Addicted to War:

And this does not include "…spending $1.25 trillion dollars to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and $566 billion to build the Navy a 308-ship fleet…"    


Dear Comrades, attached is some new art, where Xinachtli really outdid himself some.

Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:

Love this guy!












Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:












Dr. Mustafa Barghouti Direct from Palestine

November 6 in Berkeley

The Middle East Children's Alliance Presents

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee


Speaking on

100 Years after the Balfour Declaration:

The Anti-Colonial Struggle in Palestine

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2017 – 7pm

First Congregational Church of Berkeley

2345 Channing Way @ Dana

(near downtown Berkeley BART)

Mustafa Barghouti is General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative & President of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees

Introduced by Professor Khalil Barhoum, Stanford University

$100 ticket includes seats reserved up front

If you want to avoid the service charge, tickets will be available soon directly from MECA; $15 tickets will be at local bookstores soon

Benefit for the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees

Wheelchair Accessible

For info: 510-548-0542, meca@mecaforpeace.org

Cosponsored by KPFA 94.1 FM

Save the Dates
Joining Hands and MECA's Annual Palestinian Crafts Bazaar

Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 in Berkeley

Join us for another year of supporting Palestinian artisans and cooperatives! We will have beautiful crafts from Palestine, delicious Arabic food, and fun activities! 

Saturday, December 9, 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 10, 11am-3pm

More details coming soon!



Union Time: Film screening and director talk

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

2521 Channing Way, Berkeley

Union Time: Fighting for Workers' Rights tells the story of one of the greatest union victories of the 21st century—the fight to organize Smithfield Foods' pork processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina. From 1993 to 2008, workers struggled against dangerous working conditions, intimidation, and low pay. They were organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, whose "Justice for Smithfield Workers" campaign brought national attention to the plight of the plant workers. The victory led to the formation of UFCW Local 1208 and fair working conditions for 5,000 workers.



​Plan to attend these important events to demonstrate that the American people do not another war in Korea, do not want to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and do not want a president who conducts foreign policy by Twitter and trashtalk. Additional details will be forthcoming as they become available 

Please share with your networks

Averting U.S. War on North Korea: What Progressives Must Know and Do Now

Start: November 10, 2017 7:00 PM

End: November 10, 2017 9:00 PM

Location:First Congregational Church2501 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA 94612

The U.S. and North Korea are on a dangerous path towards a military confrontation that could kill millions and engulf the world in a nuclear holocaust. Trump has threatened, "to totally destroy North Korea," and the United States has shifted massive military assets to Guam and Okinawa in preparation for a military first strike. North Korea is on track to launch a long-range missile with the capacity to strike Washington, DC, and Pyongyang has responded that it has the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers – even outside their airspace for self-defense.

As part of our War & Liberation series, Center for Political Education is proud to host a discussion with leading Korea peace activists and experts on the historical roots of this conflict. The panel will discuss what peace and social justice movements are doing and must do locally, nationally and internationally to avert war. This movement includes Korean American activists whose families and friends live directly in the line of fire in North and South Korea.


Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ

Ellen Choy, HOBAK

Kevin Gray, University of Sussex

Co-sponsored by Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans (HOBAK) and Women Cross DMZ. 


Korea Peace Walk

Start: November 11, 2017 1:00 PM

End: November 11, 2017 4:00 PM

Location:Telegraph AveRoute currently being finalized, Oakland, CA 94609

Host Contact Info: Paul Liem info@kpolicy.org

Korea Peace Walk through Historic Oakland Koreatown

Co-sponsored by Korea Policy Institute and HOBAK

Saturday, November 11, 2017, 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Oakland, Telegraph Ave corridor

In view of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea stemming from U.S. threats to destroy North Korea, this year's walkathon is a Korea Peace Walk jointly sponsored by KPI and HOBAK traversing approximately 20 blocks of Telegraph Avenue populated with Korean business and historic sites of labor and Black Panther Party activism. We will stop along the way, leafleting, drumming and chanting as we go, winding up with a rally at Koryo Place, 44th Street and Telegraph Avenue.

We are still finalizing the route, and will send out details next week. But please save the date 11/11, 1-4pm.

HOBAK stands for Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans, a dynamic and creative collective of Korean American activists working on peace an social justice issues in the Bay Area since 2009.







Labor Studies and Radical History

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




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

7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on all major holidays and May Day 

We can arrange, by request, to keep the library open longer during the day or open it on weekends. Just ask.


  • Reference Librarian On-site
  • Email and Telephone Reference
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Online Public Access Catalog 
  • Microfilm Reader/Printer
  • DVD and VCR players
  • Photocopier
  • Quiet well-lighted place for study and research 

For an appointment or further information, please email: david [at] holtlaborlibrary.org 



Prison Radio UPDATE:

Please sign this petition:

Release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case!


A ruling to implement Judge Leon Tucker's recent order to release Mumia's court documents could be made as soon as May 30, 2017. Please call or e-mail the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office now to pressure them to follow the court's order to release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case.

Phone: 215-686-8000

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

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

OPEN the files. Justice Now!



Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media)

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

A Book Review by Robert Fantina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Journal of Books, July 2017





Campaign to Stop Modern Day Slavery in Colorado, Demanding Equal Rights to the Under Represented


Petitioning Denver FBI & US Department of Justice

Stop Slavery in Colorado

On May 29, 2008 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Omar Gent was driving in his car headed to the gas station; however was pulled over by local police for what was stated to be a "traffic violation". Omar was then arrested on scene and taken to be identified as the suspect of a local robbery. The victim was shown a photo of Omar Gent (which is illegal) and then was taken to the traffic stop where Omar was already handcuffed in the back of the police car and a one-on-one show up was held at a distance of approximately 20-30 feet; the victim  was unable to identify Omar as the suspect during the first show up.  After given a second show up the victim believed he was 90% sure Omar was the suspect.

Coworkers #1 and #2  were not present at the time of the robbery but were used as witnesses to help identify the suspect. Coworker #1 was also taken to the one-on-one show up and was asked to identify Omar as the suspect and he could not as he stated "I have astigmatism" and was not 100% sure Omar was the man.  Coworker #2 positively identified Omar Gent as the suspect because he stated, "there aren't that many black men in Parker Colorado." At the pretrial suppression of ID/photo line up the victim picked three other black men all with different builds and heights; although prior the victim was "90% sure" he had identified the right man. In addition, Coworker #1 stated during the trial that he was angry when he made the ID because he was ready to go home and coworker #2  told him that it was Omar.

Omar's car was illegally searched without consent or warrant. After his arrest and enduring many hours of integration, Omar asked for an attorney, yet all he received were more questions and did not receive the legal representation requested.  During interrogation, the police tried to coerce Omar to confess to the robbery or else they would throw his family out of their home.  Omar maintained his innocence and did not confess to the crime and as a result the police kept their word. Four Colorado Police Officers forcefully entered Omar's home  and began to search his home without a warrant or consent; Omar's family was present and told police that they were not given permission to enter. The police forced Omar's family out of their home into the Colorado winter night. The police took what they wanted during the illegal search of Omar's home. Omar's family filed a complaint against the city because of the illegal search of their home.  In efforts to conceal the police officers' wrongdoing, the presiding Judge sealed the legit complaint. In addition, the video interrogation showing Omar requesting to have legal representation and police threats to throw his family out of their home unless he confessed was deemed inadmissible in court.

Omar has written proof that he requested a preliminary hearing to challenge the charges of probable cause but he was illegally denied the right--without Omar's knowledge and approval the public defender waived his rights to a preliminary hearing.  Omar was then charged with an infamous felony yet never received a grand jury indictment (which is required by Colorado Bill of Rights for felony charges). Due to the fact that Omar was never indicted, he was subsequently denied his sixth Amendment right (to confront and cross examine witnesses). Omar has been fighting his case by seeking justice for the violation of his civil rights. Help us stop illegal imprisonment in Colorado.

  • This petition will be delivered to:
    • Denver FBI & US Department of Justice 

"Please help us by stopping the mass incarceration in Colorado! Basic civil rights are being violated and we need your help to shed light on this issue." 

Sign then share this petition at: 






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



MEDIA ADVISORYMedia contact: Morgan McLeod, (202) 628-0871




Washington, D.C.— Despite recent political support for criminal justice reform in most states, the number of people serving life sentences has nearly quintupled since 1984. 

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

Eight states  Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Utah  have at least one of every five prisoners serving a life or de facto life sentence in prison. 

The Sentencing Project will host an online press conference to discuss its report Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, on Wednesday, May 3rd at 11:00 a.m. EDT.   

Press Conference Details

WHAT: Online press conference hosted by The Sentencing Project regarding the release of its new report examining life and long-term sentences in the United States. REGISTER HERE to participate. The call-in information and conference link will be sent via email.  


Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT 


  • Ashley Nellis, The Sentencing Project's senior research analyst and author of Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences
  • Evans Ray, whose life without parole sentence was commuted in 2016 by President Obama
  • Steve Zeidman, City University of New York law professor and counsel for Judith Clark—a New York prisoner who received a 75 year to life sentence in 1983

The full report will be available to press on Wednesday morning via email.

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




stand with reality winner

patriotDoes Reality hate America? Or does the government just hate Reality?Announcing that Reality would be denied bail a second time, judge Brian Epps cited as his justification that Reality Winner "hates America" and "plotted against the government".

This statement is an outrageous slander against a young woman who's spent her entire adult life serving this country, right up to the day she was arrested.

In this way of thinking, to want America to be better is to hate it. To spend your entire adult life working hard and making sacrifices for America is to hate it. To be so outraged by a threat to America that you'd risk your career and your freedom to stop it is to hate it.

And it makes no sense. What does it mean to say that Reality "hates America," and why is it important to the prosecution that the public believes this?

What is this really about?

The real reason is the text of the Espionage Act. The 100-year-old law has been used since its passage as a loophole to deny Americans their rights to a free press, free speech, and whistleblower protections. The Espionage Act doesn't mention "classified information" at all -- the law is intended to punish people who transmit information with an intent to harm the United States or aid its enemies.

The document Reality is charged with releasing contains information about threats to our election integrity, which is still being covered up by the government. Voters and election officials have a right to know about these threats so they can take action to fix them. Having this information in the open is critically important, and the idea that releasing it "harmed America" is so absurd it's barely worth dignifying with a response.

The idea is so absurd that Reality's prosecutors are doing everything they can to avoid having to argue for it, because they would absolutely lose. Instead, they're trying to put Reality's politics on trial.

Read our full article on Reality's unjust prosecution here.

Reality's defense team intends to not only prove her innocence, but to turn the tables on this outrageously unjust prosecution, and put the Espionage Act on trial. We have the chance to permanently end this tactic, and to force the government to honor whistleblower protections, but only if we have the resources for the fight. We're up against the unlimited resources of Trump's justice department, and all we have is each other. Please donate today and help us win.

TAKE ACTION: Reality will be sitting in jail for another 5 months as she awaits trial. We need to let her know we have her back. Can you write her a letter of support? Visit StandWithReality.org for instructions on how to write her and let her know you're thinking of her!

art-bannerNew gallery of Reality's artwork onlineWe recently posted a gallery of Reality's drawing and paintings, including a few she's sent her mom from jail. Check it out here!

STAND WITH REALITY WINNER ~ PATRIOT & ALLEGED WHISTLEBLOWERc/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

standwithreality.org ~ facebook.com/standwithreality



When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression


When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression


Mothers Message to the NY/NJ Activist Community 

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

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

"What We Want, What We Need" 

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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













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)



MAJOR TILLERY: Still Rumbling!

October 22—Major Tillery's challenge to his 1985 conviction for a 1976 murder and assault goes to a Pennsylvania Superior Court appeals panel on October 31. Tillery's case is about actual innocence. It highlights Philadelphia's infamous culture of police and prosecutorial misconduct. The only so-called evidence against him was from lying jailhouse informants who were threatened with false murder prosecutions, and plea and bail deals on pending cases. A favorite inducement for jailhouse informants in the early 1980's was "sex for lies." Homicide detectives brought the informants and their girlfriends to police headquarters for private time in interview rooms for sex.

This is Major Tillery's 34th year in prison on a sentence of life without parole. Over twenty of those years were spent in solitary confinement in some of the harshest federal and state "control units."

"Major Tillery, for many years known as the jailhouse lawyer who led the 1990 Tillery v. Owens prisoners' rights civil case, spawned from unconstitutional conditions at the state prison in Pittsburg, is still rumbling these days, this time for his life as well as his freedom."    —Mumia Abu-Jamal, Major: Battling On 2 Fronts, 9/17/17

This past year the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledged that Major Tillery has hepatitis C, which has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver. The DOC nonetheless refused to provide treatment, ignoring the federal court ruling in Abu-Jamal v. Wetzel that the DOC's hep-C protocols violate the constitutional requirement to provide prisoners adequate medical care. With the help of the Abolitionist Law Center, Major Tillery is now receiving the anti-viral treatment.

Tillery has been doubly punished in prison for his activism in support of fellow prisoners. His 1990 lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens resulted in federal court orders to the PA Department of Corrections to provide medical and mental health treatment and end double-celling. He challenged the extreme conditions of solitary confinement in the NJ State prison in Trenton, Tillery v. Hayman (2007). His advocacy for Mumia Abu-Jamal in February 2015 helped save Mumia's life. Major Tillery filed grievances for himself and other prisoners suffering from painful and debilitating skin rashes. For these acts of solitary with other prisoners, just months after he re-entered general population from a decade in solitary confinement, Tillery was set up with false prison misconduct charges and given four months back in "the hole." Major Tillery filed a federal retaliation lawsuit against the DOC. Recently, Major succeeded in getting a program for elderly prisoners established at SCI Frackville.

For his appeals and continuing investigation, Major Tillery now has the pro bono representation of Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio:

"I took on Major Tillery's defense, which exposes prosecutorial misconduct in convicting Major Tillery of a nine-year old murder based solely on the testimony of jailhouse informants. This testimony was recanted in the informants' sworn statements that detail the coercion and favors by homicide detectives and prosecutors to manufacture false trial testimony.

"Now the DA's office wants to uphold the unconstitutional application of 'timeliness' restrictions applied to post-conviction petitions to dismiss Major Tillery's petition, arguing he is too late in uncovering that the DA's office knowingly put a lying witness on the stand."

Major Tillery's appeal is to win his "day in court" on his petition based on his innocence and misconduct by the police and prosecution. At the same time, the investigation continues to further uncover the evidence of this misconduct.

Although Major Tillery has pro bono legal representation there are still substantial costs to appeal and to conduct additional investigation..  Please help with a donation.

How You Can Help

Financial Support—Major Tillery needs funds for a lawyer in his appeal to overturn his conviction.

Go to PayPal

Go to JPay.com;

code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

Or send a check/money order to: Major Tillery or Kamilah Iddeen, U.S. Post Office,

2347 N. 7th St., PO Box 13205, Harrisburg, PA 17110-6501

Have a fund-raising event! Thanks to Dr. Suzanne Ross, International Spokesperson for the International Concerned Family and Friends for Mumia Abu-Jamal for $1000 gifted during her 80th Birthday celebration.

Tell Philadelphia District Attorney:

Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.

Call: 215-686-8711 or  Email: DA_Central@phila.gov

Write to:

Major Tillery AM 9786, SCI Frackville, 1111 Altamont Blvd., Frackville, PA 17931

For More Information, To read the new appeal, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery

Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com

Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@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










    The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration on Tuesday over its detention of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who was stopped by Border Patrol agents in Texas last week on her way to surgery.

    The girl, Rosa Maria Hernandez, had been living in Laredo, Tex., with her parents, where she was brought illegally from Mexico when she was 3 months old.

    Her case became a new flash point in a national debate over the administration's hard-line immigration policies, eliciting outcries from members of Congress as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, an advocacy group.

    The A.C.L.U. argues in its suit that Border Patrol agents illegally and erroneously detained Rosa Maria, who was traveling to a hospital in Corpus Christi to have gallbladder surgery, under the pretext that she is an "unaccompanied minor." The lawsuit, filed in a United States District Court in San Antonio, further argues that the government violated Rosa Maria's constitutional rights by separating her from her parents without due process. The A.C.L.U. asked the court for a temporary restraining order against the government to allow her immediate release.

    "This case is shocking," Michael Tan, an A.C.L.U. lawyer working on Rosa Maria's case, said in a phone interview on Tuesday evening. "And all of us who do immigration work are concerned that this is the new normal."

    A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday night that the agency would not comment on pending litigation, and a representative for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is holding Rosa Maria, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both agencies are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, among several others.

    Rosa Maria was stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint at 2 a.m. on Oct. 24 while traveling in an ambulance. At the request of her parents, who have no legal status in the United States, she had been accompanied by her cousin, Aurora Cantu, 34, an American citizen.

    Ms. Cantu has said that border agents at the checkpoint asked for her and Rosa Maria's papers and escorted them to their destination at Driscoll Children's Hospital. There, they waited outside Rosa Maria's room during her surgery, taking her into custody immediately upon discharge.

    She was subsequently transferred to the Baptist Children's Home Ministries in San Antonio, a center for unaccompanied minors — which Mr. Tan said never should have happened.

    "If I send my kid to soccer practice with a neighbor, or to school on a school bus, the mere fact that I'm not with my kid does not mean that I relinquish my parental rights," he said.

    Under a 2002 law, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is authorized to take custody of children under 18 who have no parent or legal guardian either present or available in the country.

    In an interview with The New York Times last week, Rosa Maria's mother, Felipa de la Cruz, said she and her partner had risked coming to the United States for the chance to obtain life-changing health care for their daughter.

    Mr. Tan said he was hopeful the case would go before the district court in San Antonio as early as this week.



    2)  Exxon Will Pay $2.5 Million for Pollution at Gulf Coast Plants

     OCT. 31, 2017





    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Exxon Mobil will pay $2.5 million in fines for flaring gases at eight plants along the Gulf Coast. Agency officials said the announcement was evidence of the Trump administration's commitment to enforcing the nation's environmental laws.

    Exxon will spend about $300 million as part of the settlement to install gas recovery and other new monitoring and pollution control technologies at the petrochemical plants in Louisiana and Texas, according to agency officials.

    The agencies also settled a second case involving air pollution violations with PDC Energy, a Colorado oil and gas company whose storage tanks were found to be leaking smog-forming compounds. The company also was fined $2.5 million, which will be shared by Colorado and the federal government.

    "We will be enforcing environmental laws in this administration and that's not just my message, it's the message straight from the top," said Patrick Traylor, the E.P.A. deputy assistant administrator for enforcement. The agency, Mr. Traylor said, is "emphasizing the rule of law in this administration, specifically at E.P.A."

    The announcements came as Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the E.P.A., has been denying accusations by environmental advocates that he is weak on enforcement. A recent study by the Environmental Integrity Project, based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, found the Trump administration had collected 60 percent less in civil penalties from polluters through July 31 than the previous three administrations over a similar period.

    But in a recent interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Pruitt vowed to crack down on polluters, saying, "They don't know me."

    Jeffrey H. Wood, acting assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources, said that since January the environment division has imposed more than $1.7 billion worth of civil penalties and $2.9 billion in criminal fines.

    Tuesday's settlements resolve allegations that Exxon and PDC Energy violated the federal Clean Air Act by releasing harmful pollutants.

    In the case of PDC, the company has agreed to spend about $18 million to upgrade systems. The Exxon settlement is expected to reduce releases of volatile organic compounds by more than 7,000 tons per year and reduce toxic air pollutants like benzene by more than 1,500 tons per year, Mr. Wood said. The settlement also requires the company to spend $1 million to plant trees in Baytown, Tex.

    Exxon's Baytown operation came under scrutiny during Hurricane Harvey this year for releasing toxic pollutants during the storm, which battered refineries and other chemical facilities along Houston's coastline. In one case, a sinking tank roof at Exxon's Baytown facility resulted in the release of hazardous gases — including volatile organic compounds and benzene — above permitted levels.

    "These investments, which include flare monitoring equipment and flare gas recovery systems, will help improve flare efficiency at these chemical facilities, which are among the largest petrochemical complexes in the world," Aaron Stryk, an Exxon spokesman said in a statement. "Exxon Mobil complies with environmental laws, regulations and permits."



    3) In CIA We Trust

    By Glen Ford, November 2, 2017


    More than a year after the Democrats began blaming Hillary Clinton's campaign problems on Russia, the allegations of massive Kremlin interference in U.S. elections are still based on the "high confidence" – but evidence-free – CIA assertion that Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. One cannot imagine a less credible authority than the agency headquartered in Langley, Virginia: an organization specializing in disinformation, mass psychological manipulation, false flag operations, assassination, and regime change. No single entity in modern history, foreign or domestic, has told more lies -- and been caught bloody-handed, during or after the fact -- than the CIA.

    Only a fool, or a willing accomplice, would believe a word from the CIA's mouth. Yet, the agency has arguable reached the all-time height of its influence over U.S. domestic affairs as the key player in the unfolding decapitation of the U.S. government, while the imperial war machine plays nuclear "chicken" with a range of demonized adversaries.

    The Mother of All Liars is deemed the arbiter of truth. The CIA first conjures and then ritually deciphers both the crisis in domestic governance (the Russians did it) and the crisis (also Russia-based) of shrinking U.S. influence in the world. That the CIA continues to command such respect and authority, after all these years of ceaseless lying, is testament to the depth of the crisis of legitimacy that wracks U.S. ruling circles at this stage of capitalist decay.

    We are inflicted with the spectacle of the Black political class -- worthless misleaders -- clucking that Russians are the root of escalating white supremacist outrages in the U.S. The Kremlin, supposedly on a social media budget of about a hundred thousand dollars, has replaced (or absorbed) the Republican White Man's Party as the wily villains of U.S. voter suppression, if you believe Atlanta Black Rep. John Lewis. Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters has forgiven the CIA for bringing crack cocaine to the ghetto; she now blames the Russians for sowing social "dissension," putting Black lives in danger. Waters revels in being called "auntie" by mostly white "liberal" crowds of Democratic "resisters" against Trump, and rants about "the Kremlin Klan " that pulls the strings in the White House, while a majority of her colleagues on the Congressional Black Caucus cast their votes for the Orange Menace's gargantuan war budget -- thus guaranteeing the further gutting of social programs for their constituents.

    The logic is clear: if the Russians have taken command of Trump's brain, and harnessed Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deep-fried racism to their own ends, then war with Moscow is the only path to racial justice in the United States. Eighty-four percent of U.S. cops supported Trump , according to a survey by Police magazine. That makes them dupes for the Kremlin -- which is, therefore, retroactively responsible for police violence in Black communities. There is a Russian behind every nightstick.

    The CIA has pulled off one of the greatest psychological ops of all time, converting the bulk of elected officials representing the most left-leaning, anti-war constituency in the U.S. -- Black people -- into rabid Russia-haters.

    It's a good bet that the recent release of nearly 3,000 previously classified documents detailing the CIA's history of domestic and international terrorism, false flag operations and regime change schemes, will have little political effect on the agency's credibility on all things Russian. Although the CIA has become, if anything, more murderous with time, the imperial populace is immensely forgiving of crimes against weaker peoples. Most politically aware Americans already knew the CIA waged biological warfare against Cuban crops, and attempted scores of times to assassinate Fidel Castro; that one of Eisenhower's last acts was to order the death of Congolese president Patrice Lumumba; and that the CIA considered the 1953 overthrow of Iran's elected leader a great feat. The new batch of documents, related to the assassination of President John Kennedy, details a CIA scheme to stage bombings in Miami and even sink a "boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida" and blame it on Castro, at the risk of killing innocent people. However, it is well known that CIA operatives actually did carry out lethal bombings in Cuba, and destroyed a Cuban airliner full of passengers. The CIA killed 50,000 Vietnamese in Operation Phoenix and collaborated in the slaughter and disappearance of tens of thousands of Latin Americans. In league with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the CIA literally created the international jihadist network that became al Qaeda and its off-shoots around the world, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands. And almost every sentient American knows the CIA gave thumbs up to "intelligence" claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    To compile a list of the CIA's crimes, is to describe U.S. foreign policy since the agency's founding in 1947. The CIA has never been a law unto itself. It is the clandestine arm of U.S. foreign policy, and carries out the objectives of the U.S. ruling class -- or various factions of that class. Its mission is maintenance and expansion of an empire that is not subject to the laws that constrain other nations. That is the meaning of American "exceptionalism."

    Those Americans that regularly "forgive" CIA crimes understand that it acts in service of U.S. empire. The problem is not that these people are so enamored of the CIA and its dark works, but that they identify with U.S. power in the world, and lack solidarity with the rest of humanity. This applies to millions of folks that think of themselves as "progressive," as well as Trump's "delplorables."

    That's why Maxine Waters can't shake the imperialist disease.



    4) Democratic Party Affiliation in Mississippi "A Compromise Made in Error" Says Cooperation Jackson's Kali Akuno

    By Bruce A. Dixon, November 2, 2017


    It was natural enough. To be white in Mississippi is to be a Republican, to be black is to be a Democrat. So when the leaders of the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization, heir to organizational efforts in Jackson Mississippi since the early 1970s considered running candidates for local office they did what looked like the sensible thing. They ran Chokwe Lumumba and his son Chokwe Antar as Democrats. Kali Akuno, a former member of the MXGM leadership team now says that joining the Democrats was a strategic compromise "made in error."

    Becoming Democrats was supposed to have been a compromise, Akuno observed at the Movement School for Revolutionaries held October 21 in Jackson MS. It was to have been a temporary thing while MXGM built its own independent political organization to fight for the kind of thoroughgoing social and economic change outlined in what became the Jackson Kush Plan, or if that didn't work might try to building the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that kind of political arm. But neither were much tried. Effectively the MXGM crew simply suspended their own views to enlist as Democrats. They did this so successfully that after running four local campaigns in ten years a great deal of black Jackson which voted for its candidates doesn't know about Jackson Kush or the principles the MXGM stands for. In Akuno's book he said "that's not a victory."

    Adofo Minka and Kali Akuno said they both advised Chokwe Antar not to run for mayor this time, for similar reasons. When Chokwe Lumumba ran for mayor in 2012 the city of Jackson had a budget surplus. Now the new mayor is confronted with what Akuno called a kind of Syriza Trap. Its central business district under state control, the privatization of its schools and water the razing of several black neighborhoods nearly imminent, and an emergency management regime coming to strip elected city government of the ability to do much of anything without approval from bankers. The Lumumba administration is already working with advisors from the Gates Foundation, perhaps trying to choose its own emergency managers before these are chosen by somebody else. Governing in 2017 means having to manage capitalism's crises without questioning capitalism. It means being the black faces who administer the cuts and austerity and gentrification. It means giving up the right to criticize other Democrats who take orders from their contributors/investors, and giving up the right to oppose the permanent wars too. This isn't what some signed up for.

    A national narrative is out there, said Minka in which Bernie Sanders gets credit for electing Chokwe Antar and some talk up their supposed ability to recreate the electoral success of Jackson around the country without the least idea of what underlies it.

    "Antar is having to figure out every day... where can I compromise with these folks and where can I fight them," said Kali Akuno. Mississippi tea party types hold the governor's chair and a supermajority in the state legislature, emboldened by Trump in the White House. State lawmakers have responded to mere discussion of some sustainability and human rights initiatives with bills to outlaw them.

    It's a set of crises that can't be addressed, Akuno asserts, by electing more Democrats. Something else has to happen. Chokwe Antar may hold office, but he can really neither build nor fight effectively. That requires something quite different from another campaign for office.

    It requires organizing which prefigures the kind of society and people we will have to become in a post-capitalist world. That something else is promoting the transition to a solidarity economy in which workers have rights on the job, where economic justice and sustainability at home and peace abroad are priorities. Four years ago Akuno and others founded Cooperation Jackson to do just those things.

    Cooperation Jackson is about taking as much land off the speculative market as possible. It's about founding and fostering cooperative enterprises in every economic niche to train working class people to run their own world, to demand and to achieve economic democracy. There's a long game and a short game and a short game, observes Akuno. Short term compromises with the Democrats don't advance our long game.



    5) Puerto Rico in the Dark

    By Ed Morales, November 4, 2017


    Photographer Joseph Rodríguez captures the isolation of a storm-ravaged island.

    Like most members of the Puerto Rican diaspora, I couldn't reach my family and friends on the island for more than a week after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20. All I had to work with was a quick phone call my mother's neighbor had made to my sister. The neighbor said that my mother and my aunt had ridden out the storm together, that they were basically fine. My mother's home, made of sturdy concrete, was intact.

    My sister, her husband and I spent several days booking flights to San Juan that wound up being canceled. We were finally able to get one in early October. I'd been poring over media images of the destruction, but I was still shaken by what I confronted as we drove the 25 miles or so from the capital to my mother's home near the El Yunque rain forest.

    Everywhere were dystopic vistas of piled debris: pieces of zinc roofs, cracked porcelain fixtures, discarded mattresses and an uninterrupted line of tropical trees stripped, snapped and splintered like matchsticks.

    The catastrophic effects of the storm, which have arguably been exacerbated by the slow and indifferent response of the federal government, left the island and its residents battered yet defiant. They are facing a yearslong process of recovery.

    Many of Puerto Rico's existing problems — its $72 billion municipal bond debt, archaic and brittle electrical energy infrastructure and health care collapse — have accelerated in a scary fashion because of the hurricane. While hundreds of thousands are predicted to move to the mainland United States, there are many who can't or won't, and they are holding on tightly to a tradition of community-based acts of survival. Listening to those stories of survival, told in the particular singsong that characterizes the island accent, resonated with me as if they were my own.

    María Maldonado, who lives in Alto del Cabro barrio, just a few minutes' walk from the tony Condado tourist district, lost the roof of her house. She's in the process of submitting a loan application to the government but first must prove that the ownership of the house she grew up in has passed hands from her father, who is no longer living, to her.

    "I had spent years repairing the roof, spent $4,000 on it, but Maria came in and tore open the zinc like the lid off a tin can," she told me. FEMA declared her house a total loss.

    Ilda Sánchez and Alberto Luquis found a crocodile in their flooded house in Caño Martín Peña, a Santurce neighborhood of the working poor who settled along a canal that once nourished mangroves.

    The neighborhood was precarious before the storm; people feared displacement by tourism developments, as had happened in the 1980s in a nearby neighborhood. The hurricane's destruction will encourage people to move along even faster, leaving behind a community that came to exist because of rural displacement after hurricanes in the early 20th century.

    Just as the hurricanes did then, this storm exposed the dividing lines between well-off Puerto Ricans and those in need. In the San Juan metro area, cafes, bars and restaurants are running at half-speed with diesel generators. Just an hour's drive into the countryside, communities are cut off from sustainable supplies of food, water and medication.

    Near Mameyes, the town at the foot of the mountains that are home to El Yunque rain forest, I saw people washing their clothes by hand in the Espiritu Santo River, returning to a 19th-century reality that didn't depend on electrical appliances. Up the road, a brigade of workers struggled to restore fallen lines. The grid, already in trouble before the storm, had been shattered. Everyone, no matter their political orientation or desire for statehood or independence, had been plunged into the darkness of no cellular signal or internet. They knew about as much about their relatives elsewhere on the island as people stateside did.

    As I drove around the island, I kept seeing Puerto Ricans who had pulled over on the side of the road, standing in just the right spot where a stray signal could be caught, and a few precious words with a loved one could be stolen from the trauma of extreme weather dislocation.

    I gave my mother a smartphone a few years ago, in an effort to edge her closer to tech savviness. She was a bit reluctant then, but now, I saw sadness in her eyes over not being able to reach anyone or anything with her phone. We'd come down with the intent to bring her back to New York, at least for a few months, and after a brief moment of regret, she finally agreed.

    With so much loss, there was a gain, though. The community organized so quickly, with brigades clearing the roads and tending to the elderly, the sick and those who'd lost the roof over their heads. Some time may pass before cell towers restore the virtual community, but now, more than ever, the actual community is resoundingly "presente."



    6) Ex-Leader of Catalonia Turns Himself In to Police in Brussels

     NOV. 5, 2017




    The deposed Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and other former officials at a news conference in Brussels last month. CreditAurore Belot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    BRUSSELS — The former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and four former members of his regional government turned themselves in to the Belgian police on Sunday morning, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office said.

    The spokesman, Gilles Dejemeppe, said that they would be questioned over the next 24 hours by an investigative judge.

    A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant on Friday for Mr. Puigdemont and the four former members of his cabinet, who left Catalonia for Brussels. The warrant was sent to the Belgian federal prosecutor.

    Mr. Puigdemont told RTBF, a Belgian television broadcaster, on Friday that he was "completely available to cooperate" with the Belgian court system, which he called "the real justice."

    "At this point there are no guarantees of getting a just and independent trial which could escape the enormous pressure and influence of politics on the judicial powers in Spain," Mr. Puigdemont said.

    In total, the Spanish authorities are seeking to prosecute 20 politicians on rebellion and other charges for declaring Catalonia's independence from Spain last month. Several former members of the Catalan regional government were jailed without bail last this week, pending trial.

    A Belgian judge will be able to question Mr. Puigdemont and the other four detainees before deciding whether to apply the international arrest warrant. Even if formally arrested at that point, the five could be released with conditions, such as house arrest. The question of extradition will be decided separately.

    Mr. Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer, Paul Bekaert, could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but he said last week that his client would cooperate fully. "If the extradition is approved, then we will definitely go the whole way," he said.

    The whole procedure, including several possibilities for appeal, could take up to two months, Mr. Bekaert said.




    7)  When Susan B. Anthony's 'Little Band of 9 Ladies' Voted Illegally

     NOV. 5, 2017




    On Nov. 5, 1872, nearly 50 years before the 19th Amendment granted women in the United States the right to vote, Susan B. Anthony and a small group of women cast their ballots for president in Rochester, N.Y., days after she had persuaded election inspectors to register them.

    The move, which resulted in arrests and a trial — in which Anthony was found guilty — was an act of defiance and audacity that helped propel the long, slow march to women's suffrage.

    The New York Times covered the moment, sort of. One paragraph ran inside the paper the next morning, Nov. 6. The news was deemed insignificant in no uncertain terms — it was published under the heading "Minor Topics."

    The item recognized that the event could lead to a momentous shift, acknowledging that Anthony was "leading to the polls the advance guard of the coming squadrons of female voters." At the same time, it captured the dismissive misogyny of the era, referring to the women as "a little band of nine ladies."

    The tone might seem shocking today, but it shouldn't, said Louise Bernikow, an expert on American women's history and a speaker on women's political movements.

    Newspapers at the time paid little attention to the push for women's suffrage. "It was not a massively popular movement in 1872," she said.

    This brief item in The Times was only one example of how the paper reported on the efforts. An article published a decade later, on Oct. 16, 1882, was written in terms that would be deemed unquestionably sexist today.

    "Literal people may ask, Why, then, does not woman have the right of suffrage?" it stated. "The answer is easy. She does not want it. Of course, it must be admitted that women, or some women, think they want the ballot. But they do not really want it."

    It continued: "Philosophers have observed that the female desire is invariably kindled by that which is, or seems to be, unattainable."

    The article — which examined a debate between Anthony and Edward Rosewater, a Republican politician and newspaper editor from Omaha — shot down Anthony's assertion that disenfranchisement was akin to degradation. To be "disfranchised," it stated, one would have to be robbed of a right "he (or she) already holds."

    It then reinforced a central argument made by those who opposed women's suffrage: that it would lead to the destruction of the traditional home. "To give woman the ballot, provided woman wanted it, would be to bring desolation and distraction into multitudes of happy homes."

    Ms. Bernikow, whose current work focuses on the effort to achieve women's suffrage in New York City, said The Times and its editors were "speaking to the status quo."

    "They're entrenched white men," she said. "The main boogeyman that they've come up with is home life."

    It took another generation for the movement to gain a wider audience, Ms. Bernikow said. Harriot Stanton Blatch, a daughter of the women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, broadened the movement from its initial focus on morality — that it was immoral to believe that women were not citizens.

    Blatch's method: Appeal to the court of public opinion by holding open-air meetings, speaking from soapboxes on street corners, and holding parades and marches with banners and pins.

    This next iteration of the movement also benefited from a vast network of suffrage-focused media. "They had magazines, ways of distributing information that didn't depend of the mainstream press, tons of it," Ms. Bernikow said. "That made a huge difference."

    The earlier revolutionaries were meeting in churches and petitioning the state and federal governments, but not enough citizens were paying attention. Anthony's 1872 vote and the subsequent trial had a very small audience.

    "Until the turn of the 20th century, that's the kind of movement it was," Ms. Bernikow said. "You were basically speaking to the converted."

    Women's activists in the early 1900s also gained support by appealing to working women who were persuaded that having the vote would improve conditions. "That's a huge number, particularly in New York City — the garment workers," Ms. Bernikow said.

    And marchers took to the streets, "extremely organized in military ranks," Ms. Bernikow said, disproving stereotypes that were common about women at the time — that they couldn't be organized and had no discipline.

    "By the turn of the century, you had, in New York City, 30,000 marchers and half a million onlookers," she said. "It's incredible."



    8)  What the Climate Report Says About the Impact of Global Warming

     NOV. 3, 2017




    The same, only worse.

    Global warming is affecting the United States more than ever, and the impacts — on communities, regions, infrastructure and sectors of the economy — are expected to increase.

    That's the gist of Volume II of the National Climate Assessment, a draft report made public on Friday that focuses on the current and future impacts of climate change. The draft will eventually accompany a report on the science of climate change that was unveiled by 13 federal agencies in its final form on the same day.

    In addition to comments by members of the public, Volume II is being reviewed by an expert committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. After revisions by the agencies involved it is expected to be published in December 2018.

    Like the scientific report, the draft of Volume II contains many of the same findings cited in the previous National Climate Assessment, published in 2014. But reflecting some of the impacts that have been felt across the country in the past three years, some of the emphasis has changed.

    Here's a look at some of what's new in the draft assessment.

    Predicted impacts have materialized

    More and more of the predicted impacts of global warming are now becoming a reality.

    For instance, the 2014 assessment forecast that coastal cities would see more flooding in the coming years as sea levels rose. That's no longer theoretical: Scientists have now documented a record number of "nuisance flooding" events during high tides. In 2014, nearly half of residents in Hampton Roads, Va., could not get out of their neighborhoods at least once because of tidal flooding.

    Meanwhile, as the oceans have warmed, disruptions in United States fisheries, long predicted, are now underway. In 2012, record ocean temperatures caused lobster catches in Maine to peak a month earlier than usual — and the distribution chain was unprepared.

    A focus on air quality

    While much of the discussion of climate change looks at the role of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in warming the planet, the draft report puts a renewed emphasis on the impacts of other atmospheric pollutants like ozone and smoke, which can cause respiratory problems and lead to premature death.

    The draft notes with "high confidence" that climate change will increase ozone levels, as rising temperatures and changes in atmospheric circulation affect local weather conditions. But the increases will not be uniform; by near the end of the century the worst ozone levels will be found across a wide expanse of the Midwest and Northern Great Plains, while levels are expected to improve, at least somewhat, in parts of the Southeast.

    The report reiterates what residents of the West have learned from hard experience: that warmer springs, longer dry seasons in the summer and other impacts are lengthening the fire season. The smoke from fires affects not only health, the report says, but visibility.

    Adaptation, adaptation, adaptation

    Since 2014, more detailed economic research has estimated that climate change could cause hundreds of billions of dollars in annual damage, as deadly heat waves, coastal flooding, and an increase in extreme weather take their toll. Unless, that is, communities take steps to prepare beforehand.

    The previous assessment warned that few states and cities were taking steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change. That's slowly changing, the new draft finds. More and more communities are taking measures such as preserving wetlands along the coasts to act as buffers against storms.

    But outside of a few places in Louisiana and Alaska, few coastal communities are rethinking their development patterns in order to avoid the impacts from rising seas and severe weather that the report says are surely coming.

    Beyond borders

    The United States military has long taken climate change seriously, both for its potential impacts on troops and infrastructure around the world and for its potential to cause political instability in other countries.

    The draft report cites these international concerns, but goes far beyond the military. Climate change is already affecting American companies' overseas operations and supply chains, it says, and as these impacts worsen it will take a toll on trade and the economy.

    Global warming and natural disasters are also affecting development in less affluent countries. That, the draft says, puts additional burdens on the United States for humanitarian assistance and disaster aid.

    It's all tied together

    The draft report suggests a different approach to assessing the effects of climate change, by considering how various impacts — on food supplies, water and electricity generation, for example — interact with each other.

    "It is not possible to understand the full extent of climate-related impacts in the United States without considering these interactions," the report says.

    It gives several examples, including recent droughts in California and elsewhere that, in combination with population changes, affects demand for water and energy. The draft also cites Hurricane Sandy, five years ago, which caused cascading impacts on interconnected systems in the New York area, some of which had not been anticipated. Flooding of subway and highway tunnels, for example, made it more difficult to repair the electrical system, which suffered widespread damage.



    9) Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years



    American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001.

    The Department of Defense periodically releases a "cost of war" report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017.

    The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion.

    The report's costs include only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran's benefits for troops who serve in these wars or the intelligence community's expenses related to Global War on Terror.

    2011 paper from Harvard Kennedy School professor Linda Bilmes estimated the cost of veterans' benefits as $600 billion to $1 trillion over the next 40 years. That number was based on 482,364 veterans who were receiving compensation for disability connected to service as of February 2011. Since then, the number of veterans receiving compensation for service-related disability has increased drastically.

    According to the Veterans' Benefits Administration's 2016 annual benefits report , 1,060,408 veterans are receiving service-related benefits, averaging $15,907 a year. The total annual benefits for Global War on Terror veterans' benefits are currently $16.8 billion per year, which over the next 40 years would total $674 billion, placing it firmly within Bilmes' original 2011 estimate.

    According to the Congressional Research Service, the only war in U.S. history to cost more than the Global War on Terror is World War II, at more than $4.1 trillion in present dollars. Direct war-related expenses from the Vietnam War cost $738 billion in today's dollars.



    10)  Who's Afraid of Corporate COINTELPRO?


    "Although it's perfectly fine to write books and movies about fictional evil corporations, writing about how real corporations are using their power to mold societies into self-policing virtual prisons of politically-correct, authoritarian consumers is … well, it's something that is just not done in professional elitist wanker circles."

    On November 30, 2016, presumably right at the stroke of midnight, Google Inc. unpersoned CounterPunch. They didn't send out a press release or anything. They just quietly removed it from the Google News aggregator. Not very many people noticed. This happened just as the "fake news" hysteria was being unleashed by the corporate media, right around the time The Washington Post ran this neo-McCarthyite smear piece vicariously accusing CounterPunch, and a number of other publications, of being "peddlers of Russian propaganda." As I'm sure you'll recall, that astounding piece of "journalism" (which The Post was promptly forced to disavow with an absurd disclaimer but has refused to retract) was based on the claims of an anonymous website apparently staffed by a couple of teenagers and a formerly rabidly anti-Communist, now rabidly anti-Putin think tank. Little did most people know at the time that these were just the opening salvos in what has turned out to be an all-out crackdown on any and all forms of vocal opposition to the global corporate ruling classes and their attempts to quash the ongoing nationalist backlash against their neoliberal agenda.

    Almost a year later, things are much clearer. If you haven't been following this story closely, and you care at all about freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and that kind of stuff, you may want to take an hour or two and catch up a bit on what's been happening. I offered a few examples of some of the measures governments and corporations have been taking to stifle expressions of dissent in my latest piece in CounterPunch, and there are many more detailed articles online, like this one by Andre Damon from July, and this follow-up he published last week (which reports that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges has also been unpersoned). Or, if you're the type of soul who only believes what corporations tell you, and who automatically dismisses anything published by a Trotskyist website, here's one from last December in The Guardian, and an op-ed in The New York Times, both of which at least report what Google, Twitter, and Facebook are up to. Or you could read this piece by Robert Parry, who also has "legitimate" (i.e., corporate) credentials, and who hasn't been unpersoned just yet, although I'm sure they'll get around to him eventually.

    I am using the Orwellian verb "unperson" playfully, but I'm also trying to be precise. What's happening isn't censorship, technically, at least not in the majority of cases. While there are examples of classic censorship (e.g., in the UK, France, and Germany), apart from so-called "terrorist content," most governments aren't formally banning expressions of anti-corporatist dissent. This isn't Czechoslovakia, after all. This is global capitalism, where the repression of dissent is a little more subtle. The point of Google unpersoning CounterPunch (and probably many other publications) and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists like Hedges is not to prevent them from publishing their work or otherwise render them invisible to readers. The goal is to delegitmize them, and thus decrease traffic to their websites and articles, and ultimately drive them out of business, if possible.

    Another objective of this non-censorship censorship is discouraging writers like myself from contributing to publications like CounterPunch, Truthdig, Alternet, Global Research, and any other publications the corporatocracy deems "illegitimate." Google unpersoning a writer like Hedges is a message to other non-ball-playing writers. The message is, "this could happen to you." This message is meant for other journalists, primarily, but it's also aimed at writers like myself who are making a living (to whatever degree) writing and selling what we think of as "literature."

    Yes, as you've probably guessed by now, in addition to writing political satire, I am, as rogue journalist Caitlin Johnstone so aptly put it once, an "elitist wanker." I've spent the majority of my adult life writing stage plays and working in the theater, and it doesn't get any more elitist than that. My plays are published by "establishment" publishers, have won a few awards, and have been produced internationally. I recently published my "debut novel" (which is what you call it if you're an elitist wanker) and am currently trying to promote and sell it. I mention this, not to blow my little horn, but to the set the stage to try to illustrate how these post-Orwellian intimidation tactics (i.e., unpersoning people from the Internet) work. These tactics do not just suppress information. They enforce conformity at much deeper level.

    The depressing fact of the matter is, in our brave new Internet-dominated world, corporations like Google, Twitter, and Facebook (not to mention Amazon), are, for elitist wankers like me, in the immortal words of Colonel Kurz, "either friends or they are truly enemies to be feared." If you are in the elitist wanker business, regardless of whether you're Jonathan Franzen, Garth Risk Hallberg, Margaret Atwood, or some "mid-list" or "emerging" author, there is no getting around these corporations. So it's kind of foolish, professionally speaking, to write a bunch of essays that will piss them off, and then publish these essays in CounterPunch. Literary agents advise against this. Other elitist literary wankers, once they discover what you've been doing, will avoid you like the bubonic plague. Although it's perfectly fine to write books and movies about fictional evil corporations, writing about how real corporations are using their power to mold societies into self-policing virtual prisons of politically-correct, authoritarian consumers is … well, it's something that is just not done in professional elitist wanker circles.

    Normally, all this goes without saying, as these days most elitist wankers are trained how to write, and read, and think, in MFA conformity factories, where they screen out any unstable weirdos with unhealthy interests in political matters. This is to avoid embarrassing episodes like Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize lecture (which, if you haven't read it, you probably should), and is why so much of contemporary literature is so well-behaved and instantly forgettable. This institutionalized screening system is also why the majority of journalists employed by mainstream media outlets understand, without having to be told, what they are, and are not, allowed to report. Chomsky explains how this system operates in What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream. It isn't a question of censorship … the system operates on rewards and punishments, financial and emotional coercion, and subtler forms of intimidation. Making examples of non-cooperators is a particularly effective tactic. Ask any one of the countless women whose careers have been destroyed by Harvey Weinstein, or anyone who's been to graduate school, or worked at a major corporation.

    Or let me provide you with a personal example.

    A couple weeks ago, I googled myself (which we elitist wankers are wont to do), and noticed that two of my published books had disappeared from the "Knowledge Panel" that appears in the upper right of the search results. I also noticed that the people "People Also Search For" in the panel had changed. For years, consistently, the people you saw there had been a variety of other elitist literary wankers and leftist types. Suddenly, they were all rather right-wing types, people like Ilana Mercer and John Derbyshire, and other VDARE writers. So that was a little disconcerting.

    I set out to contact the Google Search specialists to inquire about this mysterious development, and was directed to a series of unhelpful web pages directing me to other unhelpful pages with little boxes where you can write and submit a complaint to Google, which they will completely ignore. Being an elitist literary wanker, I also wrote to Google Books, and exchanged a number of cordial emails with an entity (let's call her Ms. O'Brien) who explained that, for "a variety of reasons," the "visibility" of my books (which had been consistently visible for many years) was subject to change from day to day, and that, regrettably, she couldn't assist me further, and that sending her additional cordial emails was probably a pointless waste of time. Ms. O'Brien was also pleased to report that my books had been restored to "visibility," which, of course, when I checked, they hadn't.

    "Whatever," I told myself, "this is silly. It's probably just some IT thing, maybe Google Books updating its records, or something." However, I was still perplexed by the "People Also Search For" switcheroo, because it's kind of misleading to link my writing to that of a bunch of serious right-wingers. Imagine, if you were a dystopian sci-fi fan, and you googled me to check out my book and see what else I had written, and so on, and my Google "Knowledge Panel" popped up and displayed all these far-right VDARE folks. Unless you're a far-right VDARE type yourself, that might be a little bit of a turn-off.

    At that point, I wondered if I was getting paranoid. Because Google Search runs on algorithms, right? And my political satire and commentary is published, not only in CounterPunch, but also in The Unz Review, where these far-right-wing types are also published. Moreover, my pieces are often reposted by what appear to be "Russia-linked" websites, and everyone knows that the Russians are all a bunch of white supremacists, right? On top of which, it's not like I'm Stephen King here. I am hardly famous enough to warrant the attention of any post-Orwellian corporate conspiracy to stigmatize anti-establishment dissent by manipulating how authors are displayed on Google (i.e., subtly linking them to white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others of that ilk).

    So, okay, I reasoned, what probably happened was … over the course of twenty-four hours, for no logical reason whatsoever, all the folks who had been googling me (along with other leftist and literary figures) suddenly stopped googling me, all at once, while, more or less at the exact same time, hundreds of right-wingers started googling me (along with those white supremacist types they had, theoretically, already been googling). That kind of makes sense when you think about it, right? I mean, Google couldn't be doing this intentionally. It must have been some sort of algorithm that detected this sudden, seismic shift in the demographic of people googling me.

    Or, I don't know, does that possibly sound like a desperate attempt to rationalize the malicious behavior of an unaccountable, more or less god-like, global corporation that wields the power of life and death over my book sales and profile on the Internet (a more or less god-like global corporation that could do a lot of additional damage to my sales and reputation with complete impunity once the piece you're reading is published)? Or am I simply getting paranoid, and, in fact, I've developed a secret white supremacist fan base without my knowledge? Only Google knows for sure.

    Such are the conundrums elitist literary wankers have to face these days … that is, those of us wankers who haven't learned to keep our fucking mouths shut yet. Probably the safest course of action, regardless of whether I'm being paranoid or Google does have me on some kind of list, is to lay off the anti-corporatist essays, and definitely stop contributing to CounterPunch, not to mention The Unz Review, and probably also give up the whole dystopian satire novel thing, and ensure that my second novel conforms to the "normal" elitist wanker rules (which every literary wanker knows, but which, technically, do not exist). Who knows, if I play my cards right, maybe I can even sell the rights to Miramax, or … okay, some other corporation.

    Once that happens, I assume that Google will want to restore me to normal personhood, and return my books to visibility, and I will ride off into the Hollywood sunset with the Clintons, Clooneys, and Pichais, and maybe even Barack Obama himself, if he isn't off jet skiing with Richard Branson, or having dinner with Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, who just happen to live right down the street, or hawking the TPP on television. By that time, CounterPunch and all those other "illegitimate" publications will have been forced onto the dark web anyway, so I won't be giving up all that much. I know, that sounds pretty cold and cynical, but my liberal friends will understand … I just hope all my new white supremacist fans will find it in their hearts to forgive me.

    More articles by:

    C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant.



    11) Mold is blanketing Puerto Rico making it difficult for many to breathe.

    By Pakalolo, October 31, 2017


    According to the National Institute of Health (Clinical Microbiology Rev. July 2003; 16(3):497-516. Mycotoxins. By J.W.Bennett and M. Klich), "Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals.  Mycoses range from merely annoying (e.g., Athlete's Foot) to life-threatening (e.g., invasive Aspergillosis). Primary pathogens affect otherwise healthy individuals with normal immune systems. Opportunistic pathogens produce illness by taking advantage of debilitated or immune-compromised hosts……  The majority of human mycoses are caused by opportunistic fungi."

    "Mycoses are frequently acquired via inhalation of spores from an environmental reservoir. Skin contact with mold-infested substrates and inhalation of spore-borne toxins are also important sources of exposure." (Bennett and Klich, ibid).

    Diseases associated with inhalation of spores include toxic pneumonia, hypersensitivity pneumonia (characterized by inflammation of the lungs which can lead to scarring of the lungs, an irreversible condition that decreases lung capacity), sinusitis, tremors, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney failure, biofilm, hair loss, skin conditions, vision disturbances, neurologic disturbances, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, internal hemorrhaging, and abnormal liver levels. Exposure to mold, according to the Florida Department of Health, can cause cognitive problems such as memory loss and mood swings. In some individuals, these can lead to depression, fatigue and loss of interest in everyday activities. Mycotoxins can cause sleep disturbances and if left untreated, can lead to neurological problems such as impaired balance and difficulty walking.

    The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria barreled over the island is only getting worse. Alarm bells are being rung from humanitarian organizations on the ground that the deteriorating conditions are seriously impacting human health and survival. Warnings from the front lines are summarized in the excerpts below.

    "It's an emergency that a month in should not be an emergency--but it is," said Thompson, presenting a series of real-life scenarios that Puerto Ricans have been grappling with since driving rain and winds of 155 miles per hour  took down the island's entire electrical grid on Sept. 20.  Without electricity, a great deal of daily life grinds to a halt: there's no light at night,  no fans or air conditioners to cool sweltering rooms, no easy way to charge phones or access the internet, no reliable way to keep hospitals running--the list goes on.

    What would you do, Thompson asked, if your elderly mother, wheel-chair bound and desperately needing food and water, was stuck on the 17th floor of an apartment building in San Juan with no working elevator?

    Or, what if the hurricane had drenched everything inside your house including all the mattresses, forcing you and your children to sleep on the floor where rats could be scampering? Or what if you lived in the countryside, stuck on the far side of a collapsed bridge, and you had no way to get drinking water because the storm knocked out your community's delivery system? There's no bottled water anywhere and a relief convoy hasn't visited in days. What would you do?

    Not everyone is suffering, Thompson pointed out. Those with money have options: They can get a hot meal in a restaurant; they can buy fuel for their cars and generators; they can purchase dry sheets and towels for their homes--and their homes, better built to begin with, may still have their roofs.

    "It's hard to describe the complexity of it," said Thompson. "Parts of San Juan look normal; parts look ravaged."

    "Tarps are desperately needed right now," said Thompson, noting that one rural woman she encountered had relied on her sister in the Dominican Republic, where more than 40 percent of the population lives in poverty, to send her one. "Some kind of lighting system is badly needed. There are all kinds of things you can't get--insect repellent, [a type of ] batteries."

    But with the rainy season here, tarps top the list for some community leaders who are doing all they can to  help ensure people have shelter.  Thompson described the efforts of one woman who has been trying to get tarps for about 800 homes in different communities outside of San Juan: The woman approached the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, which sent her to speak to the mayors of the communities. The mayors didn't have tarps, so she went back to FEMA. No luck again. So next she called the tarp manufacturing companies in the US, and hit a dead end there, too.

    "She has been up and down for these communities and has not been able to get these tarps," said Thompson.

    Those efforts are playing out against a new worry for families whose homes have been exposed to the elements: mold.

    "A lot of times in hurricanes people forget to talk about just how hard it is to clean out your house, and the mold," said Thompson. "It's an increasing problem. People are just beginning to realize it." Chlorine is what people need to try and tackle the problem, but the supplies are restricted.

    "You need a whole kit to take mold off," said Thompson. "You need to educate people about that. And so how do you do that when there is no communication?" She said the public health department will need to organize a full effort to address the mold issue.

    "It seems everywhere you come up against another insurmountable problem," Thompson added.



    12) As Wild Salmon Decline, Norway Pressures Its Giant Fish Farms

    NOV. 6, 201





    SKJERJEHAMN, Norway — As a teenager, Ola Braanaas kept a few fish in an aquarium in his bedroom. Now, at 55, he keeps a lot more of them: around 1.2 million just in one windswept spot off the stunning coast of Norway, a giant farm with six large, circular structures each containing around 200,000 fish.

    Once a rarity on global dinner tables, salmon is a staple today, thanks to a fish farming industry that has expanded at breakneck speed in recent decades, including in Norway, where in 2016 around 1.18 million metric tons were produced.

    But now, Norwegian fish farmers face new curbs designed to protect the country's stocks of wild salmon, rules that have ignited anger from the industry and its opponents, prompting threats of court challenges from both sides.

    The wild Norwegian salmon are members of an ancient species that, early in its life cycle, heads down river, swimming through Norway's famous fjords, and out to saltwater feeding grounds, before returning to their native rivers to spawn.

    In recent years, however, the wild salmon population has more than halved, partly because of the spread of sea lice, parasites that feast on the mucus and skin of the fish before moving on to the muscle and fat, making the fish vulnerable to infections and sometimes killing them.

    Sea lice, like the salmon, have existed in the ocean for eons but have emerged as a huge problem for the fish farms, where they multiply in such numbers that they kill farmed fish and pose a risk to young wild salmon as they pass the holding pens on their way to the open sea.

    The lice problem is so bad that the worldwide supply of salmon on sale, the overwhelming majority of which is farmed, fell significantly last year, with Norway, the largest producer, especially hard hit.

    To contain the problem, a system came into force in Norway on Oct. 15, under which farms in regions that are judged to severely threaten wild salmon numbers will have their production frozen and potentially, in future years, cut. If the lice are brought under control, then output can be increased.

    Mr. Braanaas, the owner of Firda Seafood, says that there are already rules in place to control the lice, and that he will go to court if he is ordered to reduce production because of problems from other farms in his region. It is, he says, a "Stasi system," a reference to the secret police of East Germany.

    Norway's biggest producer, Marine Harvest, is also unhappy with the new protocol, which it describes as premature, and wants more work done on the methodology used to decide when there is a lice problem that needs to be addressed.

    Yet, environmentalists seem unimpressed as well. One group, SalmonCamera, plans to challenge the system in court, arguing that it is too lenient. Kurt Oddekalv, leader of the Green Warriors of Norway, says the system is a sign of "panic from the Fisheries Ministry."

    Sea lice kill an estimated 50,000 adult wild fish a year in Norway's rivers, and the wild salmon population has fallen to 478,000 from more than a million in the 1980s, according to one study. So depleted are stocks of wild salmon that around 100 of Norway's 450 salmon rivers are closed to anglers.

    But there are other problems, too, beyond sea lice. Rune Jensen, the head of SalmonCamera, says that wild fish, like cod, congregate around salmon farms, attracted by the food there. These predators eat the young wild salmon in greater numbers than normal as they make their way out to sea, or sometimes even force them into the farm cages.

    But activists say the biggest threat is the genetic impact of farmed fish that escape their pens, reproduce with wild salmon and produce offspring ill-equipped to survive.

    Over the last decade, fish farmers have reported more than 200,000 salmon escaping on average each year, though the real figures may be as much as four times higher than that in the years 2005 to 2011, according to one study.

    The impact has been observed by Norway's anglers. Few people know the fishing grounds of the Dale River as well as Inge Sandven, the head of the Dale Hunters' and Anglers' Club. In just 15 minutes at one river pool, set against a spectacular backdrop of tree-covered hills, he had three bites but no catches.

    Then, the rod strained, and he slowly reeled in a small, shiny, olive brown salmon weighing a couple of pounds. Just by looking at it, as it thrashed in a net, Mr. Sandven could tell a lot about the fish: It was male and had probably spent three years in this river and one winter at sea.

    But what he could not say: whether it was a pure wild salmon.

    "It's impossible to tell. It looks good, but I don't know," Mr. Sandven said, when asked if it might have farmed salmon genes. "It's a 50/50 chance — that's the experience of this year," he added, before releasing his catch.

    Mr. Sandven knows this because he supervises a wild salmon hatchery, and takes DNA samples from fish caught in this river before they are used for breeding. Recently, around half have failed the wild salmon purity test.

    The genetic makeup is important, said Alv Arne Lyse, a fisheries biologist at the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers. In farm fish pens, where there are no predators, the most aggressive salmon are the most successful, since the only concern is to get as much food as possible.

    Escaped salmon then pass that trait on to hybrid wild salmon, who are then, to mix metaphors, like lambs to the slaughter out in the open seas.

    That is because in the ocean, awareness is far more important for survival than aggressiveness, as danger lurks all around.

    "The offspring of farmed fish are more aggressive, but when they go out in the sea they have very high mortality," Mr. Lyse said, adding that they also often lack the homing instinct to return to a specific river, since they were spawned in commercial hatcheries.

    While previously pollution was a huge problem in aquaculture, he said, now "the only threats that are not under control are the genetic impact from escaped fish and sea lice."

    The fish farmers argue that they play a vital role in feeding the planet, and that they produce a crop worth $8 billion annually to Norway, accounting for about 8 percent of the country's exports.

    The Norwegian government already has rules requiring farms to test the quantity of sea lice in pens and to take action if they exceed the limits.

    Marine Harvest uses so-called cleaner fish that feed on sea lice to help combat the problem. It is also investing in new techniques designed to eliminate the risk of escapes of farmed salmon and to cut lice numbers.

    These include novel ideas such as the "egg" — a solid oval-shaped pen, yet to be constructed, which is enclosed, preventing any risk of salmon escaping, and making it harder for sea lice to enter and spread.

    Information on the health of Norway's farmed fish is now publicly available online. But so divisive is the debate that environmental groups do not trust statistics provided by the farmers, and the two sides don't agree on the facts.

    Along with his fellow Green Warriors, Mr. Oddekalv argues that the scale of fish farming in Norway is unsustainable, and that huge volumes of uneaten feed and fish excrement pollute the seabed. Over the years farmers have been criticized for using antibiotics in fish feed, something that is now barred in Norway, though additives designed to curb the lice also find their way into the food chain, Mr. Oddekalv argues.

    "If people knew this they wouldn't eat salmon," he said, describing the farmed fish as "the most toxic food in the world."

    In a statement, Norway's fisheries minister, Per Sandberg, described the new system for dealing with the sea lice problem as "fair" and constructed on a "safe legal basis."

    He said that "as in all science, there are knowledge gaps," but that scientists agree that lice have a negative impact on wild salmon and that it would "be wrong not to act at all, due to some gaps in our knowledge."

    At his home, which can be reached only by boat, Mr. Braanaas conceded that the Norwegian salmon farming industry has "made a lot of mistakes." But he insisted there were many fewer problems there than in other parts of the world, like Chile, where he said that regulation is lighter and "greed takes over."

    As a self-made businessman whose parents mortgaged their home to help finance his first fish farm, Mr. Braanaas is proud of the company he has built and of the employment it provides in a remote part of Europe. And he believes some of its critics are motivated by a sentimental reverence for one particular species of fish.

    "In India, they have the holy cow," he said, reflecting over a beer. "In Norway, it's the sacred salmon."



    13)  In Russian City, a Time Capsule to Comrades of the Future

    NOV. 6, 2017





    CHEREPOVETS, Russia — To mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, this industrial city engaged in a little time travel. Its inhabitants came together last week on the main square to read out a message that had been sealed inside a time capsule — to the youth of 2017, from the youth of 1967.

    Fifty years ago, when the citizens of Cherepovets gathered in the same spot, it was to celebrate the achievements of a socioeconomic system they deemed eternal. Pride in its achievements, coupled with an unshakable belief in a future under socialism, infused a letter that they slipped inside a steel capsule and placed in a hollow monolith brought to the square.

    "Today we are building Communism, and you will live under it," they wrote. "Our message to your generation: Stay true to Communism's ideals, and fearless in the fight for the welfare of the working man."

    At last week's ceremony, in a less ideological Russia but a resurgent one, 500 people congregated to hear those words. Camouflage-clad members of the Defense Ministry's "Youth Army" stood in perfect formation, staring steely-eyed ahead as veterans of the Communist youth league, the Komsomol, delivered speeches extolling the continuity of generations.

    The message from 1967, eventually removed from the monolith and preserved in a local museum, elicited not a single smirk. Neither did a new message meant for another audience 50 years from now listing major moments in the city's history and statistics about its regional clout.

    Digital SLR and iPhone cameras snapped as it was placed into a new steel capsule, forged, just like the one before, inside the searing blast furnaces of Severstal, the city's steel plant. From atop a stone plinth a hundred yards away, Lenin looked on.

    A century ago, the tsarist monarchy was toppled and the Russian Empire replaced with a revolutionary socialist system. The October Revolution (which is marked on Nov. 7 because Russia was on a different calendar when it took place), was celebrated as the Soviet Union's foundational myth. The Soviet collapse in 1991 ushered in political and economic turmoil that enabled a select few to become fabulously rich while the majority of people struggled, bringing staggering inequality to a country that until recently could by definition have none.

    President Vladimir V. Putin came to power promising stability, and since 2000 he has sought to merge the various periods of Russia's turbulent past into a 1,000-year linear narrative of progress, with a powerful state as its guarantor.

    In that narrative, there is no place for upheaval or revolt — not for the 19th-century uprising of Russian army officers, not for the decade-long parliamentary system that ended in 1917, and especially not for the revolution itself. A generation socialized in the revolutionary Soviet discourse is growing old under a counterrevolutionary state.

    And so on Tuesday, it is the Communists who will stage a march through Moscow's streets — the Kremlin has shunted off commemoration of the event into academia, funding a series of conferences and art exhibitions throughout the year.

    It is left up to local institutions like museums and city councils, and to Soviet nostalgists, to fill the void. From the village of Filaretovka in Russia's Far East to Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, messages buried in time capsules are being read out. And in some cases, their authors are there to witness the scene.

    Valery Belyayev is one of them. Born in 1941 in a village 40 miles from Cherepovets, Mr. Belyayev grew up desperately poor. He was 2 months old when his father left to fight the Nazis in Stalingrad, in a battle that would claim two million lives.

    Throughout the postwar years, Mr. Belyayev watched life in Cherepovets improve, and it was as the 25-year-old deputy head of the city's Komsomol committee that he helped write the message that was placed in the monolith there back in 1967.

    He could not have known then that everything he believed in would fall apart.

    "We were convinced that if we could transform our lives at such speed, then of course in 50 years a new era would arrive — we had absolutely no doubt," Mr. Belyayev said the morning after the message was read aloud to a new generation, as he and other former Komsomol members reminisced, as they often do, inside their community center.

    In Cherepovets, a gritty factory town about 300 miles east of St. Petersburg, Komsomol veterans like Mr. Belyayev have their own disco nights, their own clubs and funding from the mayor's office for events that resurrect a bygone era. For them, the Soviet Union represented a noble idea, and the Komsomol — whose membership reached over 40 million by 1991 — was its social underpinning.

    For 17-year-old Andrei Tolokontsev, a member of the Youth Army who took part in the ceremony in Cherepovets, the Soviet Union was a bloc of brotherly nations. Mr. Tolokontsev has lived all his life under Mr. Putin's rule, and for him the letters U.S.S.R. conjure up images of the Soviet emblem and its hammer-and-sickle flag, and of the ruthless wartime leader — Stalin — whom the young man credits with the country's development.

    Standing in the ranks of the Youth Army, which was begun in 2016 by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, means keeping the Komsomol legacy alive, Mr. Tolokontsev said. He hopes to stand in the same spot in 50 years as an army veteran, in a powerful Russia at peace with the world.

    "They told us what we should and shouldn't do in the future," he said. "And we wish the same for the generation to come. The situation in the world is tense now, but everything will be resolved."

    Cherepovets was a village when Stalin ordered the construction of the steel plant that transformed it into an industrial center of the north. Severstal opened the steel mill in 1955 and has powered the city's economy since, with steady global demand for the metal helping it weather economic upheaval after the Soviet collapse and the recent Western sanctions against Russia.

    Today much in the city has changed. There are shiny shopping malls, and a refurbished bus station is opening. But on the outskirts, a creaky tram still courses at 15-minute intervals along a track that runs between crumbling Soviet-era housing blocks and the mighty smokestacks that dominate the skyline, shuttling workers across the plant's sprawling territory.

    With the speeches over and the new time capsule sealed, the crowd left to escape the cold. Mr. Belyayev made his way to the old movie theater across the square, joining fellow Komsomol veterans as they crowded into its auditorium.

    They donned commemorative medals and called each other "comrade," then sat bright-eyed and nostalgic as a choir sang songs about a Soviet youth: "Let one misfortune after another threaten us, but my friendship with you will only die when I die myself …"

    Across town, Marina Gorbunova showed visitors around the history museum. An exhibition on the revolution had opened, and Ms. Gorbunova told stories about young men from Cherepovets who left to fight in the civil war that followed the Bolsheviks' overthrow of the provisional government.

    "The dream was to abolish class differences, for us all to be equal," she said. "And now it's the way it used to be. There's a class of the poor, the middle class and the rich. What was all the blood, hunger and cold for?"

    Asked about the enduring strength of Soviet nostalgia, she paused to reflect. "Youth is always a source of joy," she said. "It always seems to us that things were better then."

    The new time capsule will be kept in this museum, stowed away until a new generation, with a new set of ideals, gathers to hear its message.



    14)  Justices Allow Execution of Inmate Who Cannot Recall His Crime

    NOV. 6, 2017




    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the execution of an Alabama inmate who, after several strokes, cannot remember the 1985 murder that sent him to death row.

    The court's opinion was unanimous, and there were no noted dissents. But three of the court's more liberal justices filed concurring opinions saying the case presented a substantial legal question to which the court should return.

    The inmate, Vernon Madison, was sentenced to death for killing Julius Schulte. In 2016, as Mr. Madison's execution neared, he asked the state trial court to suspend his death sentence because he said could not remember what he had done.

    In a concurring opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer described Mr. Madison's current condition: "He is legally blind. His speech is slurred. He cannot walk independently. He is incontinent. His disability leaves him without a memory of his commission of a capital offense."

    A court-appointed psychologist and one hired by Mr. Madison's lawyers generally agreed that he understood what he was accused of and how the state planned to punish him. But Mr. Madison's psychologist found that Mr. Madison could not recall his crime and believed that he "never went around killing folks."

    A state trial judge allowed the execution to proceed, and a federal judge agreed. But a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that executing an inmate who could not remember what he had done would violate the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court has barred the execution of people who lack a "rational understanding" of the reason they are to be put to death. The appeals court ruled that had Mr. Madison met that standard.

    "Due to his dementia and related memory impairments, Mr. Madison lacks a rational understanding of the link between his crime and his execution," Judge Beverly B. Martin wrote for the majority. "A person does not rationally understand his punishment if he is simply blindly accepting what he has been told."

    In dissent, Judge Adalberto Jordan agreed that Mr. Madison was mentally incompetent. But Judge Jordan said federal courts could not hear his challenge in light of a 1996 law that limits post-conviction challenges.

    In Monday's unsigned opinion in the case, Dunn v. Madison, No. 17-193, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Madison could not satisfy the 1996 law, which allows post-conviction challenges in federal court only when the state court had acted unreasonably in assessing the evidence or had run afoul of "clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court."

    In a concurring opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, agreed that the question of "whether a state may administer the death penalty to a person whose disability leaves him without memory of his commission of a capital offense is a substantial question not yet addressed by the court."

    "Appropriately presented," Justice Ginsburg wrote, "the issue would warrant full airing."

    In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Breyer returned to two themes he has been exploring for years. First, he said "the unconscionably long periods of time that prisoners often spend on death row awaiting execution" may present a constitutional problem.

    His second point was broader.

    "Rather than develop a constitutional jurisprudence that focuses upon the special circumstances of the aged, however," Justice Breyer wrote, "I believe it would be wiser to reconsider the root cause of the problem — the constitutionality of the death penalty itself."



    15)  New York Today: A Century of Women Voting

    By   NOV. 6, 2017




    Good morning on this muddled Monday.

    One hundred years ago, women won the right to vote in New York.

    "We think of it as a simple wave-that-banner, raise-that-picket, but it was very complicated politically," said Elaine Weiss, the author of "The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote."

    The country's first women's rights convention, organized by the suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, was in 1848 in upstate Seneca Falls, N.Y. But it wasn't until 1917 when women here won the right to vote — a breakthrough 70 years and three generations in the making.

    A few of the women who led the way:

    Louisine Havemeyer was an art collector whose celebrated collection can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her husband ran an enormously lucrative sugar business in Brooklyn, and Ms. Havemeyer used the fortune to help fund the suffrage movement.

    "She doesn't just write the check, but is out there on the barricade," Ms. Weiss said.

    In 1917, World War I was going on, and women were questioning how the United States could be fighting to make the world safe for democracy when not all Americans could vote. Ms. Havemeyer, a big fund-raiser for the war, said, "I can't ask for money for a war for democracy, when women who demand true democracy at home are thrown in prison." (She was referring to Alice Paul and other suffragists who persevered after being jailed and tortured.)

    Carrie Chapman Catt was the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which had its headquarters on Madison Avenue.

    She pledged the loyalty of suffragists to the war effort to show their patriotism, and to show women should have the right to vote, Ms. Weiss explained. "If the suffragists say they're going to work for the war effort, whether that's rolling bandages for the Red Cross or raising money or going out into the field as nurses, that will make it much harder for Congress or anyone else to say they don't deserve the vote," she said of Ms. Catt's strategy.

    Other suffragists (like Susan B. Anthony and Alva Vanderbilt Belmont) and "suffragents" helped make the referendum a reality here. Ms. Weiss called New York "the linchpin" that put our country on the path to pass the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women across the United States the right to vote.

    A century later, the work continues.

    "All of these issues we're dealing with now — voter suppression and voter rights and racial bigotry — they all come up in the fight for suffragists," Ms. Weiss added. "It's a lesson for today; it's not just history."

    With that, a friendly reminder that tomorrow is Election Day.

    New York City voters will choose our next mayor — Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, or Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican — and elect City Council members, the public advocate, and the district attorney for Brooklyn. In New Jersey, voters will be deciding who will replace Chris Christie in the race for governor.



    16) Investors Worldwide Size Up Palace Intrigue in Oil-Rich Kingdom

    NOV. 5, 2017




    Just two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia gathered the global business elite in Riyadh, promising a new age for the oil-rich kingdom as it sought to court overseas money and investment.

    But late on Saturday, the kingdom showed its old face of palace intrigue, with the arrests of four ministers and 11 princes, including Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire who is one of the country's most public investment figures.

    International investors and business executives are now trying to interpret the power play.

    To some, the arrests portend a quick consolidation of authority under the young, reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to vault the country to modernity. In that way, the arrests are viewed as a sign that the crown prince will be able to push through his ambitious economic agenda, including selling off shares in the giant state oil company.

    To others, the arrests point to the potential for political tumult that could lead to the collapse of his entire project. Overseas investors have been reluctant to plow money into a country where the rule of law is weak and the ruling family trumps all.

    "It might have good consequences for stability maybe, or just the opposite," said Dragan Vuckovic, president of Mediterranean International, an oil service company that does business across the Middle East and North Africa. "It's questionable what is happening behind the scenes, it is a very secretive society."

    The arrests came at an awkward time for the kingdom.

    Prince Mohammed recently invited more than 3,500 investors, corporate chief executives, and leaders of nongovernmental organizations to Riyadh for a three-day conference intended to promote future business opportunities. Officials promised that the public offering of the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, would go forward and that the sovereign wealth fund would soon rank among the richest in the world with more than $400 billion in assets by 2020. They pledged to build a utopian megacity on a stretch of deserted land that would attract capital and talent from all over the world.

    The conference attracted a slew of senior executives and officials, including Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of the Japanese technology company SoftBank; and Blackstone's chief executive, Stephen Schwarzman. Some of the attendees spoke highly of Crown Prince Mohammed's economic ambitions. The planned initial public offering of Aramco, they noted, could free government capital to spend on urban investment and job development. Cultural changes like granting women the right to drivecould encourage Western companies to invest in or start operations in Saudi Arabia.

    Despite the goodwill, few had backed the effort with time and money. And the weekend's arrests could add to that reluctance. But they could also change some perceptions, if the crown prince can eventually show a broader commitment to shaking up an entrenched royal bureaucracy.

    "I think this is going to slow things down, but if the gambit is successful it will help," said Charif Souki, chairman of Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas company now attempting to make energy deals with Saudi Arabia. Speaking of Crown Crown Prince Mohammed, he said, "Once he has consolidated power, he will do what he wants to do, which is to modernize the country and modernize Islam, which are all good things. But it might be very dangerous and it might not work."

    Even before the arrests, investors didn't quite know what to make of the kingdom.

    Saudi Arabia has unveiled a sweeping economic reconstruction called Vision 2030, intended to diversify the country's employment beyond oil. The cornerstone of the economic effort is the proposed initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, which exchanges around the world have been vying to secure. In a tweet just hours before the arrests, President Trump said he would appreciate it if the Saudi Aramco public offering took place on the New York Stock Exchange.

    The crown prince and his father, King Salman, have also won praise from local and international business leaders for their promises to return the kingdom to the kind of religious moderation that was more prevalent before a period of religious and sectarian unrest in 1979, when the royal family began to rely on conservative Islamic clerics to guarantee stability. They have had the temerity to take on the religious police and begin rolling back some social policies.

    But Saudi Arabia has also faced unusual turbulence, complete with the sacking of two crown princes, a costly war in Yemen and a confrontation with Qatar. The weak price of oil has amplified the financial stress in the kingdom. The government has been forced to cut benefits for highly paid civil servants.

    There remains a great deal of skepticism that the economic re-engineering can be pulled off, in part because much of the royal family and old guard have been made rich from payments by Saudi Aramco, whose books are essentially closed to the public. That is one reason there is growing talk that the Saudis will eventually turn to China, rather than the London or New York stock exchanges, to get around Western regulators and raise capital for Saudi Aramco.

    "I don't see them get investor interest unless they can produce a set of financial books that have been audited to Western accounting standards," said Nancy T. Schmitt, president of Taum Sauk Investments, a firm based in New York that specializes in energy. "If this is a step to getting to that, then this is a good thing. But I don't know that because I can't read the palace intrigue."

    The arrests just make it harder to sort through the business climate.

    Some interpreted the arrests as being disturbingly arbitrary. One of the officials arrested was the former Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a Saudi Aramco board member. Another was Adel Fakieh, an early drafter of the crown prince's reforms, who was ousted from his post of economy minister earlier Saturday.

    "I don't think it sends a particularly good signal to investors," said Rachel Ziemba, managing director for emerging markets at Roubini Global Economics, a research firm in New York.

    There is another school of thought among business leaders and analysts that the arrests were part of an effort to make the Saudi Aramco offering and other reforms unstoppable. In that way, it would be the sort of proof that the crown prince has the power to get his agenda done.

    "This is just the kind of determination and commitment that is called for," said Sadad al-Husseini, former executive vice president of Saudi Aramco.

    Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, who attended the Riyadh conference, was somewhat more circumspect. "Does this scare off a pension fund or can this be sold as creating the necessary conditions of success?" she asked. "It's a high-stakes game."












































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