Wednesday, January 25, 2017

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2017



100,000 protest in San Francisco, CA

Pictures From Women's
Marches on Every Continent



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PLEASE SHARE!  (apologies for duplications)

Dear Friends,

Has the Great Uprising of 2017 begun? 

The last two days have been extremely inspiring.  Let's hope it's the beginning of a new era of progressive action!

Please join us on Thursday, February 9th,
as we take the battle to one of
the most controversial
corporations in San Francisco:
UBER! 

In November, Medea Benjamin called on local activists to draw attention to Uber's special relationship with Saudi Arabia. 

FACTS: Saudi Arabia is the only nation in the world that DOES NOT ALLOW women to drive. In recent months, Uber has accepted an unprecedented investment from the Saudi royal family of $3.5 billion. Even more important, 80% of Uber's customers in Saudi Arabia are women riders. 

An online petition set up by Code Pink -- linked below -- accuses Uber of directly profiting from the oppression of Saudi women and calls on its CEO to stand up for the right of women in Saudi Arabia to drive

On FEBRUARY 9TH AT 1PM, we will present this petition (currently at over four thousand signatures) to Uber and we are soooooo hoping you will be able to attend!

In the meantime, can you PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD? 

Sign the petition! 
RSVP for the protest!
Further fascinating info: 
On the tail of Donald Trump’s corporate takeover, this action seems perfectly timed. 

Please stand up for Saudi women and help RESIST THE CORPORATE COUP D'ETAT!

Michael Stone 
San Francisco

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Very Sad News from Amnesty International:

Native American Activist Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency


Native American activist Leonard Peltier was denied clemency by President Obama today after more than four decades in prison.
"We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home," said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier's continued imprisonment."
"Leonard Peltier is 72 years old and in failing health. The failure to act may have condemned him to die in prison."
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/native-american-activist-leonard-peltier-denied-clemency

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Chelsea Manning Support Network
President Obama Commutes Chelsea's Sentence!
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President Obama Commutes Chelsea's Sentence!!!

Chelsea Manning Support Network
January 17, 2017
"Today's victory is a victory for all those who stood with Chelsea Manning."
President Obama has commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former US Army Intelligence Analyst serving 35-years for releasing classified information. Chelsea's attorney Nancy Hollander, who spoke with President Obama's counsel earlier today, confirms that "Chelsea will walk out of Fort Leavenworth a free woman in four months, on May 17th."
The Chelsea Manning Support Network applauds this decision by outgoing President Barack Obama, and extends our heartfelt gratitude. A commutation can not be reversed by a future president.
"Today's fantastic news goes a long way to making amends for the brutal treatment Chelsea was illegally subjected to while awaiting trial at the Quantico Marine Brig. It's tragic that Chelsea had to spend 7-years imprisoned for releasing documents that should never have been classified in the first place, and were clearly in the public interest," stated Chelsea Manning Support Network co-founder Jeff Paterson. "All of us who worked on Chelsea's behalf are overjoyed."
The Chelsea Manning Support Network was founded in the weeks following Chelsea's arrest in Iraq in May 2010. The Network covered 100% of the legal fees associated with her pretrial hearing, court martial trial, and raised a significant amount toward the legal costs of her appeal. Many days during her trial, the courtroom was packed with supporters wearing "truth" shirts.
"Over the last few years, I've come to know Chelsea as a deeply intelligent, sensitive woman who doesn't deserve to spend decades in prison. I often feared that any more time behind bars would be devastating for Chelsea, or potentially even lethal, especially with President-Elect Trump taking office. Soon, she'll have a chance to live the life she's been denied for almost seven years," Rainey Reitman, co-founder of the Chelsea Manning Support Network.
In addition to fundraising, the organization worked to raise awareness of Chelsea's case. The Support Network held hundreds of rallies around the world, from San Francisco and London. Chelsea's supporters became regular participants in yearly pride parades the last several years. In addition, the Support Network placed billboards in Los Angeles and Kansas City, ran a full-page New York Times ad, and helped generate over one million petition signatures in support of Chelsea's release.
"In conversations Chelsea and I had while she was imprisoned, I learned that she's not only driven by principles, but that she believes in the foundations of America's government. She dreamed about attending graduate school, and helping to research ways that government could use technology to improve transparency and public participation. Whatever she chooses to do now, the world is better for having a bright young person free to pursue a meaningful life," noted former campaign manager Emma Cape.
"I believe that the support for Chelsea demonstrated that whistleblowers who oppose injustice will not face powerful government retribution alone," declared Rainey Reitman. "Today's victory is a victory for all those who stood with Chelsea Manning."




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BREAKING: 
BAD NEWS on Mumia Abu-Jamal:

ALERT:

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has filed the (predicted) appeal of Mumia's recent court victory, which granted his right to the curative drug for his Hepatitis-C infection. 

See Mumia"s comment below

Join the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal 
for MLK Day in Oakland:

_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
THE DOC APPEALS
[col. writ. 1/14/17] ©'17 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several days ago, the Pa. DOC appealed the Jan. 3rd US District Court ruling that granted an injunction against the DOC's so-called 'protocol' covering hepatitis treatment (or should I say lack of treatment?).
The state waited almost 10 days to file an appeal saying they didn't have the time needed to obey a court order that gave them 2 weeks (14 days) to begin the process.
They also ignored the court's order that the DOC was enjoined from using its 'protocol'--they continue to use it, as if no court order was ever issued.
If that ain't contempt of court, what can it be called?
The State violates constitutional rights daily--because it can. What's another court order?
To them, it ain't worth the paper it's printed on.
From the very beginning the DOC has spit in the eye of the judge. They've filed false documents. They've made misleading claims. They tried to intimidate him.
Why should they now be any different?
And yet, the battle goes on, to save the lives of thousands of prisoners in Pa. dungeons.
--©'17maj.
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After last month's successful Mumia Action Coalition rally and march in Oakland, the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is calling all activists to join the labor contingent for the MLK march on Monday January 16. We will be gathering in front of the State Building at 16th St. & Clay in downtown Oakland at 10:45 AM and then moving to Oscar Grant Plaza around the corner to join the main march. We'll have a large Free Mumia banner and posters, but if you have your own bring that.  Let's make Mumia's recent courtroom victories a reality by organizing a spirited contingent demanding his immediate release from prison after 35 years on slow death row! 

For more info: call Gerald at 510-417-1252

About the recently appealed Court victory:

On January 3rd, a federal court granted Mumia Abu-Jamal's petition for immediate and effective treatment for his Hepatitis-C infection, which has hitherto been denied him. The judge struck down Pennsylvania's protocols as "deliberate indifference to serious medical need."

This is a rare and important win for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a court system that has routinely subjected him to the "Mumia exception," i.e., a refusal of justice despite court precedents in his favor. Thousands of Hep-C-infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and the US stand to benefit from this decision, provided it is upheld. 

But, it is up to us to make sure that this decision is not over-turned on appeal--something the State of Pennsylvania will most likely seek.

Hundreds demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Oakland on December 9th to demand both this Hep-C treatment for prisoners, and "Free Mumia Now!" In Oakland, the December 9th Free Mumia Coalition rallied in downtown and then marched on the OPD headquarters. The Coalition brought over two dozen groups together to reignite the movement to free Mumia; and now we need your support to expand and build for more actions in this new, and likely very dangerous year for political prisoners. 

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"Labor Rising Against Trump"

Dear Friends,

Monday, January 16, 2017 was a success in the fight to reclaim Martin Luther King's legacy as we were joined by several thousand in the street in Oakland for the "Reclaim King's Radical Legacy March." To continue to build momentum in raising awareness about King's legacy, we invite you to join "Labor Rising Against Trump" to learn more about King's support for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike during the final days of his life in the Spring of 1968. This film explores King's historic links with labor as he believed that economic justice and organized workplaces were central to the liberation of African Americans and all working people during the Civil Rights movement.

The film will be shown on Wednesday (1/18/17) at the Omni Commons Disco Room (4799 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland) at 7pm. Requested Donation of $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Snacks and light refreshments will be provided.

The link to the Film Screening Event on IndyBay.org is found below:

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John T. Kaye invited you to Moms Clean Air Force's event
People's Climate March
Saturday, April 29 at 9 AM EDT
Washington, District of Columbia in Washington, District of Columbia


Going
  

Interested
  

Not Interested
Join us April 29th in Washington, DC to let Trump know that we won't let him destroy the environment on our watch. There is no denying it: Donald Trump's election is a threat to the future of our pla...
John T. Kaye and Dave Schubert are going.
  

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Protect Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from Prison Repression!

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

WHEN: Anytime
WHAT: Protect imprisoned activist-journalist Kevin "Rashid" Johnson
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794902884117144/


On December 21, 2016, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson was the victim of an
assault by guards at the Clements Unit where he is currently being held,
just outside Amarillo, Texas. Rashid was sprayed with OC pepper gas
while handcuffed in his cell, and then left in the contaminated cell for
hours with no possibility to shower and no access to fresh air. It was
in fact days before he was supplied with new sheets or clothes (his bed
was covered with the toxic OC residue), and to this day his cell has not
been properly decontaminated.

This assault came on the heels of another serious move against Rashid,
as guards followed up on threats to confiscate all of his property – not
only files required for legal matters, but also art supplies, cups to
drink water out of, and food he had recently purchased from the
commissary. The guards in question were working under the direction of
Captain Patricia Flowers, who had previously told Rashid that she
intended to seize all of his personal belongings as retaliation for his
writings about mistreatment of prisoners, up to and including assaults
and purposeful medical negligence that have led to numerous deaths in
custody. Specifically, Rashid's writings have called attention to the
deaths of Christopher Woolverton, Joseph Comeaux, and Alton Rodgers, and
he has been contacted by lawyers litigating on behalf of the families of
at least two of these men.

As a journalist and activist literally embedded within the bowels of the
world's largest prison system, Rashid relies on his files and notes for
correspondence, legal matters, and his various news reports.
Furthermore, Rashid is a self-taught artist of considerable talent (his
work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books);
needless to say, the guards were also instructed to seize his art
materials and the drawings he was working on.

(For a more complete description of Rashid's ordeal on and following
December 21, see his recent article "Bound and Gassed: My Reward for
Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners" at
http://rashidmod.com/?p=2321)

Particularly worrisome, is the fact that the abuse currently directed
against Rashid is almost a carbon-copy of what was directed against
Joseph Comeaux in 2013, who was eventually even denied urgently needed
medical care. Comeaux died shortly thereafter.

This is the time to step up and take action to protect Rashid; and the
only protection we can provide, from the outside, is to make sure prison
authorities know that we are watching. Whether you have read his
articles about prison conditions, his political or philosophical
polemics (and whether you agreed with him or not!), or just appreciate
his artwork – even if this is the first you are hearing about Rashid –
we need you to step up and make a few phone calls and send some emails.
When doing so, let officials know you are contacting them about Kevin
Johnson, ID #1859887, and the incident in which he was gassed and his
property confiscated on December 21, 2016. The officials to contact are:

Warden Kevin Foley
Clements Unit
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask
to speak to the warden's office)

Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid.
Specific demands you can make:

* That Kevin Johnson's property be returned to him

* That Kevin Johnson's cell be thoroughly decontaminated

* That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant
Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for
targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings

* That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and
the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or
other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and
several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left
in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been
seized.)



Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin
Johnson's safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other
people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or
else, because you are not a member of his family -- that you cannot be
given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish
to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that
you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.

The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies
may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by
creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will
eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the
fuss is all about. So it's important to get on their cases too:

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General:  512-671-2480

Let these "watchdogs" know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887
was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016.
Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was
handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was
gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his
cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering
the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that
his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been
threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about
prison conditions. Kevin Johnson's property must be returned!

Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA
DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC's Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry
Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has
been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact,
which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners,
while at the same time separating them from their families and
supporters. Please contact:

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke
804-887-8081
Director.Clarke@vadoc.virginia.gov

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn
804-887-7866

Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia
prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His
Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them
that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property
seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are
serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred
in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr
Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you
who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact
information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will
not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to
contact Texas officials about this matter.

It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize
our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their
phone calls on Thursday, January 5.

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition
to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website:
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control

Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he
witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed,
he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which
prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a
movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the
U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those
like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As
Ojore Lutalo once put it, "Any movement that does not support their
political internees ... is a sham movement."

**********************

To learn more about Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, the abuses in the Texas
prison system, as well as his work in founding and leading the New
Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, see his website
athttp://www.rashidmod.com

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As Robert Boyle, Esq. said, "The struggle is far from over: the DOC will no doubt appeal this ruling. But a victory! Thanks Pam Africa and all the Mumia supporters and all of you."

"Everyone has to get on board to keep the pressure on. We have an opportunity here that we have never had before. We are going to do it as a unified community, everyone together." - Pam Africa  
Let me be honest. We fundraise like we breathe. We have to. We are going to win-- with your key help. We've got until midnight tomorrow to raise just $2,021! We're 97% there. Please pitch in today to help us reach $60K!

Tomorrow your phone will ring with a special message from Mumia. In it, he says, "This is indeed a serious time for me, and for us all. It is not easy to take on the state and prevail; however, it is right to do so. With your help, we may be able to prevail. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal, thanking you for supporting Prison Radio."

John, the clock's running out- but it's not too late to chip in and help us reach our goal! You can open the airwaves for prisoners to speak out in this urgent time of massive incarceration.

Will you pitch in with a gift of $103, $35 or even $250 to bring us to our goal by midnight and amplify the voices of prisoners?
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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Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Rasmea Defense Committee statement - December 21, 2016

Rasmea retrial set for May 16, 2017

Support the defense now!


This morning, Rasmea Odeh and her defense attorney Michael Deutsch were called into Judge Gershwin Drain's courtroom in Detroit, where the judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel were in attendance. The parties all agreed on May 16, 2017, as the new starting date for Rasmea's retrial.

The defense committee will continue to send regular updates regarding any pre-trial hearings or other appearances that Rasmea must make between now and the retrial, as well as requests to participate in regular defense organizing and activities.

In addition, we urge supporters to continue to
call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
 at 313-226-9100,
or tweet @USAO_MIE
and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea.

Lastly, and in the spirit of the season, please help us win #Justice4Rasmea by making your end-of-year donation to the defense fund! We thank you all for your continued support!



Background info

Statement from Tuesday, December 13


U.S. Attorney extends political attack on Rasmea, brings new indictment against the Palestinian American


Today, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced that a grand jury she had empaneled returned a new, superseding indictment against Rasmea Odeh for unlawful procurement of naturalization. This new indictment, just four weeks before her retrial, is a vicious attack by prosecutors desperate after a series of setbacks in their case against the Chicago-based Palestinian American community leader. From the outset, the government has attempted to exclude and discredit evidence of Rasmea's torture at the hands of Israeli authorities, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the prosecution, which led to the retrial; and the government's own expert affirmed that Rasmea lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Knowing that it faces the real prospect of losing a retrial before a jury, the U.S. Attorney's office has reframed its case against Rasmea, putting allegations of terrorism front and center. In the first trial in 2014, prosecutors were barred from using the word "terrorism," because Judge Gershwin Drain agreed the word would bias the jury. The new indictment adds two allegations that preclude this protection: first, that the crimes she was forced by torture to confess to are "terrorist activity"; and second, that she failed to report an alleged association with a "Designated Terrorist Organization." Despite the government's claim that this is a simple case of immigration fraud, this new indictment is written to ensure that Rasmea stands before a jury as an accused terrorist.

The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging supporters to call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9100, or tweet @USAO_MIE, and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea. In addition, the committee is calling on supporters to help win #Justice4Rasmea by donating to the defense and organizing educational events about the case.

"They [the prosecutors] are switching course because they know that a jury will believe Rasmea," says Nesreen Hasan of the Rasmea Defense Committee and its lead organization, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. "We have always said, from day one, that this is a political case, and that the government is prosecuting Rasmea as part of a broader attack, the criminalization of the Palestine liberation movement. This new indictment is literally the same charge, with the same evidence - immigration forms. Only now, they want to paint Rasmea, and all Palestinians, as terrorists. The real criminals in this case are the Israelis who brutally tortured Rasmea 45 years ago, as well as those in the U.S. government who are trying to put her on trial for surviving the brutality committed against her."

Prosecutors will be disappointed to find that these new allegations fail to erode Rasmea's support. People have mobilized by the hundreds for countless hearings, every day of her 2014 trial, and her appeal earlier this year. "We have people ready to come from across the Midwest to stand with Rasmea in Detroit on January 10, but we are also prepared to adjust those plans to be there whenever we are needed," says Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, who lives in Minneapolis and has mobilized dozens of Minnesotans and others in support of the defense. "We will redouble our organizing and fundraising work, and make certain Rasmea has the best defense possible."

According to lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch, "We also intend to challenge this indictment as vindictive and politically-motivated."

Visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.

### End ###
Copyright © 2016 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book



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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:

A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

B. ARTICLES IN FULL



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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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Read more about this action at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_lsTTIlJff6anpUaUdoYWUwVU0/view

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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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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RU5M4S



Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser

http://www.iacenter.org/prisoners/freepinkney-1-28-15/

UPDATE:

Today is the 406th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan
languishes in prison doing felony time for a misdemeanor crime he did not
commit. Today is also the day that Robert McKay, a spokesperson for the
Free Rev. Pinkney campaign, gave testimony before United Nations
representatives about the plight of Rev. Pinkney at a hearing held in
Chicago. The hearing was called in order to shed light upon the
mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States and put it on an
international stage. And yet as the UN representatives and audience heard
of the injustices in the Pinkney case many gasped in disbelief and asked
with frowns on their faces, "how is this possible?" But disbelief quickly
disappeared when everyone realized these were the same feelings they had
when they first heard of Flint and we all know what happened in Flint. FREE
REV. PINKNEY NOW.

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to BANCO:
c/o Dorothy Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Contributions for Rev. Pinkney's defense can be sent to BANCO at Mrs Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Or you can donate on-line at bhbanco.org.

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State Seeks to Remove Innocent PA Lifer's Attorney! Free Corey Walker!


The PA Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed legal action to remove Corey Walker's attorney, Rachel Wolkenstein, in November 2014. On Tuesday, February 9, 2016 the evidentiary hearing to terminate Wolkenstein as Corey Walker's pro hac vice lawyer continues before Judge Lawrence Clark of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in Harrisburg, PA.

Walker, assisted by Wolkenstein, filed three sets of legal papers over five months in 2014 with new evidence of Walker's innocence and that the prosecution and police deliberately used false evidence to convict him of murder. Two weeks after Wolkenstein was granted pro hac vice status, the OAG moved against her and Walker.

The OAG claims that Wolkenstein's political views and prior legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and courtroom arrest by the notorious Judge Albert Sabo makes it "intolerable" for her to represent Corey Walker in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Over the past fifteen months the OAG has effectively stopped any judicial action on the legal challenges of Corey Walker and his former co-defendant, Lorenzo Johnson against their convictions and sentences to life imprisonment without parole while it proceeds in its attempts to remove Wolkenstein.

This is retaliation against Corey Walker who is innocent and framed. Walker and his attorney won't stop until they thoroughly expose the police corruption and deliberate presentation of false evidence to convict Corey Walker and win his freedom.

This outrageous attack on Corey Walker's fundamental right to his lawyer of choice and challenge his conviction must cease. The evidence of his innocence and deliberate prosecutorial frame up was suppressed for almost twenty years. Corey Walker must be freed!

Read: Jim Crow Justice – The Frame-up Of Corey Walker by Charles Brover

Go to FreeCoreyWalker.org to provide help and get more information.


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The Oasis Clinic in Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), demands an end to the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, like Gilead Sciences, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. The Oasis Clinic's demand is:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!


WE DEMAND:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!

IMMEDIATE AND FREE TREATMENT FOR ALL HCV-INFECTED PRISONERS!

NO EXECUTION BY MEDICAL NEGLECT!

JAIL DRUG PROFITEERS, FREE MUMIA!

This message from:
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • www.laboractionmumia.org
06 January 2016

Mumia Is Innocent!  Free Mumia!
 

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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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        CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT!

        Sign the Petition:

        http://cancelallstudentdebt.com/?code=kos



        Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:


        Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.

        I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.

        American Federation of Teachers
        Campaign for America's Future
        Courage Campaign
        Daily Kos
        Democracy for America
        LeftAction
        Project Springboard
        RH Reality Check
        RootsAction
        Student Debt Crisis
        The Nation
        Working Families


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        Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson


        Updates from Team Lorenzo Johnson

        Dear Supporters and Friends,


        Show your support for Lorenzo by wearing one of our beautiful new campaign t-shirts! If you donate $20 (or more!) to the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson, we will send you a t-shirt, while supplies last. Make sure to note your size and shipping address in the comment section on PayPal, or to include this information with a check.




        Here is a message from Lorenzo's wife, Tazza Salvatto:


        My husband is innocent, FREE HIM NOW!
        Lorenzo Johnson is a son, husband, father and brother. His injustice has been a continued nightmare for our family. Words cant explain our constant pain, I wish it on no one. Not even the people responsible for his injustice. 
        This is about an innocent man who has spent 20 years and counting in prison. The sad thing is Lorenzo's prosecution knew he was innocent from day one. These are the same people society relies on to protect us.

        Not only have these prosecutors withheld evidence of my husbands innocence by NEVER turning over crucial evidence to his defense prior to trial. Now that Lorenzo's innocence has been revealed, the prosecution refuses to do the right thing. Instead they are "slow walking" his appeal and continuing their malicious prosecution.
        When my husband or our family speak out about his injustice, he's labeled by his prosecutor as defaming a career cop and prosecutor. If they are responsible for Lorenzo's wrongful conviction, why keep it a secret??? This type of corruption and bullying of families of innocent prisoners to remain silent will not be tolerated.
        Our family is not looking for any form of leniency. Lorenzo is innocent, we want what is owed to him. JUSTICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!!! 

                                  Lorenzo's wife,
                                   Tazza Salvatto
        Lorenzo is continuing to fight for his freedom with the support of his lead counsel, Michael Wiseman, The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson.
        Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit our website and contribute to Lorenzo's campaign for freedom!
        Write: Lorenzo Johnson
                    DF 1036
                    SCI Mahanoy
                    301 Morea Rd.
                    Frackville, PA 17932
         Email: Through JPay using the code:
                      Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
                                              or
                      Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com
                                             or
                      Directly on ConnectNetwork -- instructions here

        Have a wonderful day!
        - The Team to Free Lorenzo Johnson

        Write: Lorenzo Johnson
                    DF 1036
                    SCI Mahanoy
                    301 Morea Rd.
                    Frackville, PA 17932

         Email: Through JPay using the code:
                      Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
                                             or
                      Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com

        freelorenzojohnson.org

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        B. ARTICLES IN FULL


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        1)  Manhattan Jail That Holds El Chapo Is Called Tougher Than Guantánamo Bay



        2)  Harlem Schools Are Left to Fail as Those Not Far Away Thrive




        3)  Malnutrition Wiping Out Children in Northern Nigeria, Aid Workers Say
        "Starvation in northern Nigeria’s Borno State is so bad that a whole slice of the population — children under 5 — appears to have died, aid agencies say."
        4)  Charlie Liteky, 85, Dies; Returned Medal of Honor in Protest




        5)  Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S.



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        6)  ‘We the People’ Demand Mr. Trump Release His Tax Returns





        7)  The Greatest Forest Disaster in Our History’: Wildfires Tear Through Chile


        8)  District Attorney Drops Case Against Man Jailed in ’90 Subway Attack









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        1)  Manhattan Jail That Holds El Chapo Is Called Tougher Than Guantánamo Bay



        The Metropolitan Correctional Center, the rust-colored fortress in Lower Manhattan where hundreds of federal inmates are housed, was described as less hospitable than Guantánamo Bay by one inmate who had been incarcerated at both. The highest risk half-dozen inmates — or at least the ones facing the most severe charges — are housed in conditions so isolating that some have blamed them for deteriorating eyesight.
        This is where federal agents brought Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo, when he was extradited to the United States last week after two escapes from high-security Mexican prisons.
        The Metropolitan Correctional Center, which held Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Bernard L. Madoff, who orchestrated a $20 billion Ponzi scheme, has a reputation for stringent security measures. Even so, several inmates over the years have tried to escape, and a few have succeeded.

        The most sensational attempt occurred in 1981, when an inmate was nearly plucked off the rooftop recreational center by confederates in a hijacked helicopter. And in 1990, two inmates disappeared out a second-story window, lowering themselves with an electrical cord from a machine used to buff the floors. One is still on the United States Marshals Service’s list of most wanted fugitives.
        In 2009, Anthony Boyd, a serial bank robber, was released from the Metropolitan Correctional Center as a result of what appeared to be an administrative error.
        Whether there have been other successful escapes or missing prisoners in recent years is unclear. Officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not return a phone call or respond to an email message seeking comment.
        The jail, opened in 1975, holds about 795 inmates. It is wedged between the Church of St. Andrew and the United States Court House. From the upper floors of the courthouse, inmates can be seen playing basketball in the rooftop recreation area.
        It is unlikely Mr. Guzmán will be permitted to join them. The inmates deemed most dangerous are housed in a half-dozen cells in a small wing known as 10 South, where they are held in solitary confinement and prohibited from calling out to one another. The lights are on 23 or 24 hours a day, according to court records, interviews with lawyers and written accounts. The frosted glass windows offer no view of the outside world. Even the slot on each cell door is kept shut, meaning that inmates see little beyond their solitary cell.
        But guards can see inside, by way of a camera directed at the shower stall and another above the toilet or bed, according to a published account by Uzair Paracha, who was held there for two years until 2005, when he was convicted of providing support to Al Qaeda.
        Mr. Paracha said it was not unusual for inmates to notice their eyesight deteriorating while in 10 South, and to request eyeglasses for an onset of nearsightedness.
        Other than prayers, the only human voices were typically the sounds of guards cracking jokes at the inmates’ expense, according to Mr. Paracha, whose detailed account of life in the Metropolitan Correctional Center is included in the 2016 book “Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement.”
        This litany of severe conditions, known generally as “Special Administrative Measures,” requires the approval of the attorney general. In 2011, Amnesty International wrote to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., expressing concern that the conditions amounted to cruel and inhuman treatment.
        “The segregated units are horrifying and inhumane,” David E. Patton, the executive director of Federal Defenders of New York, wrote by email. “If you wanted to intentionally design a place to drive people mad, you’d be hard pressed to do better.”
        Mr. Patton, whose office represents Mr. Guzmán and many inmates in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, described the isolation on 10 South as stark, with prisoners’ days mostly devoid of human interaction. “The fluorescent lights are always on,” he said. “The only sound is the occasional clanking of metal when doors are opened and closed.”
        The 10 South unit is reached by a stairway from the ninth floor, a secure area known as the “Special Housing Unit,” which has its own stringent security measures. Even so, getting into 10 South, from the unit on the ninth floor, requires passing through two locked metal doors, the first of which is controlled electronically and the second of which requires a key, according to testimony.
        In 2000, an inmate suspected of terrorism stabbed a guard in the eyewith a sharpened plastic comb on 10 South. That attack, which caused the guard severe brain damage, led to a tightening of security restrictions in the wing and a sense of vigilance that remains.
        Within the last three years, guards have reported that one terrorism suspect had left a “drop note” containing coded messages in the recreation room for his co-defendants to find. Defense lawyers, however, said the note reflected just “a hunger and a thirst for human contact.”
        Whether Mr. Guzmán will end up being held in 10 South or even in the Metropolitan Correctional Center while his case is pending in Brooklyn remains unknown. Most inmates facing federal charges in Brooklyn are held at a larger federal jail in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but a few are held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is where Mr. Guzmán was returned after his arraignment on Friday.
        The Bureau of Prison’s online directory of inmates does not indicate his whereabouts. Mr. Patton declined to discuss Mr. Guzmán’s location or the case.

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        2)  Harlem Schools Are Left to Fail as Those Not Far Away Thrive




        Some of the best public elementary schools in New York City are in Community School District 3, on Manhattan’s West Side. At those schools, the vast majority of children pass the annual state tests, gifted and talented programs buzz with activity, and special programs attract promising young musicians or families who want a progressive approach to education.
        But none of those schools are in Harlem.
        In District 3’s Harlem schools, there are no gifted and talented programs. Of the six elementary schools there where students take the state tests, only one comes close to the citywide passing rates of 38 percent in reading and 36 percent in math. At one school, only 6 percent of third- through eighth-grade students passed the most recent math tests.
        The children in the Harlem schools are mostly black and Hispanic and low-income, while the majority of children in the district’s other elementary schools are white or Asian, and either middle class or wealthy.
        The New York Times has been examining the district over the past few months to look at the forces that shape the racial and economic makeup of the city’s schools. Unlike in many parts of the city, in District 3 — which runs from 59th Street to 122nd Street along Manhattan’s western flank, then takes a dogleg into Harlem — people from different races and socioeconomic levels often live near one another. The district’s schools, however, are sharply divided by race and income, and diverge just as sharply in their levels of academic achievement.
        Nowhere is that tale of two districts clearer than in Harlem.

        While the high-performing schools on the Upper West Side are generally at capacity or overcrowded, enrollment at the Harlem schools has been falling as parents abandon the traditional public schools in favor of higher-performing charter schools. There are now nine in the district, eight of them in Harlem. White families, who have moved into the area in increasing numbers, generally do not send their children to the neighborhood schools, district or charter, leaving them deeply segregated. And neither the Education Department nor the district superintendent has put forth a comprehensive plan for how to lift the Harlem schools’ academic performance.
        Instead, in October, the department proposed effectively closing one of them, Public School 241, the STEM Institute of Manhattan, which has been struggling academically and shedding students for years. There are just 128 students in kindergarten through fifth grade — in a school that a decade ago held 582 children and went up to eighth grade.
        The department planned to merge the school into nearby Public School 76, the A. Philip Randolph School, and then redraw school zone lines to redistribute parts of P.S. 241’s zone to other schools.
        Despite the STEM Institute’s poor performance, the plan was met with protests in the neighborhood. At contentious public hearings on the proposal, Harlem parents said they felt ignored by the department and the Community Education Council, the elected board that must approve new zone lines.
        At a meeting in November, Felicia Harrison, the mother of a fourth grader at the STEM Institute, asked why in the case of a proposed rezoning in the southern part of District 3 parents had been given a year and a half to debate new zone lines, while she and other Harlem parents had been notified of the proposed merger of the schools less than two months before it was to be voted on.
        “Why were we not given the same respect as the downtown parents?” she asked, eliciting applause and shouts of “Why?” from other parents in the audience.
        The complaints prompted some members of the council, most of whom live in the southern part of the district, to express regret for neglecting the problems facing the Harlem schools.
        “We’re all going to have to be able to look at ourselves and say what it is that we didn’t do and what it is that needs to be done,” one member, Daniel Katz, said at a meeting on Dec. 14. “I think the first step is definitely to shut up and listen, because we’ve got a lot of listening to do.”
        In the wake of the protests, the department dropped the merger proposal, at least for the moment.
        Some observers blame the struggles of Harlem’s traditional public schools entirely on the increasing number of charter schools in the neighborhood, saying that the administration of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg fostered the growth of charters while doing too little to help the traditional public schools compete with them in recruiting families.
        “The schools up here were put in a situation by previous administrations where they were told, ‘Compete for students,’” Mr. Katz said at the Dec. 14 meeting, “and then the people who told them to compete for students walked away from helping them compete.”
        Another council member, Noah Gotbaum, said at a meeting in October that the STEM Institute, then known as P.S. 241 Family Academy, had been successful until the Education Department put the Success Academy Harlem 4 charter school in the building in 2009. He said that the Success school had siphoned off families and resources from P.S. 241.
        “A thriving public school that we had is now closing because of a charter school,” Mr. Gotbaum said.
        That does not fit the facts. The Education Department first moved to close P.S. 241 for a combination of low enrollment and poor performance in 2008-09. It ultimately backed down after the teachers union filed a lawsuit. However, while he was forced to give the school a reprieve, the chancellor at the time, Joel I. Klein, hardly seemed to be rooting for it to succeed, sending a letter to parents there urging them to “seriously consider” applying to the Success school or to the other zoned schools in the neighborhood.
        The percentage of neighborhood children who choose to enroll at the STEM Institute and three other nearby district public schools is much lower than at most schools in the southern part of the district. Last year, less than a quarter of the kindergartners who were zoned to attend those schools and went to public school enrolled, according to the Education Department. (The department does not track how many children go to private school.) By contrast, Public School 87, the William T. Sherman School, on West 78th Street, last year attracted 89 percent of the kindergartners who lived in its zone and attended public school.
        Many of the neighborhood’s black and Hispanic families choose charter schools, which have higher test scores and long waiting lists. At Success Academy Harlem 4, 94 percent of the students who took the latest state math test passed it. Other families go to private schools or to public schools in other parts of District 3, like Public School 333, the Manhattan School for Children, a non-zoned school on West 93rd Street with a progressive approach that is open to anyone in District 3 and admits students by lottery. Last year it received 975 applications for 100 kindergarten seats and had a waiting list of more than 600 families.
        Kim Watkins, the chairwoman of the Community Education Council’s zoning committee, is zoned for one of the Harlem district schools, Public School 149, the Sojourner Truth School, but sends her daughter to a gifted program elsewhere in the district. P.S. 149 is in the city’s Renewal program, which aims to rapidly improve low-performing schools.
        Ms. Watkins said that when she toured P.S. 149 three years ago, she had thought it was not rigorous enough and lacked many of the benefits that exist in middle-class schools. In addition, Ms. Watkins said of her daughter, “she would have, frankly, been the only white kid in the class — I was concerned about that.”
        The district’s superintendent, Ilene Altschul, suggested at the Dec. 14 education council meeting that the main reason families were not choosing the Harlem schools was not low test scores, but a failure to “get the word out about the amazing programs that are going on in all of our schools.”
        She noted steps that some of the schools were taking to improve their performance, including the hiring of an academic coach to work with teachers at the STEM Institute and the hiring of a math consultant and a new writing curriculum at P.S. 149. She noted that P.S. 149 had also recently added programs in dance, singing, soccer, in-line skating and robotics.
        But more than two years after its academic struggles earned it a place in the Renewal program, P.S. 149 has not yet made clear progress on the goals set for it by the city. In the last school year, its first under a new principal, its attendance and performance on the reading exams improved while its performance on the math exams declined slightly.
        Charles DeBerry, the principal of P.S. 76, the school that was set to absorb the STEM Institute, said he felt outgunned by the promotional efforts of charter schools, especially the Success Academy network, which has three schools in District 3 and has spent millions of dollars to recruit students for its schools across the city. (The Success network now has 41 schools in four boroughs.)
        “We’re certainly not working with the advertising budget that some of the charter schools have,” he said.
        Dr. Inyanga Collins, a physician whose daughter has attended P.S. 76 since prekindergarten and is now in sixth grade, said that while P.S. 76 had many high-needs students, she felt it worked well with them. (The school has a partnership with the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provides a teaching assistant or an aide in every class.) She said she would like to see parents at the school be more involved.
        “I feel as though the school is doing their part — we as parents have to step up and do our part,” she said. Of the proposed merger, she said, “This has been a wake-up call that this could all be gone, just like that.”
        Two of the Harlem schools have had somewhat better success in attracting families: Public School 180, the Hugo Newman College Preparatory School, which has a Spanish dual-language program and has drawn an increasing number of middle-class parents in recent years, and Public School 185, the Early Childhood Discovery and DesignMagnet School, which offers an early childhood robotics program. P.S. 185 goes through second grade; it shares a zone with P.S. 208, the Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship, which goes from third to fifth grade.
        Clara Hemphill, the editor of InsideSchools.org, which reviews schools and advocates greater integration, has been studying District 3 closely.
        The aggressive marketing by charter schools, particularly Success Academy, “certainly hurt the district schools,” she said, “but the district schools did not fight back with effective leadership and teaching, which is what you need.”
        Ms. Hemphill said that schools like P.S. 149 and P.S. 241, which both have relatively new principals, should be given time to improve, but that it might ultimately be easier to start a new school than to turn failing ones around. She said she thought the district should try to replicate the Manhattan School for Children uptown.
        “That’s a kind of school that would be very popular among parents in the northern part of the district and would have a chance of being a racially integrated school, which we desperately need,” she said.

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        3)  Malnutrition Wiping Out Children in Northern Nigeria, Aid Workers Say
        "Starvation in northern Nigeria’s Borno State is so bad that a whole slice of the population — children under 5 — appears to have died, aid agencies say."
        Starvation in northern Nigeria’s Borno State is so bad that a whole slice of the population — children under 5 — appears to have died, aid agencies say.
        As the Nigerian army has driven the terrorist group Boko Haram out of the area, about two million people have been displaced. Many are living in more than 100 refugee camps.
        Doctors Without Borders, which has been in Borno State since 2014, reported in November that it was seeing hardly any children under age 5 at its clinics, hospitals and feeding centers.
        “There are almost always small children buzzing around the camps,” Dr. Joanne Liu, the agency’s president, and Dr. Natalie Roberts, an emergency operations manager, wrote then.
        “We saw only older brothers and sisters. No toddlers straddling their big sisters’ hips, no babies strapped to their mothers’ backs.”
        Measlesdiarrheapneumonia and malaria — all of which are worsened when starvation weakens immune systems — were taking a huge toll on infants and toddlers, they said.
        Because the world’s attention has been focused on refugees in Syria and North Africa, less light has been shone on Nigeria’s humanitarian crisis.
        While more food has begun to arrive, Dr. Roberts said in a recent interview, the flow was seriously slowed for months by a struggle between the Nigerian government and aid agencies.
        In December, President Muhammadu Buhari accused United Nations agencies of exaggerating his country’s crisis in their appeal to donors for $1 billion. Two weeks ago, Borno’s governor, Kashim Shettima, said some aid groups were using his state as a “cash cow” and should leave.
        Doctors Without Borders — widely known by its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières, or M.S.F. — normally provides only medical care, Dr. Roberts said. But the organization had been forced to distribute millet and palm oil, along with packets of peanut paste, because so many of the people it served were starving.
        “Bureaucratic obstruction” by the government kept agencies like the World Food Program out for months, she said. “It’s an embarrassment to a big state like Nigeria to admit it has malnutrition,” Dr. Roberts added. “They don’t particularly enjoy outside interference.”
        The situation grew so bad that M.S.F. had to change some of its protocols, she said. Instead of measuring the height and weight of malnourished children before admitting them to feeding centers, doctors started using just arm-circumference measurements to speed up the process.
        And in remote villages where M.S.F. delivers food, staff members had to leave more than normal, she said. Usually, only a few days’ worth is given to families, because of the risk that large amounts will be stolen by any armed group nearby.
        But because some roads are so dangerous that food can only move with army escorts or by helicopter, and because Boko Haram may send suicide bombers into any large gathering, M.S.F. does more unannounced “one shot” deliveries for safety’s sake, hoping the food will remain in the intended hands.


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        4)  Charlie Liteky, 85, Dies; Returned Medal of Honor in Protest




        Charlie Liteky, a former Army chaplain who received the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam, only to return the medal two decades later as a protest of American foreign policy in Central America, died on Friday in San Francisco. He was 85.
        His death was confirmed by a friend, Richard Olive, who said Mr. Liteky had suffered a stroke several weeks ago.
        Mr. Liteky, who was a Roman Catholic priest when he was given the award, is believed to be the only one of nearly 3,500 recipients of the medal since the Civil War to have returned it in a demonstration of political dissent, Victoria Kueck, the operations director of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, said on Monday.
        He acted out of opposition to the Reagan administration’s support for Central American dictators accused of brutally suppressing leftist guerrillas.
        Continue reading the main story
        In 1986, Mr. Liteky (pronounced LIT-key) left the medal in an envelope addressed to President Ronald Reagan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. He also renounced the lifetime tax-free monthly pension — then about $600, now about $1,300 — that went with it.
        Mr. Liteky, who later served two federal prison terms for civil disobedience as a war protester, said he was motivated in his political dissent by the commitment that had inspired his bravery on the battlefield in Vietnam.
        “The reason I do what I do now is basically the same,” he told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2000 as he faced a second prison sentence. “It’s to save lives.”
        On Dec. 6, 1967, Mr. Liteky, the son of a career Navy petty officer, repeatedly neglected his own shrapnel wounds and, without a weapon, helmet or flak jacket, exposed himself to mortars, land mines and machine guns to rescue 23 wounded colleagues who had been ambushed by a Vietcong battalion. He evacuated the injured soldiers and administered last rites to the dying.
        Before that firefight, Mr. Liteky had never been in combat.
        He was one of three chaplains who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. The other two were awarded posthumously.
        Mr. Liteky once recalled that when he went to Vietnam, “I was 100 percent behind going over there and putting those Communists in their place.”
        “I had no problems with that,” he added. “I thought I was going there doing God’s work.”
        After he volunteered for another six-month tour, Mr. Liteky returned home from the war as an Army captain. Troubled by the celibacy requirement, he left the priesthood in 1975.
        In the late 1970s, he was introduced by Judy Balch, a former nun, to refugees from El Salvador, “teenagers, whose fathers had been killed and tortured,” he recalled. He evolved into a vigorous opponent of American support for right-wing factions there and in Nicaragua and Guatemala.
        In 1983, he married Ms. Balch in San Francisco. She died last year. No immediate family members survive.
        In 1986, Mr. Liteky mounted a debilitating 47-day hunger strike near the Capitol against American involvement in Nicaragua. He later served two terms for trespassing at the Army’s School of the Americas (now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) at Fort Benning, Ga., which trains soldiers from Latin America.
        He was sentenced to six months in federal prison in 1990 for squirting blood on portraits at the school, and to the maximum one year in 2000 for a similar protest.
        In 2002 and 2003, he visited Baghdad to protest the impending American invasion.
        “I am in deep sympathy with all of those young men that are over there now doing what they think is their patriotic duty,” Mr. Liteky told NPR in 2004. “I think it is more of a patriotic duty of citizens of this country to stand up and say that this is wrong, that this is immoral.”
        He had recently completed a memoir, “Renunciation,” which friends of his plan to publish this year.
        Charles James Liteky was born in Washington on Feb. 14, 1931, to Charles Liteky and the former Gertrude Diggs. (His father had enlisted in the Navy when he was 15, lying about his age.)
        He was raised mostly in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was a high school quarterback.
        After attending the University of Florida for two years, he entered a seminary and was ordained a priest in 1960 as Angelo J. Liteky (the name under which he also received the medal) and joined the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, a clerical organization based in Silver Spring, Md.
        He volunteered as an Army chaplain in 1966 and served with the 199th Infantry Brigade.
        According to his official medal citation, during the firefight, in Bien Hoa Province, “through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy.”
        He was the fifth military chaplain since the Civil War to receive the award.
        After he left the medal at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, it was retrieved by the National Park Service and placed in the collection of the National Museum of American History.
        His very public protest in 1986 got mixed reviews from fellow medal recipients. While some criticized his action as unpatriotic, others described it as courageous.
        “When I look at Liteky, I have respect for the courage of his views,” Paul Bucha, a medal recipient and a past president of the Medal of Honor Society, said in 2000.
        “It’s difficult to be an iconoclast,” Mr. Bucha continued. “It’s much easier to go along. Men like Liteky are people who should force us to pause and think; they should not be ostracized and criticized. They are entitled to their views, and perhaps if we listened we’d be better off.”

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        5)  Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S.




        SUPAI, Ariz. — Students at Havasupai Elementary, the only school in this tribal village near Grand Canyon National Park, say they don’t have a regular schedule of science and social studies classes, or gym or art classes, either. Often there are not enough teachers, they say.
        The children — in kindergarten through eighth grade — learn mostly reading and math, though barely. In the most recent evaluation made public, they tested at the first and third percentile, well below every other school on Indian reservations, already among the worst in the country.

        The abysmal test scores are highlighted in a federal lawsuit filed this month against the government by the Havasupai Tribe on behalf of nine students at the school. The tribe, a dwindling nation of 730, says the United States has reneged on its legal duty to educate their children by, among other things, allowing a janitor and a secretary to fill in for absent teachers, and by failing to provide special-education services and enough books for all students.
        “It’s frankly a disgrace that these conditions exist in schools that are run by the federal government and have existed for many years,” said Kathryn Eidmann, a lawyer at Public Counsel, a law firm in Los Angeles that joined the Native American Disability Law Center and other groups to represent the students in the lawsuit.
        Reached by email, Jeff Williamson, principal of Havasupai Elementary, declined to comment.
        Tribal schools like Havasupai Elementary are overseen by the Interior Department, whose secretary under the Obama administration, Sally Jewell, once called them “an embarrassment” because of their dismal conditions and performance. In an exit memo detailing the state of her agency’s portfolio, she deemed the education and welfare of American Indian youths as “perhaps the area that demands the most attention from the next administration and Congress.”
        Though the legal action deals with conditions at Havasupai Elementary, the problems can be found across the entire system of Native American schools. The case, the students’ lawyers said, is at once a statement of the historic failures that persisted under President Barack Obama and a warning to President Trump that the tribe will not allow its needs to be forgotten.
        The position of the Trump administration on these schools is unclear; officials at the Interior Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
        After visiting the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota while president in 2014, Mr. Obama pledged to break the cycle of poverty among indigenous children, in part by giving tribes a leading role in their education, which is something that many tribes have long asked for, as a matter of sovereignty.
        His administration spent hundreds of millions of dollars to address decades of poor choices at the department’s Bureau of Indian Education, which funds and operates Havasupai Elementary and 182 other tribal schools in 23 states. Some schools have been connected to high-speed internet or undergone critical repairs, though there is still a lot to be done.
        report by the department’s inspector general, released in September, found mold and asbestos in common areas, faulty electrical systems, structural problems and other deficiencies in schools throughout the system.
        In its effort to transfer more authority over schools to the tribes, the administration started a program to train indigenous teachers to teach in indigenous schools. Ahniwake Rose, executive director of the National Indian Education Association, an advocacy group, said this was an important first step.
        Her hope, she said, is that the idea of choice, so fervently embraced by Betsy DeVos, who has been nominated as secretary of education by President Trump, ultimately translates into “giving tribes the choice to run their own schools.”
        Native American children have a large gap to bridge. In general, their schools are poor-performing. The high school graduation rate among those enrolled in bureau schools is 53 percent, nearly 30 points below the national average.
        Havasupai Elementary was closed for winter break on a recent daylong visit to this village, a place so remote that it is reachable only by helicopter or along eight steep miles on foot or horseback. The Havasupai Tribal Council, its governing body, was meeting in the dark because the power had been out on the reservation for almost a full day.
        “We’re not asking for a handout” for the schools, said Carletta Tilousi, a member of the council. “All we’re asking is that the government fulfill its obligation and help us help our people.”
        The Havasupai are known as the people of the blue-green water, a nod to the turquoise falls that cascade from high up nearby mountains and that have turned this place into a tourist destination.
        The water courses through the edge of the village along a skinny creek — a streak of Technicolor against red rocks and dirt. It is an enchantingly deceptive sight, masking needs and wants all around it: boarded-up homes, horses grazing on fields of empty bottles and dried grass.
        Outside the Havasupai Head Start, a sign warns: “Head Start will not release any child or children to anyone intoxicated or under the influence.” Inside, preschoolers learn the language of their ancestors through colorful pictures arranged side by side on the walls.
        Havasupai Elementary sits on the other side of the helicopter landing zone, which doubles as the center of the village. The school occupies a single-story brick building between the cafe and lodge where tourists eat and sleep. In interviews, two former students said only clear bags were allowed inside the school to make it harder to smuggle in alcohol.
        At Havasupai, “you have eighth graders reading and writing on a second-, third-grade level,” said Sheldon Manakaja, a council member who has a grandson at the school. “Our children, when they come out of this school system, they are way behind.” He said students who misbehaved were routinely sent home, without a note of explanation or homework to make up for what they missed in class.
        Debbie Uqualla, who has three grandchildren at the school, could not name a doctor, engineer or lawyer who had graduated from Havasupai Elementary. But she easily recalled the stories of children who had dropped out. Some of these children were her own.
        Of her seven sons and daughters, all of whom attended Havasupai, four did not go to or graduate from high school, she said. One is unemployed. The youngest, who is 17, got pregnant and miscarried.
        “For most of our people,” Ms. Uqualla, 55, said while waiting her turn to fly out of the canyon so she could go grocery shopping, “high school is the last point, if you ever get there.”
        Among the plaintiffs in the case is a woman, identified in court papers as Laila R., who moved out of the reservation to give her sons a chance of a better education. The younger, who is 14, entered a new school in September, a month into eighth grade.
        In an interview near his home, he said it was only after he transferred that he read his first book in full, from “The Magic Tree House” series, which is suited for second grade.
        When his mother told him that he could share with a reporter whatever else he wanted — “Freedom of speech — it’s in the Constitution,” she said — the boy turned to her and asked, “What’s Constitution?”

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        6)  ‘We the People’ Demand Mr. Trump Release His Tax Returns





        One of the features on the White House website that didn’t vanish when President Trump took the oath of office on Friday is the “We the People” page, which allows ordinary Americans to petition their government to address an issue of importance to them. The Obama White House, which created the feature, responded to petitions that received at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days.
        It should come as no surprise that that threshold was easily reached over the weekend after someone created a petition calling on Mr. Trump to release his tax returns. “The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution,” the petitioner, identified as A.D., wrote. The emoluments clause bars the president from receiving gifts and payments from foreign governments. The petition had garnered more than 310,000 signatures by late Tuesday afternoon.
        The administration dismisses these pleas for honesty, arguing that only journalists care about Mr. Trump’s tax returns and conflicts of interest — a claim that a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll disproved. It found that 74 percent of Americans, including 53 percent of Republicans, believe that Mr. Trump’s tax returns should be made public.
        Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Mr. Trump and his chief obfuscator, told ABC News on Sunday that “he’s not going to release his tax returns,” adding that the election showed that “people didn’t care.” On Monday, she pulled back a tad, tweeting that “POTUS is under audit and will not release until that is completed.” Of course, even that comment is a ruse. The Internal Revenue Service has made clear that being under audit wouldn’t preclude Mr. Trump from making his returns public.

        Yet, the Trump campaign used that excuse over and over, and now Mr. Trump has carried it into the White House. White House officials are probably hoping that the longer they stonewall, the more likely that public demands on this matter will be pushed aside as torrents of controversial policies and statements from Mr. Trump dominate the news cycle. Even so, voters and members of Congress who care about ethics in the nation’s highest office should not let up.
        Releasing the returns would provide important insight into Mr. Trump’s finances and businesses. They would reveal if he is as wealthy as he claims to be, what his effective income tax rate is (he said during the campaign that not paying taxes meant he was smart) and how much he gives to charity. The documents would also identify the sources of his income and debt, helping to answer questions about his links to businessmen, banks and governments in places like Russia and the Middle East, and putting a spotlight on potential conflicts of interest.
        Presidential candidates have voluntarily disclosed their tax returnssince the Watergate scandal ushered in an era of greater transparency. Mr. Trump, whose checkered past as a businessman includes a string of bankruptcies and a $25 million settlement compensating students who said they had been defrauded by Trump University, has chosen to buck this trend, perhaps because he has something to hide.
        Congress can force his hand by supporting a bill that Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced this month. It would require the current and all future presidents to release their tax returns. State lawmakers could also head off this problem in the future by forcing presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns to get on the ballot. There is one such bill pending in New York.
        Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns was deeply suspicious during the campaign, and it’s indefensible now that he’s in power. The only logical conclusion is that the candidate who pledged to clean up Washington is hiding damaging information about his past.

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        7)  The Greatest Forest Disaster in Our History’: Wildfires Tear Through Chile

        A series of wildfires has devastated homes, farmland and livestock in a large area of southern and central Chile over the past week.
        A prolonged drought and high temperatures have worsened the blazes, which have so far destroyed around 300,000 acres of forest land and killed three firefighters. The government has declared a state of emergency, deployed 1,200 troops to support the efforts of firefighters, and appealed for help from other countries.
        Chile has “practically exhausted its capacity to fight the blaze,” President Michelle Bachelet said, adding that her country was living through “the greatest forest disaster in our history.”
        Fierce winds and smoldering ash have complicated the challenge of containing the blazes.

        So far, no civilians have been killed, though many have lost their homes, property and animals.
        The town of Pumanque, in the central region of O’Higgins, has been hit especially hard. Many residents have seen their possessions and livelihoods destroyed. Heavy machinery has been deployed to help clear the carcasses of livestock killed in the fires. Firefighters have dropped water from helicopters and dug trenches to try to quell the flames.
        Some residents, lacking any training or protective gear, have used tree branches and bottles of water to try to douse the flames.
        The fire has provided an eerie, almost apocalyptic, backdrop to areas where the fires have raged.
        For many Chileans, the ferocity of the fires has left few options other than to try to get to a safe place and wait for the flames to pass.
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        8)  District Attorney Drops Case Against Man Jailed in ’90 Subway Attack




        The Manhattan district attorney’s office said on Wednesday that it had decided not retry the case of a man who had been convicted of taking part in the 1990 killing of a tourist on a subway platform before evidence emerged that cast doubt on his involvement.
        The random attack, which followed the 1989 rape and beating of a woman jogging in Central Park, inflamed fear and anger in New York City over the threat of violence.
        Prosecutors had argued that the man, Johnny Hincapie, had been part of a group of young men who mugged a family visiting from Utah, killing a 22-year-old man who had stepped in to defend his parents. A jury found Mr. Hincapie, along with several other suspected members of the group, guilty of murder and robbery, and he spent more than 25 years in prison.
        But in 2015, a state judge threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial after three witnesses testified that Mr. Hincapie, then 18, had not been on the subway platform when the victim, Brian Watkins, was fatally stabbed in the chest. Mr. Hincapie had also testified that his confession had been forced by a police detective.

        On Wednesday, during an appearance in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, prosecutors said that they were recommending that the charges against Mr. Hincapie be dismissed.
        “This decision does not mean, however, that the district attorney’s office has concluded that Mr. Hincapie is innocent,” Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said in a statement. “Rather, the passage of time — 26 years — has diminished the quality of the evidence against the defendant.”
        Mr. Hincapie was released from prison after the conviction was overthrown. But standing up in court on Wednesday, his voice breaking with emotion, Mr. Hincapie said he was relieved that the ordeal, which had consumed almost his entire adult life, was, at last, over.
        “I’m just thankful this has finally come to an end,” Mr. Hincapie said. Because of his experiences, he said, he “lost total trust in the system and total trust in God.”
        Since then, he added, his faith in God had been restored. “I thank God for this day,” he said.

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