The Day Without a Woman strike is now set for March 8th, International Women's Day. Organizers for last month's Women's March on Washington set the date for women across supportive communities to collectively stop working that day to protest White House policies and legislation.

Women's March announced plans for a general strike last month in the wake of the mass protests that followed President Donald Trump's inauguration. The announcement for the strike comes via Instagram, calling for communities to "unite" for gender equity and against oppression:

In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On March 8th, International Women's Day, let's unite again in our communities for A Day Without A Woman. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more information on what actions on that day can look like for you. In the meantime, we are proud to support Strike4Democracy's #F17 National Day of Action to Push Back Against Assaults on Democratic Principles. This Friday, February 17th, gather your friends, families, neighbors, and start brainstorming ideas for how you can enhance your community, stand up to this administration, integrate resistance and self-care into your daily routine, and how you will channel your efforts for good on March 8th. Remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. #DayWithoutAWoman#WomensMarch




ANSWER Coalition

palestine.jpgNational March and Rally

Support Palestine in D.C.! Protest AIPAC!

Sunday, March 26 - Gather 12 Noon

March from the White House to the Convention Center

At last year's AIPAC conference, Donald Trump made an outrageous pledge: "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem ... The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable." Now that he is the president, Trump seems dead set on following through on his promise.

This would be an extreme provocation that tramples on the Palestinian right to self-determination. Every progressive person needs to mobilize to stop this.

In the short time since Trump took the oath of office, the Israeli government has already announced thousands of new illegal settler homes in the Palestinian territories seized in the 1967 war. The Palestinian people need our solidarity now more than ever as they resist these wanton acts of aggression.

From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go!

Just like Trump is encouraging Israel to step up its violation of Palestinian rights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cheer leading for Trump's extreme right agenda. On Jan. 28, Netanyahu sent this outrageous tweet:


The fight for justice for Palestine and the fight to stop the Trump Agenda are one in the same! 

Join the National Rally and March on Sunday, March 26

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition and the ANSWER Coalition will once again spearhead this National Rally to Support Palestine in DC 2017!

This rally will start at the White House with thousands of people from across the nation and around the world, and end up in front of AIPAC's annual convention! AIPAC is the primary organization lobbying to continue the brutal illegal occupation of Palestine for over 68 years.

We must protest to end this outrageous lobby that ultimately supports the oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Please come out and support the Palestinian people in their noble struggle to be free.

End U.S. aid to Israel — End the occupation now!


ANSWER Coalition · United States

This email was sent to karenlee726@gmail.com.

To stop receiving emails, click here.

You can also keep up with ANSWER Coalition on Facebook.



John T. Kaye invited you to Moms Clean Air Force's event

People's Climate March

Saturday, April 29 at 9 AM EDT

Washington, District of Columbia in Washington, District of Columbia





Not Interested

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

John T. Kaye and Dave Schubert are going.




Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Rasmea Defense Committee statement - December 21, 2016

Rasmea retrial set for May 16, 2017

Support the defense now!

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

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

In addition, we urge supporters to continue to
call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
 at 313-226-9100,

or tweet @USAO_MIE

and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea.

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

Background info

Statement from Tuesday, December 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.

### End ###

Copyright © 2016 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:

Committee to Stop FBI Repression

PO Box 14183

MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book





100,000 protest in San Francisco, CA

Pictures From Women's
Marches on Every Continent





USLAW supports the April 29th DC People's Climate March ... but ...

The organizers of the multi-issue People's Climate March tell us they're discussing whether and how to include peace in the agenda. 

Please encourage them by adding your name to the petition below, by re-tweeting it, by sharing it on facebook, and by forwarding this email.Thanks!!

Will you stand for peace?
A petition to the organizers of the
April 29 People's Climate March

PeoplesClimate.org website calls for a march on Washington on April 29, 2017, to "unite all our movements" for "communities," "climate," "safety," "health," "the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people," and a much longer list . . . but not peace

Approximately half of federal discretionary spending is going into wars and war preparation. This institution constitutes our single biggest destroyer of the environment. [One reason peace is an environmental issue - see others below.] 

Will you please add "peace" to the list of things you are marching for?


    1. War is an environmental nightmare that continues to poison people and the planet long after the fighting ends.

    2. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

    3. The Pentagon is the largest emitter of CO2 gases in the world.

    4. Wars are fought for oil and other energy resources. The U.S. drive for global hegemony is intimately bound up with its aim to control energy resources.

    5. The military consumes 54% of all discretionary spending. War and preparation for war divert financial and human resources needed to meet social needs (including investment in renewable energy and a sustainable energy system).

    6. The manufacture of arms and other military gear adds considerably to the carbon burden of the world.

    7. The military-industrial complex is fully integrated with and dependent upon the fossil fuel energy complex, serving as its enforcer as well as its client.

    8. To successfully address the climate crisis requires creating a sustainable new economy, but that is impossible so long as our economy remains dominated by the military-industrial-security-energy complex.

    9. To achieve a just transition to a new sustainable economy will require the environmental movement see its connection to movements for social justice, economic justice and peace.  The quest for peace is also a social justice struggle.

    The environmental movement must stop avoiding the connection between our militarized foreign policy and the challenge of climate change. 

Your contribution will be greatly appreciated. 

This is a low-volume email list operated by US Labor Against the War

1718 M St, NW #153 | Washington DC 20036 | 202-521-5265 | Contact USLAW



Dear Friend,

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) is now in Contempt of Court

On January 3, 2017, Federal District Court Judge Robert Mariani ordered the DOC to treat Mumia with the hepatitis C cure within 21 days.

But on January 7, prison officials formally denied Mumia's grievances asking for the cure. This is after being informed twice by the court that denying treatment is unconstitutional.

John Wetzel, Secretary of the PA DOC, is refusing to implement the January 3rd Federal Court Order requiring the DOC to treat Mumia within 21 days. Their time has run out to provide Mumia with hepatitis C cure!

Mumia is just one of over 6,000 incarcerated people in the PA DOC at risk with active and chronic Hepatitis C. Left untreated, 7-9% of people infected with chronic hep C get liver cancer every year.  

We need your help to force the DOC to stop its cruel and unusual punishment of over 6,000 people in prison with chronic hepatitis C. Click here for a listing of numbers to call today!

Water Crisis in the Prison

Drinking water remains severely contaminated at the prison in which Mumia and 2,500 others are held, SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA. Mumia filed a grievance regarding the undrinkable water: read it here.

We are asking you to call the prison now to demand clean drinking water and hepatitis C treatment now! 

Protest Drinking Water Contamination Rally
From 4-6pm on Thursday, Feb 9
Where: Governor's Office- 200 South Broad St, Philadelphia

We're sending our mailing to you, including this brilliant poster by incarcerated artist Kevin Rashid Johnson. Keep an eye out it next week!

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight, we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director

About the recently appealed Court victory:

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

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

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

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


Protect Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from Prison Repression!


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

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

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

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

(For a more complete description of Rashid's ordeal on and following
December 21, see his recent article "Bound and Gassed: My Reward for
Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners" at

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

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

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

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

* That Kevin Johnson's property be returned to him

* That Kevin Johnson's cell be thoroughly decontaminated

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

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

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

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

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General:  512-671-2480

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

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

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn

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

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

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition
to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website:

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


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



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

"Everyone has to get on board to keep the pressure on. We have an opportunity here that we have never had before. We are going to do it as a unified community, everyone together." - Pam Africa  

Let me be honest. We fundraise like we breathe. We have to. We are going to win-- with your key help. We've got until midnight tomorrow to raise just $2,021! We're 97% there. Please pitch in today to help us reach $60K!

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

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

Will you pitch in with a gift of $103, $35 or even $250 to bring us to our goal by midnight and amplify the voices of prisoners?


Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director




To give by check: 

PO Box 411074

San Francisco, CA


Stock or legacy gifts:

Noelle Hanrahan

(415) 706 - 5222






Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:


















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

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.



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!




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)  Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students

         FEB. 22, 2017




        WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.

        In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration's position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

        That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, "without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy."

        The question of how to address the "bathroom debate," as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.

        But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.

        Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.

        Ms. DeVos's unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a "moral obligation" for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

        She said she had directed the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights to investigate all claims of such treatment "against those who are most vulnerable in our schools," but also argued that bathroom access was not a federal matter.

        Gay rights supporters made their displeasure clear. Outside the White House, several hundred people protested the decision, chanting, "No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here."

        Individual schools will remain free to let transgender students use the bathrooms with which they are most comfortable. And the effect of the administration's decision will not be immediate because a federal court had already issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Obama order.

        The dispute highlighted the degree to which transgender rights issues, which Mr. Trump expressed sympathy for during the campaign, continue to split Republicans, even as many in the party argue that it is time to move away from social issues and focus more on bread-and-butter pocketbook concerns.

        Within the administration, it also threatened to become another distraction for Mr. Trump after a tumultuous first month in office. And it showed how Mr. Trump, who has taken a more permissive stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage than many of his fellow Republicans, is bowing to pressure from the religious right and contradicting his own personal views.

        Social conservatives, one of Mr. Trump's most loyal constituencies, applauded him for honoring a pledge he had made to them during the campaign. They had argued that former President Barack Obama's policy would allow potential sexual predators access to bathrooms and create an unsafe environment for children.

        "The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

        But supporters of transgender rights said the Trump administration was acting recklessly and cruelly. "The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This isn't a states' rights issue; it's a civil rights issue."

        Bathroom access emerged as a major and divisive issue last March when North Carolina passed a bill barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificate. It was part of a broader bill eliminating anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

        Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues became a point of attack for opponents of Ms. DeVos's nomination last month, as Democrats questioned her about the extensive financial support that some of her relatives — part of her wealthy and politically active Michigan family — had provided to anti-gay causes. Ms. DeVos distanced herself from her relatives on the issue, saying their political activities did not represent her views.

        While Wednesday's order significantly rolls back transgender protections, it does include language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked for, one person with direct knowledge of the process said.

        "All schools must ensure that students, including L.G.B.T. students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment," the letter said, echoing Ms. DeVos's comments at her confirmation hearing but not expressly using the word transgender. Ms. DeVos, who has been quietly supportive of gay rights for years, was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students. In one 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, for instance, 30 percent reported a history of at least one suicide attempt.

        Mr. Trump appears to have been swayed by conservatives in his administration who reminded him that he had promised during the campaign to leave the question of bathroom use to the states.

        But he had given conflicting signals on the issue, and on gay rights more broadly. He said last April, for instance, that he supported the right of transgender people to "use the bathroom they feel is appropriate," and added that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted. He has also called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage settled law. "And I'm fine with that," he told CBS News after the November election.

        Despite his personal views, Mr. Trump's decisions in office have been consistently conservative on social issues. And he has shown considerable deference to the religious right, naming many religious conservatives to top cabinet posts and pledging to fight for religious freedom protections and restrictions on abortion.

        The Justice Department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy, to avoid confusion in cases moving through the courts.

        The dispute has underscored the influence that Mr. Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump, is likely to exercise over domestic policy. As someone who has a long record of opposing efforts to broaden federal protections on a range of matters under his purview — immigration, voting rights and gay rights, for example — he has moved quickly to set the Justice Department on a strikingly different course than his predecessors in the Obama administration.



        2)  Immigrants Hide, Fearing Capture on 'Any Corner'

         FEB. 22, 2017




        No going to church, no going to the store. No doctor's appointments for some, no school for others. No driving, period — not when a broken taillight could deliver the driver to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

        It is happening in the Central Valley of California, where undocumented immigrants pick the fields for survival wages but are keeping their children home from school; on Staten Island, where fewer day laborers haunt street corners in search of work; in West Phoenix's Isaac School District, where 13 Latino students have dropped out in the past two weeks; and in the horse country of northern New Jersey, where one of the many undocumented grooms who muck out the stables is thinking of moving back to Honduras.

        If deportation has always been a threat on paper for the 11 million people living in the country illegally, it rarely imperiled those who did not commit serious crimes. But with the Trump administration intent on curbing illegal immigration — two memos outlining the federal government's plans to accelerate deportations were released Tuesday, another step toward making good on one of President Trump's signature campaign pledges — that threat, for many people, has now begun to distort every movement.

        It has driven one family from the local park where they used to play baseball in the evenings, and young men from a soccer field in Brooklyn where pickup games were once common.

        It has kept Meli, 37, who arrived in Los Angeles from El Salvador more than 12 years ago, in a state of self-imposed house arrest, refusing to drive, fearing to leave her home, wondering how she will take her younger son, who is autistic, to doctor's appointments.

        "I don't want to go to the store, to church — they are looking everywhere, and they know where to find us," said Meli, who asked that her last name not be used out of fear of getting caught. "They could be waiting for us anywhere. Any corner, any block."

        It has washed ever-larger tides of immigrants in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and beyond to the doors of nonprofit advocacy and legal services groups, which report hearing the same questions: What should I do if I am stopped by an officer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE? How quickly can I apply for citizenship if I am already a legal permanent resident? How can I designate someone with legal status as my children's guardian if I am deported?

        "There's a real fear that their kids will get put into the foster care system," said Mary Clark, the executive director of Esperanza Immigrant Legal Services in Philadelphia. "People are asking us because they don't know where to turn."

        The new policies call for speedier deportations and the hiring of 10,000 ICE agents, and direct them to treat any offense, no matter how small, as grounds for deportation. For Mr. Trump's supporters and longtime advocates of stricter immigration enforcement, they are a welcome move toward restoring law and order to a system that they say offered no deterrent to entering the country illegally. Undocumented immigrants, in their view, have filled jobs that belong to Americans, drained public resources and skipped the line for visas on which others waited for years.

        But for the undocumented, the atmosphere in Washington is a signal to prepare for the worst.

        In the parking lot of a Latino shopping strip in Austin, Tex., one couple who were walking with their two children out of a pediatrician appointment said they had picked a friend with documentation to serve as their children's guardian if they were sent back to Mexico.

        "And we're getting our kids U.S. passports so they can come visit us in Mexico," said the man, a stocky restaurant worker in a gray baseball cap, who has lived in Texas for 15 years and declined to give his name.

        He said he was not afraid to leave, but wanted to be prepared. "If they're going to take me," he said, "they're going to take me."

        Two Roman Catholic nuns with the Sisters of Loretto, who did not want to be identified because they did not want to put the people they serve in jeopardy, said they were already seeing the undocumented people they knew change their habits out of fear.

        They know a woman who has stopped going out to buy medication. They know a couple, restaurant workers, who have lived in the country for 25 years and are now taking turns going shopping. That way, they figure, their children will still have one parent if the other is picked up.

        Some low-income families in New York with children who are citizens have declined to re-enroll in a program offering food assistance worth several thousand dollars, said Betsy Plum, director of special projects for the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group.

        "There's a real isolationist reflex that's happening now," Ms. Plum said.

        On a good Sunday, the Staten Island tamale restaurant run by Cesar Rodriguez and his mother makes $3,000. Since the start of the year, it has averaged only $1,500, and this past Sunday only $700.

        Mr. Rodriguez, who was brought to New York when he was 13 and has temporary protection from deportation under an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, said he thought undocumented residents were saving their money in case they were detained. They may also be reluctant to leave the house for fear of immigration agents stalking outside.

        "They are listening to fake news," he said. "Even if it's not true, they are afraid."

        Empty chairs inside classrooms have become increasingly common in Ceres, Calif., a Central Valley city where 75 percent of students are Hispanic, according to school administrators.

        The schools there are surrounded by dairies and almond orchards, which are predominantly staffed by undocumented workers. School administrators attributed the absences to parents who were worried they could be identified through the school records of their citizen children.

        In response, school officials have asked teachers to reassure students that the district does not collect data on immigration status.

        In some cases, fear has lapped fact.

        For Graciela Nuñez Pargas, 22, who came here when she was 7 and is protected under DACA — which covers immigrants brought to the United States by their parents as children — the prospect of taking her driver's test has become daunting. Minor driving infractions are unlikely to lead to deportation proceedings, but Ms. Nuñez, who lives in Seattle, was nonetheless anxious.

        "They're expanding what it is to be criminal," she said. "Things that a normal person would do by accident could land me back home in Venezuela."

        The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, a nonprofit legal services group in Seattle, has issued thousands of business cards in recent days, advising undocumented immigrants what they should do, or not do, if a law enforcement agent knocks.

        "Do not answer questions about where you were born or about your immigration status," the cards advise.

        The group is also telling immigrants that if a knock does come, sliding a card under the door is acceptable.

        One side of the card reads, "To whom it may concern: Before answering any questions, I want to talk to an attorney."

        Correction: February 22, 2017 

        Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the location for two Roman Catholic nuns with the Sisters of Loretto. The nuns, who did not want to be identified or their location revealed because they did not want to put the people they serve in jeopardy, are not in Austin, Tex.



        3)  North Dakota Arrests 10 as Pipeline Protest Camp Empties

         FEB. 22, 2017




        CANNON BALL, N.D. — The fires burned for hours on the flat, muddy landscape, their thick smoke rising through snowflakes that tumbled to the ground. Someone rode a snowmobile across the dirt, and others moved their belongings to the side of a rural highway. The police gathered, prepared to follow the governor's order to clear people from this rural part of the state.

        But the Wednesday afternoon deadline for protesters of the Dakota Access oil pipeline to empty their largest encampment passed with far more uncertainty than unrest. In the hours after the deadline, the authorities made 10 arrests but said they would not fully empty the camp on Wednesday night.

        Roughly 25 to 50 demonstrators were believed to remain in the mandatory evacuation zone, said Gov. Doug Burgum, who said cleaning crews planned to enter the camp Thursday morning. "Anyone who obstructs our ability to do cleanup will be subject to arrest," Mr. Burgum said.

        The scene here, about an hour's drive south of Bismarck, the state capital, seemed to represent a muffled end to a specific and passionate protest that drew thousands of demonstrators and became central to the national debate about energy, the environment and the rights of Native Americans. Protesters argued that the nearly completed pipeline, now moving ahead with the support of President Trump's administration, could imperil the drinking water supply on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

        "We won," said Vanessa Red Bull, 54, who has spent months here. "We slowed that pipeline down months and months and months. We cost them who knows how much money. And we slowed them down."

        She added, "This has been a multilayered event that has brought attention to glaring issues."

        Ms. Red Bull and her allies won a brief victory last year, when the Army Corps of Engineers said in the waning days of the Obama administration that it would conduct an environmental impact study before allowing the 1,172-mile pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, the Missouri River reservoir near the encampment. But the beginning of the Trump administration brought a swift and substantial defeat: an instruction that the Army abort its study, a decision that allowed construction to resume.

        Barring court intervention, oil from the Bakken fields in western North Dakota could flow through the pipeline this spring. But on Wednesday, the matter at hand was what to do with the encampment, which had become an abiding and, for some, spiritual symbol of activism. State officials cited fears of flooding for the governor's decision last week to order a mandatory evacuation of the site.

        "It's time for protesters to either go home, or move to a legal site where they can peaceably continue their activities without risk of further harm to the environment," the North Dakota attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem, said in a statement. Officials said that trash at the protest camps would pose an ecological risk if it were washed downstream by flooding, and that urgent cleanup was necessary.

        Both sides have accused the other of escalating tension and engaging in violence since the protest started last year as a decidedly local affair. The camps ultimately swelled to thousands in the summer and fall, with Native Americans and supporters from across the country gathering in spirited opposition and setting up a makeshift society in the camps, complete with cooking tents and supply areas.

        But on Wednesday, months of tension mostly gave way to a somber calm as demonstrators left and a cold rain turned to snow. Some protesters set fire to semipermanent structures before the 2 p.m. deadline.

        "It's an act of defiance," Nick Cowan, 25, said as he watched a fire burn on Wednesday after living here for more than two months. "It's saying: 'If you are going to make us leave our home, you cannot take our space. We'll burn it to the ground and let the earth take it back before you take it from us.'"

        Two youths were injured at the camp Wednesday, apparently from the fires, officials said, including a teenage girl who was hospitalized with severe burns.

        North Dakota officials offered meals, lodging, a medical exam and a bus ticket to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states for protesters who left by Wednesday afternoon but needed help getting home.

        That approach was at odds with events of recent months, when the demonstrators sporadically clashed with the police, leading to the activation of the North Dakota National Guard and hundreds of arrests. The police sometimes used tear gas and rubber bullets. The North Dakota Guard said on Wednesday that it had spent more than $8 million responding to the protest since August.

        Despite the lingering frustrations, tensions seemed to have eased in recent weeks as the ranks of demonstrators declined during the harsh winter. Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has sued seeking to block the pipeline construction, urged protesters to go home.

        On Wednesday, many of them did.

        "I think people are saying goodbye," said Ms. Red Bull, who spent about six months here. "I think that's why people are setting things on fire: as a way of a last homage to what had become many people's homes. A community was here."



        4)  An Anti-Black Slur on an Interracial Couple's Garage Stirs Tension in Connecticut

        "On Feb. 7, after the slur had been up three weeks, the city issued the couple a citation for blight and a warning: Remove it, or face a $100-a-day fine." [MAKING THE VICTIM INTO THE CRIMINAL! OUTRAGEOUS!...BW]

         FEB. 22, 2017




        STAMFORD, Conn. — When Lexene Charles got into his car here on the Saturday before Martin Luther King's Birthday, he was stunned by what he saw outside his home. He called for his longtime partner, Heather Lindsay, to come outside.

        Someone had spray-painted an anti-black slur across it, Mr. Charles, who is black, said. But instead of scrubbing it off, he and Ms. Lindsay, who is white, decided to leave it up to make a very public point about intolerance.

        Six weeks later, the graffiti, which faces High Clear Drive, remains. Residents have started to complain, and officials in Stamford, a diverse coastal city about 30 miles northeast of New York City, recently directed the couple to remove it. Leaving it up only brings satisfaction to the vandal, the city said.

        On Feb. 7, after the slur had been up three weeks, the city issued the couple a citation for blight and a warning: Remove it, or face a $100-a-day fine. The police chief visited the home and offered to clean the garage door. The mayor said he would help. The couple refused their offers and ignored the citation.

        It is not the first showdown between Stamford and the couple over the property, which was first cited for blight in 2012 for debris. The city sued Ms. Lindsay the following year for disregarding that citation, and the fees, which continue to accumulate, exceed $130,000. The city is now trying to acquire the property in a foreclosure lawsuit scheduled to go to trial on March 7.

        The couple said the graffiti was the latest in a string of racially motivated insults directed at them, especially Mr. Charles, a Haitian immigrant. Ms. Lindsay said that since the couple had moved into the house in 1999, several people in the area had repeatedly yelled racial obscenities at him and told them they hurt property values.

        "I don't sleep good," Mr. Charles, 57, a school bus driver in Greenwich, Conn., said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that he now slept near the front door with a hammer. "I'm always looking out the window. I've never done that before."

        The couple, along with supporters and members of the local and state N.A.A.C.P., held a news conference on Monday in their driveway, the slur behind them, and demanded that the police solve the crime. The Stamford Police Department said it had been investigating the episode but had been hindered by a lack of witnesses and evidence. Officers have interviewed neighbors and searched the area. The police said that security cameras revealed nothing and that they had no leads.

        "We are doing everything we can because obviously it's very offensive," said Ted Jankowski, the director of public safety, who oversees the Police Department. "We offered to remedy the situation, to take care of removing the graffiti."

        Andre Cayo, a lawyer representing Ms. Lindsay, 59, a former respiratory therapist now on disability, said he had advised her to keep the racial slur on the garage door as a way to keep pressure on the Police Department. He said that news media attention to the case had helped him and Ms. Lindsay arrange a meeting with Stamford detectives on Tuesday. There, Ms. Lindsay said, she provided the police with names of several people she suspected might have written the slur. Mr. Jankowski said officers had then talked with those people, who had also been interviewed last month, but gained no new leads.

        The vandalism came at a time when federal authorities have recorded an uptick in hate crimes across the country. On Tuesday, President Trump denounced a wave of anti-Semitism, including threats made against dozens of Jewish community centers.

        Jack Bryant, the president of the Stamford N.A.A.C.P., who joined the couple at the news conference, said he had been watching for other signs of racism in the city after the election of Mr. Trump and the vandalism. Slightly more than half of the city's 126,000 residents are white, according to the latest census estimates.

        "To say that Stamford has no racism, I cannot say that," Mr. Bryant said. "People who had those feelings inside of them feel more comfortable with getting them out in public now because of the new administration."

        Mr. Bryant said he and board members with the N.A.A.C.P. chapter are scheduled to meet with the Stamford mayor and the police chief at City Hall on Monday to discuss the vandalism.

        In Stamford, hate crimes are rare, Mr. Jankowski said. A man was charged with a hate crime in October after an immigrant was beaten with a broomstick. Last summer, the F.B.I. and the Stamford police disrupted a potential attack on a synagogue. Mr. Jankowski said that a case of racist graffiti was so uncommon in Stamford that "no one can remember in the past 20 to 30 years of anything like this."

        The conflicts between the couple and the city started in October 2012. Ms. Lindsay, who owns the property, had debris in her yard and a Dumpster for repairs after the house had flooded. The city told her to clear the property. She said she later cleaned up her yard, but Mr. Cayo said the blight citation remains. In November 2012, a $90 daily fine started. The city sued Ms. Lindsay in 2013 for nonpayment of the fines.

        After a hearing last fall, Mr. Cayo said, Ms. Lindsay was cited for more blight — an unstable wooden deck in the backyard and house panels in disrepair. (Both matters were taken care of, including the installation of a pressure-treated wooden deck, and she is not being fined, Mr. Cayo said.)

        But she still faces a total of $190 in fines a day for the 2012 case and the vandalism.

        The city will try to acquire the one-story, light blue house in the foreclosure trial next month.

        Mr. Cayo said the fines were not worth negotiating now because the city has the upper hand in the coming trial. "I don't see how I can win the case," Mr. Cayo said.

        Ms. Lindsay's strongest defense, he said, was a long-shot — the possible testimony of a former Stamford mayor, Michael Pavia. According to Ms. Lindsay, Mr. Pavia promised her as mayor that the city would not try to take her home from her, Mr. Cayo said. Mr. Pavia, who left office in 2013, did not return messages seeking comment.

        Ms. Lindsay said she had no plans to change her position on removing the slur. "The thing stays up until they take us seriously and possibly allow us to have some sort of lifestyle in this neighborhood," she said.



        5)  Hate Crime Is Feared as 2 Indian Engineers Are Shot in Kansas

         FEB. 24, 2017





        Kansas reeled on Friday as a shooting at a bar, which left one Indian engineer dead and another injured, escalated into an international incident amid fears that the attack was motivated by bias and hate.

        The authorities in the United States, including F.B.I. agents, are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime, and India's government expressed shock over the episode in suburban Kansas City.

        In New Delhi, the episode raised new alarm about the treatment of foreigners in the United States, where President Trump has made clamping down on immigration and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries a central part of his "America First" agenda.

        The attack occurred around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan., southwest of Kansas City.

        At least one witness said that the gunman, identified by the authorities as Adam W. Purinton, 51, yelled "get out of my country" before opening fire, The Kansas City Star reported. A bartender at a Clinton, Mo., restaurant where Mr. Purinton was later captured said he had heard him say that he had killed two Middle Eastern men.

        A 24-year-old American man who tried to intervene after he reportedly heard the gunman utter racist slurs was shot and hospitalized.

        Citing judicial ethics and the continuing inquiry, investigators in the United States have offered no specifics about the allegations against Mr. Purinton, who was charged on Thursday with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The federal government could ultimately try to bring civil rights charges against Mr. Purinton.

        "Our role in this investigation is to work jointly with local law enforcement to determine if an individual's civil rights were violated," said Eric K. Jackson, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.'s field office in Kansas City, Mo. "It's not uncommon for hate crime investigations to be conducted jointly by the F.B.I. and local law enforcement and prosecuted under the state law."

        Jail records in Henry County, Mo., showed Mr. Purinton remained in custody there Friday morning, awaiting extradition to Kansas. Stephen M. Howe, the district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., said Mr. Purinton's bond had been set at $2 million.

        In Johnson County, at least, Mr. Purinton has had few run-ins with law enforcement. Court records show a thin history: a speeding ticket in 2008 and a 1999 drunken-driving charge that was dismissed.

        The dead man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, worked for Garmin, a GPS navigation and communications device company. The wounded Indian man, Alok Madasani, also worked for Garmin, according to the Indian government. The men were in their early 30s.

        Many immigrants in the United States have been voicing concerns about the policies and language of Mr. Trump, who has ordered restrictions on immigration and a sped-up deportation process for undocumented immigrants. The F.B.I. reported an uptick in hate crimes in the United States last year.

        Thousands of Indian technology workers have come to the United States under the H1-B program, which grants skilled foreign workers temporary visas. But the potential tightening of that program has raised concerns in India, where many young people dream of studying or working in the United States.

        Dhruva Jaishankar, a foreign policy fellow at Brookings India in New Delhi, said that an isolated incident like the Kansas shooting would not affect the relationship between the United States and India. But if more attacks against Indians were to occur, or if the United States were perceived to not be taking such cases seriously enough, there could be a problem, he said.

        India's foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said on Friday on Twitter: "I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family." Ms. Swaraj said she had spoken to Mr. Kuchibhotla's father and brother, who live in Hyderabad, India.

        The Kansas attack dominated the Indian news media on Friday, with headlines calling the wounded American, Ian Grillot, a hero, and labeling the shooting a hate crime. In a video recorded at his hospital bed, Mr. Grillot said he had hidden under a table when the shooting began, then pursued the assailant, mistakenly thinking he was out of bullets. Mr. Grillot was shot in the hand and the chest.

        "It wasn't right, and I didn't want the gentleman to potentially go after somebody else," Mr. Grillot said.

        Ms. Swaraj said that Mr. Madasani had been released from the hospital.

        Mr. Madasani's father, Jagan Mohan Reddy, a government engineer in Hyderabad, said by telephone that his family was "in a state of shock." He said he did not know whether he would ask Mr. Madasani and another son living in the United States to leave the country.

        "We have to think it over," he said. "My sons are not new to America. They have been staying there for the last 10 to 12 years. This is a new situation, and they are the best judges."

        But as he recalled a visit from Mr. Madasani to India in 2014, Mr. Reddy pointedly said Mr. Trump's policies and tone could be inciting violence. "At that time, he was not talking about any hate crime," he said.

        Mr. Trump has made no public comments about the attack.



        6)  Eduardo García's Path: Migrant Worker, Convict, Deportee, Star Chef

         FEB. 25, 2017




        MEXICO CITY — As bad hombre tales go, Eduardo García's is classic. A border-crossing Mexican immigrant, he moved around the United States through the better part a decade, harvesting the produce that most of us take for granted throughout what might be thought of as a stolen childhood. Starting at age 5, the unschooled Mr. García embarked on a journey that drew on native intelligence, natural gift and a willingness to take on backbreaking work to make something of himself — in his case, a chef.

        Like many of the immigrants keeping American farming alive and restaurant kitchens humming, his true citizenship was in a shadow economy. And like so many young men with more ambition than sense, he made mistakes that would send him first to jail and eventually home as a deportee to a country he knew less well than the one in which he was raised.

        As fate would have it, it was at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Mexico and later at an establishment of his own that Mr. García transformed himself into a superstar of a thriving food scene. In less than a decade at the celebrated Pujol and later at Máximo Bistrot, the restaurant he operates with his wife, Gabriela, in a corner of the Colonia Roma section of this thronging capital, Mr. García has garnered awards and plaudits for the bright clarity of the flavors his kitchen conjures and the subtly layered elegance of his efforts fusing classic French technique with traditional Mexican preparations and ingredients.

        On a recent springlike morning before Máximo Bistrot opened for lunch, Mr. García, known as Lalo, sat with a reporter to talk about his complicated journey from there to here:

        "We started Máximo Bistrot in 2011 with four employees. The idea was to keep things small. But then I noticed, after a while, that employees were building homes. A lot of them were Mexicans who had migrated to the United States and then sent money back home to construct houses. With the wages we paid, they could stay in Mexico and earn enough to have a good life. So we decided finally it was a good idea to grow the business and employ as many people as possible, because in Mexico a lot of people's pockets get bigger and bigger, but never the little guy.

        "We now have three restaurants in the city, Máximo Bistrot, Lalo! and Havre 77. Over all, the cuisine is French-Mexican. We also have 130 employees with six partnerships in Mexico, two in London and one in Dubai.

        Continue reading the main story

        "The thing is, I'm not ashamed to say it, but I'm a convicted felon in the United States: deported two times, in 2000 and 2007. My entire family still lives there and I love the country — it gave me everything I have — but I'm banned from going there now.

        "My family was all migrant workers, and I grew up in the fields. I started at the age of 5. I never went to school. My parents were illiterate and I'm illiterate, too. I can read and write a little, but my grammar is horrible.

        "In the beginning of the season, in the fall, we used to pick oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit in Florida. Then we would go to Georgia to plant Vidalia onions. From there we moved on to Michigan to pick apples, blueberries and plums. After that, it was Pennsylvania to pick mushrooms at night: Mushrooms only come out at night. Then we'd go to Ohio to pick cucumbers for pickling and back to Georgia to harvest the onions we'd planted. I still have scars from picking on all the fingers of both hands.

        "I stopped that work when I turned 14. We'd been going up and going down the country and always through Atlanta until one year, in 1991, we stopped to visit an aunt there and my father found a job at a country club cutting grass. So we decided to stay for a while. I got a job washing dishes at the Georgia Grille on Peachtree Road. Hard physical work has always been my life. My cooks in the kitchen here at Máximo Bistrot are a little afraid of me, I think. When I arrive in the early morning, they panic. They always think they haven't done enough because I'm here 18 hours a day every day.

        "Within six months of getting that dishwasher job, I was promoted to the salad station. I worked in those days with illegal documents. I had a Social Security number, but it was a fake because I was actually too young to work legally.

        "A guy above me at the Georgia Grille was from Puerto Rico. He watched how I learned and he said, 'You're very talented.' Whatever task anybody gave me, I picked it up right away. My father had always taught me to be better than anyone else, so already, by the age of 10, I was making the same money as an adult.

        "When you pick tomatoes, you pick from 7 to 11 in the morning and that's it. After that, the sun is too hot and you don't mess with the plants. For every bucket you turn in, you get a chip to redeem for cash. It could be 50 cents and it could be $1, depending on how good the crop was. Even as a kid, I was really into getting more chips than anyone. It was my version of a video game.

        "The Puerto Rican guy went on to work as a butcher in Brasserie Le Coze, a restaurant Eric Ripert [the chef and an owner of Le Bernardin] was opening. He said I should try for a job there. After months of yes, no, yes, I got hired and it was the best job I ever had. They promoted me pretty quickly to garde-manger and suddenly I was making, like, 200 to 300 salads or terrines or duck confit, and it was like, 'Wow, this is stuff I didn't even know existed.'

        "My vocation and my work really began in the United States, which is why I love it just as much as I love Mexico. I even loved working in the fields, though my father died of gastrointestinal cancer that most likely came from being around so many pesticides. In the Mexican generation my father was from, he didn't want us to follow his path. When I was little, he looked at us and said, 'This is not good, little kids working like adults.' But, unfortunately, they didn't have a way to educate us, so I don't hold him to blame.

        "Pretty soon I was promoted again to chef de partie. I was making more than my father, whose life had been so hard, working so many years in the sun that he looked like 60 at 45. Even so, for me it was never about, 'I'm going to become a chef.' It was none of that. I was just working at something I loved.

        "I always say the best and worst thing for us Mexicans was Nafta. We became literally accustomed to American ways. We forgot how to be Mexican. Now that is changing. Ten or 15 years ago, a Mexican would never tell you he had his ancestors' indigenous blood in his body. Now, because of regionalism in food and music and art, everybody suddenly has a grandmother in Oaxaca. Sometimes, still, we're ashamed we're from Mexico.

        "I wanted eventually to become a sous chef, so I took another kitchen job, which paid $29,000 a year, as a cook at a restaurant in Alpharetta, Ga. My father was very ill and I needed the money. It was there that I began to wonder, 'How else do I learn to be a real chef?' And that was when I really began to think about cooking seriously, constantly studying Charlie Palmer or Charlie Trotter and what they were doing. I studied and I mimicked what they had done and realized that most cookbooks are not ever accurate. So then I started to experiment. My training for this life is different from chefs who went to culinary schools. My entire education took place in kitchens.

        "After six months, the owners of that restaurant said, 'Now we can make you a sous chef.' Unfortunately for me, as well as I was doing, I met some bad hombres along the way. My life started to go sideways. I began to sell drugs for the dishwashers. I never want to run from this, but it is true that all through my working life I had always given my father any money I made; he was my bank. Suddenly I realized then that I didn't need to ask him for money. I could just make money on the side.

        "I never got caught selling drugs, and to this day I can say I never tasted what I was selling. But what got me in trouble was when a cousin of mine asked me to drive him and a friend to a liquor store they were going to rob. I knew this. It was a moment in life. We got away, but I told myself I needed to face the consequences, so I turned myself in. I was charged with aggravated assault, convicted and spent one year in county jail and three years in maximum security prison in South Georgia. Immigration put a hold on me and transferred me to one of the hardest jails in the system, where I spent three years making auto tags. Then, at the end of 2000, I came to Mexico, deported for the first time.

        "I was only back in Mexico for two weeks when my mother called and gave me the news that my father was dying of cancer. It was a big risk, but I had to take a chance to try to see him in the United States before he died. So I bought fake Social Security documents and crossed a bridge at Nuevo Laredo like everybody else. I had a feeling in me that it would be all right. My father didn't want to have an operation or chemo, so they told him he would live two weeks. In fact, he lived another six years and every one of those years that I stayed I felt I didn't belong in the States. I had spent a lot of time in kitchens by then and applied for a job as a chef. I kind of told a lie in telling people I already was one.

        "One day in 2007, immigration went to the restaurant and talked to the manager, who came to me crying and said, 'They're here for you.' I said, 'Don't worry, I knew this day was going to come.' I was arrested again and spent four months in federal prison in South Georgia. I swore then I would never ever see the inside of a jail cell again. I was deported again and I really didn't know what was next for me.

        "I don't hide from any of this, because I want people around me to know who I am. A lot of people have been through what I've been through. Yes, it is shameful to say, you're a fraud, you've been deported, you've been in prison. But these are mistakes any human being can make. Reading about the deportations — the poor guy in Tijuana who just jumped off a bridge — I want to encourage Mexicans who are in the same situation to know they'll be welcome to come back and be in their own country.

        "From 2007 to 2011, I worked as chef de cuisine at Pujol, and then at the end of 2010, the beginning of 2011, with a loan from an uncle of mine, I opened Máximo Bistrot. The dream by then was not to become a well-known chef. It was to become a good chef. And, well, here we are."



        7)  Lynne F. Stewart, Lawyer for Omar Abdel Rahman, Unexpectedly Outlives Him

         FEB. 24, 2017




        Lynne Stewart at her home in Brooklyn on Thursday. She represented Omar Abdel Rahman at trial and went to prison for smuggling information to him, but she was released because she has cancer.CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times 

        When Omar Abdel Rahman died last Saturday while serving a life sentence for a 1995 conviction in a plot to blow up New York City landmarks, it came as little surprise that the nearly universal view of him as a dangerous terrorist would not be shared by his former lawyer Lynne F. Stewart.

        What was something of a surprise was that Ms. Stewart, who then called Mr. Abdel Rahman "just the latest in a long line of American heroes who were convicted wrongfully," was around to do so.

        Three years after she was granted a "compassionate release" from federal prison in her own terrorism case after doctors had said that Ms. Stewart, ill with cancer, would not survive beyond 18 months, she has endured, remaining unmellowed, especially about Mr. Abdel Rahman.

        "He was a personification of an American hero," Ms. Stewart, 77, said in an interview on Thursday. "I feel very strongly that he suffered. He suffered unjustly because he was convicted of this bogus crime."

        Ms. Stewart sought an early release from prison while serving a 10-year sentence for smuggling messages from the imprisoned Mr. Abdel Rahman, known as the blind sheikh, to his followers in Egypt.

        She had been found to have breast cancer, and in 2012, doctors at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth, said that the cancer had spread to her lungs, lymph system and bones, according to court papers filed by her lawyer.

        Ms. Stewart said in a 12-page handwritten letter to the judge in 2013: "Isolated, in hospital, as I now am, I have time to contemplate life and death. I do not intend to go 'gently into that good night,' as Dylan Thomas wrote. There is much to be done in this world. I do know that I do not want to die here in prison — a strange and loveless place. I want to be where all is familiar — in a word, home."

        The judge, John G. Koeltl of Federal District Court in Manhattan, ultimately granted Ms. Stewart a compassionate release after a request by the government, which said that she qualified for such release because she had a terminal, incurable illness with a life expectancy of less than 18 months, and because of the relatively limited risk, if she were released, of recidivism and danger to the community.

        Ms. Stewart was interviewed on Thursday in her living room in Brooklyn, where she was joined by her husband, Ralph Poynter, and later that day on the phone, one day after she had returned home from her latest treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Doctors had told her that she had suffered a "couple of strokes," she said.


        Ms. Stewart outside federal court in 2009. CreditJohn Marshall Mantel for The New York Times 

        "I would say I'm on the upbeat," Ms. Stewart said. "I'm lucky to have Sloan Kettering." Although she said that she was not happy about her latest medical setback, she added, "These are things they can deal with, and I expect them to deal with it, because I want to do still so many wonderful things in this world for other people and for myself."

        She said that Mr. Abdel Rahman once joked with her that "he hoped that I would become a Muslim because that was the only way I could be in heaven with him."

        "Paradise," Mr. Poynter interjected.

        "Paradise," Ms. Stewart corrected herself. She said that she was nontheistic.

        Ms. Stewart, who has been disbarred, had represented other notorious clients but her career was inextricably linked to Mr. Abdel Rahman.

        Mr. Abdel Rahman was convicted in 1995 of plotting what prosecutors said was a campaign of urban terror in the United States. They said it included the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which killed six people, and was to have included targets like the United Nations and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Prosecutors said Mr. Abdel Rahman's exhortations to his followers amounted to directing the conspiracy.

        Ms. Stewart had argued that her client's fiery sermons were protected under the First Amendment. But a federal appeals court said, "his speeches were not simply the expression of ideas; in some instances they constituted the crime of conspiracy to wage war on the United States."

        Andrew C. McCarthy, the lead prosecutor of Mr. Abdel Rahman and his co-defendants, said on Thursday: "The blind sheikh was neither an American nor a hero — he was the antithesis of both. He would have been offended at the former suggestion, and all civilized people at the latter."

        Mr. Abdel Rahman died at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina at 78. A prison spokesman said the cause was complications of diabetes and coronary artery disease.

        An exhibit in the federal courthouse at 40 Foley Square commemorating the 125th anniversary of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit includes a display of major terrorism appeals that were heard there. Ms. Stewart's case — and her photograph — are prominently displayed, with cases like those of Mr. Abdel Rahman; Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and four Qaeda operatives who conspired in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa.

        "I definitely don't think I should be up there," Ms. Stewart said, when told of the exhibit. "I'm a nothing in this whole thing."



        8)  At a 'Defense' Expo, an Antiseptic World of Weaponry

        "The United States had the most floor space, befitting its status as the world's largest arms exporter. More than 100 American companies were present, with elaborate displays showing everything from handguns to armored vehicles to drones."

         FEB. 23, 2017


        ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Serbia showed off armored vehicles, rockets and rifles, and drew in passers-by with a video showing soldiers shooting targets to action movie music.

        Pakistan had glass cases full of bullets, mortars, grenades and guns, including a gold-plated AK-47.

        And Sudan displayed an antiaircraft missile and its launcher. A salesman in a white robe and snakeskin shoes pointed out that it was an upgraded model.

        "Now they have a wider area of explosion," he said proudly.

        Such casual sales pitches for lethal merchandise coursed through the carpeted halls of this wealthy Arab city's convention center this week, when more than 1,200 military technology companies and contractors from around the world convened to hawk their wares.

        The event, the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, or IDEX, is the largest show of its kind in the Middle East, and it had the feel of a high-end arms bazaar, a megamall where men in dark suits browsed Estonian drones, Chinese tanks, Brazilian amphibious vehicles and guns from all over.

        There was so much weaponry inside that visitors were searched not just on the way in, but also on the way out.

        The exhibition served to promote Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which has distinguished itself as a regional hub for international business at a time when wars and uprisings have upended other Arab states.

        It also provided a visual layout of the global arms trade, which is at its most active since the end of the Cold War, analysts say.

        International transfers of major weapons over the last five years were 8.3 percent higher than during the previous five-year period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a recentreport.

        Much of that traffic was in the Middle East, where wars are raging in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, and where Persian Gulf states like Saudi Arabia have beefed up their arsenals because of worries about Iran.

        Arms deals worth more than $5.2 billion were announced during the five-day event, which ended on Thursday, according to Gulf News.

        Regional and international realities lurked not far below the glittering surface.

        The United States had the most floor space, befitting its status as the world's largest arms exporter. More than 100 American companies were present, with elaborate displays showing everything from handguns to armored vehicles to drones.

        Iran, referred to by one defense executive as "the big guy across the strait," was not invited. Nor was Israel, another major weapons producer.

        But dozens of other countries were, highlighting how many have expanded their arms exports to earn money and build alliances.

        Many at the show noted the size of the Chinese display, where eight state-run companies advertised boats, tanks, missiles and other items. Standing next to a real-life tank, Ji Yanzhao, deputy director for marketing at Norinco, said that his company was targeting the Middle Eastern market, which is why it had brought not one but two armored vehicles to display.

        "The real thing always does better than the models," he said, as another visitor smiled for a photo with the tank.

        Tate Nurkin, senior director for strategic assessments at IHS Jane's, said that many middle-income countries had entered the arms business over the last decade and now provided lower-cost alternatives for states on tight budgets.

        That list has expanded recently in the Middle East, where low oil prices have left some Arab states looking for bargains where previously they snapped up top-of-the-line items.

        "They don't need to buy just American high-end equipment," Mr. Nurkin said. "They can buy from China, and it's good enough."

        As a Middle East correspondent, during visits to Gaza, Syria, Iraq and Yemen I have seen up close the human cost to communities on the receiving end of many of these weapons. So after a few hours of wandering between displays, I began feeling overwhelmed.

        They ranged in size and approach, but the marketing language focused on "defense," as if none of the weapons could be used to invade one's neighbor, break up families or create refugees.

        Nowhere did I see images of blood, injuries or death.

        "It's a very dangerous world and region, and there are things worth defending, and that requires some of this equipment," Mr. Nurkin said. "But it can be a bit disconcerting for those who have never been to defense exhibitions to see them being traded like iPhones."

        Poongsan, a South Korean company, had bullets of different sizes arranged in lighted glass cases, like jewelry. Glock, the Austrian gun maker, had more than a dozen pistols out for visitors to cock, aim and take selfies with, making it one of the most visited stalls.

        "It's because we have the best goodies," a woman behind the counter explained before correcting herself. "The best products."

        Many of the marketing slogans made sense only if you knew what the product did.

        "Sees with out being seen," boasted an ad for a Czech-made radar system.

        "Your aim is our target," promised a company displaying swiveling targets for marksmanship.

        "Nothing escapes you," said an ad for an optics company that makes, among other things, rifle scopes.

        Sudan's section featured a two-story fake stone castle surrounded by displays of rifles, rockets and a large, gray GPS-guided bomb.

        "It is a very accurate way to hit a target," said Ibrahim Ismael Bashir, the sales and marketing director for Sudan's Military Industry Corporation.

        In a small room nearby, I picked up a Sudanese machine gun simulator and blasted away at targets on a screen as martial ballads played in the background.

        One of the most photographed items was a gold-plated AK-47 displayed by Pakistan. Muhammad Iqbal, the technical manager for weapons at the Pakistan Ordnance Factories, said the rifle cost about $1,000 and was usually bought by collectors or presented to foreign dignitaries, especially from the Middle East.

        "They are very fond of this," he said.

        But the show was not all about weapons.

        "Come on, I'll show you the robot," said Paul Bosscher, the chief engineer for robotic systems at Harris, of Melbourne, Fla., which focuses on communication technology.

        On display was the company's new robot, T7, which stands about six feet tall, moves about on treads and has a single arm with a big metal pincer on the end. Armored, covered with cameras and controlled remotely, it was designed to defuse bombs and, the company hopes, save lives — not just of civilians but also the soldiers and the police who have to cope with the explosives.

        As I gripped the controller and directed the robot to stack lengths of plastic pipe, a man posed next to it while his friend took a photo.

        "Who doesn't want to get their photo with a robot?" Mr. Bosscher said.



        9)  These Are Children, Not Bad Hombres

         FEB. 25, 2017





        Last year 7-year-old Kendra Cruz Garcia and her 10-year-old-brother, Roberto Guardado Cruz, crossed the Rio Grande alone. When their tiny boat reached the shore, they started walking into Texas.

        The Border Patrol agents who soon caught the Salvadoran siblings deemed them "unaccompanied" because no parent was with them. Children with this designation are granted special, well-deserved protections.

        They aren't subject to quick deportation and are entitled to a full hearing before an immigration judge. They can't be held for long periods in immigration jails. Instead, they are transferred to child-friendly shelters operated by Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, and released, usually within a month, to a parent, relative or sponsor while their court hearings proceed. Instead of facing cross-examination by adversarial prosecutors, children are interviewed by an asylum officer trained to gently probe whether they qualify to stay in the country legally.

        In other words, they are treated with kindness and decency by our government because they are innocent children.

        But President Trump has decided to get tough on many of the 60,000 Central American children who arrive at our border each year begging for safety after fleeing some of the most dangerous places on earth. His executive orders, and memos from the Department of Homeland Security on how to interpret them, could strip this special treatment from the roughly 60 percent of unaccompanied children who have a parent already living in the United States. If Kendra and Roberto were just entering the United States now, they would fall into this group; instead they kept their protections and were eventually united with their mother, a house painter in Los Angeles.

        Parents like her, the argument goes, are exploiting benefits established to help children who really are alone here. The administration has threatened to deport parents who send for their children or prosecute them for hiring smugglers.

        Last week Mr. Trump's press secretary said the president's intention was to prioritize the deportation of immigrants who "represent a threat to public safety." Supporters say he's upholding the law. But these children are not threats, and there are many ways to preserve the integrity of our immigration laws while treating them humanely.

        D.H.S. hasn't fully explained how it will deal with children reclassified as "accompanied" if a parent steps forward to claim them. "There is a range of how bad this might be," says Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women's Refugee Commission.

        But it could be pretty bad. In recent years, up to 90 percent of unaccompanied Central American kids have willingly turned themselves over to Border Patrol agents, knowing they would be cared for. Now they will go to great lengths to avoid detection, walking through deserts for days, risking dehydration, or traveling stuffed into hidden compartments in cars or trucks, where they can suffocate.

        Smuggling fees will escalate. When that happens, smugglers often collect half in the home country and require children to work off the other half as indentured servants. Experts expect to see more cases like the one in 2014, when federal agents rescued eight Guatemalan teenagers from a trailer park in Ohio, where they'd been held captive by smugglers and forced to work at an egg farm.

        Children will be afraid to admit they have parents here, as they were in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the government often told parents to retrieve apprehended children, only to deport the whole family when they showed up. As a result children languished in detention centers. Eighteen years ago, I spent a week in a jail in Liberty, Tex., where unaccompanied children who had been kept there for months had tried to slit their wrists or hang themselves.

        Finally, advocates worry that Central American children will tell Border Patrol agents that they are Mexican, so they won't be deported so far away. This was common a decade ago, and resulted in Central American children being preyed upon in lawless, cartel-controlled Mexican border towns. Today, 18,000 Central Americans are still kidnapped and ransomed each year while migrating through Mexico. Children whose families cannot pay are enslaved, raped, killed. Each year, a caravan of Central American mothers walk through Mexico, searching for missing children.

        Why would immigrants — parents and children — take these risks? El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have among the highest homicide rates in the world. Boys are forced to join gangs; girls are forced to sleep with gangsters. The proof children are fleeing real danger: 73 percent of unaccompanied minors who go to immigration court with a lawyer win the right to stay here legally.

        Kendra and Roberto's mother, Doris Cruz Garcia, 34, fled El Salvador in 2013 after repeated beatings and death threats by Kendra's father, a gang member. When Ms. Cruz became pregnant with Kendra, he kicked and punched her, trying to abort the baby. Ms. Cruz curled her body into a ball to protect her daughter, who was born two months early, weighing 3.5 pounds.

        Ms. Cruz moved with the children constantly to hide from her ex. When Kendra was 3, he broke into the place where they were staying and attacked Ms. Cruz. When she came to the next day, she was covered in blood. Her ex had said he would kill her, that she would end up in a trash bag. She now believed him. She had to escape.

        She had just enough money to get herself to the United States, so she planned to save up and send for Kendra and Roberto when she had the money. She thought they would be safe with her brother. But her brother was murdered a year later, probably by members of her ex's gang.

        Her sister decided it was too dangerous to keep the children. Without telling Ms. Cruz, she brought them to the United States. For three months, Roberto and Kendra walked all day and slept outdoors at night. They were stuffed with other migrants into the back of an 18-wheel truck for 27 hours. "We didn't have food," said Kendra. "We had to walk lots." Roberto was afraid of the snakes and crocodiles he saw in a river he crossed. When they finally reached the border, their aunt said goodbye.

        After staying at a Texas shelter for unaccompanied minors for a few months, the siblings were released to Ms. Cruz a year ago. The children are likely to soon qualify for visas granting them legal status; their mother remains here unlawfully.

        Kendra and Roberto love the United States. They praised the shelter — the school, the food, how they could call their mother frequently. They are grateful for being referred to pro bono lawyers.

        Roberto says punishing parents is wrong. "There are a lot of dangerous things and gangs in my country. I don't want anything bad to happen to my mommy or my family," he said. His sister, listening in, added: "I want my mom with me. I don't want to be apart from my mommy. I don't want to be alone."

        "I love that this country protects children," Ms. Cruz said, sobbing. "I am just trying to stay in one piece with my children. They have dreams. I want to give them that. I love them. I am their mother."

        Americans are right to be concerned that children who lose their immigration cases flout the law by remaining here illegally. Many view this, rightfully, as a scam. And it is obviously a problem that, because immigration courts are backlogged with hundred of thousands of cases, immigrants get to stay for years before their case is decided.

        But the solution isn't to deport these children before bothering to find out how much danger they face back home. We should instead build an immigration judicial system with integrity by hiring enough judges to quickly process cases. Last year, Human Rights First calculated that the United States would need 150 more judges, costing some $150 million a year for them and their support staff, to clear the backlog within two years.

        And children need government-funded lawyers if they're going to get a full, fair hearing. Half of children who cannot afford a lawyer are expected to argue complex asylum cases on their own. One-year-olds stand alone before judges, making a mockery of our judicial system. Ahilan Arulanantham, the legal director for the A.C.L.U. of Southern California, who has sued the government to demand legal counsel for all children, says this would cost $2,700 to $5,000 per child.

        We could adjudicate cases in six months. If a child loses the right to stay here legally, immigration agents should find her and safely repatriate her to her home country.

        We can have a system that's fair and humane, and preserves the rule of law.



        10)  Muslims Give Money to Jewish Institutions That Are Attacked

        FEB. 27, 2017




        Two attacks on Jewish cemeteries in the last week have resulted in an outpouring of more than $136,000 in donations from thousands of Muslims and others, who have also pledged to financially support Jewish institutions if there are further attacks.

        Jewish organizations have reported a sharp increase in harassment. The JCC Association of North America, which represents Jewish community centers, said 21 Jewish institutions, including eight day schools, had received bomb threats on Monday.

        Two Muslim activists, Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, asked Muslims to donate $20,000 in a crowdfunding effort to repair hundreds of Jewish headstones that were toppled near St. Louis last week. That goal was reached in three hours.

        Though the activists do not have cost estimates yet, Mr. El-Messidi said on Monday that the money raised would most likely be enough to repair the graves near St. Louis and in Philadelphia, where about 100 headstones were toppled on Sunday.

        Any extra money will be held in a fund to help after attacks on Jewish institutions in the future, he said. That could mean removing a spray-painted swastika or repairing the kind of widespread damage seen in the graveyards.

        About a third of the donations have come from non-Muslims — Ellen DeGeneres and J. K. Rowling are among the celebrities who have expressed support — but Mr. El-Messidi said it was especially important for Muslims to support Jews as they deal with anti-Semitic attacks.

        "I hope our Muslim community, just as we did last week with St. Louis, will continue to stand with our Jewish cousins to fight this type of hatred and bigotry," he said.

        Since the start of the year, the association said, Jewish community centers and day schools in 30 states and a Canadian province have reported 90 threats.

        Monday's threats, all hoaxes, affected centers in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

        "The Justice Department, Homeland Security, the F.B.I. and the White House, alongside Congress and local officials, must speak out — and speak out forcefully — against this scourge of anti-Semitism impacting communities across the country," David E. Posner, the JCC's director of strategic performance, said in a statement. "Actions speak louder than words. Members of our community must see swift and concerted action from federal officials to identify and capture the perpetrator or perpetrators who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in our communities."

        Legislators and governors in several states condemned the threats. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said at a news briefing on Monday that Mr. Trump "continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned by the reports of further vandalism" at the Jewish cemeteries.

        "The president continues to condemn these and any other forms of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms," Mr. Spicer said.

        Barbara Perle, 66, of Los Angeles said on Monday that several of her family members were buried in the vandalized Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery near St. Louis. That includes her great-grandfather, Nathan Blitz. Seeking religious freedom and an escape from economic oppression, he fled Russia in the early 1900s and settled in St. Louis, where he served as a rabbi and started a new life for his family.

        But because all of his surviving great-grandchildren live hundreds of miles away from St. Louis, they do not know if his grave was among the 200 that were vandalized. No matter, Ms. Perle said; in her eyes, an attack on one gravestone in the Jewish cemetery was an attack on them all.

        "To come to the U.S. and create this amazing life where everyone felt safe and secure and able to be who they were, that was an incredible thing coming from Eastern Europe," Ms. Perle, a hospice medical social worker, said. "For this to have happened where my family has been laid to rest was just heartbreaking. These are unconscionable acts."

        She said that she had reached out to thank Mr. El-Messidi after reading about the effort and that she had "come to understand more about our shared humanity."

        Mr. El-Messidi, who lives in Philadelphia, walked through the vandalized Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery on Sunday. He said he saw people huddled over the gravestones, weeping.

        "We're in a very different time in the U.S. when people cannot even rest in peace after they pass away," he said, "where people have to be worried about their ancestors' graves."



        11)  Trump Plans to Begin E.P.A. Rollback With Order on Clean Water

        FEB. 28, 2017




        WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aimed at rolling back one of former President Barack Obama's major environmental regulations to protect American waterways, but it will have almost no immediate legal effect, according to two people familiar with the White House plans.

        The order will essentially give Mr. Trump a megaphone to direct his new Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, to begin the complicated legal process of rewriting the sweeping 2015 rule known as Waters of the United States. But that effort could take longer than a single presidential term, legal experts said.

        An advance copy of the order was viewed by The New York Times on Monday. It is the first of two announcements expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin dismantling the major pillars of Mr. Obama's environmental legacy.

        In the coming week, Mr. Trump is also expected to sign a similar order instructing Mr. Pruitt to begin the process of withdrawing and revising Mr. Obama's signature 2015 climate-change regulation, aimed at curbing emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants.

        Because both of those rules were finalized under existing laws long before Mr. Obama left office, they cannot be simply undone with a stroke of the president's pen, legal experts in both the Obama and Trump White Houses have said.

        "The executive order has no legal significance at all," said Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University. "It's like the president calling Scott Pruitt and telling him to start the legal proceedings. It does the same thing as a phone call or a tweet. It just signals that the president wants it to happen."

        Still, Mr. Pruitt, who was confirmed by the Senate to his new position this month, is expected to enthusiastically dive in to the lengthy task of undoing major environmental rules on clean water, climate change and air pollution. In his former job as attorney general of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt led or took part in 14 lawsuits intended to block the E.P.A.'s major regulations, including the clean water and climate rules that he is now charged with dismantling.

        Speaking over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Pruitt told an audience, to applause, "I think there are some regulations that in the near term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way," and he said those rollbacks would probably begin this week.

        The clean water rule, completed by the Obama administration in spring 2015, was issued under the 1972 Clean Water Act. It gives the federal government broad authority to limit pollution in major bodies of water, like Chesapeake Bay, the Mississippi River and Puget Sound, as well as in streams and wetlands that drain into those larger waters.

        Two Supreme Court decisions related to clean water protection, in 2001 and 2006, created legal confusion about whether the federal government had the authority to regulate the smaller streams and headwaters and about other water sources such as wetlands.

        The Obama administration's water rule, put forth jointly by the E.P.A. and the Army Corps of Engineers, was intended to clarify that authority, allowing the government to once again limit pollution in those smaller bodies of water. Environmentalists have praised the rule, calling it an important step that will lead to significantly cleaner natural bodies of water and healthier drinking water.

        But it has come under fierce attack from farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers, golf-course owners and other business interests that contend that it will stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners' rights.

        The American Farm Bureau Federation, which has led the legal fight against Mr. Obama's rule, contends that it places an undue burden on farmers in particular, who may find themselves required to apply for federal permits to use fertilizer near ditches and streams on their property that may eventually flow into larger rivers.

        On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump won cheers from rural audiences when he vowed to roll back the rule.

        Despite the controversy over the regulation, it has yet to be put into effect. A federal court delayed it as judges review the legal challenges against it. Mr. Trump's executive order directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review the challenges and to consider asking the court to delay a decision on the matter until a new regulation is released.

        That could take several years. To follow the law, Mr. Pruitt will have to withdraw the current Obama administration water regulation and craft a new version of the rule, along with a justification as to why it would be legally superior to the earlier one. That would be subject to a public comment period before it is finalized, and it could face new lawsuits afterward.

        Either way, the fight over who controls the nation's waterways is expected to end up in front of the Supreme Court. In directing Mr. Pruitt's efforts to craft the new water regulation, Mr. Trump's order asks him to consider a 2006 review of the rule that was written by Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court justice who died last year. Justice Scalia, who was long the court's most prominent conservative voice, offered a narrow and tightly constrained interpretation of what would constitute a federally protected body of water. Based on his interpretation, the number of federally protected waterways under Mr. Trump's order would probably be far less than the 60 percent covered by the Obama administration.

        Also on Tuesday, Mr. Trump plans to sign an executive order intended to strengthen the federal office in charge of coordinating support for the nation's historically black colleges and universities. That office has for years been housed in the Education Department, but it will now move to the White House, officials said.

        Aides to the president, who requested anonymity to discuss the executive order before it had been officially announced, said Mr. Trump hoped the move would mean more support for the colleges. They said the president also hoped to enlist the colleges in efforts to help urban centers in America.



        12)  Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending

        FEB. 27, 2017


        WASHINGTON — President Trump put both political parties on notice Monday that he intends to slash spending on many of the federal government's most politically sensitive programs — relating to education, the environment, science and poverty — to protect the economic security of retirees and to shift billions more to the armed forces.

        The proposal to increase military spending by $54 billion and cut nonmilitary programs by the same amount was unveiled by White House officials as they prepared the president's plans for next year's federal budget. Aides to the president said final decisions about Medicare and Social Security would not be made until later in the year, when he announces his full budget. But Sean Spicer, his spokesman, cited Mr. Trump's campaign commitments about protecting those programs and vowed that "he's going to keep his word to the American people."

        In effect, Mr. Trump appears determined to take sides in a generational struggle between older, sicker Americans who depend on the entitlement programs, and their younger, poorer counterparts whose livelihoods are shaped by the domestic programs likely to see steep cuts.

        He also set up a battle for control of Republican Party ideology with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who for years has staked his policy-making reputation on the argument that taming the budget deficit without tax increases would require that Congress change, and cut, the programs that swallow the bulk of the government's spending — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

        "I don't know how you take $54 billion out without wholesale taking out entire departments," said Bill Hoagland, a longtime Republican budget aide in the Senate and now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "You need to control it in the area of the entitlement programs, which he's taken off the table. It is a proposal, I dare say, that will be dead on arrival even with a Republican Congress."

        Speaking to governors at the White House, Mr. Trump said his spending demands would be at the core of the speech he gives Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress. "This budget follows through on my promise to keep Americans safe," he said, calling it a "public safety and national security" budget that will send a "message to the world in these dangerous times of American strength, security and resolve."

        In the first part of the speech, Mr. Trump will recount "promises made and promises kept," said the aides, who requested anonymity during a briefing with reporters. The rest of the speech will focus on how he will help people with their problems and how he intends to protect the nation.

        The president's budget proposals — which were short on detail but are said to exempt not just Medicare and Social Security but also veterans' benefits and law enforcement efforts — would lead to deep reductions in federal programs that touch millions of lives. The White House signaled that it would begin with agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and social safety-net programs.

        A budget with no entitlement cuts and one that does not balance most likely has no chance of passing the House, and could be rejected by Senate Republicans as well. Mr. Trump's proposals are too far to the right in terms of domestic cuts and too far to the left in terms of balance. Their failure could have practical implications for the White House.

        If Congress fails to pass a budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins in October, Mr. Trump's promise to drastically rewrite the tax code could also die, since the president was counting on that budget resolution to include special parliamentary language that would shield his tax cuts from a Democratic filibuster. Without it, any tax legislation would have to be bipartisan enough to clear the Senate with 60 votes.

        But beyond legislative considerations, the fate of Mr. Trump's proposal will go a long way toward determining how significantly his brand of economic populism has changed Republican orthodoxy.

        Mr. Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that Republican promises to transform Medicare and slash entitlement spending were the reason the party lost the White House in 2012, helpfully name-checking Mr. Ryan, who sat at the bottom of the ticket that year, in his analysis. Social Security, health care and net interest now comprise nearly 60 percent of all federal spending, and that figure is expected to soar to 82 percent over the next 10 years.

        "Paul Ryan's budget plans with cuts to Social Security and Medicare are not that popular with most voters, and what helped elect Donald Trump was the promise not to cut benefits and programs," said Douglas Elmendorf, the recently departed director of the Congressional Budget Office and current dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "That is an unresolved tension."

        White House officials said the broad outlines of a spending plan represented the logical culmination of Mr. Trump's efforts to make good on his campaign pledges to prune what he considers wasteful government spending even as he expands what he considers an underfunded military.

        "It will show the president is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do," said Mick Mulvaney, the president's budget director. "We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars."

        Mr. Trump's advisers said aid to foreign governments, which makes up a tiny fraction of federal spending, was one such target.

        The budget for the I.R.S., which was the target of Republican criticism during Barack Obama's administration, would be slashed by 14 percent, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which provides grants for community banks and local development, would be all but eliminated.

        The White House blueprint calls for a 24 percent cut to the E.P.A.'s budget, according to a person who had seen the document but was not authorized to speak on the record. That would amount to a reduction of about $2 billion from the agency's annual budget of about $8.1 billion, reducing its spending to levels not seen since Ronald Reagan's presidency.

        But it is far from clear whether Congress will approve such steep cuts in popular programs.

        While congressional Republicans have long targeted the E.P.A.'s regulatory authority, they are also aware that about half the agency's annual budget is passed through to popular state-level programs, like converting abandoned industrial sites into sports stadiums and other public facilities, which lawmakers of both parties are loath to cut. And most of the agency's federal office spending goes toward funding programs that are required by existing laws. Last year, even as congressional Republicans railed against the Obama administration's E.P.A. regulations, they proposed cutting only $291 million from the agency's budget.

        Environmental advocates denounced the proposed cuts, saying they would devastate environmental protection and public health programs while doing little to increase national security.

        "The assault on human health begins now with President Trump's plan to slash the E.P.A.'s resources, which are vital to protecting Americans' drinking water and air from pollution," said Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group.

        But the information to emerge about the budget raises more questions than it answers.

        Democrats, of course, will be no friend, either.

        "Democrats will make crystal clear the misplaced priorities of the administration and the Republican majority," said Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, "and we will fight tooth and nail to protect services and investments that are critical to hard-working American families and communities across the country."

        But the budget may be the most striking example in Mr. Trump's young presidency of the ways in which he is challenging the orthodoxy of his own party. Since the start of his insurgent campaign, Mr. Trump has opposed the Republican Party's long-held positions on a range of policies, including free trade, how to deal with Russia and the future of government entitlement programs.

        Republicans in Congress had hoped that the influence of the two former Republican House members in Mr. Trump's cabinet — Tom Price, head of health and human services, and Mr. Mulvaney — would have led to new conclusions about the need to address entitlement programs that are swelling drastically with baby boomers' retirement.

        Instead, Mr. Trump appears intent on extracting the savings he needs for military spending from the one part of the budget already most squeezed, domestic discretionary spending.








































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