on this guy!

Please listen to this interview (filled with misinformation), and consider joining us at Creech in the fall and/or spring to be a voice against the slaughter.  
(Dates below).

Life As A 'Drone Warrior'


NPR interview "with Brett Velicovich about his memoir, Drone Warrior, which details his time hunting and killing alleged terrorists using drones in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places."


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/drone-warrior-author-brett-velicovich-hunting-terrorists/


PS:  We should have a massive letter writing and phone calling to NPR for this totally biased and dangerous misrepresentation!


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@NWDCResistance
4 likeSolidarity Statement from the California Coalition for Women Prisoners



https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/

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Labor Studies and Radical History

4444 Geary Blvd., Suite 207, San Francisco, CA 94118

415.387.5700

http://www.holtlaborlibrary.org/mayday.html

Hours

(call 415.387.5700 to be sure the library is open for the hours you are interested in. We close the library sometimes to go on errands or have close early) suggested)

7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on all major holidays and May Day 
We can arrange, by request, to keep the library open longer during the day or open it on weekends. Just ask.

Services

  • Reference Librarian On-site
  • Email and Telephone Reference
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Online Public Access Catalog 
  • Microfilm Reader/Printer
  • DVD and VCR players
  • Photocopier
  • Quiet well-lighted place for study and research 
For an appointment or further information, please email: david [at] holtlaborlibrary.org 

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Support:




CONTRIBUTE 
Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director
Facebook
Twitter
Website
To give by check: 
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA
94141

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan
(415) 706 - 5222

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MEDIA ADVISORYMedia contact: Morgan McLeod, (202) 628-0871
mmcleod@sentencingproject.org
NEW REPORT FINDS RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE SERVING
LIFE SENTENCES IN U.S. PRISONS
Washington, D.C.— Despite recent political support for criminal justice reform in most states, the number of people serving life sentences has nearly quintupled since 1984. 

A new report by The Sentencing Project finds a record number of people serving life with parole, life without parole, and virtual life sentences of 50 years or more, equaling one of every seven people behind bars. 


Eight states  Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Utah  have at least one of every five prisoners serving a life or de facto life sentence in prison. 
The Sentencing Project will host an online press conference to discuss its report Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, on Wednesday, May 3rd at 11:00 a.m. EDT.   
Press Conference Details
WHAT: Online press conference hosted by The Sentencing Project regarding the release of its new report examining life and long-term sentences in the United States. REGISTER HERE to participate. The call-in information and conference link will be sent via email.  
WHEN: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT 
WHO: 
  • Ashley Nellis, The Sentencing Project's senior research analyst and author of Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences
  • Evans Ray, whose life without parole sentence was commuted in 2016 by President Obama
  • Steve Zeidman, City University of New York law professor and counsel for Judith Clark—a New York prisoner who received a 75 year to life sentence in 1983
The full report will be available to press on Wednesday morning via email.

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

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When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression

BAY AREA ANTI-REPRESSION COMMITTEE

When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression
 BY 

Mothers Message to the NY/NJ Activist Community 

In order to effectively combat the existing opportunism, hidden agendas and to better provide ALL genuinely good willed social justice organizations and individuals who work inside of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas... with more concrete guidelines; 

The following "10 Point Platform and Justice Wish List" was adopted on Saturday, May 13, 2017    during the "Motherhood: Standing Strong 4 Justice" pre-mothers day gathering which was held     at Hostos Community College - Bronx, New York.......

"What We Want, What We Need" 

May, 2017 - NY/NJ Parents 10 Point Justice Platform and Wish List 

Point #1 - Lawyers and Legal Assistance:  Due to both the overwhelming case loads and impersonal nature of most public defenders, the Mothers believe that their families are receiving limited options, inadequate legal advise and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in gaining access to experienced "pro-bono" and/or activist attorneys as well as the free resources provided by non-profit social justice and legal advocacy groups.

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Point #2 - First Response Teams: The Mothers felt that when their loved ones were either killed or captured by the police that they were left in the hands of the enemy and without any support, information or direction on how to best move forward and therefore; WE WANT and NEED community activists to help us develop independently community controlled & trained first response teams in every borough or county that can confirm and be on the ground within 24 hours of any future incident.

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Point #3 - Security and Support At Court Appearances: The Mothers all feel that because community activist support eventually becomes selective and minimal, that they are disrespected by both the courthouse authorities, mainstream media and therefore;   WE WANT and NEED community activists to collectively promote and make a strong presence felt at all court appearances and; To always provide trained security & legal observers... when the families are traveling to, inside and from the court house.

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Point #4 - Emotional/Spiritual Healing and Grief and Loss Counseling: After the protest rallies, demonstrations, justice marches and television cameras are gone the Mothers all feel alone and abandoned and therefore;                                                                             WE WANT and NEED for community activists to refer/help provide the families with clergy, professional therapy & cultural outlets needed in order to gain strength to move forward. 

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Point #5 -  Parents Internal Communication Network: The Mothers agreed as actual victims, that they are the very best qualified in regards to providing the needed empathy and trust for an independent hotline & contact resource for all of the parents and families who want to reach out to someone they can mutually trust that is able understand what they are going through and therefore;           WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in providing a Parents Internal Communication Network to reach that objective.

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Point #6 -  Community Offices and Meeting Spaces: The Mothers agreed that there is an extreme need for safe office spaces where community members and family victims are able to go to for both confidential crisis intervention and holding organizing meetings and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                                 WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in securing those safe spaces inside of our own neighborhoods.   

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Point #7 - Political Education Classes and Workshop Training: The Mothers agreed in implementing the "each one, teach one"   strategy and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                         WE WANT and NEEDfor community activists to help us in being trained as educators and organizers in Know Your Rights, Cop Watch, First Response, Emergency Preparedness & Community Control over all areas of public safety & the police in their respective neighborhoods.

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Point #8 - Support From Politicians and Elected Officials: The Mothers believe that most political candidates and incumbent elected officials selectively & unfairly represent only those cases which they think to be politically advantageous to their own selfish personal success on election day and therefore;                                                                                                                                WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in either publicly exposing or endorsing these aforementioned political candidates and/or elected officials to their constituents solely based upon the uncompromising principles of serving the people.

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Point #9 - Research and Documentation: The Mothers believe that research/case studies, surveys, petitions, historical archives, investigative news reporting and events should be documented and made readily available in order to counter the self-serving  police misinformation promoted by the system and therefore;                                                                                                                          WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us by securing college/university students, law firms, film makers, authors, journalists and professional research firms to find, document & tell the people the truth about police terror & the pipeline to prison.

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Point #10 - Grassroots Community Outreach and Information: The Mothers believe that far too much attention is being geared towards TV camera sensationalism with the constant organizing of marches & rallies "downtown"  and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to provide a fair balance by helping us to build in the schools, projects, churches and inside of the subway trains and stations of our Black, brown and oppressed communities where the majority of the police terror is actually taking place. 



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My Heartfelt "Thank You!"

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several days ago I received a message from both of our lawyers, Bob Boyle and Bret Grote, informing me that the latest lab tests came in from the Discovery Requests.  

And they told me that the Hepatitis C infection level is at zero and as of today I'm Hepatitis C free. 

This is in part due to some fine lawyering by Bret and Bob who—remember—filed the suit while I was in the throes of a diabetic coma, unconscious and thus unable to file for myself.  
But it's also due to you, the people.  Brothers and sisters who supported our efforts, who contributed to this fight with money, time, protests and cramming court rooms on our behalf, who sent cards, who prayed, who loved deeply.  

I can't thank you all individually but if you hear my voice or read my words know that I am thanking you, all of you. And I'm thanking you for showing once again the Power of the People. 

This battle ain't over, for the State's cruelest gift is my recent diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver. With your love we shall prevail again.  I thank you all. Our noble Dr.'s Corey Weinstein, who told us what to look for, and Joseph Harris who gave me my first diagnosis and who became the star of the courtroom by making the mysteries of Hep C understandable to all.  An internist working up in Harlem, Dr. Harris found few thrills better than telling his many Hep C patients that they're cured.  

This struggle ain't just for me y'all. 

Because of your efforts thousands of Pennsylvania prisoners now have hope of healing from the ravages of Hepatitis C. [singing] "Let us march on 'til victory is won." So goes the old Negro Spiritual, "The Black National Anthem." 

We are making it a reality. I love you all.

From Prison Nation,
This is Mumia Abu-Jamal

Prison Radio, May 27, 2017

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Court order to disclose DA files in Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case [video]

This 9-minute video gives background on new revelations about conflict of interest -- an appeals judge who had previously been part of the prosecution team -- in upholding the 1982 conviction of journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal on charges of killing a police officer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17Tp5NlllLU

A ruling to implement a judge's recent order for "discovery" could be made on May 30.

Judge Tucker granted discovery to Mumia Abu-Jamal pursuant to his claims brought under Williams v Pennsylvania that he was denied due process because his PA Supreme Court appeals from 1998-2008 were decided by Ronald Castille, who had previously been the District Attorney during Mumia's 1988 appeal from his conviction and death sentence, as well as having been a senior assistant district attorney during Mumia's trial.

The DA is given 30 days—until May 30, 2017—to produce all records and memos regarding Mumia's case, pre-trial, trial, post-trial and direct appeal proceedings between Castille and his staff and any public statement he made about it. Then Mumia has 15 days after receiving this discovery to file amendments to his PCRA petition.

This date of this order is April 28, but it was docketed today, May 1, 2017.

This is a critical and essential step forward!

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Dear Friend,

For the first time- a court has ordered the Philadelphia DA to turn over evidence and open their files in Mumia's appeal.   In a complacency shattering blow, the District Attorney's office is finally being held to account.  Judge Leon Tucker of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court ordered the DA to produce all of the documents relevant to former PA Supreme Court Justice's role in the case. Castille was first a supervisory ADA during Mumia's trial, then District Attorney, and finally as a judge he sat on Mumia's appeals to the PA Supreme Court. 

This broad discovery order follows just days after the arguments in court by Christina Swarns, Esq. of the NAACP LDF, and Judith Ritter, Esq. of Widner Univ.

During that hearing, Swarns made it clear that the District Attorney's practice of lying to the appellate courts would not be tolerated and had been specifically exposed by the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the Terrence Williams case, which highlights Ronald Castile's conflict, the Supreme Court in no uncertain terms excoriated the office for failing to disclose crucial evidence.  Evidence the office hid for years.  This is an opportunity to begin to unravel the decades long police and prosecutorial corruption that has plagued Mumia's quest for justice.  

In prison for over thirty six years Mumia Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence in the death of Philadelphia Police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9th 1981.  

"The Commonwealth  must  produce  any  and  all  documents  or  records  in  the  possession  or  control  of  the Philadelphia  District  Attorney's  Office   showing   former   District   Attorney   Ronald   Castille's   personal   involvement   in the  above-captioned  case  ... and public statements during and after his tenure as District Attorney of Philadelphia."

It is important to note that the history of the District Attorney's office in delaying and appealing to prevent exposure of prosecutorial misconduct and the resulting justice.  At every turn, there will be attempts to limit Mumia's access to the courts and release.   it is past time for justice in this case.  
Noelle Hanrahan, P.I.


Prison Radio is a 501c3 project of the Redwood Justice Fund. We record and broadcast the voices of prisoners, centering their analyses and experiences in the movements against mass incarceration and state repression. If you support our work, please join us.

www.prisonradio.org   |   info@prisonradio.org   |   415-706-5222

Thank you for being a part of this work!

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Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Packed Off to Florida!

Rashid: I'm off to Florida and a new phase of reprisals for publicizing abuses in US prisons

July 14, 2017

Readers are urged to share this story widely and write to Rashid right away; mail equals support, and the more he gets, the safer he'll be: Kevin Johnson, O-158039, RMC, P.O. Box 628, Lake Butler FL 32054

by Kevin 'Rashid' Johnson
http://sfbayview.com/2017/07/rashid-im-off-to-florida-and-a-new-phase-of-reprisals-for-publicizing-abuses-in-us-prisons/

Packed off to Florida

Following Texas prison officials planting a weapon in my cell on March 26, 2017, then stealing most of my personal property on April 6, 2017, in an ongoing pattern of retaliation for and attempts to repress my writing and involvement in litigation exposing and challenging abuses in Texas prisons, including their killing prisoners, I was unceremoniously packed off to the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) on June 22, 2017.
This transfer came as outside protests mounted against the abuses, and Texas officials became more and more entangled in a growing web of their own lies invented in their efforts to cover up and deny their reprisals against me, and also while a contempt investigation was imminent upon a motion I filed in a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of one of the prisoners they'd killed – a killing I'd witnessed and publicized.
Florida, notorious for its own extremely abusive prisons, readily signed on to take up Texas's slack. And being an openly corrupt system unaccustomed to concealing its dirt, FDC officials shot straight from the hip in expressing and carrying on efforts to repress and act out reprisals for my exposing and challenging prison abuses.

The Welcoming Committee

Following a four-hour flight from Texas to Florida, I was driven in a sweltering prison van from an airport just outside Jacksonville, Florida, to the FDC's Reception and Medical Center (RMC) in Lake Butler, Florida. I was forced to leave most all my personal property behind in Texas.
Upon reaching RMC, I was brought from the van, manacled hand and foot into an enclosed vehicle port, where I was met by a mob of white guards of all ranks. I was ordered to stand in a pair of painted yellow footprints on a concrete platform as the guards crowded around me.

I was ordered to stand in a pair of painted yellow footprints on a concrete platform as the guards crowded around me. "This is Florida, and we'll beat your ass! We'll kill you!" said the spokesman.

Their "chosen" spokesman, a tall goofy guard, R. Knight, stepped forward and launched into a speech consisting of threats and insults. He emphasized that I was "not in Virginia or wherever else" I'd been. That "this is Florida, and we'll beat your ass! We'll kill you!" He assured my "Black ass" that my tendency to protest "won't be tolerated here."
He went on and on, like an overseer explaining the plantation's code of decorum and the "place" to a newly arrived Black slave. The analogy is apt. "You will answer us only as 'no sir' and 'yes sir,' 'no ma'am' and 'yes ma'am.' You forget this and we'll kick your fucking teeth out," he barked.
I was then taken through the various stages of being "processed" in: fingerprinted, examined and questioned by medical staff etc. Knight took possession of my property and stole a number of documents and all my writing supplies (five writing tablets, four ink pens, 19 envelopes, stamps), all my hygiene supplies (deodorant, shampoo, two bars of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers) and so on.
All these items that I brought with me from Texas were inventoried and logged by Texas officials. Knight logged and inventoried me as receiving from him only my watch, some legal papers, 15 envelopes and my eyeglasses.
Next, I was taken into an office and sat before a Sgt. L. Colon, RMC's "gang (or STG, Security Threat Group) investigator." He proceeded in the same hostile terms. He explained that he knew all about me and his displeasure with my published articles about prison abuses, and he assured that FDC would put an end to it. He admitted his purpose was to put an STG profile on me, refer it to FDC's central office in Tallahassee to be upheld, and I would then be put on STG file, which in turn would be used to stop my writings.
He proceeded to ask about me being a "Black Panther leader" and, using a thoroughly amateur interrogation method, attempted to have me characterize myself and my party as a gang. When his efforts failed, he charged me with being a "bullshitter." I told him only that I am a member of a constitutionally protected, non-violent communist party and whatever false stigma he wanted to try and invent against me and us was typical of fascist governments and we'd address it publicly and in court. Our "interview" was terminated.

Another nurse did my medical history check, remarking that my blood pressure reading was extremely high, 145/103. Although she had all my medications sitting there in front of her, and I told her I had not received my dose that day, she refused to provide them and did nothing.

Upon arriving in Florida, I had not received my hypertension medications since the prior morning. The sweltering heat was aggravating my condition. During the intake process a routine blood pressure check was done and my reading was around 145/103. The nurse who did the reading passed me on to another nurse who did my medical history check, remarking that my reading was extremely high. Although she had all my medications sitting there in front of her, and I told her I had not received my dose that day, she refused to provide them and did nothing.

Barbaric housing

Following completing the intake process, I was walked a substantial distance across the prison yard carrying my bag of property in handcuffs and the sweltering midday heat, dizzy from my elevated blood pressure.
I was led to K-building, the solitary confinement unit, where I was put into a cell, K-3-102, which had no bunk in it and had a commode that had to be flushed by guards from outside the cell – often they would not flush it when it needed to be and I asked them to. The commode had otherwise been obviously left unflushed for long periods, because inside the bowl was and is a thick, yellowed layer of calcium and waste residue and it reeked of fermented urine and feces.
Just before I entered the cell, it was wet-mopped, not to sanitize it, but to cover the entire floor with water that would not, and did not, dry for over a day afterward due to the extreme humidity and lack of air circulation in the cells. There is no air conditioning in the cell blocks and, unlike in Texas, FDC prisoners may not have in-cell fans.
My cell was infested with ants which would find their way into my bed as I slept on the floor. I received numerous bites from them and I believe also roaches that frequently crawled into the cell. At night, in the pitch black cells – and even when the lights were on – mice and huge, two-inch-long cockroaches, along with the "regular" smaller breed of roaches, ran into and explored the cell.

My cell was infested with ants which would find their way into my bed as I slept on the floor. I received numerous bites from them. At night, even when the lights were on, mice and huge, two-inch-long cockroaches, along with the "regular" smaller breed of roaches, ran into and explored the cell.

The K-building lieutenant, Jason Livingston, posted a special note outside my cell door stating I was on a heightened security status, that I and the cell were to be specially searched any time I exited or entered the cell, that I was to be specially restrained and the ranking guards had to accompany me to and from any destination outside the cell. The pretense was that I was an extreme physical threat.
I was denied my hypertension medications until I briefly fell unconscious on the evening of June 24, 2017.
Following sending word out to an attorney and others about my conditions and experiences, who apparently raised complaints on my behalf, I was moved to a "regular" cell, K-1-204, on June 30, 2017, with a bunk and a commode I can flush. I was repeatedly confronted by various guards who've commented that I'm no dangerous person and they don't understand why I've been profiled or treated as though I am.
A week later FDC officials would come clean, exposing on the record their actual motives for my mistreatment, and "special" security status.

Solitary confinement for publicizing abuses

My readers and others will recall when, in January 2017, I was given a disciplinary infraction by Texas officials for a statement I wrote about suffering their abuses that was published online. When confronted about such retaliatory acts by a PBS reporter, Ms. Kamala Kelkar, TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark initially lied, denying that I received any such infractions, until Ms. Kelkar emailed him a copy of the charge I'd received. He then suddenly changed his story, lying yet again to claim the infraction had been overturned, then declined to answer any further questions.[i]
Clark knew enough to deny and try to cover up such acts of retaliation against a prisoner exercising his right to freedom of speech. Florida officials, however, have come right out admitting and exposing such actions.[ii]
On July 6, 2017, I was confronted by RMC classification officer Jeremy Brown, who notified me that I am to be formally reviewed for placement on Close Management I status, which is the FDC's name for solitary confinement. The reason he gave for this review was the exact STG pretext Sgt. L. Colon told me on my first day was going to be created to justify suppressing my writings about prison abuses.
Brown served me written notification stating my CMI review was based upon my alleged "documented leadership in a Security Threat Group that is certified by the Threat Assessment Review Committee in Central Office." Remember, this is the very same illegal basis upon which California prison officials were indefinitely throwing prisoners in solitary confinement which prompted three historic mass prisoner hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 and was abolished upon the settlement of a class action lawsuit against the practice in 2015.

My assignment to solitary confinement is for "documented leadership in a Security Threat Group" … This is the very same illegal basis upon which California prison officials were indefinitely throwing prisoners in solitary confinement which prompted three historic mass prisoner hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 and was abolished upon the settlement of a class action lawsuit against the practice in 2015.

But FDC officials went much further in supporting "comments" to state their true motives for devising to put me in solitary and for my mistreatment up to that point.
As Colon had threatened, an STG label was invented against the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, a party about which Colon admitted he and the FDC had no prior knowledge. The reason the party was designated an STG and gang was because (get this!) I'd written articles while in Oregon and Texas prison systems that were published online about abuses in the prisons which generated concern and perfectly legal protests from the public, which was characterized as my gang following that "caused disruption in the orderly operations" of the prisons.
The notice went on to admit, as I've long contended in my writings, that these writings are the actual reason I've been transferred from state to state – illegal retaliatory transfers – which was characterized as STG activities.
Passing mention was made that I'd received disciplinary infractions while in Oregon and Texas, but no attempt was made to show those infractions bore any connection to my party affiliation. In fact, those who have followed my writings and the series of official reprisals – which is now being admitted by FDC officials – know those infractions were fabricated retaliations, many of which I was prevented from contesting.
So, according to FDC officials, I am a confirmed gang leader because I publicize prison abuses through articles that are posted online and my gang members and followers are members of the public who read my articles and make complaints and inquiries of officials, which acts are characterized as presenting disruptions to prison operations – or in other words throwing a monkey wrench in their business-as-usual abuses.

According to FDC officials, I am a confirmed gang leader because I publicize prison abuses through articles that are posted online and my gang members and followers are members of the public who read my articles and make complaints and inquiries of officials, which acts are characterized as presenting disruptions to prison operations.

For this I am to be thrown into solitary, which means any future posting and publishing of writings by me about prison abuses will be characterized as my continuing to engage in STG or gang activities, and any legal public protests as my gang members threatening prison security.
I didn't make this up, it's all in writing; read it HERE (scroll down to "SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS"). This is where taxpayers' monies are going in financing these ubiquitous gang busting units. And should you protest, you will be labelled a gangster yourself. I won't belabor the point.
Dare to struggle, Dare to win!
All Power to the People!
[i] Kamala Kelkar, "Resistence Builds Against Social Media Ban in Texas Prisons," PBS NewsHour Weekend, Jan. 29, 2017, 5:23 p.m. EST
Send our brother some love and light – and share this urgent story widely. The more people who write to him now, the safer he'll be: Kevin Johnson, O-158039, RMC, 7765 S. Cr. 231, P.O. Box 628, Lake Butler FL 32054.

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Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition

by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz(Introduction)

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Major Battles On
For over 31 years, Major Tillery has been a prisoner of the State.
Despite that extraordinary fact, he continues his battles, both in the prison for his health, and in the courts for his freedom.
Several weeks ago, Tillery filed a direct challenge to his criminal conviction, by arguing that a so-called "secret witness" was, in fact, a paid police informant who was given a get-out-of-jail-free card if he testified against Tillery.
Remember I mentioned, "paid?"
Well, yes--the witness was 'paid'--but not in dollars. He was paid in sex!
In the spring of 1984, Robert Mickens was facing decades in prison on rape and robbery charges. After he testified against Tillery, however, his 25-year sentence became 5 years: probation!
And before he testified he was given an hour and a ½ private visit with his girlfriend--at the Homicide Squad room at the Police Roundhouse. (Another such witness was given another sweetheart deal--lie on Major, and get off!)
To a prisoner, some things are more important than money. Like sex!
In a verified document written in April, 2016, Mickens declares that he lied at trial, after being coached by the DAs and detectives on the case.
He lied to get out of jail--and because he could get with his girl.
Other men have done more for less.
Major's 58-page Petition is a time machine back into a practice that was once common in Philadelphia.
In the 1980s and '90s, the Police Roundhouse had become a whorehouse.
Major, now facing serious health challenges from his hepatitis C infection, stubborn skin rashes, and dangerous intestinal disorders, is still battling.
And the fight ain't over.
[©'16 MAJ  6/29/16]
Major Tillery Needs Your Help and Support
Major Tillery is an innocent man. There was no evidence against Major Tillery for the 1976 poolroom shootings that left one man dead and another wounded. The surviving victim gave a statement to homicide detectives naming others—not Tillery or his co-defendant—as the shooters. Major wasn't charged until 1980, he was tried in 1985.
The only evidence at trial came from these jailhouse informants who were given sexual favors and plea deals for dozens of pending felonies for lying against Major Tillery. Both witnesses now declare their testimony was manufactured by the police and prosecution. Neither witness had personal knowledge of the shooting.
This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct and police corruption that goes to the deepest levels of rot in the Philadelphia criminal injustice system. Major Tillery deserves not just a new trial, but dismissal of the charges against him and his freedom from prison.
It cost a lot of money for Major Tillery to be able to file his new pro se PCRA petition and continue investigation to get more evidence of the state misconduct. He needs help to get lawyers to make sure this case is not ignored. Please contribute, now.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support: Tillery's investigation is ongoing, to get this case filed has been costly and he needs funds for a legal team to fight this to his freedom!
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC
    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney
    Seth Williams:
    Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.
    Call: 215-686-8711 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931

      For More Information, Go To: Justice4MajorTillery/blogspot
      Call/Write:
      Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. (917) 689-4009RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com





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      Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence

      Sign the Petition:
      http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/petition.php


      Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence. Cooper has always maintained his innocence of the 1983 quadruple murder of which he was convicted. In 2009, five federal judges signed a dissenting opinion warning that the State of California "may be about to execute an innocent man." Having exhausted his appeals in the US courts, Kevin Cooper's lawyers have turned to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to seek remedy for what they maintain is his wrongful conviction, and the inadequate trial representation, prosecutorial misconduct and racial discrimination which have marked the case. Amnesty International opposes all executions, unconditionally.

      "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." - Judge William A. Fletcher, 2009 dissenting opinion on Kevin Cooper's case

      Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.

      In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their house guest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing.

      Take action to see that Kevin Cooper's death sentence is commuted immediately.

      Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence.

      Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."

      Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.

      Tell California authorities: The death penalty carries the risk of irrevocable error. Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted.

      In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.

      In solidarity,

      James Clark
      Senior Death Penalty Campaigner
      Amnesty International USA

        Kevin Cooper: An Innocent Victim of Racist Frame-Up - from the Fact Sheet at: www.freekevincooper.org

        Kevin Cooper is an African-American man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the gruesome murders of a white family in Chino Hills, California: Doug and Peggy Ryen and their daughter Jessica and their house- guest Christopher Hughes. The Ryens' 8 year old son Josh, also attacked, was left for dead but survived.

        Convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred in San Bernardino County CA, Kevin Cooper remains under a threat of imminent execution in San Quentin.  He has never received a fair hearing on his claim of innocence.  In a dissenting opinion in 2009, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed a 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 565 F.3d 581.

        There is significant evidence that exonerates Mr. Cooper and points toward other suspects:

          The coroner who investigated the Ryen murders concluded that the murders took four minutes at most and that the murder weapons were a hatchet, a long knife, an ice pick and perhaps a second knife. How could a single person, in four or fewer minutes, wield three or four weapons, and inflict over 140 wounds on five people, two of whom were adults (including a 200 pound ex-marine) who had loaded weapons near their bedsides?

          The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryen, told police and hospital staff within hours of the murders that the culprits were "three white men." Josh Ryen repeated this statement in the days following the crimes. When he twice saw Mr. Cooper's picture on TV as the suspected attacker, Josh Ryen said "that's not the man who did it."

          Josh Ryen's description of the killers was corroborated by two witnesses who were driving near the Ryens' home the night of the murders. They reported seeing three white men in a station wagon matching the description of the Ryens' car speeding away from the direction of the Ryens' home.

          These descriptions were corroborated by testimony of several employees and patrons of a bar close to the Ryens' home, who saw three white men enter the bar around midnight the night of the murders, two of whom were covered in blood, and one of whom was wearing coveralls.

          The identity of the real killers was further corroborated by a woman who, shortly after the murders were discovered, alerted the sheriff's department that her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, left blood-spattered coveralls at her home the night of the murders. She also reported that her boyfriend had been wearing a tan t-shirt matching a tan t-shirt with Doug Ryen's blood on it recovered near the bar. She also reported that her boyfriend owned a hatchet matching the one recovered near the scene of the crime, which she noted was missing in the days following the murders; it never reappeared; further, her sister saw that boyfriend and two other white men in a vehicle that could have been the Ryens' car on the night of the murders.

        Lacking a motive to ascribe to Mr. Cooper for the crimes, the prosecution claimed that Mr. Cooper, who had earlier walked away from custody at a minimum security prison, stole the Ryens' car to escape to Mexico. But the Ryens had left the keys in both their cars (which were parked in the driveway), so there was no need to kill them to steal their car. The prosecution also claimed that Mr. Cooper needed money, but money and credit cards were found untouched and in plain sight at the murder scene.

        The jury in 1985 deliberated for seven days before finding Mr. Cooper guilty. One juror later said that if there had been one less piece of evidence, the jury would not have voted to convict.

        The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited…         (Continue reading this document at: http://www.savekevincooper.org/_new_freekevincooperdotorg/TEST/Scripts/DataLibraries/upload/KC_FactSheet_2014.pdf)

             This message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. July 2015


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        B. ARTICLES IN FULL


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        1)   Alabama Man Who Waited 10 Years for Trial Is Found Guilty
         SEPT. 22, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/alabama-kharon-davis-guilty.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=
        Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

        DOTHAN, Ala. — Kharon Davis spent a decade in jail awaiting trial. On Friday, a jury in this southern Alabama town deliberated less than three hours before finding him guilty in the fatal shooting of Peter Dwayne Reaves.
        Mr. Davis's case had attracted national attention because of the extreme length of his incarceration while he was still presumed innocent. His trial was delayed multiple times because of misplaced evidence, conflicts of interest and his own dissatisfaction with successive teams of lawyers.
        Mr. Davis, 33, is black, but the jury was all white, in a county with a long history of striking blacks from juries. Jury selection took place on Monday and Tuesday, and Mr. Davis's lawyers complained to the judge about the racial makeup of the jury, unsuccessfully arguing that a new pool be assembled.
        Mr. Davis was one of three men charged in Mr. Reaves's death. One of the others, Lorenzo Stacey, was acquitted. The third, Kevin Bernard McCloud, took a plea bargain in which he agreed to plead guilty and testify against Mr. Davis, a childhood friend, if prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. He is serving a 99-year sentence.
        The three men had gone to Mr. Reaves's apartment on a night in June 2007 looking to buy marijuana. But the deal quickly turned into a shooting. Mr. McCloud was wounded and Mr. Reaves was killed.
        The prosecution was forced to make a largely circumstantial case against Mr. Davis, who they said fired the gun. None of Mr. Davis's DNA was found in Mr. Reaves's home, where the shooting took place. There were no fingerprints on the stolen 9-millimeter handgun that was used in the murder. And there were no witnesses who saw Mr. Davis shoot Mr. Reaves.
        What's more, extensive delays can erode any case, as memories falter and witnesses disappear or die. In this case, two key witnesses for the prosecution, including Mr. McCloud, changed their stories.
        They stunned the courtroom by testifying that they had lied years ago to authorities about the case.
        One, Larry Thompson, appeared on Thursday in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and leg chains. He is serving a 20-year sentence for an unrelated crime. After briefly testifying, he abruptly refused to continue, saying he feared for his life.
        Mr. Thompson was a child at the time of Mr. Reaves's death, and was supposed to help bolster the prosecution's theory that the men had planned to rob Mr. Reaves from the beginning.
        In the 2009 trial of Mr. Stacey, Mr. Thompson testified that he saw three men wrestling with Mr. Reaves, and that they pulled him back into the apartment after he tried to flee. He also testified that he heard Mr. Reaves yelling, "You are killing me! You are killing me!" after he heard the gunshots.
        But this week, he denied that account.
        "That was a lie," Mr. Thompson testified on Thursday, adding that he saw only two men fighting with Mr. Reaves. "I don't want to commit perjury. I've been doing it for so long."
        He added: "I was scared for my life, and I am scared for my life today, your Honor. Just take me back to prison. I am not testifying."
        But it was the second main witness, Mr. McCloud, who stood to do the most damage to the prosecution's case.
        In the hours after the shooting, Mr. McCloud gave the police conflicting accounts of what happened when Mr. Reaves was killed, ultimately suggesting that Mr. Davis had stormed into Mr. Reaves's home and started shooting.
        But on Thursday, Mr. McCloud changed his story again, telling the jury that Mr. Davis had waited in the car while he went in to buy drugs. That was also Mr. Davis's account, according to his lawyers.
        After the shooting, Mr. McCloud told Frank Meredith, a Dothan police officer, that he had just stepped into Mr. Reaves's apartment when he heard Mr. Davis yell an order to get down and felt a pain in the back of his neck before losing consciousness. Mr. McCloud had been shot by a bullet that passed through him and struck Mr. Reaves.
        Mr. McCloud testified Thursday that he implicated Mr. Davis then because Mr. Meredith threatened and coerced him, using a racial slur. He added that the police officer had pushed the idea that Mr. Davis did the shooting.
        "He was putting words in my mouth," Mr. McCloud testified. "So, to get out of there, I just went along with what he said."
        On the stand, Mr. Meredith firmly denied Mr. McCloud's account.
        A distant relative of Mr. Davis's, who owned the gun used in the shooting, testified that she had noticed it missing from under her bedroom mattress about three weeks before the shooting, when she hosted a cookout that Mr. Davis attended. She said that he had entered her bedroom at one point, to use the bathroom there.
        The defense called no witnesses. "Not one piece of forensic evidence connects Kharon Davis with being in that apartment," one of Mr. Davis's lawyers, Thomas M. Goggans, said, referring to Mr. Reaves's home. "There are unanswered questions and doubts throughout."
        Prosecutors had initially sought the death penalty in Mr. Davis's case, but in January a new district attorney took office who had a conflict of interest: He had previously represented one of the other two men charged in the murder.
        The state attorney general's office took over the case and dropped pursuit of the death penalty.
        Mr. Davis was still tried for capital murder, but found guilty of a lesser charge, felony murder, which carries a sentence of 20 years to life. Circuit Court Judge Kevin Moulton had instructed the jury to consider the lesser charge if they could not reach unanimity about capital murder.
        Malcolm Reaves, one of Mr. Reaves's four brothers, expressed relief that there was finally a verdict. "The whole case, the 10 years, it all took a heavy toll on our family," he said. "I'm happy today because my brother finally got justice. My mama says she can sleep at night now."
        Chrycynthia Davis, Mr. Davis's mother, said after the verdict that she was angry. "The state did not make their case and they tried to coerce Kevin and make him lie," she said, referring to Mr. McCloud. "This is not justice. They railroaded my son."
        One of Mr. Davis's lawyers, Dustin Fowler, said Mr. Davis planned to appeal. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 17.


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        2)  Long Delays Cloud Police Department Disciplinary Trials
        "Constance Malcolm waited five years for Richard Haste, the officer who in 2012 shot and killed her unarmed son, Ramarley Graham, to face a departmental trial, after which he resigned. A Police Department lawyer promised her that internal trials for two other officers who were involved — Sgt. Scott Morris and Officer John McLoughlin — would follow soon after, Ms. Malcolm said, but six months later she said they still have not been scheduled. "
         SEPT. 18, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/nyregion/james-blake-nypd-excessive-force.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=
        rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

        When the New York City police officer who tackled the former tennis star James Blake steps into a dim departmental trial room this week, Mr. Blake will have waited more than 700 days to see the officer answer for his actions since a civilian oversight board found that he used excessive force.
        In the nearly two years that elapsed, Mr. Blake said he has canceled three plane tickets to New York because of trial delays and watched a plea deal he saw as soft fall apart for reasons that remain mysterious to many of the people involved. After the trial, Mr. Blake will wait again — likely for months — for the police commissioner to hand down a final ruling on the officer's guilt and possible punishment. And in the end, details of the punishment could remain a secret.
        The process, long and byzantine as it is, is the easiest path to holding an officer accountable for many victims of police misconduct. Overwhelmingly, they face bigger obstacles to pursuing a complaint than Mr. Blake, who was thrown to a Midtown sidewalk by Officer James Frascatore two years ago after he was misidentified as a suspect in a credit card fraud ring.
        But new data obtained by The New York Times shows just how long it takes for the Police Department to decide on an allegation that the Civilian Complaint Review Board has substantiated. Among the 43 trial cases that concluded this year, complainants waited an average of 454 days, or roughly 15 months, for prosecutors and defense lawyers to rest their cases at trial. And after that, they waited another 201 days, or roughly seven months, for a departmental judge to get comments and issue a ruling, and for the police commissioner to decide whether to uphold the verdict.

        Mayor Bill de Blasio often cites the city's progress in police reform, but the wait has stretched out under the current police commissioner, James P. O'Neill, who took over from William J. Bratton last September. Mr. O'Neill has taken 11 percent longer than Mr. Bratton to make a ruling after prosecutors and defense lawyers rest their cases: 186 days, on average, compared to 168 for Mr. Bratton, who was in his second stint as commissioner.
        Trial delays can undercut the review board's prosecutions by making it more likely that witnesses or complainants disappear and cases goes stale. And they can sap whatever faith families have left in the departmental trial process.
        Constance Malcolm waited five years for Richard Haste, the officer who in 2012 shot and killed her unarmed son, Ramarley Graham, to face a departmental trial, after which he resigned. A Police Department lawyer promised her that internal trials for two other officers who were involved — Sgt. Scott Morris and Officer John McLoughlin — would follow soon after, Ms. Malcolm said, but six months later she said they still have not been scheduled. (Cases can be initiated by the board or the department, and in the Graham case, unlike Mr. Blake's, the Police Department brought the prosecution.)
        "I have no closure," she said.
        With the help of Communities United for Police Reform, an advocacy group, Mr. Blake recently met with Ms. Malcolm and relatives of Delrawn Small, who was fatally shot by an off-duty officer last year, and Sean Bell, who was fatally shot by officers in 2006. He said trial delays were debilitating.
        "I've had a lawyer working on it for two years, as opposed to most people who can't afford to do that," Mr. Blake said. "It can be considered a tactic for how these things don't get settled at all."
        Mr. Blake said Officer Frascatore's trial was delayed once because the officer's lawyer had jury duty, a second time because a review board prosecutor had changed jobs, and a third time because the review board thought it had a plea deal. But that deal — in which the officer would have lost 10 vacation days, Mr. Blake said — seemed insufficient to Mr. Blake, and it collapsed anyway.
        The city recently settled a potential civil claim from Mr. Blake by creating a fellowship at the review board in his name.
        "I respect what the C.C.R.B. is credited with trying to do," he said. "Right now, it doesn't seem like they're actually accomplishing the mission."
        The review board has sped up the part of adjudicating a complaint that they control: It took them just under five months, on average, to complete a full investigation last year, down from more than seven months in 2015.
        But once the review board substantiates an allegation, a case can slow down. The department has effectively stalled dozens of cases by asking the review board to reconsider its findings; in the second half of 2016 it waited nine months, on average, to submit a challenge. The review board also has to wait for an officer's supervisor to prepare an evaluation.
        The department tried for a time to have review board prosecutors and defense lawyers begin plea negotiations before scheduling the first trial date, review board officials said. That sometimes slowed the process. Even now, though, cases can get stuck for months in plea negotiations. Striking a deal is one way for prosecutors to avoid departmental judges who can be skeptical of complainants, especially those with criminal records or those who have sued the city.
        The Police Department said every one of the hundreds of cases that Commissioner O'Neill has ruled on this year requires reviewing internal investigative findings and trial testimony. It said it was evaluating the review process "in an effort to resolve disciplinary matters in a fair and expeditious manner while recognizing the various issues of due process."
        Jonathan Darche, the executive director of the review board, said in an interview that prosecutors were looking for ways to accelerate the trial process: reviewing the docket more often, drafting charges more quickly, and measuring delays in particular steps of the process.
        The review board only began prosecuting officers in departmental disciplinary proceedings in 2013; previously, only Police Department lawyers had that power. No police officers stood trial in review board cases in the year and a half before the change, whereas review board lawyers prosecuted 187 cases and secured 68 convictions in the year and a half after. Some cases, like Mr. Blake's, likely would not have resulted in charges before.
        Under the new model, Mr. Darche said officers still had to be given opportunities to respond.
        It can be in an officer's favor to let a case drag on. Witnesses sometimes stop cooperating, and the officers are still being paid and are even sometimes promoted while charges are pending, though that becomes more difficult, especially in high-profile cases. But Officer Frascatore's lawyer, Stephen Worth, said the wait had been "particularly agonizing" in this case, with the officer being "publicly vilified" and threatened before he had a chance to give his account.
        The review board was expected to vote in August on rules limiting how long the Police Department could wait before challenging the review board's findings. But that vote was delayed and is now planned for October.
        "Time is always the enemy of accountability in the disciplinary process," said Christopher T. Dunn, the associate legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union. Of the new data on delays, he said: "It looks like it's taking a very long time to get to a final resolution of the case. And that's just going to be enormously frustrating for complainants."

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        3)  When Will Black Lives Matter in St. Louis?
         SEPT. 20, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/opinion/when-will-black-lives-matter-in-st-louis.html?action=
        click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=
        opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region


        ST. LOUIS — On Aug. 9, 2014, Mike Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a police officer in the St. Louis suburb Ferguson, Mo. What followed were months of overwhelmingly nonviolent protests that were policed by law enforcement officers who wore riot gear, shook their batons at protesters and took joy-rides in heavily armored military vehicles. In November 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson, and a few months later federal investigators cleared him of any wrongdoing.
        Three years later, change the names to Anthony Lamar Smith and Jason Stockley, and here we are again.
        On Friday, a former St. Louis police officer named Jason Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, after a high-speed chase.
        Just before he shot him, Mr. Stockley, who is white, told his partner he was "going to kill" him. In his decision in the bench trial, Judge Timothy Wilson of the St. Louis Circuit justified Mr. Stockley's remark by writing that people "say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment."
        Prosecutors had also suggested that Mr. Stockley planted a gun in Mr. Smith's car after the chase ended, because the weapon contained his DNA, not Mr. Smith's. But Judge Wilson, who has nearly 30 years of experience, expressed doubts about this, noting that "an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly."
        Welcome to St. Louis.
        Not only are the local court system and law enforcement community committed to reinforcing that black lives do not matter here, but the police also continue to escalate tensions and foment distrust between them and protesters.
        Around noon on Friday, my colleagues and I, along with other protesters, were marching peacefully through the streets of downtown St. Louis when we saw the police department bringing in hundreds of officers in riot gear. In an ostentatious show of force, they lined up along the street to face us, holding their shields and batons aloft so protesters could clearly see them.
        To say that these actions were unnecessary and exaggerated would be an understatement. They were clearly intended to make protesters fearful and to provoke unrest.
        Demonstrations continued over the weekend and more than 80 people were arrested. By Sunday night, as I and other lawyers and advocates worked to bail out protesters, stories were flooding in about the unscrupulous methods officers were using to engage protesters and ultimately arrest them. Officers had shot rubber bullets into crowds of people, hitting pedestrians and innocent bystanders. Some who took off running to escape the onslaught of rubber bullets were chased and tackled by officers. Videos have since surfaced all over social media that substantiate protesters' accounts of police in riot gear cornering protesters and refusing to let them leave and go home, which resulted in numerous arrests.
        As if this weren't problematic enough, St. Louis police officers were heard chanting, "Whose Streets? Our Streets!" This is a vile appropriation of a familiar chant that courageous demonstrators used in Ferguson. Can you imagine hearing police officers say those words as they advance on a crowd of protesters?
        That sentiment isn't out of place in the St. Louis police department: Top brass echo it as well. At a news conference, Lawrence O'Toole, the acting police commissioner for the city of St. Louis, proclaimed that "police owned tonight." This is the kind of "leadership" that forces people of color and poor people into survival mode in this region.
        In addition, our local officials lament the property damage that has occurred here, but not the grievances of the black community. On a Twitter post, Mayor Lyda Krewson labeled protesters alleged to have committed property damage downtown as "criminals." Her and Mr. O'Toole's willingness to speak out so emphatically against people who break windows, but not against police officers who kill citizens, is enraging for those of us in the black community and for our allies.
        These protests are about so much more than Jason Stockley. They are about the many other Jason Stockleys in the St. Louis metropolitan and county police departments, and the city's refusal to acknowledge the pain that remains in this community before and since Aug. 9, 2014.
        These protests are about the continued predatory practices of the municipal court system here, which bleeds people dry in fines and fees. Some of our clients have taken out payday loans and borrowed against life insurance policies to pay such fines. Just last year, ArchCity Defenders reached a $4.75 million settlement in a debtors' prison class action lawsuit against the city of Jennings, which borders Ferguson, for illegally jailing people who were unable to pay traffic tickets or minor ordinance violations.
        All of this is exhausting. The insensitivity. The mockery of real struggle and pain. The disregard. The arrogance.
        When will Black Lives Matter in St. Louis? Which local leaders will finally step up and stop the government from continuing its long, complicated and devastating history of racism? From our view, military tanks, tear gas, rubber bullets and dishonest narratives won't be bridging this gap anytime soon.
        The Ferguson Commission and the Movement for Black Lives, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing black Americans, have outlined a number of policy recommendations that would positively affect the black community and poor people: end cash bail, demilitarize law enforcement and stop criminalizing poverty. St. Louis officials must take these demands seriously and be willing to implement them.
        Until then, St. Louis law enforcement officials will continue to find themselves locked in this pattern, wondering why black citizens take to the streets demanding that the police stop killing us.

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        4)  Mexicans Dig Through Quake Rubble Overnight as Death Toll Passes 200
         SEPT. 20, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/world/americas/mexico-earthquake-death-toll.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=
        rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront


        The death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday jumped to 217, government officials said Wednesday, as searchers worked desperately to find survivors in the ruins of collapsed structures.

        The new death toll was announced by Luis Felipe Puente, the country's civil protection coordinator. He said that more than half the dead were found in Mexico City and nearby Morelos State.

        The Tuesday afternoon quake toppled dozens of buildings and led to the deaths of 21 children in a school that collapsed in Mexico City. The devastating temblor sent people fleeing into the streets and came just two weeks after another earthquake centered off Mexico's southern coast rattled the capital.

        Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto, said in a statement Tuesday night that emergency workers were being sent to affected areas so that "throughout the night we can continue aiding the population and eventually find people beneath the rubble." "The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people," he said.

        The earthquake happened on the 32nd anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake that killed as many as 10,000 people and flattened 400 buildings in Mexico City. That quake led to a tougher new construction code in the capital.
        In addition to the widespread destruction from Tuesday's quake, the country was also grappling with power failures affecting millions of people. Mr. Peña Nieto said the authorities were trying to restore electricity to 40 percent of residents in Mexico City and 60 percent in Morelos.
        In addition to the large number of bodies discovered in Mexico City and Morelos, people were also killed in the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Oaxaca and Puebla.
        Mexico City's mayor, Miguel Ángel Mancera, said that about 40 buildings and structures collapsed at a different locations in the capital, with many high rises swaying after the quake. The quake, which struck around 1 p.m. and was centered about 100 miles from the capital, triggered at least 11 aftershocks, further rattling residents of the capital and surrounding areas.
        At the scene of the collapsed school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the southern part of the capital, the mood was one of anguish, as hundreds of volunteers clamored to unearth children they hoped to find alive. Dozens of workers carting megaphones called out contradictory instructions, while others yelled for resources like batteries, flashlights and diesel fuel.
        The epicenters of Tuesday's earthquake and a larger one on Sept. 7 were more than 400 miles apart, but they both occurred in a region where one of the earth's crustal plates, the Cocos, is sliding beneath another, the North American.
        Paul Earle, a seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, said it was too early to say whether there was any connection between the two quakes. Although the first was much stronger, the one on Tuesday was much closer to Mexico City, causing more damage in the capital.

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        5)  Despite Pleas, Oklahoma City Officer Fatally Shoots Deaf Man
         SEPT. 20, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/us/oklahoma-city-police-shooting-deaf.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=
        stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront


        An Oklahoma City police officer fatally shot a man on Tuesday night despite pleas from neighbors that the man was deaf and could not hear the commands to drop a metal pipe he was holding, the authorities said.
        The man, Madgiel Sanchez, was shot around 8:15 p.m. outside his home soon after the police responded there to investigate a hit-and-run accident. The first officer to arrive called for backup, pulled out his Taser and ordered Mr. Sanchez, 35, who was on his front porch, to drop the two-foot-long pipe he was clutching, the police said.
        The officer's commands did not register with Mr. Sanchez. He ambled off the porch toward the officer, waving the pipe in his right hand, according to the police and a witness.
        Julio Rayos, a neighbor who lives a few homes away and knew the man was deaf, said he saw the confrontation unfold and sensed trouble.
        He said that he ran toward the officer with his wife and his 12-year-old daughter, all three of them screaming that the man could not understand the officer.
        "Don't kill him, he's deaf," his daughter yelled. "Don't do it!"
        About six other neighbors joined in, frantically trying to get the officer's attention. But less than a minute after the episode began, a second officer arrived and immediately pulled out his handgun, Mr. Rayos said. While people continued to scream, the first officer fired his Taser at Mr. Sanchez, while the second fired his handgun, the police said.
        Capt. Bo Mathews, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said Wednesday that the second officer, Sgt. Christopher Barnes, fired multiple shots and that Mr. Sanchez, who was hit more than once, was pronounced dead in front of his house.
        Mr. Rayos said he heard more than six shots in rapid succession. "They seemed like they just came to shoot him," he said. "It happened so quickly."
        In the neighborhood, Shields-Davis, just south of downtown Oklahoma City, Mr. Sanchez was known for wandering up and down the streets during the day, even in heavy rain, and running laps in the parking lot of an American Legion post next to his home. He never left home without the pipe, wielding it shoo away stray dogs, Mr. Rayos said.
        Mr. Sanchez also used the pipe to communicate with people, moving it around to try to convey what he meant, Mr. Rayos said. It was the same motion Mr. Sanchez made before the police shot him, Mr. Rayos said.
        Captain Mathews said that the shooting was under investigation and that Sergeant Barnes had been placed on paid administrative leave. The first officer who arrived, Lt. Matthew Lindsey, will remain on active duty, he said.
        Captain Mathews said the police did not know yet why one officer pulled out his Taser while the other had his handgun.
        "You can get tunnel vision or just get locked in on the person with the weapon," he said, speaking generally about what officers can encounter during chaotic scenes. "I don't know what the officers were thinking. They very well could not have heard everyone yelling around them."
        The police responded to Mr. Sanchez's home, in the 200 block of Southeast 57th Street, after receiving 911 calls about a hit-and-run accident at a nearby intersection. A pickup truck involved in the crash had fled to the home, the police were told.
        Captain Mathews said the truck had been driven by Mr. Sanchez's father and that the son was not involved in the accident. Mr. Rayos said the father was still in his pickup, parked in the driveway of his home, during the confrontation with his son.


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        6)  Colin Kaepernick Donates $25K to Nonprofit Aimed at Helping DACA Recipients


        http://atlantablackstar.com/2017/09/20/colin-kaepernick-donates-25k-nonprofit-aimed-helping-daca-recipients/
        Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has put up millions of dollars in his own money to support community service and organizing efforts, recently gave a grant to help immigrant youth impacted by President Donald Trump's repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA.
        Kaepernick, whose national anthem protest sparked controversy last year, previously announced that he would donate his first $1 million earned to organizations aimed at tackling issues close to his heart, such as police brutality and racial discrimination.
        The footballer's latest pledge, announced earlier this month, is a $25,000 donation to D.C.-based United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country.  The group's goal is to "advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and their families, regardless of immigration status," its website states.
        "We just got this awesome call saying Colin wants to support you all in this crisis moment," United We Dream spokesman Adam Luna told ABS via telephone. "It was just kind of one of those like, 'F-ck, we didn't even have to ask!'"
        According to the footballer's official website, the donation will go toward the following:
        • Addressing the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth. Over 100,000 members. Current focus: Organize and work for immigrant children to keep DACA in force.
        • $10k for upcoming travel. Air, hotel, lodging, and ground transportation. United We Dream recently held event in Washington DC and sent 300 dreamers to lobby to keep DACA. This budget will pay for 75-100 attendees for a similar rally upcoming.
        • $10k for series of upcoming local gatherings in N.Y., CT, TX, FL, N.M. Facilities rent and security, transportation, food, technology
        • $5k for text service for the network of over 100,000 members.
        "I have to say around here, it was it was a pretty rough moment; like there were a lot of people in tears, we were rallying, we had immigrant youth from across the country here in our D.C. office," Luna said of the moment they learned of Trump's plan to end DACA. "We were ramping up like we're gonna have to raise all this money. And then that call [from Kaepernick] just came, and it was really nice."
        The spokesman explained that Kaepernick's foundation has divided its commitments into different chunks per month and United We Dream was grouped in with the June donations. However, he said the call regarding the footballer's $25,000 pledge came in September.
        For more information on United We Dream, click here.
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        7)  Trump Says N.F.L. Players Who Take a Knee During National Anthem Should Be Fired
         SEPT. 23, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/sports/football/trump-nfl-kaepernick.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=
        story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


        Protesting the national anthem is a fireable offense, President Trump argued on Friday, as he hammered the National Football League for being too soft on players who have knelt to denounce police brutality.
        "Wouldn't you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired,' " Mr. Trump said during an appearance at a political rally in Alabama.
        "When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they're playing our great national anthem, the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it's one player, leave the stadium," he said. "I guarantee things will stop."
        Mr. Trump also criticized rule changes designed to protect players from injury and prevent concussions. "They're ruining the game," he said. "They're ruining the game."
        The president's comments prompted an outcry from players and a sharply worded statement from the N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell, who called the remarks "divisive" and said they demonstrated a lack of respect for the league.
        "The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," Mr. Goodell said. "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."
        Mr. Trump's remarks appeared to be directed at Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who stopped standing for the national anthem last season, saying he was protesting violence against minorities by the police.
        "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Mr. Kaepernick said last year. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
        His actions inspired other players to do the same, and started a national debate about the intersection of activism and sports. Mr. Kaepernick opted out of his contract in March and is a free agent. Analysts have speculated that his advocacy is the reason he is not signed to a team.
        Current and former N.F.L. players spoke out against Mr. Trump on Twitter and expressed their support for Mr. Kaepernick.
        Mr. Trump's comments came during a campaign rally in Alabama for Senator Luther Strange, who was appointed to the Senate this year and is facing Roy Moore in a Republican primary runoff.
        By Saturday morning, the president appeared to have another league on his mind. He tweeted that the National Basketball Association player Stephen Curry, a two-time M.V.P., was not welcome at the White House.
        The team that wins the N.B.A. championship is customarily invited to visit. Mr. Curry's team, the Golden State Warriors, won this year, but he said on Friday that he did not want to go.



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        8)  Facing Months in the Dark, Ordinary Life in Puerto Rico is 'Beyond Reach'
         SEPT. 22, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/hurricane-maria-puerto-rico-power.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=
        us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront


        SAN JUAN, P.R. — Two days after Hurricane Maria flattened this island of 3.5 million people, knocking out all its power and much of its water, the rebuilding of the services and structures needed for people to resume some semblance of ordinary life was looking more complicated by the day.
        All or part of three towns in the northwestern part of the island — Isabela, San Sebastián and Quebradillas — were being evacuated Friday because of fears about structural damage to the nearby Guajataca Dam. Close to 70,000 people could be affected if the 90-year-old dam, which is 120-feet high and can hold about 11 billion gallons of water, collapsed, said Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló.
        And with everyone from the governor of Puerto Rico to the mayor of San Juan predicting that it could take four to six months to resume electrical service, people were contemplating empty refrigerators, campfire cooking, bathing in their own sweat and perhaps wrangling for fresh water on an island accustomed to hard times but nothing like what the future may bring.
        "It's been hard to see infrastructure deteriorate in Puerto Rico, but it has been harder to meet citizens who have lost it all," Governor Rosselló said.
        The most immediate danger was from the dam, which suffered structural damage. And finding gasoline was already a big problem. Lines for ice and gas stretched for blocks. Generators needed diesel or regular gas to work, and supplies at gas stations were quickly dwindling.
        "People will start going nuts pretty soon," said Miguel A. Soto-Class, president of the Center for a New Economy, a nonpartisan research organization. "I don't think it will be 'Mad Max,' but people will be looking for diesel and gasoline, more than water even."
        The water supply was also becoming a problem. Even in San Juan, people need electricity to access water, and water is also critical to running some air-conditioning systems. At Centro Medico, a major hospital outside San Juan in Río Piedras, the emergency unit was treating patients but had no air-conditioning, said Dr. Johnny Rullán, a physician.
        But the biggest long-term obstacle was the prospect of months without power.
        Puerto Ricans are the first to say they can improvise — resolver — when a drought dries them up or a terrible storm knocks them down. But the idea of grappling long term without power hung like a pall over the island.
        "This is really affecting me," said Nina Rodriguez, a human resources manager in San Juan. "I have four children and the youngest is 6 months old. We are preparing for six months, maybe even a year without power."
        She added: "All the infrastructure has collapsed. Everything we had before the hurricane is beyond reach."
        While few places could withstand a Category 4 hurricane without extensive damage to power grids, Puerto Rico's government-owned power company was particularly vulnerable because of a history of neglect, mismanagement, out-of-control debt and decrepit infrastructure, experts said. A monopoly by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa, was reviled by island residents long before Hurricane Maria shut it down.
        "Our plants look like the cars in Cuba," said Eduardo Bhatia, a Puerto Rican senator. They could produce power before the hurricane, but not efficiently and not cheaply.
        Even though Hurricane Irma spared Puerto Rico, brushing it lightly as it whirled west two weeks ago, almost 70 percent of the island lost power. Some residents were still waiting for electricity when Hurricane Maria hit the island.
        Eugenio Toro and his wife Cristina Bernal lost power Sept. 6. As a result, they felt ill prepared for Hurricane Maria. "We couldn't freeze things," Mr. Toro said. "We never got the light back. We did go buy a generator but there is little gas and we can only use it a few hours a day."
        So much of the damage still needs to be assessed that it is possible the power situation may turn out to be less dire than feared. On Friday, Prepa's chief executive, Ricardo Ramos, said on CNBC that he was hopeful that the power plants — as opposed to the power lines, pylons, substations and transformers — may be intact.
        "We've lost probably 80 percent of the transmission and distribution infrastructure," he said, adding that crews had completed only about a third of an island-wide survey of the damage and would have more information in two days.
        He also said that important buildings on the island, including Centro Medico and a convention center now being used by emergency workers, would have their power back in two or three days.
        Mr. Ramos said he shortened estimates for how long power would be out after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York arrived Friday with teams to help restore electricity. "We expect three to four months at most," for the whole island, he said.
        Getting power back to Puerto Rico will be daunting and expensive. Transformers, poles and power lines snake from coastal areas across hard-to-access mountains. In some cases, the poles have to be maneuvered in place with helicopters.
        And yet it gets worse. Puerto Rico is an island, which means the tons of much-needed supplies — trucks, poles, cables, tools, spare parts, helicopters — must be shipped into Caribbean ports, making the process infinitely more cumbersome. Trained electrical workers by the hundreds will also have to be flown into Puerto Rico, where they will have to find places to stay, not an uncomplicated task.
        So every relief delivery can be a major event.
        Mr. Cuomo and a delegation from New York arrived Friday morning with supplies that included more than 34,000 bottles of water, 500 flashlights, 1,400 cots and blankets and, perhaps most important, 10 generators.
        Mr. Soto-Class said Prepa has been plagued by bungling and more recently a debt it cannot pay, a shortage of cash, and layoffs. Some of its infrastructure dates back to the 1970s, or earlier.
        "When the electric power authority had the money, they mismanaged it and didn't invest," he said. "Now there is less money to run the authority with. This compounds it all, one on top of the other."
        By some measures, the authority, formed during the Great Depression, is the largest public electric utility in the United States, with more than 1.5 million customers. Most of the electricity it produces is generated by burning fuel oil — a dirty, outmoded source. It is virtually the last power company producing electricity that way. Hearings in the Puerto Rican Senate revealed that the authority bought sludge and then billed Puerto Rico's unsuspecting ratepayers as if they had bought high-grade oil.
        The lack of electricity also affects the water supply in certain areas. Some towns need electricity to get their water pumped in.
        For now, generators are the saving grace for the lucky few who have them to crank up their refrigerator and a few fans. Some restaurants, hotels and many hospitals have operating generators. But the vast majority of Puerto Ricans on the impoverished island cannot afford them.
        For older residents, the lack of power could be dangerous.
        Ermerita Rosa Perez, 83, sat on her porch in San Juan praying the rosary and worrying not just about comfort but about survival.
        "Four to six months without electricity?! Oh no, no, no, no, we will die," Ms. Rosa said. "Us old people can't make it that long. Just today, I was looking at this flooded mess and I was thinking of mopping. I said, 'No, I can't. I need to rest.' I will take a cold water bath — which I'm not supposed to do, because I have arthritis — and rest."
        She worried about her health. "I am diabetic. I have high blood pressure. It's so hot I can't take it," she said. "I'm an old lady, hauling pots to my carport to cook on a gas stove? It's too much. So I sit here on my porch, trying to catch a breeze, praying to God to bring things back to normal."
        Her son, Hilberto Caban, was less panicked. He said the authorities were probably exaggerating how long the lights would be out.
        "That way if it takes three weeks or a month, we'll all say, 'Great! Look how hard they worked!" he said.




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        9) N.F.L. Owners Support Kneeling Players in Protest of Trump Comments
         UPDATED 9:45 AM
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/sports/nfl-trump-anthem-protests.html?hp&action=
        click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=
        b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


        N.F.L. players and owners, already on edge after critical statements made by President Trump at a rally on Friday night, woke up on game day to another series of tweets from the president, this time calling for football fans to boycott N.F.L. games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
        Team owners responded by condemning Trump's criticism, while the Jaguars and Ravens started things off by kneeling and locking arms during the anthem in London. There are expected to be several more demonstrations around the league today. Stay here for live updates:

        Steelers Won't Participate in Anthem

        The Pittsburgh Steelers team does not plan to emerge from the locker room in Chicago until after the national anthem.
        "We're not going to play politics," Coach Mike Tomlin told CBS. "We're football players, we're football coaches. We're not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn't have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn't have to be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn't be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we're not participating today."

        Terry Bradshaw Weighs in on Pregame Show

        Terry Bradshaw, a hall-of-fame quarterback and commentator for Fox, said he does not condone protests during anthem, but believes "Every American has the right to speak out and also to protest. Believe me, these athletes do love this great country of ours. Personally I think our president should concentrate on serious issues like North Korea and health care rather than ripping into athletes and the N.F.L."

        Rookie Becomes First Baseball Player to Take a Knee

        Bruce Maxwell, a rookie catcher with the Oakland Athletics, became the first athlete to protest during the national anthem in a major-league baseball game on Saturday night.
        "The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country," Maxwell told the San Francisco Chronicle after the game. "My hand was over my heart because I love this country and I have family members, including my father, who bled for this country, and who continue to serve.
        "This goes beyond the black and Hispanic communities because right now we have a racial divide that's being practiced from the highest power we have in this country saying it's basically OK to treat people differently."

        The National Anthem and Sports in America

        The national anthem has been a part of sports in the United States for more than a century, being played at some baseball games as far back as the 19th century. The Star-Spangled Banner became the nation's official anthem in 1931 and its playing increased sharply.
        It has been performed for every baseball game since 1942. Other sports followed.
        The United States is an outlier. In Europe, for example, it is unusual to hear an anthem before a major sporting event.Protests during the American anthem also have a pre-Colin Kaepernick history. Track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos were kicked out of the 1968 Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists during the anthem in support of human rights. The basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf declined to stand in 1996 because he considered the flag a symbol of racism and was fined.

        Rex Ryan Regrets Supporting Trump

        Rex Ryan, the former Jets and Bills coach who once introduced then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Buffalo, expressed his regret on the morning show "Sunday N.F.L. Countdown."
        "Everyone's always been united. Yeah, the views are different but lemme tell you: I'm pissed off," said Ryan, who now works as an ESPN commentator. "I'll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump. When he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I'm reading these comments and it's appalling to me and I'm sure it's appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be."

        Jaguars and Ravens Kneel and Lock Arms During Anthem

        In a pointed rebuke of President Trump's call for N.F.L. owners to fire players who protest during the national anthem, Shahid Khan, the only Muslim owner in the league, locked arms with his Jacksonville Jaguars players on Sunday before their game in London.
        During the playing of the national anthem, Khan locked arms with tight end Marcedes Lewis and linebacker Telvin Smith, both of whom are black, on the sidelines to show unity with his players who are trying to highlight social injustice and police brutality against African-Americans.
        While the N.F.L. and several owners issued statements on Saturday saying they supported the players' protests and were unhappy with the president's comments, Khan was the first owner to stand with his players.
        Khan is also a Republican and contributed money to the president's inauguration, and has said he supports the president's economic policies.
        But he is also an immigrant and a Muslim, two groups that the president has routinely attacked. In February, Khan, who is Pakistani-American, said he opposed the president's attempt to bar people from some predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
        Khan's actions will put the spotlight on other team owners. Owners of the Bills, Lions, Dolphins, Falcons, Rams and Giants were among those who issued statements opposing the president's comments. But many prominent owners, including Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Woody Johnson of the Jets, were silent.

        Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Condemns Trump's Criticism

        President Trump doubled down on his criticism of N.F.L. players who take a knee during the national anthem, saying fans should boycott games unless the players are fired or suspended.
        Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and a longtime friend of the president's, was among the first to reply, saying in a statement:
        "I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful."

        Paul Tagliabue: "Insulting and Disgraceful" to Insult Players

        Paul Tagliabue, a former commissioner of the N.F.L. before Roger Goodell, said in a news conference on Sunday that he could not speak for the league since he had retired. But he said it was "insulting and disgraceful" to insult particular players, Sports Illustrated reported.
        "When it comes to speech, they're entitled to speak, we're entitled to listen, we're entitled to disagree or agree, for that matter," Tagliabue said. "But we're not entitled to shut anybody's speech down. Sometimes you don't like what you hear; well, that's true of life in lots of contexts. But you can't shut people down and you can't be disgraceful when you're doing it."

        N.F.L. Owners Add Their Voices to the Chorus

        N.F.L. owners, most of them conservative and many of them large donors to President Trump, joined with Kraft and backed their players' rights to protest during the national anthem and condemned Trump's criticism.
        Colts owner Jim Irsay said, "I am troubled by the president's recent comments about our league and our players."
        Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said, "I support them as they take their courage character and commitment into our communities to make them better or to call attention to injustice."
        Chargers owner Dean Spanos said, "The N.F.L. and its players, more than anything, have been a force for good."
        From Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns:
        "We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify."
        Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement on Sunday morning that "what makes this the greatest country in the world are the liberties it was founded upon and the freedom to express oneself in a respectful and peaceful manner."
        He said the franchise was unified by "this divisive political situation."

        On the Field

        ■ Blake Bortles, a name synonymous with quarterback mediocrity, looked like Peyton Manning, throwing for four touchdowns as the Jaguars romped past the Ravens in London, 44-7.

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        10)  How to Win a War on Drugs
        Portugal treats addiction as a disease, not a crime.
        By   SEPT. 22, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/opinion/sunday/portugal-drug-decriminalization.html?action=
        click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=
        opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

        LISBON — On a broken-down set of steps, a 37-year-old fisherman named Mario mixed heroin and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. "It's hard to find a vein," he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.
        "Are you O.K.?" Rita Lopes, a psychologist working for an outreach program called Crescer, asked him. "You're not taking too much?" Lopes monitors Portuguese heroin users like Mario, gently encourages them to try to quit and gives them clean hypodermics to prevent the spread of AIDS.
        Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action — in diametrically opposite directions. The U.S. cracked down vigorously, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. In contrast, Portugal undertook a monumental experiment: It decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001, even heroin and cocaine, and unleashed a major public health campaign to tackle addiction. Ever since in Portugal, drug addiction has been treated more as a medical challenge than as a criminal justice issue.
        After more than 15 years, it's clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly, with about as many Americans dying last year of overdoses — around 64,000 — as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined.
        In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs — by ending it. Today, the Health Ministry estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use heroin, down from 100,000 when the policy began.
        The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal's drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.
        I came to Portugal to talk with drug dealers, users and public health experts because this nation has become a model for a drug policy that is not only compassionate but also effective.
        It's not a miracle or perfect solution. But if the U.S. could achieve Portugal's death rate from drugs, we would save one life every 10 minutes. We would save almost as many lives as are now lost to guns and car accidents combined.
        This issue is personal to me, because my hometown in rural Oregon has been devastated by methamphetamines and, more recently, by opioids. Classmates have died or had their lives destroyed; my seventh-grade crush is now homeless because of her addictions.
        Many people are also coming to Portugal to explore what a smarter, health-driven approach might look like. Delegations from around the world are flying to Lisbon to study what is now referred to as the "Portuguese model."
        "This is the best thing to happen to this country," Mario Oliveira, 53, a former typesetter who became hooked on heroin 30 years ago, told me as he sipped from a paper cup of methadone supplied by a mobile van. The vans, a crucial link in Portugal's public health efforts, cruise Lisbon's streets every day of the year and supply users with free methadone, an opioid substitute, to stabilize their lives and enable them to hold jobs.
        Methadone and other drug treatment programs also exist in the U.S., but are often expensive or difficult to access. The result is that only 10 percent of Americans struggling with addiction get treatment; in Portugal, treatment is standard.
        "If I couldn't come here, I don't know if I'd still be alive," Oliveira told me. He said that he used to steal to support his habit but is now getting his life under control. Two weeks ago, he began reducing his dose of methadone, and he hopes to wean himself off opioids completely.
        Yet Portugal's approach is no magic wand.
        "I'm homeless and jobless and addicted again," Miguel Fonseca, a 39-year-old electrical mechanic, said as he held a lighter under a sheet of tin foil to turn a pinch of heroin powder into fumes that he smoked to get high. He spends about $100 a day on his habit, and in the past sometimes has turned to theft to support it.
        Less than 100 feet away, Mario, the fisherman I began this story with, was injecting himself with heroin and cocaine, and showing little interest in Lopes's health outreach. He assured her that he wasn't overdosing, and he scoffed at the idea of methadone as an alternative to heroin.
        Mario told me that he had started with heroin at age 14 (another man I met had started at age 11), and used it during the two years he worked as a fisherman in Massachusetts. "Portuguese heroin isn't as high quality as American heroin," he complained. He then reached for a pipe and began to smoke cocaine.
        Public health workers like Lopes may never be able to get Mario to give up drugs, but she can help keep him alive. Seeing Mario, his blood spattered on the steps from his constant injections, tottering off to get more drugs, it was clear that the Portuguese model isn't as effective as we might hope — but it occurred to me that in America, Mario might well be dead.
        Portugal switched to its health focus under the leadership of a socialist prime minister named António Guterres — and if the name sounds familiar, it's because he's now the United Nations secretary general. The new approach was a gamble. "We were facing a devastating situation, so we had nothing to lose," recalled João Castel-Branco Goulão, a public health expert and the architect of the policy ("our national hero," as one Portuguese cabinet minister told me).
        So let's be clear on what Portugal did and didn't do. First, it didn't change laws on drug trafficking: Dealers still go to prison. And it didn't quite legalize drug use, but rather made the purchase or possession of small quantities (up to a 10-day supply) not a crime but an administrative offense, like a traffic ticket.
        Offenders are summoned to a "Dissuasion Commission" hearing — an informal meeting at a conference table with social workers who try to prevent a casual user from becoming addicted.
        "How long have you been using?" Nuno Capaz, a sociologist and member of the Dissuasion Commission in Lisbon, asked a 26-year-old factory worker caught with hashish. They chatted, with Capaz trying to figure out if the young man was in danger of taking up harder drugs. The dissuasion board can fine offenders, but that's rare. Mostly the strategy is to intervene with counseling or other assistance before an offender becomes addicted.
        "My main concern is the health of the person," Capaz explained afterward. "Our approach is much closer to that of a medical doctor than to a court of law."
        The public health approach arises from an increasingly common view worldwide that addiction is a chronic disease, perhaps comparable to diabetes, and thus requires medical care rather than punishment. After all, we don't just tell diabetics, Get over it.
        My sense from observing the hearings and talking to users is that the Dissuasion Commission isn't terribly effective at dissuading. How successful could a 15-minute session be? Then again, criminal sanctions also seem ineffective at discouraging drug use: When scholars look at the impact of crackdowns, they find there's typically little impact.
        In the first year or so of decriminalization in Portugal, there did seem to be the increase in drug use that critics had predicted. But although the Portuguese model is often described simply as decriminalization, perhaps the more important part is a public health initiative to treat addiction and discourage narcotics use. My take is that decriminalization on its own might have led to a modest increase in the use of hard drugs, but that this was swamped by public health efforts that led to an overall decline.
        Portugal introduced targeted messaging to particular groups — prostitutes, Ukrainians, high school dropouts, and so on. The Health Ministry dispatched workers into the most drug-infested neighborhoods to pass out needles and urge users to try methadone. At big concerts or similar gatherings, the Health Ministry sometimes authorizes the testing of users' drugs to advise them if they are safe, and then the return of the stash. Decriminalization makes all this easier, because people no longer fear arrest.
        So how effective are the methadone vans and prevention campaigns? I thought I'd ask some real experts: drug dealers.
        "There are fewer customers now," complained one heroin dealer in the gritty Lumiar neighborhood. Another, Joaquim Farinha, 55, was skeptical that methadone was costing him much business. "Business is still pretty good," he said, interrupting the interview to make a sale to a middle-aged woman.
        (Portugal's drug market is relatively nonviolent and relaxed partly because of another factor: Handguns are tightly controlled.)
        On balance, the evidence is that drug use stabilized or declined since Portugal changed approaches, particularly for heroin. In polls, the proportion of 15- to 24-year-olds who saythat they have used illicit drugs in the last month dropped by almost half since decriminalization.
        Decriminalization also made it easier to fight infectious diseases and treat overdoses. In the U.S., people are sometimes reluctant to call 911 after a friend overdoses for fear of an arrest; that's not a risk in Portugal. In 1999, Portugal had the highest rate of drug-related AIDS in the European Union; since then, H.I.V. diagnoses attributed to injections have fallen by more than 90 percent and Portugal is no longer at the high end in Europe.
        One crucial mistake that Portugal did not make was to follow the United States in adopting prescription opioid painkillers for routine use. Adalberto Campos Fernandes, the health minister, said that Portuguese doctors resisted overprescribing and that regulators also stood in the way.
        Another factor that has benefited Portugal: The economy has grown and there is a robust social fabric and safety net, so fewer people self-medicate with drugs. Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University have chronicled the rise of "deaths of despair" and argue that opioid use in America in part reflects a long-term decline in well-paying jobs for those with a high school education or less.
        Portugal initially was scolded around the world for its experiment, as a weak link in the war on drugs, but today it's hailed as a model. The World Health Organization and American Public Health Association have both praised decriminalization and a public health focus, as has the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
        One attraction of the Portuguese approach is that it's incomparably cheaper to treat people than to jail them. The Health Ministry spends less than $10 per citizen per year on its successful drug policy. Meanwhile, the U.S. has spent some $10,000 per household (more than $1 trillion) over the decades on a failed drug policy that results in more than 1,000 deaths each week.
        I've been apprehensive of decriminalizing hard drugs for fear of increasing addiction. Portugal changed my mind, and its policy seems fundamentally humane and lifesaving. Yet let's also be realistic about what is possible: Portugal's approach works better than America's, but nothing succeeds as well as we might hope.
        The hilly Casal Ventoso neighborhood of Lisbon was ground zero for heroin in Lisbon 15 years ago, "a wall of death," remembered Paulo Brito, 55, who has been using heroin since he was 15.
        Brito weaned himself off drugs with the help of health workers and remained "clean" for 10 years — but relapsed a year ago, and I met him in today's Casal Ventoso. There are fewer overdoses now, but it is still littered with hypodermic packages and other detritus of narcotics, as well as a pall of sadness.
        "I've hit rock bottom," Brito told me despairingly. "I'm losing the person I most love in the world."
        His girlfriend, Teresa, is begging him to give up heroin. He wants to choose her; he fervently wants to quit. But he doesn't know if he can, and he teared up as he said, "It's like entering a boxing ring and facing Mike Tyson."
        Yet for all his suffering, Brito lives, because he's Portuguese. The lesson that Portugal offers the world is that while we can't eradicate heroin, it's possible to save the lives of drug users — if we're willing to treat them not as criminals but as sick, suffering human beings who need helping hands, not handcuffs.


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        11)  The President Demands Silence From Colin Kaepernick

        President Trump showed an awkward sense of timing in denouncing Colin Kaepernick, the former Super Bowl quarterback who last season began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police injustice against minorities. He tweeted on Saturday:
        If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....
        His demand for Mr. Kaepernick's silence came two days after The New York Times reported on another form of silence that comes with the privilege of dedicating your life, breaking your body and soul, to be in the N.F.L. Doctors, it said, had found a severe level of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., in Aaron Hernandez, the 27-year-old former New England Patriot who committed suicide in April while imprisoned on a murder sentence. His brain showed the kind of damage usually seen in players in their 60s.
        C.T.E.'s toll on players' health – a recent survey found C.T.E. in the brains of 110 of 111 former N.F.L. players examined — was of no concern to Mr. Trump. At a political rally in Alabama on Friday, the president complained about referees penalizing teams for excessive violence. Demonstrating with his fists colliding, he referred to a "beautiful tackle" that earned a 15-yard penalty. "They're ruining the game," he said.
        He dismissed a fear that has led thousands of parents to keep their children from playing football, as casually as he disregarded the fears of Mr. Kaepernick for the safety and dignity of young black and Hispanic men off the field.
        "Wouldn't you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired,' " he said at Friday's rally.
        Mr. Kaepernick has essentially gotten that message already from the Trump-loving owners of N.F.L. teams, none of whom have even offered him a backup position despite a striking level of mediocrity among even many starting quarterbacks.
        But the president was not just speaking to Mr. Kaepernick. His message was to anyone who would protest racial injustice or inequity. Shut up. Stop complaining. That's his message of privilege.
        Mr. Trump also took on Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors after Mr. Curry let it be known that he would probably skip his team's visit to the White House to celebrate their N.B.A. championship. A miffed president used Twitter to disinvite Mr. Curry.
        In reacting to this presidential snub, Cleveland's head of state, King James, provided the best response to all this.
        "U bum," LeBron James of the Cavaliers told Mr. Trump on Twitter, "Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"



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        12)  Playing Tackle Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later
        "(A separate study published by researchers at Boston University in July found that 110 out of 111 brains of deceased former N.F.L. players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.)"
         SEPT. 19, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/sports/football/tackle-football-brain-youth.html


        Athletes who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those who started playing after they turned 12, a new study released on Tuesday showed.
        The findings, from a long-term study conducted by researchers at Boston University, are likely to add to the debate over when, or even if, children should be allowed to begin playing tackle football.
        The results of the study by researchers at Boston University, published in the journal Nature's Translational Psychiatry, was based on a sample of 214 former players, with an average age of 51. Of those, 43 played through high school, 103 played through college and the remaining 68 played in the N.F.L.
        In phone interviews and online surveys, the researchers found that players in all three groups who participated in youth football before the age of 12 had a twofold "risk of problems with behavioral regulation, apathy and executive function" and a threefold risk of "clinically elevated depression scores."
        "The brain is going through this incredible time of growth between the years of 10 and 12, and if you subject that developing brain to repetitive head impacts, it may cause problems later in life," Robert Stern, one of the authors of the study, said of the findings.
        The study is consistent with earlier findings by Stern and others that looked specifically at N.F.L. retirees. That research found that retirees who started playing before 12 years old had diminished mental flexibility compared to those who began playing tackle football at 12 or older.
        A growing number of scientists argue that because the human brain develops rapidly at young ages, especially between 10 and 12, children should not play tackle football until their teenage years.
        Last year, doctors at Wake Forest School of Medicine used advanced magnetic resonance imaging technology to find that boys between the ages of 8 and 13 who played just one season of tackle football had diminished brain function in parts of their brains.
        The N.F.L., which long denied that there was any link between the game and brain damage, has in recent years been promoting what it considers safer tackling techniques aimed at reducing head-to-head collisions.
        More recently, the league has been promoting flag football as an even safer alternative, an implicit acknowledgment that parents are worried about the dangers of the sport and turning away from it.
        Participation in tackle football by boys ages 6 to 12 has fallen by nearly 20 percent since 2009, though it rose 1.2 percent, to 1.23 million, in 2015, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
        Schools across the country have shut their tackle football programs because of safety concerns and a shortage of players. Large numbers of children have shifted to other sports like flag football, soccer, baseball and lacrosse.
        The new Boston University study looked only at behavioral changes, based on the phone and online surveys.
        There was no examination of physical changes in the brain. (A separate study published by researchers at Boston University in July found that 110 out of 111 brains of deceased former N.F.L. players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.)
        Still, the findings are yet more evidence that have contributed to an existential crisis for the game, from youth leagues to the N.F.L. Pop Warner, the most established youth football organization in the country, has reduced the amount of contact in practice – where the majority of head hits occur – and changed game rules, including banning kickoffs, one of the most dangerous plays in the game.
        Jon Butler, the executive director of Pop Warner, said in a statement that the sport has changed significantly for the better since the players in the Boston University study participated decades ago. He said the organization's medical advisory committee will review the study and "compare it against the number of recent studies that contradict these findings."
        Pop Warner is facing a class-action lawsuit asserting that it knowingly put players in danger by ignoring the risks of head trauma.
        Last year, the Ivy League decided to eliminate tackling at practicesduring the regular season. The Canadian Football League made a similar announcement last week.
        USA Football, the governing body for the sport, is introducing a 7-on-7 version of football that includes measures, like players starting in a two-point stance, designed to reduce the risk of head hits.
        Other groups, like Practice Like the Pros, suggest that only flag football be played through the sixth grade and a limited version of tackle football in 7th and 8th grades.
        "The curiosity about head injuries and the correct age to play full contact is peaking," said Terry O'Neil, the group's founder. "Tackling is the culprit. Everybody associated with the game is worried about the participation numbers."


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        13)   Actor Michael Rapaport Takes A Knee, Unloads On 'Dumb Motherf—ker' Donald Trump
        In a fiery video posted to social media, the "Boston Public" actor spoke in support of football player Colin Kaepernick and the NBA's Stephen Curry.
        By Dominique Mosbergen
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-rapaport-donald-trump-take-the-knee_us_59c7775de4b01cc57ff2ba58






        Taking a knee in solidarity with football player Colin Kaepernick and speaking up in support of Golden State Warriors' superstar Stephen Curry, actor Michael Rapaport used social media on Saturday to deliver an expletive-filled takedown of President Donald Trump, calling him a "dumb motherfucker" and a "son of a bitch."
        "You took away his invitation ... to meet you? Motherfucker, no one from the NBA is fucking with you," Rapaport, 47, said in an clip posted to Twitter and Instagram, referring to Trump's decision to rescind a White House invitation to Curry.
        "[Kevin Durant], Lebron [James], Steve Kerr, Greg Popovich, Yao Ming, Larry Bird, nobody is coming to fuck with you, man. No one wants to meet your ass," Rapaport continued, listing an array of current and former NBA stars and, in Kerr and Popovich, two of the league's most prominent coaches.
        Trump was lampooned and lambasted by NBA players and fans after he said in a Saturday tweet that he was withdrawing a White House invitation to Curry and possibly the entire Warriors team, winners of the NBA championship last June.
        Curry had previously expressed reluctance to accept such an invitation, saying on Friday that the Warriors could "send a statement" by refusing to visit the White House. "
        "By not going, hopefully it will inspire some change for what we tolerate in this country and what we stand for, what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye toward," Curry told reporters during the Warriors' media day. 
        Trump took aim at more than just the NBA and the Warriors this weekend.
        On Friday, during a speech in Alabama, the president called for athletes who protest during sporting events to be fired. He also implicitly referred to Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested racial injustice by symbolically taking a knee while the national anthem played, as a "son of a bitch."
        Joining a chorus of team owners, coaches, athletes and other celebrities who have expressed support of Kaepernick, Rapaport skewered Trump over his comments and filmed himself taking a knee in solidarity with the NFL player.
        "You were talking shit about Kaepernick saying 'get that son of a bitch off the field,' No, you fat motherfucker, get that son of bitch out of the motherfucking White House," the actor said.
        On Saturday, Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first major league baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem. Singer Stevie Wonder took not just one, but "both knees … for America" during a performance in New York City.
        People on social media have also expressed support for Kaepernick and other protesting athletes.
        The term #TakeTheKnee was trending on Twitter on Saturday and early Sunday. Some used the hashtag to criticize the silent protests as unpatriotic. Many others, however, championed athletes' first amendment rights and lauded their use of celebrity status to advocate for important social causes.

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        14)  Eric Reid: Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee
         SEPT. 25, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/colin-kaepernick-football-protests.html?action=
        click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=
        opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0


        In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police. The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area. I felt furious, hurt and hopeless. I wanted to do something, but didn't know what or how to do it.
        A few weeks later, during preseason, my teammate Colin Kaepernick chose to sit on the bench during the national anthem to protest police brutality. To be honest, I didn't notice at the time, and neither did the news media. It wasn't until after our third preseason game on Aug. 26, 2016, that his protest gained national attention, and the backlash against him began.
        That's when my faith moved me to take action. I looked to James 2:17, which states, "Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." I knew I needed to stand up for what is right.
        I approached Colin the Saturday before our next game to discuss how I could get involved with the cause but also how we could make a more powerful and positive impact on the social justice movement. We spoke at length about many of the issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system. We also discussed how we could use our platform, provided to us by being professional athletes in the N.F.L., to speak for those who are voiceless.
        After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it's a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.
        It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it's exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.
        It should go without saying that I love my country and I'm proud to be an American. But, to quote James Baldwin, "exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
        I can't find words that appropriately express how heartbroken I am to see the constant smears against Colin, a person who helped start the movement with only the very best of intentions. We are talking about a man who helped to orchestrate a commercial planeful of food and supplies for famine-stricken Somalia. A man who has invested his time and money into needy communities here at home. A man I am proud to call my brother, who should be celebrated for his courage to seek change on important issues. Instead, to this day, he is unemployed and portrayed as a radical un-American who wants to divide our country.
        Anybody who has a basic knowledge of football knows that his unemployment has nothing to do with his performance on the field. It's a shame that the league has turned its back on a man who has done only good. I am aware that my involvement in this movement means that my career may face the same outcome as Colin's. But to quote the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And I choose not to betray those who are being oppressed.
        I have too often seen our efforts belittled with statements like "He should have listened to the officer," after watching an unarmed black person get shot, or "There is no such thing as white privilege" and "Racism ended years ago." We know that racism and white privilege are both very much alive today.
        And it's disheartening and infuriating that President Trump has referred to us with slurs but the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., as "very fine people." His remarks are a clear attempt to deepen the rift that we've tried so hard to mend.
        I am nevertheless encouraged to see my colleagues and other public figures respond to the president's remarks with solidarity with us. It is paramount that we take control of the story behind our movement, which is that we seek equality for all Americans, no matter their race or gender.
        What we need now is numbers. Some people acknowledge the issues we face yet remain silent bystanders. Not only do we need more of our fellow black and brown Americans to stand with us, but also people of other races.
        I refuse to be one of those people who watches injustices yet does nothing. I want to be a man my children and children's children can be proud of, someone who faced adversity and tried to make a positive impact on the world, a person who, 50 years from now, is remembered for standing for what was right, even though it was not the popular or easy choice.

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        15)  Pharrell Williams 'Takes a Knee' as Artists Join Anthem Protest
         SEPT. 25, 2017
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/arts/music/pharrell-williams-stevie-wonder-nfl.html?rref=
        collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=
        stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront


        The singer and producer Pharrell Williams is the latest entertainer to show solidarity with N.F.L. players protesting President Trump's call to fire players who refuse to stand during the national anthem.
        At a charity show on Sunday in Charlottesville, Va., where violent demonstrations took place in August, Mr. Williams said, "I'm in Virginia right now, I'm home. Can't nobody tell me what to do if I want to get on my knees right now." He then dropped onto both knees.
        Mr. Williams's display follows a wave of demonstrations across the country on Sunday as N.F.L. players knelt or locked arms during the national anthem in defiance of Mr. Trump. The "Take a Knee" protest has now grown beyond the sporting world, and entertainers and performers are joining in.
        The symbolic action began in August 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, then the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, knelt to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Mr. Trump stirred up the issue anew by saying said in a speech on Friday and then in a series of tweets over the weekend that players who do not stand during the anthem should be fired.
        In Charlottesville, Mr. Williams paused between songs to say: "For the people of my city, for the people of my state, that's what that flag is for. When I think about the potential of this country and the potential of this state, potential of these people, potential of this amazing university, there is only one word that I feel on the inside." The artist then began singing his Grammy Award-winning hit "Happy."
        Other performers have joined the "Take a Knee" demonstration. At the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Saturday, Stevie Wonder knelt on stage and said, "Tonight, I'm taking a knee for America. But not just one knee. I'm taking both knees."
        Mr. Wonder made the gesture again the following night, at the same Charlottesville show where Mr. Williams was performing. Mr. Wonder was on stage with Dave Matthews Band when he took to two knees, and Dave Matthews joined him in the stance.
        The rapper known as Posdnuos, from the hip-hop group De La Soul, took to one knee at the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas on Sunday. The actor and singer John Legend posted a picture on Instagram of him performing the gesture during a show in Hamburg, Germany. In Tennessee, the Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder got one on knee at the Pilgrimage Festival.
        Eight principal cast members of the Broadway show "1984," a theatrical adaptation of the George Orwell novel, got down on one knee at the curtain call of Sunday's matinee.
        At football games on Sunday, two singers knelt during their performances of the national anthem. In Nashville, "The Voice" runner-up Meghan Linsey and her accompanying guitarist took to one knee after she finished singing the anthem. In Detroit, the singer Rico Lavelle got one on one knee at the word "brave."
        The hip-hop artist J. Cole said on Twitter on Sunday that fans should be boycotting the N.F.L. "God bless every player that finds courage to kneel today," he wrote, adding: "But the real power comes from you deciding to not watch."

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        16)  In Battered Puerto Rico, Governor Warns of a Humanitarian Crisis





        SAN JUAN, P.R. — Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico said on Monday that the island was on the brink of a “humanitarian crisis” nearly a week after Hurricane Maria knocked out its power and most of its water, and left residents waiting in excruciating lines for fuel. He called on Congress to prevent a deepening disaster.
        Stressing that Puerto Rico, a United States commonwealth, deserved the same treatment as hurricane-ravaged states, the governor urged Republican leaders and the federal government to move swiftly to send more money, supplies and relief workers. It was a plea echoed by Puerto Rico’s allies in Congress, who are pushing for quick movement on a new relief bill and a loosening of financial debt obligations for the island, which is still reeling from a corrosive economic crisis.
        “Puerto Rico, which is part of the United States, can turn into a humanitarian crisis,” Governor Rosselló said. “To avoid that, recognize that we Puerto Ricans are American citizens; when we speak of a catastrophe, everyone must be treated equally.”
        And Mr. Rosselló did not mince words about the potential impact on the mainland, where Puerto Ricans are expected to arrive in droves to escape the post-Maria hardships they will face on the island, including a shortage of already hard-to-find jobs.
        “If we want to prevent, for example, a mass exodus, we have to take action. Congress, take note: Take action, permit Puerto Rico to have the necessary resources,” Mr. Rosselló said.
        Residents face obstacles in navigating almost every step toward a normal life, with little hope of dramatic progress anytime soon.
        At Petroamerica Pagán de Colón, an independent living apartment building in San Juan for people over 62, residents have made do with limited water and 14 floors of stairs to climb for crucial goods. Those who are disabled or too sick to climb depend on neighbors to get them food and water. Some have not been able to bathe.
        “People were abandoned for seven days,” said Alejandro Melendez, a resident. “There were sick people on the floor, thrown there.”
        In the coastal city of Arecibo, where water remains in short supply, residents gather around spouts to collect rain as they peer anxiously down streets for water deliveries. “They are not giving us anything, not even hope,” said Cannabis Angel Nebot, 43. “At least, come around and give us hope, even if it’s a lie.”
        Mr. Nebot and his girlfriend, Ixia Milly Rivera, spent the weekend driving around their neighborhood trying to find water to clean off the residue of seven feet of mud Hurricane Maria left in its wake. They could not find any at City Hall. They did not fare any better at the emergency operations center, which is reserving its water for people in shelters or with special needs.
        “I have one water truck; I need 10,” said David Latorre, Arecibo’s emergency management director. “It was an odyssey to find food. We had to break down doors to get it. The food system collapsed.”
        But Mr. Latorre was still optimistic. “I know FEMA will come,” he said.
        Republicans in Washington pushed back forcefully on Monday at any suggestion that the relief effort for Puerto Rico was less aggressive than it had been for Florida and Texas.
        After facing criticism for a lack of public support for Puerto Rico, President Trump on Monday posted a series of tweets that tied the natural disaster to the island’s already fragile economic situation. He said that while Florida and Texas were coping well with hurricane damage, “Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”
        “Its old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated,” he continued. “Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities — and doing well.”
        The White House rejected criticism of its response.
        “The federal response has been anything but slow,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. “In fact, there has been an unprecedented push through of billions of dollars in federal assistance.”
        In a visit to the island on Monday, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida made assurances that Congress understood the gravity of the situation. “Our commitment is to make sure that Puerto Rico will recover stronger than ever,” he said.
        Congressional leaders said on Monday that they are now awaiting assessments of the damage in Puerto Rico, as well as a formal disaster request from the Trump administration, before they can act. A request is not expected until early- to mid-October, according to senior congressional aides.
        But Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said on Monday that Puerto Ricans on the island “are entitled to equal treatment under the law.”
        The Federal Emergency Management Agency is drawing from the same $15.3 billion pot of money that was approved this month by lawmakers in response to Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas, and Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida and damaged Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
        The director of the agency, Brock Long, and Thomas P. Bossert, President Trump’s Homeland Security adviser, were both in Puerto Rico on Monday to assess the damage and Mr. Rosselló’s priorities.
        Mr. Long said that the federal government had 10,000 people “working around the clock” to help Puerto Rico. Money is not the issue at the moment, he said. More pressing, federal officials say, are the obstacles to smoothly delivering water, food and other essentials to a devastated island.
        San Juan airport’s airfield is damaged. And while six ports have opened, most are operating on a limited basis. Many roads remain cluttered with debris, and bridges must be checked. Getting around and finding housing for federal workers remains a challenge. And supplies and workers can’t just roll in on convoys from the next state over. The nearest state to Puerto Rico is more than 1,000 miles away by sea.
        Still, Mr. Long said, ships and planes are streaming in with crucial goods.
        “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Mr. Long said at the news conference Monday. “We realize that Maria was 1 mile-per-hour from being a Category 5 storm, but it’s the worst Puerto Rico has seen. It’s been very complex for us to respond, from a logistical nature of the island.”
        Reinforcements were arriving every day, officials said, including fuel, military personnel and law enforcement agents. The Puerto Rico Ports Authority said shipping companies were also sending 1,000 shipping containers with water, medicine, generators and other supplies.
        Puerto Ricans can now file damage claims with FEMA, which has sent teams to 10 municipalities to go house to house to collect information and pass it on, the governor said. More roads are also being cleared to bring food.
        With 60 percent of the island without water, and all of it without electricity, Puerto Rico’s frustration is palpable across the island.
        Elí Díaz Atienza, the executive president of Puerto Rico’s water authority, said the agency is running water with generators it had in stock. All of the island’s waste water and water treatment plants lack electricity. “We still haven’t received the ones that FEMA is going to give me, but they are working with us,” he said. “We need 2,500 generators for the entire system to be running on generator power. Obviously we are not going to find that.”
        Progress is being made, slowly. And congressional Democrats have teamed up with some Republicans to push hard for faster relief.
        “The situation is desperate,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, on the Senate floor. “Puerto Rico has taken a serious punch to the gut. They need our help. They need it now.”
        Some Democrats want Congress to quickly approve a relief bill but also to temporarily forgive Puerto Rico’s loan repayments and remove a requirement that Puerto Rico make a contribution into the federal emergency pot, a cost-sharing arrangement that is typical for disaster-affected states.
        But Puerto Rico has little clout in the Capitol. As a commonwealth, it does not have a voting member of Congress, only a resident commissioner, something that has long shackled the island financially and politically.
        “This is what makes Puerto Rico a beggar,” said Edwin Meléndez, the director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. “Our citizenship is second class. We don’t have the same rights as other Americans. If we move to the states, we have those rights. In Puerto Rico, we don’t.”
        With the top floor sheared off Mr. Nebot’s house and a swollen river a block away, he and his girlfriend say they may move to the mainland. Everything they own is doused in brown sludge.
        “Do you know what people are referring to this town as? You know ‘The Walking Dead’?” Ms. Rivera said, noting that crime was sure to rise as people grew increasingly desperate. “We are afraid for our lives.”
        Correction: September 26, 2017 
        An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He is Rodney Frelinghuysen, not Frelinghusyen.



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        17)  Guggenheim, Bowing to Animal-Rights Activists, Pulls Works From Show





        Facing an avalanche of criticism, the Guggenheim surrendered late Monday and said it would remove three major works from a highly anticipated exhibition of art by Chinese conceptual artists, including the signature piece of the show, which opens next month.
        The museum, in Manhattan, made the decision after it had come under unrelenting pressure from animal-rights supporters and critics over works in the exhibition, “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.” Protesters marched outside the museum over the weekend, and an online petition demanding “cruelty-free exhibits” at the Guggenheim had been signed by more than half a million people as of Monday night.
        The three works, which all involve animals, are “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” “Theater of the World” and “A Case Study of Transference.” The pieces were among about 150 works selected for the show, mostly experimental art and many of them shocking, intended to challenge authority and use animals, in video, to call attention to the violence of humankind.

        The museum planned to show a video of “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” in which four pairs of dogs try to fight one another but struggle to touch because they are on nonmotorized treadmills, and a video of “A Case Study of Transference,” which shows two pigs having sex before an audience. But “Theater of the World” was the signature work of the show and was going to feature hundreds of live insects and reptiles milling under an overhead lamp.
        The museum said the works were being removed “out of concern for the safety of its staff, visitors and participating artists.”
        “Although these works have been exhibited in museums in Asia, Europe and the United States, the Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary,” it said in a statement posted on its website. “As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim.”
        Criticism of the show grew quickly online, on social media and on animal-rights websites, with the initial focus on “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other.” The museum tried to quell the backlash last Thursday, releasing a statement acknowledging that the work was difficult to view but encouraging patrons to consider what the piece “may be saying about the social conditions of globalization and the complex nature of the world we share.”
        A spokeswoman for the museum said Thursday that “it was not a question that it would stay in the exhibition.”
        But the criticism only grew over the weekend. On Monday, the president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that only “sick individuals” could enjoy watching “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” and the American Kennel Club said that dogfighting “should not be displayed in any manner and certainly not as art.”
        Two works removed by the Guggenheim have come under previous criticism.
        Huang Yong Ping, who created “Theater of the World,” withdrew it from a show in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2007 rather than comply with a request from an animal rights group to remove scorpions and tarantulas from it.
        Mr. Huang said by telephone from Paris that he had no comment on the Guggenheim’s action. He said the museum had not informed him about the decision to withdraw his piece.
        I am hearing about this for the first time,” he said.
        Peng Yu, who created “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other” with her husband, Sun Yuan, denied her art was animal cruelty.
        “These dogs are naturally pugnacious,” Ms. Peng said in an interview last year.
        Reached in Beijing on Tuesday, Ms. Peng blamed the controversy on a recent article about the exhibition. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” she said, adding that the dogs were examined by veterinarians before and after they were used in the performance.
        The Guggenheim originally agreed to include the third piece, “A Case Study of Transference,” but only as a video of a Beijing performance. The boar and sow are stamped with gibberish composed of nonsensical English words and invented Chinese characters — intended to make patrons consider the relationship between the West and China.



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