Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:










You are invited to a special public event featuring:

Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3
Finally free after 43 years in solitary confinement!

Wed. Sept. 7, 7pm
2969 Mission St., San Francisco


Albert Woodfox, the last of the prisoners known as the Angola 3 was finally released from prison on his birthday, February 19, 2016, after serving 43 years in solitary confinement, most of those years in the infamous Angola State Prison in Louisiana. He and his comrades Robert King and the late Herman Wallace, were subjected to horrific abuse for decades for organizing a chapter of the Black Panther Party inside Angola. Albert has joined Robert King in speaking across the nation and internationally, calling for an end to solitary confinement and mass incarceration.

Join us in welcoming this heroic fighter for justice to San Francisco!

$5-10 donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Wheelchair accessible. Refreshments provided.

More info: 415-821-6545 or www.ANSWERsf.org 



UNACpeace@gmail.com           518-227-6947              www.UNACpeace.org

Join UNAC at the No War 2016 conference in Washington, DC, September 23 - 25, 2015

For more information:  http://worldbeyondwar.org/NoWar2016/

Save the Date.
The next UNAC conference will be held in Richmond, VA from April 21 - 23, 2017

Also, UNAC is a co-sponsor of the Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference, which will be held in Mississippi from December 9 - 12.  UNAC has been making important inroads in the South for the movement against the wars at home and abroad.  This will be an important conference for the movement as a whole and UNAC will also contribute financially to make it a success.  If you can help with this effort by making a contribution for the conference, please contribute here:https://www.unacpeace.org/donate.html and the money will be used for the SHROC.

UNAC has added a page on political prisoners in the U.S. to our web site.  Please see:https://www.unacpeace.org/political-prisoners.html

UNAC will also be adding a blog to our web site with articles, video and more from our members and friends.  More information will follow soon.

* All reports and articals represent the ideas of the author and not necessarily of UNAC or any of its affiliated groups.

If your organization would like to join the UNAC coalition, please click here: https://www.unacpeace.org/join.html



Don't forget to save dates for Ali Abunimah speaking in Berkeley on Oct. 18, Chivvis Moore's book event on Sept. 27 in Oakland -- and Noura Erakat in Oakland Nov. 17!

Tickets for Ali's event will be available very soon, more info on all these events below.


Book Reading with Bay Area Author/Activist Chivvis Moore
Tuesday, September 27 in Oakland

Please Join Us!

Book Reading with Bay Area Author/Activist CHIVVIS MOORE

& her new memoir:

First Tie Your Camel, Then Trust in God: 

An American Feminist in the Arab World

Tuesday, September 27, 7pm

360 42nd Street, Oakland

FREE -- and we hope you'll buy Chivvis' book, which benefits MECA!

What begins as a trip to meet Hassan Fathy – Egyptian author of the influential Architecture for the Poor – becomes a 16-year odyssey, one that stretches from a year working in a master carpenter's shop in Egypt to 11 years teaching English in Palestine. Offering a portrait of a land and a people not found in headlines or sound bytes, Chivvis' book humanizes the misunderstandings and tragedies that arise when we fail to appreciate the humanity at the core of us all.

"I have been reading your beautiful, sad, and deeply moving story, learning a lot of disturbing history about something I thought I knew about but never saw in such depth. This is an important memoir that…evokes tears and also some laughter, with a great sense of compassion and empathy."

–Alan Rinzler, former editor, Simon & Schuster

"I cried all the way through reading First Tie Your Camel. The tone, the genuine and honest description of reactions and feelings about the experiences, enabled me to truly understand for the first time why, as a Palestinian living in the West Bank, I always feel so upset and physically ill."

– Muna Giacaman, Instructor, Bir Zeit University, West Bank

"Chivvis takes us on a journey that is fascinating, eye-opening, and ultimately heart-breaking – initially as a fresh-eyed newcomer working in a 1970's community in Cairo that most Americans have never seen – to life in occupied Palestine, before and after the 2nd intifada…She leads from the heart, earning hard-won respect from Palestinian neighbors, students, colleagues. Honest, unassuming and vulnerable, she asks the hard questions."

– Penny Rosenwasser, MECA staffer & author, Hope into Practice, Jewish women choosing justice despite our fears

Chivvis Moore lived 16 years in the Arab world, including 11 years in the West Bank. She has earned her living as a journalist, carpenter/general building contractor, editor and teacher.

Wheelchair accessible

Cosponsored by Joining Hands, Jewish Voice for Peace/Bay Area

Electronic Intifada co-founder/director Ali Abunimah
Tuesday, October 18 in Berkeley

Electronic Intifada co-founder/director ALI ABUNIMAH!

Tuesday, October 18, 7pm

First Congregational Church of Berkeley

2345 Channing Way (@ Dana)

Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian-American journalist and author of "The Battle for Justice in Palestine" -- which won the 2014 Palestine Book Award -- and "One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse." He received the 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship and has been an activist on these issues for over 20 years.

Alice Walker calls him "a special voice to champion us, one that is… fierce, wise -- a warrior for justice and peace -- someone whose large heart, one senses, beyond his calm, is constantly on fire."

Tickets available soon!

Benefit for MECA, wheelchair accessible

Cosponsored by KPFA, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), Jewish Voice for Peace/Bay Area

COMING UP NOVEMBER 17 IN OAKLAND: Palestinian Activist/Scholar/Human Rights Attorney 

NOURA ERAKAT, Back in the Bay!


Rumi's Caravan: Recitation of World Poetry -- benefiting MECA

Saturday, September 10 in Oakland

Copyright (C) 2016 Middle East Children's Alliance All rights reserved.

Middle East Children's Alliance

1101 8th Street

Berkeley CA 94710 United States



Chelsea Manning Support Network

Chelsea faces charges related to suicice attempt

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Chelsea Manning threatened with indefinite solitary confinement for suicide attempt

Yesterday, (July 28) Chelsea Manning found out she is yet again being threatened with the possibility of indefinite solitary confinement.

In a jarringly callous move, Army officials are charging Chelsea with "offenses" related to her suicide attempt earlier this month.

If convicted, her punishment could be indefinite solitary confinement,reclassification into maximum security, and an additional nine years in medium custody. Her chance of parole may be negated.

Read the charge sheet here, dictated over the phone by Chelsea to a Support Network volunteer.

"It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary," said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio. 

"Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover." Read more here

Chelsea has already faced indefinite solitary confinement threats last year, for innocuous institutional offenses, such as having an expired tube of toothpaste.

Sign the petition

Our friends at Fight for the Future have created a petition where you can sign on to a letter condemning the US Army's attack on Chelsea.

Write the Secretary of the Army

Pressure the Secretary of the Army to take a personal interest and dismiss these cruel and absurd charges against Chelsea.



WASHINGTON, DC 20310-010

Help us pay for Chelsea's legal representation

This May, Chelsea's appellate team filed a brief beginning her appeal process. Your support is critical, not just to continue fighting these ongoing threats from prison officials, but to help challenge Chelsea's draconian 35-year prison sentence and her unjust Espionage Act conviction.

Thank you to those who have already contributed, and to everyone who continues to support Chelsea during this long and strenuous process.

Chelsea can continue to be a powerful voice for reform, but we need your help to make that happen. Help us support Chelsea in prison, maximize her voice in the media, continue public education, fund her legal appeals team, and build a powerful movement for presidential pardon.

Please donate today!










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)




Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser



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


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


On December 15, 2014 the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan was thrown into prison for 2.5 to 10 years. This 66-year-old leading African American activist was tried and convicted in front of an all-white jury and racist white judge and prosecutor for supposedly altering 5 dates on a recall petition against the mayor of Benton Harbor.

The prosecutor, with the judge's approval, repeatedly told the jury "you don't need evidence to convict Mr. Pinkney." And ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WAS EVER PRESENTED THAT TIED REV. PINKNEY TO THE 'ALTERED' PETITIONS. Rev. Pinkney was immediately led away in handcuffs and thrown into Jackson Prison.

This is an outrageous charge. It is an outrageous conviction. It is an even more outrageous sentence! It must be appealed.

With your help supporters need to raise $20,000 for Rev. Pinkney's appeal.

Checks can be made out to BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization). This is the organization founded by Rev. Pinkney.  Mail them to: Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Donations can be accepted on-line at bhbanco.org – press the donate button.

For information on the decade long campaign to destroy Rev. Pinkney go to bhbanco.org and workers.org(search "Pinkney").

We urge your support to the efforts to Free Rev. Pinkney!Ramsey Clark – Former U.S. attorney general,

Cynthia McKinney – Former member of U.S. Congress,

Lynne Stewart – Former political prisoner and human rights attorney

Ralph Poynter – New Abolitionist Movement,

Abayomi Azikiwe – Editor, Pan-African News Wire<

Larry Holmes – Peoples Power Assembly,

David Sole – Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice

Sara Flounders – International Action Center


I am now in Marquette prison over 15 hours from wife and family, sitting in prison for a crime that was never committed. Judge Schrock and Mike Sepic both admitted there was no evidence against me but now I sit in prison facing 30 months. Schrock actually stated that he wanted to make an example out of me. (to scare Benton Harbor residents even more...) ONLY IN AMERICA. I now have an army to help fight Berrien County. When I arrived at Jackson state prison on Dec. 15, I met several hundred people from Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Some people recognized me. There was an outstanding amount of support given by the prison inmates. When I was transported to Marquette Prison it took 2 days. The prisoners knew who I was. One of the guards looked me up on the internet and said, "who would believe Berrien County is this racist."

Background to Campaign to free Rev. Pinkney

Michigan political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney is a victim of racist injustice. He was sentenced to 30 months to 10 years for supposedly changing the dates on 5 signatures on a petition to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.

No material or circumstantial evidence was presented at the trial that would implicate Pinkney in the purported5 felonies. Many believe that Pinkney, a Berrien County activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), is being punished by local authorities for opposing the corporate plans of Whirlpool Corp, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

In 2012, Pinkney and BANCO led an "Occupy the PGA [Professional Golfers' Association of America]" demonstration against a world-renowned golf tournament held at the newly created Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The course was carved out of Jean Klock Park, which had been donated to the city of Benton Harbor decades ago.

Berrien County officials were determined to defeat the recall campaign against Mayor Hightower, who opposed a program that would have taxed local corporations in order to create jobs and improve conditions in Benton Harbor, a majority African-American municipality. Like other Michigan cities, it has been devastated by widespread poverty and unemployment.

The Benton Harbor corporate power structure has used similar fraudulent charges to stop past efforts to recall or vote out of office the racist white officials, from mayor, judges, prosecutors in a majority Black city. Rev Pinkney who always quotes scripture, as many Christian ministers do, was even convicted for quoting scripture in a newspaper column. This outrageous conviction was overturned on appeal. We must do this again!

To sign the petition in support of the Rev. Edward Pinkney, log on to: tinyurl.com/ps4lwyn.

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.



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.



TAKE ACTION: Mumia is sick

Judge Robert Mariani of the U.S. District Court has issued an order in Mumia's case, granting Mumia's lawyers Bret Grote and Robert Boyle's motion to supplement the record. 

New medical records documenting Mumia's deteriorated condition from February and March, will be presented June 6th. Judge Mariani has also instructed the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to provide any updates and changes in DOC hep C treatment and policies which affect the plaintiff's treatment.

Calling into Prison Radio, Mumia noted: 

"My friends, my brothers, it ain't over 'til it's over, but there is some motion. It means that we're moving closer to hopefully some real treatment not of my symptoms, but of my disease. I thank you all for being there. And freedom is a constant struggle. I love you all. From what used to be death row, this is Mumia, your brother."

Mumia remains quite ill. While stable, his curable hepatitis C is still active and progressive. The only treatment Mumia has received over the last 14 months to this day is skin ointment and photo therapy. He has not received the medically indicated treatment for hep C, the very condition that put him in the Intensive Care Unit in March 2015. 

Hepatitis C is a progressive disease that attacks Mumia's organs, skin and liver. Unless the court orders the new hepatitis C treatment - one pill a day for 12 weeks, with a 95% cure rate - Mumia's health will remain at serious risk.

Before the court is the preliminary injunction motion, which demands immediate medical care.

The exhaustion of administrative remedy and the procedural hurdles make it extremely difficult for people in prison to actually get their grievances heard through the review process. The Prison Litigation Reform Act was passed specifically to create these very almost insurmountable barriers to access to the courts.

Please read the New Yorker article, Why it is Nearly Impossible for Prisoners to Sue Prisons.

In Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes, one very telling point was when the DOC's Director of Medical Care, Dr. Paul Noel, took the stand. He said that he had never testified before in court! He has worked for the DOC for over a decade.   

That meant that no prisoner had access to adversarial cross examination. Before Mumia's day in court in late December 2015, no prisoner ever had the opportunity to expose the PA DOC's blatant lies. Lies so bold that Dr. Noel disavowed his own signed affidavit, and in court he stated that he "did not sign it and it was false and misleading". The knowingly false and fabricated document was put in the record by Laura Neal, Senior DOC attorney.

Take Action for Mumia

Call prison officials to demand immediate treatment!

Dr. Paul Noel-Director of Medical Care, DOC
717-728-5309 x 5312

John Wetzel- Secretary of DOC
717+728-2573 x 4109

Dr. Carl Keldie-Chief Medical Officer, Correct Care Solutions
800-592-2974 x 5783

Theresa DelBalso-Superintendent, SCI Mahanoy
570-773-2158 x 8101

    Tom Wolf, PA Governor 

    Phone  717-787-2500

    Fax 717-772-8284                                             

    Email governor@pa.gov

    Sign the Petition now to demand Mumia's right to life-saving hepatitis C care.

    Help Mumia's lawyers prepare to demand access to Mumia's medical records from court!

    Thank you for keeping Mumia in your heart and mind,

    Noelle Hanrahan

    Director, Prison Radio


    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:







    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!




    Imam Jamil (H.Rap Brown) moved

    Some two weeks ago Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) was moved by bus from USP Canaan in Waymart, PA. to USP Tucson, Arizona.  His mailing address is:  USP Tucson United States Penitentiary P.O. Box Tucson, AZ. 85734  (BOP number 99974555)

    Sign the Petition:

    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE Bureau of Prisons, The Governor of Georgia

    We are aware of a review being launched of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted and or deserve a new trail because of flawed forensic evidence and or wrongly reported evidence. It was stated in the Washington Post in April of 2012 that Justice Department Officials had known for years that flawed forensic work led to convictions of innocent people. We seek to have included in the review of such cases that of Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. We understand that all cases reviewed will include the Innocence Project. We look forward to your immediate attention to these overdue wrongs.

    ASAP: The Forgotten Imam Project

    P.O. Box 373

    Four Oaks, NC 27524


    Luqman Abdullah-ibn Al-Sidiq




    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.


      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


        Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. (917) 689-4009RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com



        Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence

        Sign the Petition:


        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




          Sign the Petition:


          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


          Project Springboard

          RH Reality Check


          Student Debt Crisis

          The Nation

          Working Families



          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


                        Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com


                        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


                        Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com













          1)  New York City Will Change Lead Testing Methods at Its Schools

          SEPT. 2, 2016





          New York City said on Friday that it would adjust its procedure of testing for lead in the water supply of schools, after experts said the city's methods could lower the levels found.

          Between March and June, the city tested the water in all 1,520 occupied school buildings. The night before taking samples, the contractors who conducted the testing arrived at the buildings and let the water run from all outlets for two hours, a practice known as pre-stagnation flushing. An investigation by The New York Times uncovered the practice, which cleans pipes of soluble lead and lead particles, and thus can result in samples with lower than normal lead levels.

          The Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary guidelines for testingwater in schools do not mention pre-stagnation flushing, and the agency has recommended against it when testing water in people's homes.

          In July, the city said that less than 1 percent of samples tested had lead concentrations that exceeded the agency's "action level" of 15 parts per billion.

          But Marc Edwards, a civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech, said that a long period of flushing would have skewed the results significantly and that the city should throw out the test results and start over. 

          City officials initially defended their methods, saying the pre-stagnation flushing did not affect the accuracy of the test results. They said the flushing protocol was developed for testing during the summer, when many school buildings are empty, to mimic normal water use, and then extended to all tests.

          On Friday, the city changed course — partly. A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, Freddi Goldstein, said that in the future the city would try to conduct as many tests as possible while school was in session, and on mornings other than Mondays, and that for these tests it would abandon the pre-stagnation flushing step. But she said the city would continue doing the pre-stagnation flushing when it was necessary to collect samples on Monday mornings or over school holidays.

          Ms. Goldstein said that starting in October, the city would retest every building that had at least one water sample that exceeded 15 parts per billion of lead (there were 510 of them). The city will also begin retesting the buildings that did not have any samples over that threshold.

          In buildings where one or more sample exceeded the E.P.A.'s action level, the city has removed those outlets and also instructed its staff to flush all of the outlets in the building briefly every Monday morning. It has said that those steps will protect children from consuming water with high levels of lead.



          2)  22 Migrant Women Held in Pennsylvania Start a Hunger Strike to Protest Detention

          SEPT. 2, 2016




          Margarita Alberto cannot forget the tantrum her 6-year-old son threw several months ago. One afternoon he started shouting that he wanted to leave the Pennsylvania immigration detention center for families, where they have been held since Oct. 28, 2015, "He said, 'It's your fault that we're here, your fault!'" Ms. Alberto said.

          And then, she recalled, he tightened the lanyard holding his ID card around his neck, threatening to choke himself if they didn't get out.

          Ms. Alberto and her son, migrants from El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States, are still detained, along with 65 other women and children at the Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pa., about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

          "The truth is, I'm in limbo," Ms. Alberto said in Spanish through a translator during a telephone interview last week from the center. "I don't know if I'll be released here or if they'll return me to my country, which is what I don't want."

          She is one of 28 women who were denied asylum and who have filed a federal lawsuit seeking new hearings because, they said, their original "credible fear" hearings were conducted improperly. An appeals court rejected their claim on Monday.

          On Wednesday Ms. Alberto and 21 other women who call themselves "Madres Berks," or "Berks Mothers," restarted a hunger strike they had conducted for 16 days in August. Their action drew renewed attention to the Obama administration's policy toward migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have crossed the United States border in order to flee extreme violence.

          As a response to an enormous influx of Central Americans in 2014, the Department of Homeland Security began putting mothers and children who crossed the border in detention, hoping that it would discourage others from coming to the United States. But under pressure from advocates, and prompted by a federal court ruling in August 2015, the agency changed course, moving to curtail the prolonged detention of most families seeking asylum.

          The family detention center in Berks County is one of three in the United States; the other two are larger and in Texas.

          Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary, said last month that a committee would conduct an internal review of the privately run family detention centers by November. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said that the Berks center, run by the county, would be evaluated in a separate review.

          When Mr. Johnson said last month that the average length of stay at a family detention center was 20 days, that upset the women in Berks and prompted their hunger strike.

          "I have been here for 320 days," Amparo Osorio, 26, who came from Honduras and has a 2-year-old son, said on Tuesday. Like all the women detained at Berks who spoke in telephone interviews conducted in Spanish, she asked not to be identified by her complete name, for fear of retaliation by staff members.

          "What we want is for our voices to be heard," Ms. Osorio said.

          Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, sent a letter on Aug. 24 to Mr. Johnson about the prolonged detentions and the conditions at Berks.

          "The families detained there have in many cases escaped unspeakable horrors in their countries of origin and are seeking asylum and a better life, " Mr. Casey wrote. "We can do better than the treatment they are receiving."

          Bridget Cambria, one of three local lawyers who represents the detainees, said there are limited services available to the families at Berks. Children, who range in age from 2 to 16, are divided into two classrooms, but are not allowed to attend an outside school. (The government said it provides five full-time teachers.) The families have access to outdoor recreation, but are prohibited from going outside a wooden fence. They can use the internet, but social media is not allowed. The detainees must clean the center themselves — for which they get paid $1 a day.

          The mothers say the monotony is hardest on their children. "We wake up and we see the same walls, the same ceiling, and we think to ourselves, 'When will this end?'" said Estefani, 16, the oldest child at Berks. She and her sister and their mother, Maria Leiva, who came from El Salvador, had been in detention for 373 days as of Friday.

          About a third of the women are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit brought in March by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Department of Homeland Security. The suit contested the legality of their initial asylum interviews. A district court in Philadelphia said that it did not have jurisdiction in the case.

          But on Monday, a federal appeals court went even further. It ruled that the women, because they had been apprehended hours after having "surreptitiously" crossed the border, had no right to sue. That, said several legal scholars this week, violated habeas corpus, the basic constitutional right to challenge the legality of imprisonment or detention.

          Only suspended in times of rebellion or invasion, that right has been extended to slaves and, more recently, to noncitizen "enemy combatants" held at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

          "It was exactly designed to protect outsiders," said Eric M. Freedman, a professor at Hofstra Law School who specializes in constitutional law.

          "If this decision is left intact, it's going to be the first time in the history of this country in which noncitizens who enter the United States and are on U.S. soil, are not going to have the opportunity in habeas corpus to challenge their removal orders," said Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer arguing the case for the ACLU.

          The women are appealing the decision.

          They say their acts of civil disobedience — protests and hunger strikes — have provoked tensions with Berks and immigration officials. Thomas Decker, an immigration field officer, met with the women in August and warned them to suspend the hunger strike because they could become too weakened to take care of their children; he said they could be sent to an "adult jail" without their children, three mothers said.

          "We told him, 'Why would he do that?'" Ms. Leiva, 41, said. "We weren't criminals or delinquents."

          Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for the immigration agency, said in a statement: "I.C.E. fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference. I.C.E. does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers. I.C.E. explains the negative health effects of not eating to our residents. For their health and safety, I.C.E. closely monitors the food and water intake of those identified as being on a hunger strike."

          The women question why they cannot be released and wear ankle bracelets with tracking devices while waiting for their asylum cases to proceed.

          Some women who are part of the lawsuit have already been released. Mr. Walls said, adding that "many factors can contribute to the length of a resident's stay, including but not limited to the current disposition of their immigration cases."

          But Ms. Alberto's lawyers say the government is retaliating against her for speaking to the media. Last week, the government requested her emergency transfer to a more secure center in Karnes City, Tex., because of her "disruptive" presence at Berks. Her lawyers argued against the move in an appeal filed Wednesday, offering consistently positive conduct reports by the staff as evidence.

          Dr. Alan Shapiro, the senior medical director of pediatric programs of the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, has made several visits to Berks to examine the children. In court documents filed last week, he said another move to a detention center would be harmful to Ms. Alberto's 6-year-old son; he diagnosed the child with chronic Post-traumatic stress disorder, from witnessing violence in El Salvador, the trip across the border and his prolonged detention.

          Dr. Shapiro also confirmed that during his evaluation, the boy again simulated choking himself with his ID card lanyard — a "clear sign of stress and anxiety," he said.

          The adverse psychological effects of detention on children have been subject to several reports from Human Rights First, an advocacy group, including one in 2015 on conditions at Berks.

          The immigration agency was not able to immediately grant a request for a New York Times reporter to observe the center and to interview the residents on site.

          There is yet another complicating matter: The center is operating without a license. In February, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services revoked the county's license because it applied only to serving children — not their mothers as well. The county appealed and has been allowed to operate while the matter is pending. The next hearing is scheduled for November.



          3)  'This Is Not My Child': JetBlue Flew 2 Boys to Wrong Cities, Mother Says

          SEPT. 2, 2016





          It is any parent's nightmare.

          Maribel Martinez of New York had arranged for her 5-year-old son, Andy, to fly home unaccompanied on JetBlue from the Dominican Republic on Aug. 17. But when she went to pick him up at Kennedy International Airport, she got the shock of her life.

          Airline employees presented her with a boy who was clutching Andy's passport and luggage. But he was not her child.

          "Is this your son?" Ms. Martinez said she was asked, according to news reports on Thursday.

          She replied, "No, this is not my child."

          Ms. Martinez, 38, told The Daily News, which initially reported the situation: "I thought he was kidnapped. I thought I would never see him again."

          The airline eventually found her son in Boston. JetBlue said it had put Andy on the wrong plane in a mix-up with another child who had also flown out of the Dominican Republic. "It was a total three hours before she found out he was O.K. and wasn't kidnapped," Ms. Martinez's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said in an interview on Friday.

          Ms. Martinez said at a news conference that she had been on vacation with Andy in the Dominican Republic in July, but had to return to New York before he did. Her relatives took him to the airport in Santiago for his return flight.

          It was unclear what happened to the other boy. Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates J.F.K., said two uniformed officers stayed with him and airline personnel near the boarding gate until the child was put on a flight to Boston.

          In an emailed statement on Friday, JetBlue said that two unaccompanied children of the same age had been booked from Cibao International Airport in Santiago on separate planes: Flight 924 to Boston and Flight 436 to New York. But each child boarded a flight to the wrong destination, the airline said.

          "Upon learning of the error, our teams in J.F.K. and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations," the statement said. "While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for the families."

          The airline added, "We are also reviewing the incident with our leadership and Santiago airport team to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future."

          JetBlue declined to make an official available to answer questions on Friday. But the airline said it had refunded the tickets and offered each family a credit toward future JetBlue flights. Ms. Martinez was given $475 for the cost of the ticket and $2,100 for future travel, according to news reports.

          The Transportation Department, which oversees consumer protection issues, said that it had no regulations for travel by unaccompanied minors, but that it was up to the airlines to devise their own policies.

          Special procedures apply to children ages 5 to 11 who are flying alone, but they vary from airline to airline, the department said.

          JetBlue said children at least 5 but under 14 could travel alone on its planes, but only on nonstop flights, and for a $100 fee.

          Caitlin Harvey, a department spokeswoman, said the family might be able to pursue a civil action. "While we receive anecdotal reports about these types of incidents, we do not keep statistics on them," she said in an email on Friday.

          Mr. Rubenstein said that he wanted an independent government agency to investigate before he decided on any litigation, and that he had sent the Federal Aviation Administration a letter asking them to look into the matter.

          "Any parent can understand the terrifying fear a mother goes through knowing that her child is missing," he told The News.



          4)  How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

          SEPT. 2, 2016



          SAN FRANCISCO — Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. You can spy on more people if you would like — just check out the company's price list.

          The NSO Group is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user's location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.

          Since its founding six years ago, the NSO Group has kept a low profile. But last month, security researchers caught its spyware trying to gain access to the iPhone of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. They also discovered a second target, a Mexican journalist who wrote about corruption in the Mexican government.

          Now, internal NSO Group emails, contracts and commercial proposals obtained by The New York Times offer insight into how companies in this secretive digital surveillance industry operate. The emails and documents were provided by two people who have had dealings with the NSO Group but would not be named for fear of reprisals.

          The company is one of dozens of digital spying outfits that track everything a target does on a smartphone. They aggressively market their services to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. The industry argues that this spying is necessary to track terrorists, kidnappers and drug lords. The NSO Group's corporate mission statement is "Make the world a safe place."

          Ten people familiar with the company's sales, who refused to be identified, said that the NSO Group has a strict internal vetting process to determine who it will sell to. An ethics committee made up of employees and external counsel vets potential customers based on human rights rankings set by the World Bank and other global bodies. And to date, these people all said, NSO has yet to be denied an export license.

          But critics note that the company's spyware has also been used to track journalists and human rights activists.

          "There's no check on this," said Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. "Once NSO's systems are sold, governments can essentially use them however they want. NSO can say they're trying to make the world a safer place, but they are also making the world a more surveilled place."

          The NSO Group's capabilities are in higher demand now that companies like Apple, Facebook and Google are using stronger encryption to protect data in their systems, in the process making it harder for government agencies to track suspects.

          The NSO Group's spyware finds ways around encryption by baiting targets to click unwittingly on texts containing malicious links or by exploiting previously undiscovered software flaws. It was taking advantage of three such flaws in Apple software — since fixed — when it was discovered by researchers last month.

          The cyberarms industry typified by the NSO Group operates in a legal gray area, and it is often left to the companies to decide how far they are willing to dig into a target's personal life and what governments they will do business with. Israel has strict export controls for digital weaponry, but the country has never barred the sale of NSO Group technology.

          Since it is privately held, not much is known about the NSO Group's finances, but its business is clearly growing. Two years ago, the NSO Group sold a controlling stake in its business to Francisco Partners, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, for $120 million. Nearly a year later, Francisco Partners was exploring a sale of the company for 10 times that amount, according to two people approached by the firm but forbidden to speak about the discussions.

          The company's internal documents detail pitches to countries throughout Europe and multimillion-dollar contracts with Mexico, which paid the NSO Group more than $15 million for three projects over three years, according to internal NSO Group emails dated in 2013.

          "Our intelligence systems are subject to Mexico's relevant legislation and have legal authorization," Ricardo Alday, a spokesman for the Mexican embassy in Washington, said in an emailed statement. "They are not used against journalists or activists. All contracts with the federal government are done in accordance with the law."

          Zamir Dahbash, an NSO Group spokesman, said that the sale of its spyware was restricted to authorized governments and that it was used solely for criminal and terrorist investigations. He declined to comment on whether the company would cease selling to the U.A.E. and Mexico after last week's disclosures.

          For the last six years, the NSO Group's main product, a tracking system called Pegasus, has been used by a growing number of government agencies to target a range of smartphones — including iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerry and Symbian systems — without leaving a trace.

          Among the Pegasus system's capabilities, NSO Group contracts assert, are the abilities to extract text messages, contact lists, calendar records, emails, instant messages and GPS locations. One capability that the NSO Group calls "room tap" can gather sounds in and around the room, using the phone's own microphone.

          Pegasus can use the camera to take snapshots or screen grabs. It can deny the phone access to certain websites and applications, and it can grab search histories or anything viewed with the phone's web browser. And all of the data can be sent back to the agency's server in real time.

          In its commercial proposals, the NSO Group asserts that its tracking software and hardware can install itself in any number of ways, including "over the air stealth installation," tailored text messages and emails, through public Wi-Fi hot spots rigged to secretly install NSO Group software, or the old-fashioned way, by spies in person.

          Much like a traditional software company, the NSO Group prices its surveillance tools by the number of targets, starting with a flat $500,000 installation fee. To spy on 10 iPhone users, NSO charges government agencies $650,000; $650,000 for 10 Android users; $500,000 for five BlackBerry users; or $300,000 for five Symbian users — on top of the setup fee, according to one commercial proposal.

          You can pay for more targets. One hundred additional targets will cost $800,000, 50 extra targets cost $500,000, 20 extra will cost $250,000 and 10 extra costs $150,000, according to an NSO Group commercial proposal. There is an annual system maintenance fee of 17 percent of the total price every year thereafter.

          What that gets you, NSO Group documents say, is "unlimited access to a target's mobile devices." In short, the company says: You can "remotely and covertly collect information about your target's relationships, location, phone calls, plans and activities — whenever and wherever they are."

          And, its proposal adds, "It leaves no traces whatsoever."



          5)  Labour Party Is Poised to Back Jeremy Corbyn Again, Even if Britain Isn't

          [Obviously they are terrified of Corbyn and the movement he's building--especially among young people! —Bonnie Weinstein]

          SEPT. 4, 2016


          LONDON — A recent semi-scandal over seats on a train illuminates the deep problems of Britain's Labour Party. Its left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, made a video sitting on the floor of a train, calling for the renationalization of the railways while claiming that there were no empty seats and that travelers were "ram-packed."

          Virgin Trains, which operates the service, then released closed-circuit television images showing numerous vacant seats bypassed by Mr. Corbyn, who was later filmed in a seat for most of the journey.

          That many of Britain's privatized railways are badly overcrowded, especially in southern England, is indisputable. But the episode was another indication that the Labour Party is in shambles: Its leader and its members of Parliament are in a virtual civil war, and it is deeply unpopular with the broader electorate.

          Yet the party's membership is soaring. Under Mr. Corbyn, some 300,000 people have joined Labour in the last year. Labour has more members, about 500,000, than all the other British political parties put together.

          The obvious contradiction is at the heart of Labour's dilemma. Mr. Corbyn, a man of the hard left who also wants to renationalize the utilities and make Britain non-nuclear, is deeply skeptical of the United States and considers NATO an outdated, aggressive alliance. With his anti-establishment stands, he has brought many young people and many hard-left advocates, some of whom had been expelled under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, back into Labour.

          Yet polls show that Labour under Mr. Corbyn is sure to lose the next election to the governing Conservatives, and lose it badly, doing worse than it did in May 2015, which led to the resignation of its leader, Ed Miliband. Mr. Miliband moved the party to the left, away from the centrist policies of Mr. Blair, who won three elections.

          But in 2015, the party was essentially wiped out in Scotland and won only 232 seats in all of Britain, down from 258 in 2010: the worst showing for the party since 1983. It was led at that time by Michael Foot, whose election platform was described as "the longest suicide note in history," and yet whose policies most closely resemble those of Mr. Corbyn's.

          Labour members of Parliament who survived the 2015 debacle fear worse to come under Mr. Corbyn, 67, whose election as leader was entirely unexpected. He was the beneficiary of weak opponents and of a strong vote from new party members and anyone who was willing to pay three pounds to vote, member or not.

          First elected to Parliament in 1983, Mr. Corbyn had always been on Labour's fringe. He supported Hugo Chávez, the leftist Venezuelan strongman; has pushed hard for more spending for the poor; and has been a persistent critic of Israel and supporter of Palestinian statehood.

          And while Labour officially supported Britain's remaining in the European Union, Mr. Corbyn was halfhearted at best.

          A former shadow chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls, in excerpts from an autobiography, said Mr. Corbyn's Labour leadership was a "leftist utopian fantasy" that was "devoid of connection to the reality of people's lives."

          Mr. Balls wrote: "Refusing to listen to the electorate has never been a winning formula any more than Jeremy Corbyn thinking the volume of the cheering from your core supporters is a reliable guide to wider public opinion."

          Labour legislators have also complained bitterly about Mr. Corbyn's disorganization, his lack of interest in reaching out to centrist voters and his tendency to moralize and speak only to crowds of supporters. At crucial moments, they say, he is often unavailable, growing vegetables or making jam, two of his hobbies.

          Fearing another quick general election after the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, the Labour legislators revolted, trying to force Mr. Corbyn to quit. Many resigned from the shadow cabinet or refused to serve in it, and when Mr. Corbyn insisted that only the party members could decide his fate, they forced a new election for party leader.

          Mr. Corbyn won a court case allowing him to run without being renominated by the legislators. The rebels finally united behind Owen Smith, 46, an English-born member of Parliament from a Welsh seat, who was first elected in 2010 after a career as a radio producer and a lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies.

          Mr. Smith is considered "soft left," but even he is to the left of Mr. Miliband. While he has done reasonably well in a series of debates with Mr. Corbyn, the large influx of new members, enthused by Mr. Corbyn's harder-left policies, suggest that when the votes are counted on Sept. 24, Mr. Corbyn will be re-elected.

          A likely Corbyn victory has added to the concerns of the Labour legislators, who fear that they will be challenged in their constituencies by more militant left-wing Corbyn supporters, a process known as reselection. Corbyn backers have threatened mandatory reselection for all Labour legislators, but a Conservative change to the election boundaries is a clearer threat.

          Under Mr. Cameron, the Conservatives pushed through a law that would reduce the number of parliamentary constituencies to 600 from 650, while trying to equalize the number of voters in each constituency — the same reasoning behind redistricting in the United States after a census.

          But, as in the United States, the devil is in the details of how the constituencies are redrawn, and there are already charges of gerrymandering by the government. A review of the new boundaries has suggested that 200 Labour seats would be affected, with up to 30 being scrapped, because many Labour seats in Wales and the northeast have smaller populations.

          By contrast, the Conservatives face losing only 10 to 15 seats, according to the review by Robert Hayward, a political expert and a Conservative member of the House of Lords.

          New boundaries will mean a new selection process for many Labour legislators, which could mean that those opposed to Mr. Corbyn would be rejected.

          So there is increasing talk of Labour legislators' forming their own parliamentary opposition in the House of Commons, where they would, by their numbers, become the official opposition.

          Some analysts have suggested that there is a pro-European, centrist party in the making that could also attract Liberal Democrats and some Conservatives. But the British political system punishes third parties, and everyone is mindful of the fate of the Social Democratic Party, formed in 1981 by Labour legislators who revolted against the party's antinuclear and anti-European policies.

          After a lively start, that party merged with the Liberals and finally disappeared.

          Mr. Corbyn has said he "hopes Labour M.P.s will recognize the outcome of this election and not walk away." More likely, they will hope for an early election in which the Corbyn-led party is badly defeated but they somehow survive, resulting in his resignation. But having seized the party machinery, Mr. Corbyn seems unlikely to give it up, even in defeat.

          In his view, and that of his followers, he is building a socialist movement for the future, and he and his followers regard the centrists, in the words of the former Labour legislator Chris Williamson, as Conservative "sleeper" agents at war not with Mr. Corbyn but with the members of the party themselves.



          6)  Young Blacks Voice Skepticism on Hillary Clinton, Worrying Democrats

          "What am I supposed to do if I don't like him and I don't trust her?" a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. "Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!"

          SEPT. 4, 2016




          WASHINGTON — When a handful of liberal advocacy organizations convened a series of focus groups with young black voters last month, the assessments of Donald J. Trump were predictably unsparing.

          But when the participants were asked about Hillary Clinton, their appraisals were just as blunt and nearly as biting.

          "What am I supposed to do if I don't like him and I don't trust her?" a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. "Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!"

          "She was part of the whole problem that started sending blacks to jail," a young black man, also from Ohio, observed about Mrs. Clinton.

          "He's a racist, and she is a liar, so really what's the difference in choosing both or choosing neither?" another young black woman from Ohio said.

          Young African-Americans, like all voters their age, are typically far harder to drive to the polls than middle-aged and older Americans. Yet with just over two months until Election Day, many Democrats are expressing alarm at the lack of enthusiasm, and in some cases outright resistance, some black millennials feel toward Mrs. Clinton.

          Their skepticism is rooted in a deep discomfort with the political establishment that they believe the 68-year-old former first lady and secretary of state represents. They share a lingering mistrust of Mrs. Clinton and her husband over criminal justice issues. They are demanding more from politicians as part of a new, confrontational wave of black activism that has arisen in response to police killings of unarmed African-Americans.

          "We're in the midst of a movement with a real sense of urgency," explained Brittany Packnett, 31, a St. Louis-based leader in the push for police accountability. Mrs. Clinton is not yet connecting, she said, "because the conversation that younger black voters are having is no longer one about settling on a candidate who is better than the alternative."

          The question of just how many young African-Americans will show up to vote carries profound implications for this election. Mrs. Clinton is sure to dominate Mr. Trump among black voters, but her overwhelming margin could ultimately matter less than the total number of blacks who show up to vote.

          To replicate President Obama's success in crucial states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she cannot afford to let the percentage of the electorate that is black slip far below what it was in 2012. And while a modest drop-off of black votes may not imperil Mrs. Clinton's prospects, given Mr. Trump's unpopularity among upscale white voters, it could undermine Democrats' effort to capture control of the Senate and win other down-ballot elections.

          Mrs. Clinton's difficulties with young African-Americans were laid bare in four focus groups conducted in Cleveland and Jacksonville, Fla., for a handful of progressive organizations spending millions on the election: the service employees union, a joint "super PAC" between organized labor and the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, and a progressive group called Project New America. The results were outlined in a 25-page presentation by Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, and shared with The New York Times by another party strategist who wanted to draw attention to Mrs. Clinton's difficulties in hopes that the campaign would move more aggressively to address the matter.

          Word of the report has spread in the constellation of liberal operatives and advocacy groups in recent weeks, concerning officials who saw diminished black turnout hurt Democratic candidates in the last two midterm elections.

          Adding to the worries is a separate poll of African-Americans that Mr. Belcher conducted earlier in the summer indicating that Mrs. Clinton is lagging well behind Mr. Obama's performance among young blacks in a handful of crucial states.

          In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, 70 percent of African-Americans under 35 said they were backing Mrs. Clinton, 8 percent indicated support for Mr. Trump and 18 percent said they were backing another candidate or did not know whom they would support. In 2012, Mr. Obama won 92 percent of black voters under 45 nationally, according to exit polling.

          Over 25 percent of African-Americans are between 18 and 34, and 44 percent are older than 35, according to 2013 census data.

          "There is no Democratic majority without these voters," Mr. Belcher said. "The danger is that if you don't get these voters out, you've got the 2004 John Kerry electorate again."

          In Ohio, for example, blacks were 10 percent of the electorate in the 2004 presidential race. But when Mr. Obama ran for re-election in 2012, that number jumped to 15 percent.

          What frustrates many blacks under 40 is Mrs. Clinton's overriding focus on Mr. Trump.

          "We already know what the deal is with Trump," said Nathan Baskerville, a 35-year-old North Carolina state representative. "Tell us what your plan is to make our life better."

          Such talk can be frustrating to Mrs. Clinton's aides, who point out that her first speech of the campaign was on criminal justice and that she has laid out a series of proposals on the topic.

          "It is on us to make sure that that's known," said Addisu Demissie, Mrs. Clinton's voter outreach and mobilization director, adding of young black activists, "We share their goals, we share their values and we want to make sure that's reflected through our campaign."

          The focus groups and interviews with young black activists suggest many of them are not aware of Mrs. Clinton's plans regarding police conduct, mass incarceration and structural racism broadly.

          Christopher Prudhome, 31, recounted a recurring conversation he has with other African-Americans as he travels around the country as the head of a nonpartisan group dedicated to registering young voters: They do not like either candidate.

          "Young people feel discouraged and apprehensive about the political process as is, and then they look at the two options in front of us," said Mr. Prudhome, adding of Mrs. Clinton: "Nobody has seen an agenda for African-American millennials. I don't think they believe she cares about them."

          Part of Mrs. Clinton's problem, said Symone Sanders, a former top aide to Senator Bernie Sanders's campaign, is that the candidate is overly cautious and is conducting an outdated style of black outreach.

          Ms. Sanders has begun taking matters into her own hands. She said she was working with other young activists to recruit black celebrities for a millennial mobilization tour through Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

          "Black churches and an H.B.C.U. tour is just not going to cut it in 2016," said Ms. Sanders, referring to historically black colleges and universities. "The Clinton campaign has to be willing to get out of what's comfortable and get on the streets."

          Mr. Demissie said the Clinton campaign's efforts were more expansive, pointing to voter registration efforts already underway in barbershops and salons as well as sneaker and video game stores.

          Mrs. Clinton has met with mothers of those who lost children at the hands of the police and has used the signature refrain that "black lives matter" in public remarks. But she and her husband also come from an earlier political tradition rooted in the Deep South, where black voters are primarily reached through the church and the threat of white conservative backlash is never far from mind.

          Today's young African-American voters are less likely to be found in black churches and more likely to be found in schools, loosely organized activist groups and online, said Ms. Packnett, the St. Louis activist.

          And the leaders are more diverse. "It's not just heterosexual men," she noted.

          Not only are younger black activists reached in different ways, they also have far higher expectations on leaders, dismissing boilerplate pleas for racial equality and justice as insufficient.

          "Gone is the day of patience," said Tony J. Payton Jr., 35, a former Pennsylvania state representative. "No longer should we accept systemic racism."

          Doubts about how aggressively Mrs. Clinton will move to combat racism are at the heart of black suspicion toward her. Some African-Americans said her 1996 reference to some young criminals as "super-predators," and the legislation that President Bill Clinton signed imposing stiff sentences on nonviolent offenders, have made today's activists skeptical about her true intentions.

          "That stuff comes up unprompted," Mr. Belcher said.

          Mr. Trump has turned to remarkably blunt language about blacks in recent weeks — portraying their communities as dystopian hellscapes and asking them, in courting their support, "What do you have to lose?" Some African-American allies of Mrs. Clinton believe he is serving as her most effective get-out-the-vote lever.

          "He is literally saying something every day that is disrespectful to the black community," said Michael Blake, a New York State assemblyman from the Bronx who worked on Mr. Obama's campaigns and is close to many Clinton aides.

          Yet when African-American voters in the focus groups were shown campaign fliers and asked to rate them, there was no mistaking what was most effective.

          A pamphlet with a picture of Mr. Trump that read, "We have to beat the racists," fell flat with young black audiences.

          Scoring much higher were a stark black and white handout showing the names of those killed at the hands of the police and another with images of mothers of the victims that said, "Their Children Can't Vote, Will You?"



          7)  'Rolling Coal' in Diesel Trucks, to Rebel and Provoke

          SEPT. 4, 2016



          MONTROSE, Colo. — There is a new menace on America's roads: diesel truck drivers who soup up their engines and remove their emissions controls to "roll coal," or belch black smoke, at pedestrians, cyclists and unsuspecting Prius drivers.

          Sgt. Chris Worthington of the Montrose Police Department here is out to stop them.

          "You can hear those trucks across town, driving like idiots," he said on a recent Friday evening patrol. He is among the first law enforcement officers in the country to be trained at "smoke school" to pick up the skills to police the coal rollers.

          He lost sight of one truck cruising in the opposite direction, trailing plumes of smoke. But another, a Ram 3500 fitted with two steel smokestacks, was parked in a Walmart parking lot. The owner, Pryce Hoey, insisted his truck was emissions compliant, but nevertheless agreed to demonstrate its smoke-generating prowess.

          "I just wanted something different," Mr. Hoey said, revving the engine and releasing two black pillars of smoke into the evening air before Sgt. Worthington shut him down. "People who see it giggle. They think it's funny."

          Depending on whom you ask, rolling coal is a juvenile prank, a health hazard, a stand against rampant environmentalism, a brazen show of American freedom. Coal rollers' frequent targets: walkers, joggers, cyclists, hybrid and Asian cars and even police officers. A popular bumper sticker reads "Prius Repellent."

          Many document their feats online. Coal rollers also have their own reality TV show.

          And while official tallies of coal rolling do not exist, there are signs that smoke, whether from intentional belching or not, is a growing public nuisance. In Colorado, complaints over diesel smoke have risen 5 percent over the last two years. In California, complaints about smoking vehicles to the California Air Resources Board have jumped from under 700 a month, on average, two years ago to more than 1,000 now.

          State legislatures, as well as local law enforcement agencies, are starting to take action.

          Last year, New Jersey became the first state to explicitly ban rolling coal, going beyond the federal laws that already prohibit drivers from tinkering with emissions controls. A similar bill is on the table in Illinois, while Colorado and Maryland have defeated proposed bans.

          New Jersey's bill, which can impose a fine of up to $5,000 on drivers caught rolling coal, was proposed by Tim Eustace, a state assemblyman who was engulfed by black smoke from a pickup truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. "Momentarily, you can't see anything. It's terrifying," said Mr. Eustace, who drives an electric vehicle. "It's exuberant adolescent testosterone."

          But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. "Your bill will not stop us!" Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.

          "Why don't you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country," Mr. Blue wrote." I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars."

          Existential Questions

          Even in this election year of bombastic rhetoric on political correctness and climate change, rolling coal stands out as an ideological statement. At its core, it also struggles with a basic, somewhat existential question: Should we seek to minimize the human footprint on the earth, or should we flaunt it?

          Since 2007, activists have drawn attention to the environment with a call to switch off appliances worldwide during an annual Earth Hour. But since 2009, the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute has countered with Human Achievement Hour, a call to spend that same hour keeping things on in defense of humankind's "basic human right to use energy."

          Still, Michelle Minton, a fellow at the institute, draws a line. Coal rollers who use their trucks for harassment, as opposed to celebration, "aren't being rebellious," she said, they are just being jerks.

          The Birth of Rolling Coal

          Rolling coal has origins in truck pulls, in which pickups compete to pull a heavy sled the farthest. Drivers modify their trucks to pump excessive fuel into the engines, increasing horsepower and torque. Stripped of emissions controls, the trucks also bellow thick, black smoke.

          At a recent truck pull at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock, Ill., the fumes were part of the draw. "When the smoke goes black, don't look back," read one man's T-shirt.

          "We pull for bragging rights," said Scott Vivian, president of the Illini State Pullers league, the event's organizer. "And smoke's a big part of it."

          Shane Johnson has named his truck, a Ford F-250 body with a 1,500-horsepower Duramax engine, Public Enemy. He pulled the sled almost all the way down the dirt track, spewing a column of smoke into the summer sky. "It's an adrenaline rush," he said.

          Still, fans of truck pulling insist — and environmental officials largely agree — that it is harmless entertainment. When the E.P.A. completednew truck emissions standards this month, it emphasized that it did not intend to go after trucks used in motor sports.

          There is, in fact, disdain among truck-pull enthusiasts toward coal rollers, whom they view as wannabes sullying their sport. "I hate those guys. I used to do it, smoke out friends, but I grew out of it," Mr. Johnson said. "Gives diesel a bad name."

          The Police 'Smoke Machine'

          Raymond Elick runs the smoke school at the Colorado Health and Environment Department, training police to spot coal rollers. It is more art than science.

          In Colorado, a bill that would have made rolling coal a misdemeanor died in a G.O.P.-controlled State Senate in April. Still, an obscure Colorado state law, a holdover from the days when diesel was far dirtier, allows officers to cite coal rollers that blow smoke for at least five seconds at more than 40 percent opacity, or thickness.

          Using a "smoke machine" that burns toluene, Mr. Elick has trained 55 police officers to discern smoke opacity: Zero percent opacity is clear air; 100 percent opacity lets no light through.

          "If it's smokin', it's broken," Mr. Elick said. "If you see a smoky truck running down the street, that's probably 40-50 percent, and that's pretty darn smoky," he said. "If all of the light disappears over that path, if it's a really bad coal roller, it could be approaching 100 percent."

          'Can You Believe It?'

          A group of Canadian cyclists touring the Vermont countryside in June was on the receiving end of a coal roller's attention. A white pickup truck accelerated, then belched on the bikers, said John Gelder, a management consultant based in Ottawa.

          Several minutes later, the truck returned to smoke them out a second time.

          "What the hell. Can you believe it?'" Mr. Gelder remembers shouting to his friend Steve Fischer, a Canadian journalist who was touring with him. "It's like weapons. They think: 'We're entitled to our guns, and we're entitled to our roads,'" Mr. Gelder said. "It's almost an assault."

          The group alerted the police in Morristown, Vt., who Mr. Gelder said took no action. Andrew Glover of the Morristown Police Department said that officers would probably not pursue the case.

          "We don't have a law against whatever they did," he said.

          Mr. Fischer later wrote up the group's ordeal for the Canadian news network CBC. "I gave the driver my middle finger and yelled words I am not allowed to use on the CBC website," Mr. Fischer reported.

          Buying Tuning Kits Online

          "Tuning" passenger vehicles to override emissions controls is relatively easy, with appropriate gear. Online retailers like Amazon and eBay sell aftermarket products that render emissions equipment inoperable.

          The Volkswagen diesel scandal has helped thrust emissions cheating into the spotlight. The German automaker acknowledged last year that it used a defeat device to evade emissions limits. Up to 11.5 million of its vehicles worldwide contain the tainted software.

          The Environmental Protection Agency has also gone after the aftermarket hobbyist market. In 2013, it fined a components manufacturer in Ogden, Utah, $500,000 for selling devices that let diesel truck owners override emissions controls.

          Still, it remains easy to modify a truck to bypass pollution controls, said John Voelcker, editor of GreenCarReports.com. "If you have a hacksaw and a cutting torch, and you read the forums, you're probably halfway there," he said.

          Truck owners intent on rolling coal need only to turn to the Discovery Channel reality show "Diesel Brothers" for guidance. The show, which has more than 2.2 million viewers an episode, follows Heavy D, Diesel Dave and a team of mechanics in Utah who "build the baddest diesel trucks ever seen on the planet." Some of the modified trucks are offered for sale with no emissions controls on DieselSellerz.com, a site affiliated with the show.

          The Diesel Brothers have alarmed health professionals. Even short-term exposure to diesel smoke can increase the probability of heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and cancer, said Brian Moench, president of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.

          "You have created a growing business transforming lawful, emission-compliant vehicles into illegal, pollution-belching" trucks, the physicians wrote in a letter to the Diesel Brothers. "To what purpose?"

          Heavy D, or David Sparks, said through a representative that there was "a misunderstanding on the modification process of trucks on the show." The Discovery Channel declined to comment.

          Enforcement Troubles

          Anyone who tampers with emissions-control equipment violates the Clean Air Act, which prohibits the selling or installing of any component intended to bypass emissions equipment and carries penalties of up to $2,500.

          Enforcing that ban on the street is difficult, however. Moves in a handful of states to follow New Jersey's explicit coal-rolling prohibition have been opposed by those who argue that a ban would be regulatory overkill.

          Mr. Guzzardi, the Illinois representative and an avid cyclist, has been pushing a bill that would impose an additional fine of up to $5,000 for anyone caught coal rolling. "Why should I get a giant blast of smoke in my face from someone who doesn't approve of my transportation method?" he said.

          But a bid in Colorado that would have made rolling coal a misdemeanor was defeated in April. "Are we overreaching here?" Mark Scheffel, a Republican state senator, argued in committee. "It's just kids with too much time and money on their hands."

          'Where's the Smoke?'

          Still, some truck lovers say times are changing.

          Danny Voss drives the Clean Sweep, the only emissions-compliant truck at the McHenry truck pull. His vehicle, a Chevy pickup fitted with a 2012 Duramax engine, is sponsored by Calibrated Power, which makes aftermarket parts that conform with emissions rules.

          "When a truck like this pulls and you don't see the smoke, we're proud of it," Mr. Voss said.

          But when Clean Sweep dragged the heavy sled down the track, the crowd was confused. "Where's the smoke?" one spectator shouted.

          "The air sucks anyway," said Ben Poncher, who was drinking a beer next to the track. "Smoke's pretty. I like seeing it."



          8)  In Philippine Drug War, Little Help for Those Who Surrender

          SEPT. 5, 2016


          MANILA — Rayzabell Bongol, an 18-year-old mother and methamphetamine user, was afraid to die in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs in the Philippines. So she turned herself in to the police. They made her sign a pledge that she would never take illegal drugs again, then sent her home.

          Once a week now, she is expected to attend a police-sponsored Zumba dance workout, where she gets a health check and a meal. Mr. Duterte "promised change," she said at a recent class as three dozen other recovering addicts bopped and swayed to a blaring Latin beat. "As you can see, I am changing."

          Across the Philippines, the killing of some 1,300 drug suspects in the last two months has frightened hundreds of thousands of people like Ms. Bongol into turning themselves in. Officials cite the estimated 687,000 people who have surrendered, which vastly exceeded expectations, as evidence that Mr. Duterte's deadly campaign is succeeding.

          But the government is proving woefully unprepared to help the flood of users pledging to kick their habits, leaving almost all of them to battle addiction largely on their own. The country's meager drug treatment facilities have been overwhelmed, creating a new crisis for Mr. Duterte as he presses ahead with his violent campaign to rid the nation of drug dealers.

          On Saturday, after an explosion at a crowded night market killed 14 people, he declared a national "state of lawlessness," giving the military additional powers to carry out police operations, including patrolling urban areas, conducting searches, enforcing curfews and setting up checkpoints.

          But the government is scrambling to expand rehabilitation services to keep up with the security measures. There are fewer than 50 accredited rehabilitation facilities nationwide, and most are already full. The country also lacks both doctors who can assess the patients' needs and qualified drug counselors.

          Among other steps, the government is building rehabilitation centers on military bases and organizing seminars to teach patients techniques for overcoming addiction, said Dr. Bernardino Vicente, a psychiatrist who heads a newly appointed task force charged with developing a plan.

          "We suddenly got swamped," said Dr. Vicente, who also heads the National Center for Mental Health, one of the Philippines' largest psychiatric facilities. "It's a crisis, but at the same time, we can take advantage of this crisis to help these people."

          It could cost billions of dollars to provide treatment for those who have come forward, he said.

          Those who surrender hope that doing so will give them immunity, but that is not always the case. The police say about 15,000 people have been arrested and sent to the country's notoriously overcrowded jails, most after turning themselves in.

          Nor does surrender prevent people from being shot on the street. One accused drug lord, Melvin Odicta, known as the Dragon, surrendered to the police late last month and was released. Three days later, he and his wife, Meriam, were gunned down at a ferry port by an unknown assailant. The police denied involvement in the killings.

          For most addicts, though, the war on drugs here is a program of catch and release.

          Local officials and the police have tried to make up for the absence of recovery programs by organizing activities such as dance workouts. Half a dozen enthusiastic police officers joined the Zumba line at Ms. Bongol's class in the Ususan district of Manila, the capital.

          While exercise can be a good diversion, addiction experts say, it falls short of the help that many drug users need to overcome addiction. These experts worry that people who want to give up meth have been set up to fail.

          "The important thing is when they start to surrender, some of them have hope that something will be done for them, and there is nothing," Dr. Vicente said. "They will just sit around waiting."

          Most illegal drug users in the Philippines smoke shabu, a cheap form of methamphetamine that is widely available and highly addictive.

          Mr. Duterte says there are 3.7 million users and blames them for an epidemic of crime, including rape, robbery and theft. Dr. Vicente puts the number at 1.8 million, based on a survey conducted last year. The Philippines has a population of about 100 million.

          Mr. Duterte began his war on June 30, the day he took office. He had promised to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months and dump so many bodies in Manila Bay that the "fish will grow fat."

          "If you have friends or family, tell them, 'Don't get into drugs,'" he said on Wednesday. "'You will be killed.'"

          But the Duterte administration appears to have overstated the number of deaths in the drug war.

          The national police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, told a Senate committee two weeks ago that 1,900 people had died in the campaign. However, Dionardo Carlos, the police spokesman, said later that the chief's figure had included all unsolved killings. The police now put the number of killings at about 1,300, including about 1,000 who they say were killed while resisting arrest.

          The other 300, Mr. Carlos said, were drug-related killings carried out by unknown assailants.

          The bloodshed has brought condemnation from the United Nations and international human rights groups, and it would have been likely to come up at a meeting between Mr. Duterte and President Obama planned for Tuesday at a conference of Southeast Asian leaders in Laos.

          But on Monday, Mr. Duterte warned Mr. Obama not to ask him about the extrajudicial killings, saying he had "no master except the Filipino people" and calling Mr. Obama a "son of a bitch." Mr. Obama then canceled the meeting.

          Martin Andanar, Mr. Duterte's communications secretary, said critics in the West should recognize how dysfunctional the Philippine judicial process has become. Until now, drug lords prospered under a corrupt system, becoming untouchable with the aid of crooked police officers and government officials, he said.

          "We have a system that's rotten to the core, and we see a new president who is willing to reform and revolutionize the entire country," Mr. Andanar said. "We voted Duterte to be president because we needed a reboot. There will always be an initial disruption. But it doesn't mean it's going to stay that way."

          He expressed regret over the recent killing of a 5-year-old girl, Danica May, one of the youngest victims of the drug war. She was shot in the head by an unidentified gunman who was looking for her grandfather. He had surrendered three days earlier and had been sent home.

          "The government is sad about it, and it cannot be rationalized," Mr. Andanar said. "But you have to look at it from a wider perspective. Imagine how many kids would be killed if we allowed drugs to proliferate in society."

          Officials say they are fighting the drug war on two fronts. Some police units go after "high-value targets" suspected of dealing in large quantities of drugs. Many raids have resulted in suspects' being fatally shot.

          The second front, officials say, is aimed at getting users and dealers to turn themselves in.

          Throughout the country, the police have been working with district captains — the top elected officials in each neighborhood — to come up with lists of suspects. Then they knock on doors, urging users and sellers to report themselves to the authorities. In some districts, police officers sing their demand like carolers, Mr. Carlos, the police spokesman, said. In others, they use loudspeakers and pass out fliers.

          The campaign has won support from a large share of Filipinos, including drug users who turned themselves in.

          Among those attending the Zumba dance program in Ususan was Alma Maaliao, 47, a gaunt mother of 11 and recovering shabu addict. She said her two-year addiction had helped her focus on her job, washing laundry, but made her forget entirely about her children. She is happier having quit, she said.

          "It's good for people like me," she said. "We want to change."

          If it took a death threat, that was all right with her.

          "I know the Duterte rules," she said. "I know when he says something, he will do it. That's why I surrendered."



          9)  A.N.C.'s Combative Response to Election Losses Startles South Africa

          SEPT. 5, 2016


          JOHANNESBURG — When South African voters last month handed the African National Congress its worst-ever losses, seemingly chastened party leaders said they would engage in "introspection."

          They promised to reach out to South Africans disillusioned by the A.N.C.'s apparent transformation from a celebrated liberation movement with cherished ideals to a corrupt party interested in self-preservation and self-enrichment.

          But in the weeks since the Aug. 3 municipal elections, the A.N.C, which remains in power at the national level, has brushed aside calls from inside and outside the party to replace the scandal-tainted president, Jacob Zuma, before the end of his term in 2019. Instead of introspection, Mr. Zuma and his allies have moved aggressively to tighten their grip on the state's coffers, surprising opponents and allies alike with their undisguised moves.

          With little explanation, Mr. Zuma announced that he would directly oversee the state enterprises that have long been the source of public corruption. And his allies have renewed their attacks on Mr. Zuma's finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, who has built a reputation for probity and has tried to uproot malfeasance in government; even one of the A.N.C.'s closest allies, the South African Communist Party, has described the moves against the minister as intended to "weaken Treasury's struggle against corruption."

          "This is further confirming the people's suspicions about the A.N.C.," said Sasabona Manganye, the chairman of the Sefako Makgatho branch of the A.N.C. in Johannesburg, which has called on Mr. Zuma and the party's top leaders to resign. "Unfortunately, the biggest loser out of all of this is the A.N.C," he said.

          "If the A.N.C. leaves Zuma to remain president until 2019," he added, "we should just accept that Zuma will be the last president that the A.N.C. had."

          The party's reaction to the rebuke of voters has deepened doubts that, 22 years after winning power after the end of apartheid, it can fully transform itself from a liberation movement to a full-fledged political party. Will it suffer the fate of Africa's other liberation movements, which, years after abandoning their original ideals, have clung to power through patronage, coercion or even force?

          The liberation movements that helped free much of southern Africa decades ago are still in power — in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola. Like the A.N.C., they have used their liberation credentials to maintain their grip on power and to fend off rivals. But their records in government have been mixed at best, or, in the case of Zimbabwe, deeply tarnished.

          "We're in the lingering days of these liberation movements," said Roger Southall, a professor emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and an expert on liberation movements. "They're not suddenly going to lose power," he added. "They'll go on organizationally. But they've certainly lost their shine, the hopes that they were embodied with, and, in South Africa, that process has been hugely accelerated by the Zuma presidency."

          Many African nations gained their independence in the 1960s after former colonial rulers withdrew from the continent. But the liberation movements took up armed struggle against colonial powers or white settlers, in that way gaining greater moral authority. In the constellation of liberation movements, none shone brighter than the A.N.C. and its most famous leader, Nelson Mandela.

          To liberation movement leaders like Mr. Zuma, who said last year that the A.N.C. "comes first," even before the nation, nothing remains more vital than the movement. Many leaders have described their movement in religious terms, including Mr. Zuma, who until last month often said that the A.N.C. would rule "until Jesus comes."

          The qualities that were prized in liberation leaders and movements have often proved detrimental in government.

          "The A.N.C. is now being forced to change into a political party," said Rekgotsofetse Chikane, a university student leader and A.N.C. member who is the son of a famous party leader, the Rev. Frank Chikane. "Even though it's a political party in name, it is still a liberation movement through its actions — the way it thinks about how it's going to deliver services, the way it builds its rhetoric and the way it defends itself."

          Because of its past as a liberation movement, the younger Mr. Chikane said, the A.N.C. practices a "centralized democracy" in which leaders simply give commands and are not used to a give-and-take with other party members or with voters.

          Given the strength of South Africa's democratic institutions compared with those of its neighbors in the region, Mr. Chikane said he was optimistic that the party would successfully transform itself. But he said it would be an arduous process because many in the party, shocked by last month's elections, were focused simply on retaining power through two more presidential elections, or through 2024.

          "Those who've been pillaging the state in one way or another will pillage as much as possible until the last possible moment, so that when the game is over, they will be set for the rest of their lives," Mr. Chikane said. "That's what we're going to see with parastatals," he added, referring to state enterprises.

          In Zimbabwe, the same liberation movement and leader remain in power 36 years after the end of white minority rule. In the first years after liberation, decades before Zimbabwe degraded into a kleptocracy, President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party were celebrated around the world, including by Western governments, as embodying the hopes of a new Africa.

          Over the weekend, Mr. Mugabe accused the West of continuing to plot to replace southern Africa's liberation movements with "pliant puppet regimes."

          Zimbabwe's economy is in free fall; government workers, who make up most of the 10 percent of Zimbabweans fortunate enough to be employed in the formal sector, are being paid weeks late because of the government's severe cash shortage.

          The fierce struggle to succeed Mr. Mugabe, increasingly frail at 92, has dominated the capital, Harare, in recent months. Zimbabwe's political elites have focused their attacks on rivals' liberation credentials — exhuming events that occurred generations ago.

          Joice Mujuru, a liberation hero known by her nom de guerre, Spill Blood, served as Mr. Mugabe's vice president for a decade until she was expelled from the governing party in 2014. ZANU-PF officials, who once lauded her wartime heroics, have been calling her a fraud since she created her own party this year. They say that the act of heroism for which Ms. Mujuru became famous — single-handedly shooting down an enemy helicopter — was a fabrication.

          In turn, Ms. Mujuru and her allies have said that Mr. Mugabe — an intellectual who was imprisoned for years before becoming one of the liberation movement's political leaders — was not a war veteran. He did not see combat, they said, and did not even have a nom de guerre.

          "ZANU-PF and the A.N.C. will never change because their support is based on the history of their liberation struggles," said Margaret Dongo, a former ZANU-PF politician who is now allied with Ms. Mujuru. "That's their trump card."

          Ms. Dongo, who also fought during the war of liberation and was known as Tichaona Muhondo, or We Shall See in the War, led the latest riposte against Mr. Mugabe and his liberation credentials.

          The back-and-forth has reinforced the popular impression that the country's politicians make up a class out of touch with the nation's problems.

          "People are concerned about the bread-and-butter issues of this country and not how this and that became a hero or turned into a villain," said Richmond Gumbo, a student who was reading newspapers in the library of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare recently.

          He added, "Leaders need to bow down to the needs, the basic needs of the people, and not to brag about how they fought in the liberation war over 36 years ago."



          10)  Police Officer Is Fired a Year After Fatal Shooting of South Carolina Teenager

          SEPT. 6, 2016




          A South Carolina police lieutenant who fatally shot a 19-year-old man during an attempted drug arrest in a Hardee's parking lot last year has been fired from his job, the police chief said. The officer contended that he was acting in self-defense when the suspect drove a car toward him.

          John Covington, the chief of the police in Seneca, S.C., said in an emailed statement on Monday that Lt. Mark Tiller had been terminated from his position on the force.

          In the statement, which was sent over the weekend to local media including The State newspaper, Chief Covington gave no reason for the termination and declined to answer further questions on what he called a personnel matter.

          The lieutenant's final day on the payroll will be Sept. 9, he said.

          Lt. Tiller had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, which took place on July 26, 2015, during a sting operation targeting a 19-year old man, Zachary Hammond, and a female companion. Police officers suspected a drug deal, and Lt. Tiller used his patrol car to block Mr. Hammond's vehicle when he pulled into a Hardee's parking lot.

          According to an Oconee County coroner's report, Lt. Tiller then "felt threatened" as Mr. Hammond drove his car toward him. The officer fired two shots through the open window on the driver's side, striking Mr. Hammond once in the shoulder and once fatally in the chest, the report said.

          Prosecutors declined to press charges against Lt. Tiller, saying a dashboard video of the shooting supported his contention that he believed he was going to be run over.

          The officer, who had not faced any disciplinary action since he started working with the Seneca police in 2010, was put on leave while under investigation by the Justice Department for possible civil rights violations.

          The video elevated the shooting in Seneca, a town of about 8,000 people in the northwest part of the state, into the national debate about police conduct that spread after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014. Unlike that case, in which a white policeman killed an unarmed black man, both the officer and Mr. Hammond were white.

          Even so, supporters said the case was yet another example of questionable police behavior that had shaken communities around the country.

          The Seneca case also rejuvenated calls for police to wear body cameras, and the department was criticized for letting the situation evolve from an effort to trap his companion into selling a small amount of marijuana.

          A lawyer for Lt. Tiller, John M. Mussetto, said the department has been "very tight lipped" about the reasons for his client's termination from the force and said it made "no sense" after the state determined there was no basis to press criminal charges.

          "After many years of service in law enforcement, it is unfortunate that Lt. Tiller was given such short notice," he said. "Lt. Tiller looks forward the day when he can share his account of the unfortunate July 2015 incident."

          Eric S. Bland, a lawyer for the Hammond family, had urged the news media to treat the killing of Mr. Hammond as they had shootings of unarmed black men.

          On Saturday, after the termnation was first announced, Mr. Bland said Chief Covington's decision was "admirable."

          "As one would suspect, the last year has been extremely difficult for the Hammond Family," he said in an email.

          "One of the nagging questions for the Hammond Family was how could Lt. Tiller remain employed after Chief Covington and the City Administration saw the video of Zachary's killing," he said. "Today, that question was answered."

          In March this year, the Hammond family agreed to a $2.15 million settlement to drop their lawsuit against the police.






























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