"Give me your tired, your poor 

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 

Send these, the homeless. Tempest-tost to me, 

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"















For Immediate Release                                        For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Herb Mintz

(415) 759-9679

Photos and Interviews: Steve Zeltzer

(415) 867-0628

25th Annual LaborFest 2018

Surviving The Billionaire Robot Assault in

 the 21st Century

San Francisco:  LaborFest opens its 25th annual festival on July 1, 2018 with a month of timely events inspired by local and international labor activists and labor history.  The program schedule includes eleven international and local films, labor history walks, a labor history bike ride, a maritime history boat ride, lectures, forums, readings and theater and music performances. Most events are free of charge and are presented in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose.

This year LaborFest continues to commemorate the San Francisco General Strike of 1934 with a series of lectures and walks.  LaborFest will also focus on the role of technology on workers from Silicon Valley to UBER, Lyft and taxi drivers, workers in the so-called 'gig economy' as well the role of Airbnb on hotel workers and communities and neighborhoods in San Francisco.  The FilmWorks United International Working Class Film and Video Festival will feature films not only from the United States but China, Turkey, South Korea, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.  Directors will be present to introduce some of the films.

Particular events in this year's LaborFest include a forum on the 50th Anniversary of the student strike at San Francisco State University, a concert by labor musician extraordinaire Charlie King, a screening of the LGBT historical comedy-drama film Pride, a book reading from Matilda Rabinowitz's memoir, Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman, a night of labor and immigration history inspired song by the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus and a panel entitled Workplace Racism: Hanging Nooses and Fightback sponsored by United Public Workers.


LaborFest is the premier labor cultural arts and film festival in the United States.  LaborFest recognizes the role of working people in the building of America and making it work with over 50 events.  Most of these events are free or ask for a voluntary donation.  The festival is self-funded with contributions from unions and other organizations that support and celebrate the contributions of working people.

LaborFest 2018

and The FilmWorks United International 

Working Class Film & Video Festival

proudly presents the film 

Pride (2014)

Celebrate with your community an extraordinary story and an equally extraordinary film, PrideThursday, July 19, 7pm at 518 Valencia in San Francisco.  Admission is free. 

Pride is based on a true story.  The film depicts a group of lesbians and gay who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984, of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) campaign. The alliance was unlike any seen before and was ultimately successful.

The story is set in the context former Prime Minister Thatcher decision to force the National Union of Miners out on strike in 1984 - 1985 in an effort to break the miners' union.  The Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was an alliance of lesbians and gay men who formed throughout the United Kingdom in support of the striking British miners during the yearlong UK miners' strike.

Despite initial and difficult efforts to break through the socially conservative miners' communities, the LGSM and the miners finally joined together in a common struggle for justice and human rights.  By the end of the strike, there were eleven chapters throughout the UK, and the miners ended up leading London's Lesbian and Gay Pride parade in 1985. This powerful story, through comedy and real history, tells us how we can build working class unity.

LaborFest 2018 presents the film

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win

Laborfest and the FilmWorks United International Working Class Film & Video Festival presents the acclaimed film Dare to Struggle Dare to Win, directed by Jean-Pierre Thorn, July 20 at 7pm, 518 Valencia Street in San Francisco.  Admission is free.

In the middle of the May-June 1968 French General Strike, Jean Pierre-Thorn, a film student at University of Paris, took his camera to the Flins Renault auto plant and ended up in the middle of the worker's struggle. Dare to Struggle Dare to Win is an intimate and close-up look at the struggle of the French workers during that historic strike and occupation of the Renault factory. We see how the occupation took place from the inside and the role of the students in supporting the occupation. 

The strikers not only had to fight the bosses but also the CGT (France's largest trade union federation) and the closely linked French Communist Party (PCF), who were both opposed to the general strike.  Dare to Struggle Dare to Win depicts the heroic attempts of many of the 5,000 students and workers from other workplaces and regions to reach the factory in order to support the occupation. The police, also numbering in the thousands, attempted to block them from reaching the factory, so the street fighting in the small town of Flins took on a similar appearance to the battles of the Latin Quarter in Paris, as local residents supported the strikers and their supporters who came to show their solidarity. Following the film there will be a discussion.

LaborFest 2018 presents

The Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus: No Human Is Illegal

Join your neighbors and friends at this Laborfest concert with the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus, July 20 at 7pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin Street in San Francisco.  A donation is requested.

The Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus presents a history of immigration, told through the lens of family and policy and illustrated by songs old and new. Chorus members will share their own families' migration experiences;

The Labor Heritage Rockin' Solidarity Chorus is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is made up of workers from many unions as well students and independent folks who love to sing.  The Chorus is dedicated to building more democracy and representation within our unions and comes together to celebrate our love of music and workers' culture

LaborFest 2018 opened its 25th annual festival on July 1, 2018 with a month of timely events inspired by local and international labor activists and labor history.  The program schedule includes eleven international and local films, labor history walks, a labor history bike ride, a maritime history boat ride, lectures, forums, readings and theater and music performances.  Most events are free of charge and are presented in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose.

LaborFest is the premier labor cultural arts and film festival in the United States. Most of these events are free or ask for a voluntary donation.  The festival is self-funded with contributions from unions and other organizations that support and celebrate the contributions of working people.

For more details and to read or download a full schedule and description of LaborFest 2018 events, go here: http://www.laborfest.net /events/2018-07/



July 24th: Rise Mass Meeting in San Francisco

  We're less than 2 months away from the biggest climate march California has ever seen. Together we'll take the streets of San Francisco to Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice, and demand Governor Jerry Brown and other local elected officials take real action on climate change.

  Watch and share our new video to invite your friends to march, then join next Tuesday's Mass Meeting in San Francisco:


  Asian Pacific Environmental Network, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Idle No More SF Bay, Jobs With Justice, North Bay Organizing Project, PODER, SEIU 1021, 350.org and over 50 other organizations will be at the third Mass Organizing Meeting where we'll discuss and build people power around the September 8th Global Day of Action.

  Can you join us on Tuesday, July 24th in San Francisco for the third Mass Organizing Meeting for Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice? RSVP now:


  This will be your opportunity to bring your talents, gifts, and joy to our movement and demand elected leaders support a just transition away from fossil fuels and 100% renewable energy for all.

  Here are the final details for the meeting:

  Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice July Mass Organizing Meeting

 Tuesday, July 24th, 5:30- 8:00 PM 

Sha'ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

  Help make this action the biggest California has ever see – RSVP to join us on Tuesday, July 24th for the Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice Mass Organizing Meeting:


  P.S. If you can't make the organizing meeting, but still want to be looped in about California organizing, join the statewide call this Thursday, July 19th at 6:00 PM:



  Action Network is an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes. We encourage responsible activism, and do not support using the platform to take unlawful or other improper action. We do not control or endorse the conduct of users and make no representations of any kind about them.






All Hands on Deck:  Get Malik Washington out of Ad-Seg!

Several weeks ago, friends and supporters of incarcerated freedom fighter Comrade Malik Washington were overjoyed to hear that he was getting released, finally, from Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at Eastham Unit in Texas--until TDCJ pulled a fast one, falsely claiming that he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition Program to get him released back to general population.  

This is a complete lie:  Malik has been fighting to get out of Ad-Seg from the moment he was thrown in there two years ago on a bogus riot charge (which was, itself, retaliation for prison strike organizing and agitating against inhumane, discriminatory conditions).  

Here's what actually happened:  when Malik arrived at Ramsey Unit on June 21, he was assigned to a top bunk, which is prohibited by his medical restrictions as a seizure patient.  TDCJ had failed to transfer his medical restrictions records, or had erased them, and are now claiming no record of these restrictions, which have been on file and in place for the past ten years.  Malik wrote a detailed statement requesting to be placed on a lower bunk in order to avoid injury; later that night, he was abruptly transferred back to Ad-Seg at a new Unit (McConnell).  

Malik was told that Ramsey staff claimed he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition program--this is NOT true, and he needs to be re-instated to the program immediately!  He also urgently needs his medical restrictions put back into his records!


We are extremely concerned for Malik's safety, and urgently need the help of everyone reading this. Please take one or more of the following actions, and get a couple friends to do the same!

1. Call Senior Warden Phillip Sifuentes at Malik's current facility (McConnell) and tell them Keith Washington (#1487958) must be transferred out of McConnell and re-admitted to the Ad-Seg Transition Program!

Phone #: (361) 362-2300 (**048) 00 --  ask to be connected to the senior warden's office/receptionist--try to talk to someone, but also can leave a message. 

Sample Script: "Hello, I'm calling because I'm concerned about Keith H. Washington (#1487958) who was recently transferred to your facility.  I understand he was transferred there from Ramsey Unit, because he supposedly refused to participate in the Ad-Seg transition program there, but this is not true; Malik never refused to participate, and he needs to be re-admitted to the transition program immediately!  I am also concerned that his heat restrictions seem to have been removed from his records.  He is a seizure patient and has been on heat and work restriction for years, and these restrictions must be reinstated immediately."

Please let us know how your call goes at blueridgeABC@riseup.net

2. Flood TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier with calls/emails!  You can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.  

(936) 437-2101 / (936) 437-2123

3. Flood TDCJ with emails demanding that Malik's health restrictions and work restrictions be restored: Health.services@tdcj.texas.gov

You can use the call script above as a guide; you don't need to mention the Ad-Seg situation, but just focus on the need to restore his heat and work restrictions!

4. File a complaint with the Ombudsman's Office (the office in charge of investigating departmental misconduct); you can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.

5. Write to Malik!  Every letter he receives lifts his spirit and PROTECTS him, because prison officials know he has people around him, watching for what happens to him.

Keith H. Washington


McConnell Unit

3100 South Emily Drive

Beeville, TX 78103



Listen to 'The Daily': Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018


Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile deviceVia Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today's episode:

• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.



Last week I met with fellow organizers and members of Mijente to take joint action at the Tornillo Port of Entry, where detention camps have been built and where children and adults are currently being imprisoned. 

I oppose the hyper-criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers. Migration is a human right and every person is worthy of dignity and respect irrespective of whether they have "papers" or not. You shouldn't have to prove "extreme and unusual hardship" to avoid being separated from your family. We, as a country, have a moral responsibility to support and uplift those adversely affected by the US's decades-long role in the economic and military destabilization of the home countries these migrants and asylum seekers have been forced to leave.

While we expected to face resistance and potential trouble from the multiple law enforcement agencies represented at the border, we didn't expect to have a local farm hand pull a pistol on us to demand we deflate our giant balloon banner. Its message to those in detention:

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

Despite the slight disruption to our plan we were able to support Mijente and United We Dream in blocking the main entrance to the detention camp and letting those locked inside know that there are people here who care for them and want to see them free and reunited with their families. 

We are continuing to stand in solidarity with Mijente as they fight back against unjust immigration practices.Yesterday they took action in San Diego, continuing to lead and escalate resistance to unjust detention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to ICE. 

While we were honored to offer on-the-ground support we see the potential to focus the energy of our Drop the MIC campaign into fighting against this injustice, to have an even greater impact. Here's how:

  1. Call out General Dynamics for profiteering of War, Militarization of the Border and Child and Family Detention (look for our social media toolkit this week);
  2. Create speaking forums and produce media that challenges the narrative of ICE and Jeff Sessions, encouraging troops who have served in the borderlands to speak out about that experience;
  3. Continue to show up and demand we demilitarize the border and abolish ICE.

Thank you for your vision and understanding of how militarism, racism, and capitalism are coming together in the most destructive ways. Help keep us in this fight by continuing to support our work.

In Solidarity,

Ramon Mejia

Field Organizer, About Face: Veterans Against the War

P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe

To ensure delivery of About Face emails please add webmaster@ivaw.org to your address book.



Feds extend deadline for public comments on future draft

The feds initially provided only a few days for the public to submit comments regarding the future of the draft in the United States. This mirrored their process of announcing public hearings with only a few days notice. Due to pressure, they have extended the deadline for your online comments until September. 

They need to hear from us!

  • It's time to end draft registration once and for all.
  • Don't expand the draft to women. End it for everyone.
  • No national service linked to the military--including immigration enforcement.
  • Until the US is invaded by a foreign power, stop pretending that the draft is about anything other than empire.
  • Submit your own comments online here.

As we have been reporting to you, a federal commission has been formed to address the future of draft registration in the United States and whether the draft should end or be extended.

The press release states "The Commission wants to learn why people serve and why people don't; the barriers to participation; whether modifications to the selective service system are needed; ways to increase the number of Americans in service; and more."

Public hearings are currently scheduled for the following cities. We encourage folks to attend these hearings by checking the commission's website for the actual dates and locations of these hearings (usually annouced only days before).

  • July 19/20, 2018: Waco, TX
  • August 16/17, 2018: Memphis, TN
  • September 19/21, 2018: Los Angeles, CA

For more background information, read our recent post "Why is the government soliciting feedback on the draft now?"

Courage to Resist Podcast: The Future of Draft Registration in the United States

We had draft registration resister Edward Hasbrouck on the Courage to Resistpodcast this week to explain what's going on. Edward talks about his own history of going to prison for refusing to register for the draft in 1983, the background on this new federal commission, and addresses liberal arguments in favor of involuntary service. Edward explains:

When you say, "I'm not willing to be drafted", you're saying, "I'm going to make my own choices about which wars we should be fighting", and when you say, "You should submit to the draft", you're saying, "You should let the politicians decide for you."

What's happening right now is that a National Commission … has been appointed to study the question of whether draft registration should be continued, whether it should be expanded to make women, as well as men register for the draft, whether a draft itself should be started, whether there should be some other kind of Compulsory National Service enacted.

The Pentagon would say, and it's true, they don't want a draft. It's not plan A, but it's always been plan B, and it's always been the assumption that if we can't get enough volunteers, if we get in over our head, if we pick a larger fight than we can pursue, we always have that option in our back pocket that, "If not enough people volunteer, we're just going to go go to the draft, go to the benches, and dragoon enough people to fight these wars."

The first real meaningful opportunity for a national debate 

about the draft in decades . . .

Courage to Resist -- Support the Troops Who Refuse to Fight!

484 Lake Park Ave. No. 41, Oakland, CA 94610




Incarceration Nation

Emergency Action Alert:


In October, 2017, the 2 year court monitoring period of the Ashker v. Governor settlement to limit solitary confinement in California expired. Since then, the four drafters of the Agreement to End Hostilities and lead hunger strike negotiators – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco, and Todd Ashker, have all been removed from general population and put in solitary in Administrative Segregation Units, based on fabricated information created by staff and/or collaborating "inmate informants." In Todd Ashker's case, he is being isolated "for his own protection," although he does not ask for nor desire to be placed in isolation for this or any reason. Sitawa has since been returned to population, but can still not have visitors.

Please contact CDCr Secretary Scott Kernan and Governor Edmund G. Brown and demand CDCr:

• Immediately release back into general population any of the four lead organizers still held in solitary

• Return other Ashker class members to general population who have been placed in Ad Seg 

• Stop the retaliation against all Ashker class members and offer them meaningful rehabilitation opportunities

Contact Scott Kernan. He prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov

Contact Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/

As a result of the administrative reviews established after the second prisoner hunger strike in 2011 and the Ashker settlement of 2015, California's SHU population has decreased from 3923 people in October 2012 to 537 in January 2018.  Returning these four men and many other hunger strikers back to solitary in the form of Ad Seg represents an intentional effort to undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities and the settlement, and return to the lock 'em up mentality of the 1980's.

Sitawa writes: "What many of you on the outside may not know is the long sordid history of CDCr's ISU [Institutional Services Unit]/ IGI [Institutional Gang Investigator]/Green Wall syndicate's [organized groups of guards who act with impunity] pattern and practice, here and throughout its prison system, of retaliating, reprisals, intimidating, harassing, coercing, bad-jacketing [making false entries in prisoner files], setting prisoners up, planting evidence, fabricating and falsifying reports (i.e., state documents), excessive force upon unarmed prisoners, [and] stealing their personal property . . ." 

CDCr officials are targeting the Ashker v. Governor class members to prevent them from being able to organize based on the Agreement to End Hostilities, and to obstruct their peaceful efforts to effect genuine changes - for rehabilitation, returning home, productively contributing to the improvement of their communities, and deterring recidivism.

Please help put a stop to this retaliation with impunity. Contact Kernan and Brown today:

Scott Kernan prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/

Read statements from the reps: 

Todd – We stand together so prisoners never have to go through the years of torture we did  (with Open Letter to Gov. Brown, CA legislators and CDCR Secretary Kernan)



"There Was a Crooked Prez"

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

There was a crooked Prez, and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked lawyer upon a crooked isle,

They bought a crooked election which caught a crooked mission,

And they both lived together in a little crooked prison.

April 28, 2018

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.



It is so beautiful to see young people in this country rising up to demand an end to gun violence. But what is Donald Trump's response? Instead of banning assault weapons, he wants to give guns to teachers and militarize our schools. But one of the reasons for mass school shootings is precisely because our schools are already militarized. Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was trained by U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program while he was in high school.

Yesterday, Divest from the War Machine coalition member, Pat Elder, was featured on Democracy Now discussing his recent article about the JROTC in our schools. The JROTC teaches children how to shoot weapons. It is often taught by retired soldiers who have no background in teaching. They are allowed to teach classes that are given at least equal weight as classes taught by certified and trained teachers. We are pulling our children away from classes that expand their minds and putting them in classes that teach them how to be killing machines. The JROTC program costs our schools money. It sends equipment. But, the instructors and facilities must be constructed and paid for by the school.

The JROTC puts our children's futures at risk. Children who participate in JROTC shooting programs are exposed to lead bullets from guns. They are at an increased risk when the shooting ranges are inside. The JROTC program is designed to "put a jump start on your military career." Children are funneled into JROTC to make them compliant and to feed the military with young bodies which are prepared to be assimilated into the war machine. Instead of funneling children into the military, we should be channeling them into jobs that support peace and sustainable development. 

Tell Senator McCain and Representative Thornberry to take the war machine out of our schools! The JROTC program must end immediately. The money should be directed back into classrooms that educate our children.

The Divest from the War Machine campaign is working to remove our money from the hands of companies that make a killing on killing. We must take on the systems that keep fueling war, death, and destruction around the globe. AND, we must take on the systems that are creating an endless cycle of children who are being indoctrinated at vulnerable ages to become the next killing machine.  Don't forget to post this message on Facebook and Twitter.

Onward in divestment,

Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe

P.S. Do you want to do more? Start a campaign to get the JROTC out of your school district or state. Email divest@codepink.org and we'll get you started!



October 20-21, 2018

Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon

A movement not just a protest

By Whitney Webb

WASHINGTON—In the last few years, arguably the most visible and well-publicized march on the U.S. capital has been the "Women's March," a movement aimed at advocating for legislation and policies promoting women's rights as well as a protest against the misogynistic actions and statements of high-profile U.S. politicians. The second Women's March, which took place this past year, attracted over a million protesters nationwide, with 500,000 estimated to have participated in Los Angeles alone.

However, absent from this women's movement has been a public antiwar voice, as its stated goal of "ending violence" does not include violence produced by the state. The absence of this voice seemed both odd and troubling to legendary peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose iconic protest against the invasion and occupation of Iraq made her a household name for many.

Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of this year's Women's March were unwilling to express antiwar positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. In an interview with MintPress, Sheehan recounted how a prominent leader of the march had told her, "I appreciate that war is your issue Cindy, but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."

War is indeed Sheehan's issue and she has been fighting against the U.S.' penchant for war for nearly 13 years. After her son Casey was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan drew international media attention for her extended protest in front of the Bush residence in Crawford, Texas, which later served as the launching point for many protests against U.S. military action in Iraq.

Sheehan rejected the notion that women could be "free" without addressing war and empire. She countered the dismissive comment of the march organizer by stating that divorcing peace activism from women's issues "ignored the voices of the women of the world who are being bombed and oppressed by U.S. military occupation."

Indeed, women are directly impacted by war—whether through displacement, the destruction of their homes, kidnapping, or torture. Women also suffer uniquely and differently from men in war as armed conflicts often result in an increase in sexual violence against women.

For example, of the estimated half-a-million civilians killed in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many of them were women and children. In the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the number of female casualties has been rising on average over 20 percent every year since 2015. In 2014 alone when Israel attacked Gaza in "Operation Protective Edge," Israeli forces, which receives $10 million in U.S. military aid every day, killed over two thousand Palestinians—half of them were women and children. Many of the casualties were pregnant women, who had been deliberately targeted.

Given the Women's March's apparent rejection of peace activism in its official platform, Sheehan was inspired to organize another Women's March that would address what many women's rights advocates, including Sheehan, believe to be an issue central to promoting women's rights.

Dubbed the "Women's March on the Pentagon," the event is scheduled to take place on October 21—the same date as an iconic antiwar march of the Vietnam era—with a mission aimed at countering the "bipartisan war machine." Though men, women and children are encouraged to attend, the march seeks to highlight women's issues as they relate to the disastrous consequences of war.

The effort of women in confronting the "war machine" will be highlighted at the event, as Sheehan remarked that "women have always tried to confront the war-makers," as the mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of the men and women in the military, as well as those innocent civilians killed in the U.S.' foreign wars. As a result, the push for change needs to come from women, according to Sheehan, because "we [women] are the only ones that can affect [the situation] in a positive way." All that's missing is an organized, antiwar women's movement.

Sheehan noted the march will seek to highlight the direct relationship between peace activism and women's rights, since "no woman is free until all women are free" and such "freedom also includes the freedom from U.S. imperial plunder, murder and aggression"that is part of the daily lives of women living both within and beyond the United States. Raising awareness of how the military-industrial complex negatively affects women everywhere is key, says Sheehan, as "unless there is a sense of international solidarity and a broader base for feminism, then there aren't going to be any solutions to any problems, [certainly not] if we don't stop giving trillions of dollars to the Pentagon."

Sheehan also urged that, even though U.S. military adventurism has long been an issue and the subject of protests, a march to confront the military-industrial complex is more important now than ever: "I'm not alarmist by nature but I feel like the threat of nuclear annihilation is much closer than it has been for a long time," adding that, despite the assertion of some in the current administration and U.S. military, "there is no such thing as 'limited' nuclear war." This makes "the need to get out in massive numbers" and march against this more imperative than ever.

Sheehan also noted that Trump's presidency has helped to make the Pentagon's influence on U.S. politics more obvious by bringing it to the forefront: "Even though militarism had been under wraps [under previous presidents], Trump has made very obvious the fact that he has given control of foreign policy to the 'generals.'"

Indeed, as MintPress has reported on several occasions, the Pentagon—beginning in March of last year—has been given the freedom to "engage the enemy" at will, without the oversight of the executive branch or Congress. As a result, the deaths of innocent civilians abroad as a consequence of U.S. military action has spiked. While opposing Trump is not the focus of the march, Sheehan opined that Trump's war-powers giveaway to the Pentagon, as well as his unpopularity, have helped to spark widespread interest in the event.

Different wings of the same warbird

Sheehan has rejected accusations that the march is partisan, as it is, by nature, focused on confronting the bipartisan nature of the military-industrial complex. She told MintPress that she has recently come under pressure owing to the march's proximity to the 2018 midterm elections—as some have ironically accused the march's bipartisan focus as "trying to harm the chances of the Democrats" in the ensuing electoral contest.

In response, Sheehan stated that: 

"Democrats and Republicans are different wings of the same warbird. We are protesting militarism and imperialism. The march is nonpartisan in nature because both parties are equally complicit. We have to end wars for the planet and for the future. I could really care less who wins in November."

She also noted that even when the Democrats were in power under Obama, nothing was done to change the government's militarism nor to address the host of issues that events like the Women's March have claimed to champion.

"We just got finished with eight years of a Democratic regime," Sheehan told MintPress. "For two of those years, they had complete control of Congress and the presidency and a [filibuster-proof] majority in the Senate and they did nothing" productive except to help "expand the war machine." She also emphasized that this march is in no way a "get out the vote" march for any political party.

Even though planning began less than a month ago, support has been pouring in for the march since it was first announced on Sheehan's website, Cindy Sheehan Soapbox. Encouraged by the amount of interest already received, Sheehan is busy working with activists to organize the events and will be taking her first organizing trip to the east coast in April of this year. 

In addition, those who are unable to travel to Washington are encouraged to participate in any number of solidarity protests that will be planned to take place around the world or to plan and attend rallies in front of U.S. embassies, military installations, and the corporate headquarters of war profiteers.

Early endorsers of the event include journalists Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and Margaret Kimberley; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and U.S. politicians like former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Activist groups that have pledged their support include CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition, Answer Coalition, Women's EcoPeace and World Beyond War.

Though October is eight months away, Sheehan has high hopes for the march. More than anything else, though, she hopes that the event will give birth to a "real revolutionary women's movement that recognizes the emancipation and liberation of all peoples—and that means [freeing] all people from war and empire, which is the biggest crime against humanity and against this planet." By building "a movement and not just a protest," the event's impact will not only be long-lasting, but grow into a force that could meaningfully challenge the U.S. military-industrial complex that threatens us all. God knows the world needs it.

For those eager to help the march, you can help spread the word through social media by joining the march's Facebook page or following the march'sTwitter account, as well as by word of mouth. In addition, supporting independent media outlets—such as MintPress, which will be reporting on the march—can help keep you and others informed as October approaches.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer forMintPress News who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, theAnti-Media, and21st Century Wire among others. She currently lives in Southern Chile.

MPN News, February 20, 2018






Major George Tillery




April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.

These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.

In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.

Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.

The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.

This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.

Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.

Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years

The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.

During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.

Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.

Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.

Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family


    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.

    Go to JPay.com;

    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.

    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:

    Major Tillery AM 9786

    SCI Frackville

    1111 Altamont Blvd.

    Frackville, PA 17931

    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org


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

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



    Free Leonard Peltier!

    On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

    By Leonard Peltier

    Art by Leonard Peltier

    Write to:

    Leonard Peltier 89637-132 

    USP Coleman I 

    P.O. Box 1033 

    Coleman, FL 33521

    Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the ILPD national office, 116 W. Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL 33603



    Whistleblower Reality Winner Accepts Responsibility for Helping Expose Attacks on Election Systems

    After more than a year jailed without bail, NSA whistleblower Reality Winner has changed her plea to guilty. In a hearing this past Tuesday, June 26th, she stated - "all of these actions I did willfully." If this new plea deal is approved by the judge, she will have a maximum prison sentence of five years as opposed to the ten years she faced under the Espionage Act.

    Speaking to the family's relief due to this plea deal, Reality's mother Billie sharedthat "At least she knows it's coming to an end." "Her plea agreement reflects the conclusion of Winner and her lawyers," stated Betsy Reed, "that the terms of this deal represent the best outcome possible for her in the current environment."

    In a recent campaign status update Jeff Paterson, Project Director of Courage to Resist, reiterated the importance of continuing to support Reality and her truth-telling motives. "We cannot forget this Trump Administration political prisoner. Reality needs us each to do what we can to resist." Although Courage to Resist is no longer hosting Reality's defense fund, online monetary support can be contributed to the Winner family directly at standwithreality.org. Reality's inspiring artwork also available for purchase at realitywinnerart.com.

    "It's so important to me as her mom to know just all the people that are writing her, who are touching her, who are reaching out to her giving her that strength and that support . . . Please don't stop that" said Billie Winner-Davis. "And we'll always make sure that everybody knows where she's at, where you can write to her, how you can help her. You know, we'll continue to do that. Just follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter. We will continue to do that for her."

    Reality will remain at the Lincoln County jail near Augusta, Georgia, for the next few months pending the sentencing hearing and hopefully will then be transferred to a facility closer to her family.


    484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

    www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 

    Charity for the Wealthy!

    GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 of America's Largest Corporations a $236B Tax Cut: Report

    By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017







    1) U.S. Reopens Investigation Into Emmett Till Slaying

    By Alan Blinder, July 12, 2018


    Emmett Till

    The federal government has quietly revived its investigation into the murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American boy whose abduction and killing in 1955 remains among the starkest and most searing examples of racial violence in the South.

    In a report submitted to Congress in late March, the Department of Justice said it had reopened its inquiry "based upon the discovery of new information," but it did not elaborate and declined to comment further on Thursday. The government has not announced any new charges in connection with its investigation, and it is unclear whether prosecutors will ultimately be able to bring a case against anyone.

    But the Justice Department's decision to devote new attention to the case is a demonstration of how deeply the episode resonates more than 60 years after Emmett was killed in rural Mississippi and photographs of his mutilated body were published, so staggering the nation that the case is now seen as a catalyst for the civil rights movement.

    Emmett was from Chicago and had been visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he went into a store and encountered one of its owners, a white woman who ultimately complained that the teenager had grabbed her and made crude sexual remarks. He was kidnapped and killed days later, his body tethered to a cotton gin fan with barbed wire and then cast into a river

    Although two white men eventually confessed to a magazine that they had killed Emmett, they had previously been acquitted by a Mississippi jury. The two men, like many others considered to be possibly connected to the episode, are now deceased.

    But the woman who made the allegations against Emmett remains alive, and her account has shifted through the years. In a book published last year, the researcher Timothy B. Tyson reported that the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, had acknowledged that the entirety of her story was "not true" but that she did not remember the precise sequence of events.

    "Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him," Ms. Donham told Dr. Tyson, a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

    The Justice Department, whose new inquiry was first reported by The Associated Press, last began a significant review of the Till case in 2004, but prosecutors ultimately determined that the statute of limitations had left them without any charges they could pursue in a federal court. A state grand jury in Mississippi did not return any indictments, either.

     the woman linked to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till]



    2)  All 'Eligible' Separated Children Under 5 Are Back With Their Parents, Government Says

    By Ron Nixon and Miriam Jordan, July 12, 2018


    Mirce Alva Lopez, 31, with her 3-year-old son, Adan, at the bus station in Phoenix this week after being reunited.CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Thursday that it had reunified all the migrant children under the age of 5 it determined were eligible to be returned to their parents, part of a court order to reunite the children who were separated from their families at the border.

    Officials said that 57 of the 103 children had been reunited with their families as of Thursday morning. An additional 46 children remain in government custody because they have been found ineligible to be returned to their families for various reasons.

    The government said that 22 of the children could not be placed back with their parents due to safety concerns — because the parents had criminal records or because the federal government determined that the child was not related to the person they were with at the border.

    Two dozen children could not be returned because the parent had been deported or was in jail or prison for other offenses.

    The reunifications came after a federal judge pressed for faster action on Tuesday, when the government said it would miss a court's deadline of returning at least half of children under 5 years old to a parent by that day.

    Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the Federal District Court of San Diego said that deadline and a second set for July 26 to reunite nearly 3,000 more children were "firm deadlines, not aspirational goals."

    He asked the A.C.L.U. to track the administration's progress, and suggested that the government could face sanctions if it failed to comply with the deadlines. The pace of reunions picked up Wednesday, and administration officials said late in the day that all the eligible children would be handed over to a parent by Thursday.

    "As ordered by the court, the government will have to abandon their lengthy reunification process and switch to a process more appropriate for the situation," said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the A.C.L.U.

    To speed up the reunions, the A.C.L.U. and immigration advocates said the government would no longer insist on fingerprinting all adults in a household where a child would live, or require home visits by a social worker.

    Instead, the authorities will release children to a parent once a familial tie has been established, provided the parent or guardian does not have a criminal record.

    About 3,000 children were separated from their parents under a "zero-tolerance" border enforcement program that resulted in the criminal prosecutions of their parents for illegal entry. The children were removed from their parents, with whom they had crossed the border, and placed in dozens of government-licensed shelters and foster care homes across the country while their parents remained in detention.

    Migrants from Central America arriving at the bus station in McAllen, Tex., after being released from government detention in June.

    Most of the families say they are fleeing gang or domestic violence in Central America and plan to seek asylum in the United States.

    Last month President Trump ended the policy of separating families amid outcry from the public and political leaders on both sides of the aisle. But his executive order on June 20 did not outline steps for reunification, leaving intact a series of requirements that had to be met before a child could be released to a sponsor or parent.

    Indeed, shortly before the government officially announced its zero-tolerance policy in May, it issued a memorandum setting stringent new rules for vetting parents, relatives and others who wished to recover a child from government custody.

    Among other things, the memo said that the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the minors, must collect the name, date of birth, address, fingerprint and identification of a potential sponsor, who might be the parent, and of "all adult members in the potential sponsor's household." Administration officials said the measures were intended to protect the children from trafficking.

    The A.C.L.U. argued in court that the lengthy procedures were unnecessary, given that the parents had already been fingerprinted at the border and that the children had been forcibly removed from them.

    Stories of frustration played out across the country as parents faced lengthy bureaucratic hurdles as they tried to recover their children.

    Often the adults were released from detention, only to realize that it would be weeks before their children could rejoin them, leaving the minors parked in government facilities. At least two Brazilian mothers sued the government in federal court and won orders for the release of their children from shelters and into their custody. More recently, other mothers have also filed suit to recover their children.

    Still, government lawyers said Monday that they needed more time to "safely reunite families." The Health and Human Services Department must follow procedures that are "time-consuming," the government told the court.

    The chaotic and slow reunions prompted the judge to push Tuesday for faster releases, ultimately forcing the government to change course.

    Advocates said they began seeing signs that the administration would waive the requirements on Wednesday: Many young children were released to their parents despite the fact that the adults had not fulfilled previously stipulated steps, like fingerprinting. The government performed DNA tests on some, but not all, of them, some advocates said.

    Since learning that the requirements would be streamlined, "we have been strategizing all night, putting our ducks in a row to get parents who are already out of detention to their kids," said Taylor Levy, legal coordinator at Annunciation House, a nonprofit in El Paso that offers temporary accommodation for migrants.

    Ms. Levy said she expected two migrant parents, who were staying just blocks from the shelter where their children were being housed, to be reunited with them as early as Thursday. They had been waiting for several weeks for background checks, including fingerprint processing, to be completed.

    "Finally the government is going to do what it needs to do to comply with the deadline," Ms. Levy said.

    Ron Nixon reported from Washington, and Miriam Jordan from Los Angeles.



    3)  Officer Who Appeared to Ignore Puerto Rican Flag Shirt Episode Resigns

    By Matt Stevens, July 11, 2018


    An officer with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Police Department appeared to keep his distance while a man harassed a woman over her Puerto Rican flag shirt in a Chicago park.CreditMia Irizarry

    An Illinois police officer who drew criticism after he was caught on video appearing to ignore a woman's pleas for help as a man harassed her about a Puerto Rican flag shirt resigned his position late Wednesday, officials said.

    The officer, Patrick Connor, a 12-year veteran of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Police Department, had been put under investigation and on desk duty after a widely shared video of the confrontation angered public officials, including Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico.

    In a statement announcing Officer Connor's resignation, officials with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County said that they planned to further address "aspects of this incident" and that they would not provide additional details until Thursday.

    The episode took place last month in Caldwell Woods, a park in northern Chicago. The recording, taken by the woman involved, shows a man, identified by the police as Timothy Trybus, demanding to know why she has a Puerto Rican flag shirt on and whether the woman, Mia Irizarry, is a United States citizen. While Mr. Trybus shouts at her, points at her face and follows her around part of the park, Officer Connor can be seen standing about 20 feet away with his hands against his chest.

    "You are not going to change us, you know that, right?" Mr. Trybus, 62, says to Ms. Irizarry, 24, as he walks up to her. "Are you a United States citizen? Then you should not be wearing that."

    Ms. Irizarry, who was at the park with friends for a birthday party, can be heard on the video telling Mr. Trybus that she is indeed an American citizen. Her friends can be heard telling him that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

    At one point in the video, Ms. Irizarry tries to move away from Mr. Trybus and walks out from under a pavilion, but he follows her as Officer Connor appears not to approach them.

    "Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable," Ms. Irizarry tells Officer Connor, who does not appear to respond to her as he is addressed, and can be seen turning his back and walking toward his police car.

    The video shows Mr. Trybus continuing to confront Ms. Irizarry and her friends for about 10 minutes before additional police officers arrive and eventually arrest him. Mr. Trybus was later charged with disorderly conduct and assault. Repeated attempts to reach him for comment have been unsuccessful.

    Ms. Irizarry has not responded to multiple requests for an interview.

    "That officer did absolutely nothing — he did absolutely zero," Ms. Irizarry said in the video, which was streamed from her Facebook profile on June 14, but gained a wider audience this week. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times. He did not do anything."

    Matthew Haag contributed reporting.



    4) 'Mi Amor!': Tearful Scenes as Immigrant Reunions Begin in New York

    By Annie Correal, July 11, 2018


    Celia Del Carmen Delgado and her 3-year-old daughter, Adela, were reunited in Manhattan on Wednesday.CreditMarian Carrasquero/The New York Times

    The reunions in New York began Tuesday night and continued at a trickle Wednesday morning — a handful of families whose children were among the youngest of those separated at the border.

    All the adults were fitted for ankle bracelets, their tether to the federal government. They left for the next stages of their journey, released and headed to relatives' homes all over the country, with little more than the dirty clothes in which they crossed the border. But they had the most important thing.

    Denis Rivas was back with Joshua, 4, after not even speaking to him since they were separated a month ago. Maria Guinac was with her three children, too — the youngest, Gustavo, turned 3 while she was being held in Texas. Javier Garrido was with his 4-year-old, William, who had been taken from him in the middle of the night in Laredo, Tex.

    A court order had mandated the government to reunify parents with children younger than 5 who had been separated from their families by Tuesday. But in many cases the deadline was missed.

    It was still unclear on Wednesday how many of the 63 children under 5 in federal custody across the country, who appeared to be eligible under a court order from a California judge for immediate reunification, had actually been returned to their parents.

    But according to a Trump administration official, authorities anticipated that as of early Thursday morning, they will have reunified all children under age 5 who are eligible under the court order for reunification with parents in the United States.

    Federal workers had labored late into the night to push through reunifications, but still there were glitches. Several parents flown in to detention centers near New York in the days leading up to the deadline had been taken to 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, only to have to return to detention at the end of the day — because their ankle monitors were not working.

    Some of them were stirred again in the wee hours of Wednesday to return to Federal Plaza, where the three parents finally saw their children later that morning. The children were wearing new, unfamiliar clothes; their hair was combed and they carried backpacks so new that some still had the tags on.

    They were impassive as their parents embraced them; the tears came slowly. "Mi amor!" Celia Del Carmen Delgado cried as she first saw her 3-year-old, Adela, after more than two months. At first, she said, Adela just stared at her.

    "It was as if she was remembering me," Ms. Delgado said.

    Then the little girl started to cry.

    An agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement handed each parent a stapled packet with the terms of their release, and left. Lawyers, workers from nonprofits and volunteers sat with the parents, going through the paperwork and helping them make arrangements to join relatives. In one case, a parent's flight had been paid for with airline points donated by volunteers.

    As the parents waited for flights and for relatives who were driving in from out of state to pick them up, volunteers arranged for two families to head to a home in Brooklyn to shower, eat and rest. They called other volunteers, asking them to bring fresh changes of clothes, a car seat from Target, and medicine for Adela, who had a nagging cough.

    Mr. Rivas and his boy Joshua were driven to the airport by a volunteer, who did not wish to give his name. They were bound for North Carolina, their original destination, where they planned to stay with Mr. Rivas's mother and sister. On the way to the airport, the volunteer bought Mr. Rivas a burger. He vomited; he hadn't eaten in three days, and said in detention in El Paso, Tex., he had eaten little more than bread.

    At the airport, Mr. Rivas presented the only documents he had: those given to him that day by ICE, which contained their grainy photographs. But he was told they could fly. Mr. Rivas was told he would receive a pat-down and his belongings — his son's yellow duffel bag — would be inspected.

    The volunteer who drove Mr. Rivas to the airport handed him $20 for a snack before the flight. As Mr. Rivas waited in a security line, a guard looked down at the boy, who stood by him, looking sleepy, and commented on how cute he was.

    Elsewhere in the city, at a facility affiliated with the nonprofit Catholic Charities, which was providing legal services for the children, two more fathers held their sons in their arms. Believed to be the first children in New York to have been reunited with their parents, on Tuesday, the 4-year-old boys had been living in the same foster home.

    One of the men, Javier Garrido, a construction worker from Honduras, broke down in tears as he described being separated from his son in Laredo, Tex. It was 4 a.m., and he and William were asleep in a freezing holding pen known as the "icebox."

    "All of a sudden they came asking for the boy. They told me, 'He's going.'

    "What do you mean you're taking him? And me?"

    The agents took William by force, Mr. Garrido said through tears, and told him the boy would be put up for adoption.

    Like the other families, he would be joining relatives out of state — his were in Louisiana — while lawyers sort out their cases. Both men may have unwittingly agreed to expedited orders of deportation, further complicating their futures, according to Mario Russell, the director of Immigrant and Refugee Services for Catholic Charities.

    The immediate concerns for the parents, however, now also include figuring out daily life with an ankle monitor. They were still unclear how the technology worked, having to Google instructions on showering and charging the devices.

    Liz Robbins, Caitlin Dickerson, Mariana Alfaro and Mark Abramson contributed reporting.



    5) I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.

    By Michiko Kakutani, July 13, 2018

    Ms. Kakutani is the author of the forthcoming book "The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump."


    Illustration by Mike McQuade; Photographs by Dorothea Lange/War Relocation Authority and Mike Blake/Reuters

    They were described as vermin who were infesting America. They were deemed a national security threat to the United States, rounded up and sent to internment camps, where they were housed in military-style barracks behind barbed wire and watched over by armed officers in guard towers. There was no due process, no risk assessment, no effort to assess who might actually pose a threat and who just happened to look like "the enemy." Instead, tens of thousands of men, women and children were subject to "removal," because, as one government report put it, "an exact separation of the 'sheep from the goats' was unfeasible."

    My mother's family was among the 120,000 people of Japanese descent on the West Coast who were dispatched to internment camps during World War II. The faded photo of my mother, my aunt and my grandparents, standing in front of the Topaz Relocation Center barracks, where they were incarcerated in the Utah desert in 1942, used to feel like an artifact from a thankfully distant era — an illustration from a history lesson about what a former first lady, Laura Bush, last month called "one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."

    A photograph taken in 1943 of the author's mother, right, her grandparents and her aunt in front of the Topaz Relocation Center barracks, where they were incarcerated in the Utah desert.CreditCourtesy of UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

    And yet today in America under President Trump, the news is filled with pictures and stories of families and children being held in detention centers, and reports that the Pentagon is preparing to house as many as 20,000 "unaccompanied alien children" on American military bases.

    History is repeating itself. This time without even the pretext of war, and with added heartbreaking cruelty. Under Mr. Trump's "zero tolerance" border enforcement policy, nearly 3,000 children were separated from their parents, and while the administration later halted these separations, it neglected to keep proper records and is now struggling to find and reunite families.

    Once again, national safety is invoked as a rationale for the roundup of whole groups of people. Once again, racist stereotypes are being used by politicians to ramp up fear and hatred. And once again, lies are being used to justify actions that violate the most fundamental American ideals of freedom, equality and tolerance.

    My mother and her sister were young women — not the frightened and helpless children being separated from their parents on the border today, and they and my grandparents were allowed to remain together as a family. Even so, their "evacuation" from the house where they'd lived for 15 years split their lives into a before and after.

    Before, they lived what my mother called a "regular life" in Berkeley, Calif. — in a three-bedroom stucco bungalow with a front porch, where my grandfather used to hang an American flag on holidays. My grandmother cooked rice instead of potatoes, wrote poems in Japanese, and tried, without much success, to teach her daughters the language. The girls learned that being Japanese made them less than welcome by some neighbors. My aunt recalled cautiously asking questions like: "Can we come swim in the pool? We're Japanese."

    But they longed to fit in. They were American citizens, and they thought of themselves as just as American as their classmates. They took piano lessons, went to Sunday school every Sunday, and grew up reading National Geographic and Life magazine, which would later do a feature on one of the concentration camps designed to house "potential enemies of the United States."

    For a visit to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, my grandmother sewed the girls white pongee dresses with red and blue belts, and matching red and blue capelets.

    When the family first heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 on the radio, they dismissed it as the work of a few fanatics. But that evening, several F.B.I. men came to their house and took my grandfather away. He and dozens of other Japanese-American businessmen and community leaders in the Bay Area had been deemed "enemy aliens," and he was sent to an army internment camp in Montana.

    In the following weeks and months, the fear-mongering grew, and officials increasingly took to using racist epithets. "A Jap is a Jap," said Lt. Gen. John DeWitt, the commander of the Western Command and the Fourth Army, in February of 1942. "The Japanese race is an enemy race," he wrote, "and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of American citizenship, have become 'Americanized,' the racial strains are undiluted." Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy shrugged off questions about the legality of the situation, writing "the Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me."

    After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, which authorized the forced removal of residents of Japanese descent from the Pacific Coast, an 8 p.m. curfew was imposed on Japanese residents there and they were ordered to turn over all "contraband," including firearms, cameras, radios and binoculars. My mother handed over her Brownie camera to the local police. In April, they were designated Family Number 13453, and given 10 days to pack up and vacate the house where they had lived for a decade and a half.

    They were allowed to take only what they could carry. Everything else had to be sold, thrown out, given to friends, or put in storage — including the piano and the rest of the furniture, books, records, paintings, rugs, linens, plates and glasses, silverware, boxes of family letters, photographs and old Valentine and Christmas cards, and all the knickknacks and bits of yarn and fabric that my grandmother, a devout hoarder, had saved during her more than 25 years in America. The three of them (my grandfather was still in the internment camp in Montana) practiced trying to walk with the two suitcases they were each allowed to take. They had to give away their collie, Laddie, who, my mother later learned, died weeks after they left him.

    The Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, Calif., was a former horse race track where the stalls for the horses were turned into barracks for Japanese-Americans temporarily interned there.CreditDorothea Lange/War Relocation Authority

    Nametags — which my mother remembered as the sort of "oaktag" luggage tags that came with a string to tie on your suitcase — were safety-pinned to their jackets. And at a nearby church, they boarded buses that delivered them to Tanforan, south of San Francisco — stables at a local racetrack, where Seabiscuit got his start, which had been converted into temporary barracks for some 7,800 Japanese-Americans, while more permanent "relocation centers" further inland were hastily prepared by the government.

    My mother's family took up residence in Barrack 16. Their living space, "Apartment 40" as it was called, was a 10-foot by 20-foot horse stall, furnished with army cots and still smelling of horse manure, when they arrived in their best traveling clothes — my grandmother wearing the good coat she usually wore to church, and a hat and gloves. Five months later, they were transported by train to the Utah desert, to a concentration camp called Topaz.

    The removal of people of Japanese descent from their homes and their incarceration in camps were executed with the same sort of political calculus of fear and bigotry that Mr. Trump is using today to redefine American immigration policy. Laura Bush wrote that she was reminded of the World War II-era internment of Japanese-Americans by the images today of migrant children being sent to mass detention facilities as a result of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on the southern border.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out "stark parallels" between the Supreme Court's ruling last month to uphold Mr. Trump's ban on travel from several mainly Muslim countries and the court's 1944 Korematsu ruling, which upheld the internment of Japanese-Americans. Both effectively sanctioned "a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security," Justice Sotomayor wrote.

    Bigotry and conspiracy thinking lay behind the internment of Japanese-Americans and the 1944 Supreme Court decision on Korematsu, as Richard Reeves reminded us in his important 2015 book "Infamy." In the wake of Pearl Harbor, there were newspaper editorials like "Crime and Poverty Go Hand in Hand with Asiatic Labor." Representative John Rankin, Democrat of Mississippi, declared: "I say it is of vital importance that we get rid of every Japanese, whether in Hawaii or the mainland." Never mind that thousands of Japanese-Americans served in the United States Army's highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team — including my mother's cousin, Mitsuo Nitta, who served with that team in Italy, while his family was incarcerated in a camp in Arizona.

    Orders posted in San Francisco in 1942 for the removal of persons of Japanese ancestry there.CreditDorothea Lange/War Relocation Authority

    The lack of evidence of any sort of fifth column of Japanese-American collaborators was cited by Walter Lippmann not as a sign that there was nothing to be feared, but as "a sign that the blow is well-organized and that it is held back until it can be struck with maximum effect."

    Decades after the end of the war, the acting solicitor general, Neal Katyal, issued a "confession of error" for the government lawyers in the Korematsu case, noting that they had distorted and withheld evidence from the Supreme Court, including reports from the Office of Naval Intelligence and the F.B.I. which discredited allegations used to justify internment.

    A 1982 report by a congressional commission had concluded that Executive Order 9066 "was not justified by military necessity" and that the decisions to intern Japanese-Americans were animated by "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

    Trump's calls for a "Muslim ban" and his "zero tolerance" border policy are similarly based on lies and racist stereotypes. During World War II, Japanese Americans were described as animals. Satirical "Japanese Hunting Licenses" were printed ("this animal has the characteristics of a skunk in appearance and odor") and the governor of Idaho, Chase Clark, said "The Japs live like rats, breed like rats and act like rats."

    Today, President Trump has branded some undocumented immigrants as "animals," and described them as "murderers and thieves" who want to "infest our country." In tweeting about so-called sanctuary cities, he used the word "breeding" to refer to immigrants. He also dishonestly laments the "death and destruction caused by people that shouldn't be here," when, in fact, studies show that immigrants are less likely to commit violent crimes than U.S.-born citizens.

    President Trump not only lies with astonishing temerity and abandon, but those lies connect into equally false narratives that gin up the worst fears and prejudices of his base. For instance, there is no border crisis: In the last fiscal year, arrests of unauthorized immigrants had actually declined to levels not seen since the early 1970s. Similarly, there has been no eruption of "American carnage." Although Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign depicted the country as beset by alarming violence, the crime rate that year was near a historic low — less than half what it was in 1991.

    The shamelessness and volume of Mr. Trump's lies — The Washington Post calculated, in June of 2018, that he was averaging more than 6.5 false or misleading claims a day — are flooding the country in misinformation, and his lies are endlessly repeated and amplified by the right-wing media machine. We have reached the point where more than a third of the country either buys into Mr. Trump's falsehoods or casually shrugs them off, putting loyalty to him or the Republican Party over facts, common sense and the Constitution.

    Under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, some families and children are held in detention centers like this one near the Mexican border in Tornillo, Tex.CreditMike Blake/Reuters

    With his mendacity and increasingly virulent attacks on immigrants, Muslims, women, the press, the judiciary, the intelligence services, the F.B.I. — any group or institution that he finds threatening or useful as a scapegoat — Mr. Trump is attempting the Orwellian trick of redefining American reality on his own terms. This assault on truth has the gravest consequences for our democracy. When lying is normalized, the sort of cynicism found in autocracies like Vladimir Putin's Russia takes hold — people begin to assume that all politicians lie, that all knowledge is relative, that there is no point in voting or protest. Without truth, informed public discourse is hobbled, and politicians cannot be held accountable.

    At the same time, all the lies and race-baiting are having immediate and devastating consequences for the migrants and asylum seekers being taken into custody at the southern border today — families have been torn apart, often with little foreseeable hope of being reunited; and others face indefinite detention.

    Newly arrived evacuees at the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, Calif., in 1942.CreditDorothea Lange/War Relocation Authority

    Decades ago, the United States government's lie that Japanese-Americans on the West Coast posed a national security threat led to 120,000 individuals (more than two-thirds of whom were citizens) being uprooted from their homes and sent to internment camps. And their removal was presented, in propaganda films, as an act of benevolence on the part of the American government toward potential saboteurs, whose real loyalties lay with Tokyo. In footage from one newsreel, the voice-over describes Japanese-Americans being sent not to concentration camps, but to "pioneer communities" in the desert.

    "Here in the land of Buffalo Bill," a narrator says, "the government is erecting model camp towns — towns in which they'll live unmolested not as prisoners but free to work and paid by the United States government."

    "Bathtubs — yes, all the comforts of home," the narrator continues. "The Japanese in America are finding Uncle Sam a loyal master despite the war."

    At the Topaz Relocation Camp, high on a desert plateau in southwest Utah that was plagued by duststorms and mosquitoes, my mother and aunt worked as preschool and elementary schoolteachers for $19 a month. They and their parents lived in another one-room "apartment" furnished with four cots. Other furniture — chairs, a table, shelves — had to be constructed from scrap lumber.

    A postcard of the Topaz Relocation Camp, which sat high on a desert plateau in southwest Utah.

    To pass the time, residents, as they were called, would go out in the desert to look for arrowheads, trilobites and little amber topaz crystals. One elderly rock hunter, my mother recalled, wandered too close to the barbed wire fence. He was shot dead by a guard who claimed that the man had been trying to escape.

    For birthdays and special occasions, my mother and aunt would hunt through old newspapers and magazines for photographs of food and presents they would have liked to give each other and their parents back home in the "outside world" — a cake, a pie, a tea set, a vase of lilacs, an Easter ham.

    After the war, my grandparents eventually returned to Berkeley. My grandmother's health had suffered from the high altitude and dust and spartan living conditions in Topaz. My grandfather, who had been an assistant manager in the San Francisco office of a Japanese import-export firm, had difficulty finding employment after the war. He was fired from a factory job that involved painting flowers on glassware, my aunt remembered, and ended up working at a friend's dry-cleaning business.

    My mother disliked talking about her wartime experiences. She did not suffer the sort of radical fear and dislocation that the young migrant children, separated from their parents today, are experiencing. But her internment at Tanforan and Topaz left her with a lasting sense of the precariousness of life — the apprehension that unexpected perils could befall one at any moment.

    My aunt, Yoshiko Uchida, became an award-winning writer of children's books, including several about the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war. She wanted to bear witness to what happened, she wrote, "with the hope that through knowledge of the past," our nation "will never allow another group of people in America to be sent into a desert exile ever again."



    6) Standing Rock activist accused of firing at police gets nearly five years in prison

    By Associated Press, July 11, 2018


    Red Fawn Fallis, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, was arrested in 2016. Photograph: Courtesy of Eryn Wise

    A Denver woman accused of shooting at officers during protests in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline has been sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison.

    Red Fawn Fallis, 39, was accused of firing a handgun three times while resisting arrest on 27 October 2016. No one was hurt. Fallis, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, denied intentionally trying to injure anyone and claimed not to remember firing the gun after being tackled by police.

    She pleaded guilty on 22 January to civil disorder and illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon. She has a 2003 conviction in Colorado for being an accessory to a felony crime. Court records show she was accused of driving a car for a man who shot and wounded another man.

    Prosecutors in the pipeline case agreed to drop a count of discharge of a firearm during a felony crime of violence and to recommend a sentence of no more than seven years in prison. The defense asked for no more than two and a half years.

    Hovland handed down his sentence on Wednesday in a courtroom filled with dozens of Fallis's supporters.

    Debate during the hearing centered on whether Fallis intentionally fired at officers, and how much her troubled childhood and history of abusive adult relationships contributed to her frame of mind.

    A psychologist called by the defense testified that Fallis suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and a physiology professor said she might have involuntarily fired the gun without even being aware of it. 

    The assistant US attorney David Hagler questioned the assertions. 

    Judge Hovland concluded that "nobody knows what the real purpose was" of Fallis firing the gun but that "at a minimum [she] committed a menacing-type assault on the officers". 

    Fallis's attorneys said the decision not to take the case to trial was based on anti-activist sentiment in the area and unsuccessful attempts to have Hovland order the prosecution to turn over more information, including details about an FBI informant Fallis alleges seduced her and owned the gun.

    The government maintained in court documents that it turned over all information about the informant and that "defendants' reference to the FBI informant as some sort of complex issue is misplaced".

    Fallis's arrest was one of 761 that authorities made in southern North Dakota during the height of protests in 2016 and 2017. At times, thousands of pipeline opponents gathered in the region to protest against the $3.8bn project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois, but the effort did not stop the project.

    The pipeline has been operating for a year. Opponents fear environmental harm, and four Native American tribes in the Dakotas are still fighting it in court. The Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners says it is safe.



    7) Cleaning Toilets, Following Rules: A Migrant Child's Days in Detention

    A portrait of life in the shelters for the children detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

    By Dan Barry, Miriam Jordan, Annie Correal and Manny Fernandez, July 14, 2018


    Adan Galicia Lopez, 3, was separated from his mother for four months.CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times

    Do not misbehave. Do not sit on the floor. Do not share your food. Do not use nicknames. Also, it is best not to cry. Doing so might hurt your case.

    Lights out by 9 p.m. and lights on at dawn, after which make your bed according to the step-by-step instructions posted on the wall. Wash and mop the bathroom, scrubbing the sinks and toilets. Then it is time to form a line for the walk to breakfast.

    "You had to get in line for everything," recalled Leticia, a girl from Guatemala.

    Small, slight and with long black hair, Leticia was separated from her mother after they illegally crossed the border in late May. She was sent to a shelter in South Texas — one of more than 100 government-contracted detention facilities for migrant children around the country that are a rough blend of boarding school, day care center and medium security lockup. They are reserved for the likes of Leticia, 12, and her brother, Walter, 10.

    The facility's list of no-no's also included this: Do not touch another child, even if that child is your hermanito or hermanita — your little brother or sister.

    Leticia had hoped to give her little brother a reassuring hug. But "they told me I couldn't touch him," she recalled.

    In response to an international outcry, President Trump recently issued an executive order to end his administration's practice, first widely put into effect in May, of forcibly removing children from migrant parents who had entered the country illegally. Under that "zero-tolerance" policy for border enforcement, thousands of children were sent to holding facilities, sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles from where their parents were being held for criminal prosecution.

    Last week, in trying to comply with a court order, the government returned slightly more than half of the 103 children under the age of 5 to their migrant parents.

    But more than 2,800 children — some of them separated from their parents, some of them classified at the border as "unaccompanied minors" — remain in these facilities, where the environments range from impersonally austere to nearly bucolic, save for the fact that the children are formidably discouraged from leaving and their parents or guardians are nowhere in sight.

    Depending on several variables, including happenstance, a child might be sent to a 33-acre youth shelter in Yonkers that features picnic tables, sports fields and even an outdoor pool. "Like summer camp," said Representative Eliot L. Engel, a Democrat of New York who recently visited the campus.

    Or that child could wind up at a converted motel along a tired Tucson strip of discount stores, gas stations and budget motels. Recreation takes place in a grassless compound, and the old motel's damaged swimming pool is covered up.

    Migrant children in a recreation area at a shelter in Brownsville, Tex.CreditLoren Elliott/Reuters

    Still, some elements of these detention centers seem universally shared, whether they are in northern Illinois or South Texas. The multiple rules. The wake-up calls and the lights-out calls. The several hours of schooling every day, which might include a civics class in American history and laws, though not necessarily the ones that led to their incarceration.

    Most of all, these facilities are united by a collective sense of aching uncertainty — scores of children gathered under a roof who have no idea when they will see their parents again.

    Leticia wrote letters from the shelter in South Texas to her mother, who was being held in Arizona, to tell her how much she missed her. She would quickly write these notes after she had finished her math worksheets, she said, so as not to violate yet another rule: No writing in your dorm room. No mail.

    She kept the letters safe in a folder for the day when she and her mother would be reunited, though that still hasn't happened. "I have a stack of them," she said.

    Another child asked her lawyer to post a letter to her detained mother, since she had not heard from her in the three weeks since they had been separated.

    "Mommy, I love you and adore you and miss you so much," the girl wrote in curvy block letters. And then she implored: "Please, Mom, communicate. Please, Mom. I hope that you're OK and remember, you are the best thing in my life."

    The complicated matters of immigration reform and border enforcement have vexed American presidents for at least two generations. The Trump administration entered the White House in 2017 with a pledge to end the problems, and for several months, it chose one of the harshest deterrents ever employed by a modern president: the separation of migrant children from their parents.

    This is what a few of those children will remember.

    No Touching, No Running

    Diego Magalhães, a Brazilian boy with a mop of curly brown hair, spent 43 days in a Chicago facility after being separated from his mother, Sirley Paixao, when they crossed the border in late May. He did not cry, just as he had promised her when they parted. He was proud of this. He is 10.

    He spent the first night on the floor of a processing center with other children, then boarded an airplane the next day. "I thought they were taking me to see my mother," he said. He was wrong.

    Once in Chicago, he was handed new clothes that he likened to a uniform: shirts, two pairs of shorts, a sweatsuit, boxers and some items for hygiene. He was then assigned to a room with three other boys, including Diogo, 9, and Leonardo, 10, both from Brazil.

    The three became fast friends, going to class together, playing lots of soccer and earning "big brother" status for being good role models for younger children. They were rewarded the privilege of playing video games.

    There were rules. You couldn't touch others. You couldn't run. You had to wake up at 6:30 on weekdays, with the staff making banging noises until you got out of bed.

    "You had to clean the bathroom," Diego said. "I scrubbed the bathroom. We had to remove the trash bag full of dirty toilet paper. Everyone had to do it."

    Diego and the 15 other boys in their unit ate together. They had rice and beans, salami, some vegetables, the occasional pizza, and sometimes cake and ice cream. The burritos, he said, were bad.

    Apart from worrying about when he would see his mother again, Diego said that he was not afraid, because he always behaved. He knew to watch for a staff member "who was not a good guy." He had seen what happened to Adonias, a small boy from Guatemala who had fits and threw things around.

    "They applied injections because he was very agitated," Diego said. "He would destroy things."

    A person he described as "the doctor" injected Adonias in the middle of a class, Diego said. "He would fall asleep."

    Diego managed to stay calm, in part because he had promised his mother he would. Last week, a federal judge in Chicago ordered that Diego be reunited with his family. Before he left, he made time to say goodbye to Leonardo.

    "We said 'Ciao, good luck," Diego recalled. "Have a good life."

    But because of the rules, the two boys did not hug.

    "Some of the girls said we were going to get out," recalled Yoselyn Bulux, 15. "Others said they were going to deport us."CreditRyan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

    Lessons in Math and Presidents

    Yoselyn Bulux, 15, is a rail-thin girl from Totonicapán, Guatemala, with long dark hair and no clear memory of how she summoned the strength to climb the wall at the border. What followed was even harder: two days in a frigid processing center known as the "icebox," then a two-day bus ride to a large facility somewhere in Texas. Her mother stayed behind in Arizona.

    The new place had air-conditioning, but wasn't as cold as the icebox, which had left her with a sore throat. There were windows, sunlight during the day. And beyond the perimeter, tall grass like the "zacate" you see along the highway.

    At the intake area of the facility, which seemed to accommodate about 300 girls — some of them pregnant — she was given some clothes and a piece of paper with a number on it. There were rules.

    "If you do something bad, they report you," Yoselyn recalled. "And you have to stay longer."

    The days had structure. Yoselyn took classes with other teenage girls in math, language — she learned "good morning," "good afternoon" and "good night" in English — and civics, which touched on, among other things, American presidents. President Trump was mentioned, she said.

    For an hour every day, the girls went outside to exercise in the hot Texas air. It was not uncommon to see someone suddenly try to escape. No whispers, no planning — just an out-of-nowhere dash for the fence. No one made it.

    On Friday and Saturday nights, the girls watched movies. Also on Saturday, Yoselyn met with a counselor, whom she liked. They talked about her hope to be with her mother soon. She cried only twice.

    But it wasn't easy. Although Yoselyn spoke occasionally by telephone with her mother — the first time a full 10 days after their separation — the gossipy chatter among the girls could be confusing, and upsetting. "Some of the girls said we were going to get out," she recalled. "Others said they were going to deport us."

    She made friends, and together they would paint their nails and make multicolored friendship bracelets out of yarn. She became especially close to a Guatemalan girl named Sofia. But one day, Sofia just disappeared.

    Finally, on July 1, it was Yoselyn's turn to leave. She was flown to New York on her first airplane flight. She watched the movie "Coco" while in the air. And then the woman serving as her escort handed Yoselyn over to her father, who was so overcome at the sight of his daughter that he could not speak.

    A Birthday Passes

    Victor Monroy did not understand. It was Sunday, June 24. His birthday. He was now, officially, 11.

    But no one at this place where he and his younger sister had been sent seemed to know, or care. No one sang to him, the way his mother would have. Finally, Victor told the adults in this strange place of his personal milestone.

    "They said 'feliz cumpleaños,'" the boy recalled. "That's all."

    Given all that was happening, the moment may seem small, even inconsequential. Then again, perhaps the quiet passing of his 11th birthday will, years from now, still evoke for Victor the 41 days he counted that he and his 9-year-old sister, Leidy, lived in a place called Casa Guadalupe, with no idea where their mother was for weeks.

    "She's the one who had been watching over me," Victor said. "My whole life."

    Victor and Leidy had left Guatemala with their mother by bus, but reached the United States border in the back of a tractor-trailer. Almost immediately, they were taken to a crowded place with other migrants. Then, late one night, agents started loading them into a vehicle, as their mother, who was being left behind in Arizona, quickly tried to explain what was happening.

    Soon they were on their first airplane ride ever, on their way to some place called Chicago. They were taken to the shelter, given new clothes and separated: Victor to the boys' area, Leidy to the girls'.

    For the next several weeks, the only time the brown-haired siblings saw each other was during recreation period outdoors. If he asked, Victor said, he could spend up to a half-hour with Leidy.

    Their daily routine was similar to what thousands of migrant children were experiencing around the country. Early morning wake-up calls, chores, classes. Victor and Leidy didn't speak to their mother for a month. Where was she? When would they get out? Only once, Victor's frustration got the better of him.

    In the play area one day, some boys stole a ball that Victor was playing with, and he became distraught. When it came time to go back into the house, he refused. "I didn't want to go inside," he said.

    Then, Victor said, two men, including one named Tito, grabbed him by the arms and dragged him into the house. "I told him he didn't have the right to do that," the boy said. "And so he said, yes, he had the right to do whatever he wanted."

    Weeks later, Victor was still upset.

    But at least he had a trabajadora de caso — a caseworker — named Linda who helped him navigate his new world. "She did everything she could to find my mother," Victor said. "She called every state."

    Finally, there was a plan: Victor and Leidy would join their father, whom they hadn't seen in a few years, in New England. The night before, Victor's roommate and friend, a boy from El Salvador named Franklin, struggled to sleep.

    "I don't think he slept all night because I was leaving," Victor said.

    Sure enough, when the adults came for Victor in the morning, Franklin was awake to say goodbye.

    "He wished me lots of luck," Victor said.

    Mischief and Melancholy

    The kids are just — kids. That is what it comes down to, according to an employee at Casa Padre, a shelter for 1,500 migrant boys that inhabits a former Walmart Supercenter in Brownsville, Tex., close to the Mexican border. Just kids, all being held in the custody of the United States government.

    Take the mooing, for example. The walls that separate the sleeping quarters do not reach the high ceilings, which means that sounds travel in the yawning spaces within the 250,000-square-foot building. One boy will make a loud animal noise, after which another will emit an animal-like response.

    "Someone will start mooing," the employee said. "They just think it's funny. They just do it long enough so everyone can hear, and then we all start laughing."

    Casa Padre, which shares a parking lot with a gas station, a McDonald's and other stores, is run by Southwest Key Programs, one of the largest migrant youth shelter operators in the country. According to the employee, its staff is overworked and a little stressed out by the 12-hour shifts and the considerable responsibilities.

    A 15-year-old boy from Honduras recently escaped by climbing a fence during an outdoor recreation period. Staff members conduct round-the-clock head counts, sometimes at 15-minute intervals, all while monitoring the constant flow of boys being received and discharged.

    During the day, the staff is required to maintain a ratio of one worker for every eight children. The ratio sets the tempo and culture at Casa Padre, the employee said. "It's a big deal if we're out of ratio."

    If one boy in a classroom needs to use the restroom, then a staff member has to find seven others who also want to go to the bathroom. "They'll all stand in a line and then we'll walk to the restroom," the employee said.

    Some of the boys at Casa Padre were separated from their parents at the border, but most were caught crossing without a parent or guardian. All seem to keep themselves entertained with soccer or movies or video games.

    "If they get sad, it's like a quiet thing," the employee said. "You'll see them sit on the floor and just kind of wrap their arms around themselves."

    Some time in the evening is set aside for prayer. Boys can be found praying in a classroom, in a game room, in a bedroom. Some kneel. After that, many focus on creating intricately designed bracelets out of the huge supply of colorful yarn that seems always available. The bracelets become gifts, keepsakes, something to remember someone by.

    Lights out at 9. Then, depending on the night, a cavernous old Walmart in South Texas begins to echo with the sound of mischievous migrant children imitating the lows of pent-up cattle.

    Reporting was contributed by Kayla Cockrel, Caitlin Dickerson, Michael LaForgia and Liz Robbins.



    8) 'It's Like Each Day Is a Year': A Migrant Mother's Wait for a Reunion

    By Manny Fernandez and Mitchell Forman, July 13, 2018


    Isabella, 40, waited for her daughter to be released from the Nueva Esperanza migrant youth shelter in Brownsville, Tex.CreditIlana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

    BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — The mother in Room 211 was separated from her 17-year-old daughter by Border Patrol agents after they had crossed the Rio Grande on a tire. Since then, it had been 40 days. The same number as her age.

    "It's like each day is a year," said the mother, who asked to be identified by her middle name, Isabella.

    She sat in an Americas Best Value Inn one evening this week, eating beef fajitas. Dinner on a bed in a motel: Hers was a life in transit.

    Isabella left El Salvador with her daughter to join her boyfriend, who has been living in the United States for more than a decade. The two crossed the river near the South Texas city of McAllen and turned themselves in. Isabella was put in one line at the Border Patrol facility and her daughter was put in another, and that was how they separated — suddenly, without warning or time for a long farewell embrace. Isabella was sent to a detention center in Laredo, Tex., and then to another nearly an hour outside Austin, called Hutto. She was released, and got a ride to Brownsville, where her daughter, identified by her middle name, Dayana, was being held at a children's shelter.

    El Salvador to Guatemala, Mexico to McAllen, Laredo to Hutto, and now Brownsville.

    In Room 211, her boyfriend, who drove to Texas from his home in Maryland, was with her. Now it was a matter of waiting to find out whether Dayana would be released the next day. The tattoo on her right forearm read "Blessed." Maybe it would help. Maybe not.

    Isabella embraced her daughter, Dayana, 17, after her release.

    For Isabella and thousands of other migrant parents hoping to be reunited with their unexpectedly separated children, part of the trauma has been in the waiting.

    Waiting to get out of the detention center herself. Waiting for hours in the motel room — with no phone and with the television off, she had nothing to distract her.

    Wondering what was happening to Dayana.

    When Isabella began battling stomach cancer several years ago, Dayana became not just her mother's best friend, but her caregiver. When they had crossed the river at the border and Isabella's blood pressure spiked, it was her daughter who had guided them to the bridge to turn themselves in — her daughter who had effectively given up her chance at freedom to make sure her mother was cared for.

    It was almost unbearable to think about.

    And yet life went on, slowly and, like the message on her arm, blessedly. On the road to Texas from Maryland, Isabella's boyfriend had stopped at a gas station in Tennessee, where a man gave him a puppy. The puppy — a fluffy black-and-tan dog of unknown lineage that weighed no more than 5 pounds — was now part of the family, and ran around their motel room in Brownsville. They named him Travel.

    Hours flicked by. They slept and started over again.

    Now, a reunion was at hand.

    In the motel on Wednesday morning, Isabella leaned across an ironing board toward a mirror on the wall, applying makeup. Travel gnawed on her shoes. She hadn't worn any makeup in weeks. But it felt like a special occasion.

    After waiting nearly eight hours outside, Isabella finally left the shelter with her daughter.

    Isabella wore a new black tank top, black leggings and sneakers. She bought none of it herself. Last night's fajita dinner, the motel room, her $1,500 bond to get released out of Hutto — all of it was supplied by Claudia Muñoz, an immigrant advocate who works for Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit group in Austin that fights mass incarceration, detention and deportation.

    "A godsend," Isabella said.

    Bethany Carson, who works with Ms. Muñoz at Grassroots Leadership, came by the room then with the good news: It was time to go to the shelter. They were ready. Isabella's bed was made. Her boyfriend's red duffel bag was packed.

    Travel followed them out the door.

    It was shortly before 11 a.m. when the group pulled up to the main entrance of the Nueva Esperanza shelter. Isabella was allowed inside to visit her daughter while her boyfriend and the others waited in Ms. Muñoz's S.U.V. The vehicle idled with the air-conditioning blasting in the South Texas summer sun. After a brief visit, Isabella walked out, alone. The shelter workers told her to return in about an hour, and that her daughter would likely be released at that time.

    They left, and then returned, parking in the same spot by the entrance. Isabella leaned her head back against the leather seats and waited.

    About 90 minutes later, at 12:30 p.m., Ms. Muñoz took the puppy for a walk in the small yard in front of the shelter. Isabella cracked a smile. She knew Dayana would love the puppy. They had a dog in El Salvador named Teddy.

    Dayana held the family's new puppy, Travel.CreditIlana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

    Isabella did not know when she would see Teddy back in El Salvador again. She hoped she would have a new life in America. She was in the process of applying for asylum, and was scheduled to appear in court on her immigration case on July 26. She wanted the four of them — herself, her daughter, her boyfriend and Travel — to settle in Maryland.

    Her boyfriend, a construction worker, had done some renovation work on the Capitol building in Washington. Isabella was already making plans for what she would do.

    "I like business," Isabella said. "I like negotiating, I like selling clothes. I like cooking. I'll do whatever. We have to start working so we can pay for a lawyer."

    Soon it was after 2 p.m., and Isabella continued to sit in the S.U.V., with no word. Her ponytail, fastened tightly at the motel, had come loose. They left to get gas, and then returned.

    It was shortly before 6 p.m. when Isabella was called into the shelter once more. She lingered in the lobby.

    Inside their motel room, Isabella and Dayana held each other close.

    On another side of the building, Dayana was being told to go to the front of the facility. She would later say she thought then that something bad had happened. When other girls were sent that way, they were in trouble, she said. But as Dayana approached the main entrance, she saw her mother.

    "I couldn't believe it," Dayana said. "I just looked at her. I thought maybe it was like a dream."

    It had been about 24 hours since Isabella first arrived in Brownsville on Tuesday.

    Now it was 7 p.m., and Isabella, her boyfriend and Travel walked back up the stairs of the motel, this time with Dayana. They carried their dinner in their hands — they had stopped at a Whataburger after leaving the shelter — and waited for a moment while a new room key was fetched. Dayana bent down and cradled Travel.

    Once inside, mother and daughter quietly sat on the edge of the bed. They held each other close. Dayana played with her mom's new leggings. They whispered and giggled at times, but mostly they just sat there, embracing.

    Then it was time to break out the food. They talked about detention life as Isabella ate chicken strips and fries. Dayana wasn't hungry. The sodas they were drinking reminded Dayana of one of the shelter rules: The children were allowed only one Coca-Cola per week. And she did not like the food.

    "Nothing had salt," Dayana told her mother.

    Isabella laughed. Like mother, like daughter.

    Dayana said the shelter celebrated the Fourth of July holiday, and the youths went outside to watch a nearby fireworks show. "They threw us a party," Dayana said. "We played games. They gave us gifts. They taught us the national anthem."

    Isabella nodded.

    Dayana talked about the classes she took at the shelter. She said her English had slightly improved.

    "I want to learn English," Isabella said.

    There was no longer any need to wait.



    9)  Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Man, and Then a Crowd Confronts Officers

    By Mitch Smith, July 15, 2018


    Officers from the Chicago Police Department confronted an angry crowd on Saturday at the scene of a fatal shooting by a police officer.CreditNuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

    CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer fatally shot a man Saturday evening on the city's South Side, angering nearby residents who gathered at the scene in large numbers and confronted officers for several hours.

    The shooting was the latest in recent years to expose deep-seated mistrust between the Chicago police and residents of predominantly black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides.

    Fred Waller, the chief of patrol for the Chicago police, said Saturday's encounter started when officers noticed a man with a bulge on his waistline that they believed could be a gun. He said a confrontation broke out after officers approached the man and that an officer fired fatal shots.

    "When they approached him, he tried to push their hands away," Chief Waller said. "He started flailing and swinging away, trying to make an escape. And as he made an escape, he reached for the gun."

    Chief Waller said the police recovered a semiautomatic weapon from the man, whom he did not believe was licensed to carry a concealed gun. The man has not been identified.

    Activists, residents and local journalists quickly converged at the shooting scene, a busy area near a commuter rail station and shopping district in the South Shore neighborhood. Many people recorded tense confrontations between residents and officers. Some were heard disputing the Police Department's version of events.

    The local Fox television affiliate posted video of a man jumping on the hood of a police cruiser. A Chicago Sun-Times reporter wrote on Twitter that a scuffle broke out, with officers using batons and residents throwing punches. Officers stormed a parking lot where protesters had gathered after dark, that reporter said, making several arrests and throwing the reporter to the ground.

    By 10:30 p.m., the shooting scene had been cleared. Three or four officers sustained minor injuries, four protesters were arrested and some police cars were damaged, officials said.

    Questions of police use of force and accountability for officers have dominated public discourse here for years. After an officer in 2015 was charged with murder in the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised sweeping policy changes and a cultural overhaul of the Police Department.

    Officers across the city now wear body cameras and carry stun guns, but police shootings that outrage Chicagoans have persisted.

    In 2015, an officer fatally shot a teenager wielding a baseball bat as well as an innocent bystander. In 2016, an officer fatally shot an unarmed teenagerin the back after he ran from the police. And last month, about five miles away from the scene of Saturday's shooting, distraught residents confronted the police after officers fatally shot an armed man in the back.



    10)  In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes.

    By Oscar Lopez and Andrew Jacobs, July 14, 2018


    A stream in San Cristóbal de las Casas, which residents claim is contaminated with sewage. Potable water is scarce in the town.CreditAdriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

    SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico — Maria del Carmen Abadía lives in one of Mexico's rainiest regions, but she has running water only once every two days. When it does trickle from her tap, the water is so heavily chlorinated, she said, it's undrinkable.

    Potable water is increasingly scarce in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a picturesque mountain town in the southeastern state of Chiapas where some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week, and many households are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.

    So, many residents drink Coca-Cola, which is produced by a local bottling plant, can be easier to find than bottled water and is almost as cheap.

    In a country that is among the world's top consumers of sugary drinks, Chiapas is a champion: Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day.

    The effect on public health has been devastating. The mortality rate from diabetes in Chiapas increased 30 percent between 2013 and 2016, and the disease is now the second-leading cause of death in the state after heart disease, claiming more than 3,000 lives every year.

    "Soft drinks have always been more available than water," said Ms. Abadía, 35, a security guard who, like her parents, has struggled with obesity and diabetes.

    Vicente Vaqueiros, 33, a doctor at the clinic in San Juan Chamula, a nearby farming town, said health care workers were struggling to deal with the surge in diabetes.

    "When I was a kid and used to come here, Chamula was isolated and didn't have access to processed food," he said. "Now, you see the kids drinking Coke and not water. Right now, diabetes is hitting the adults, but it's going to be the kids next. It's going to overwhelm us."

    Buffeted by the dual crises of the diabetes epidemic and the chronic water shortage, residents of San Cristóbal have identified what they believe is the singular culprit: the hulking Coca-Cola factory on the edge of town.

    The plant has permits to extract more than 300,000 gallons of water a dayas part of a decades-old deal with the federal government that critics say is overly favorable to the plant's owners.

    Maria del Carmen Abadía, left, with son, Genaro, and her mother, Isabel. Both women have diabetes. "Soft drinks have always been more available than water," said the younger Ms. Abadía.

    Public ire has been boiling over. In April 2017, masked protesters marched on the factory holding crosses that read "Coca-Cola kills us" and demanding that the government shut the plant down.

    "When you see that institutions aren't providing something as basic as water and sanitation, but you have this company with secure access to one of the best water sources, of course it gives you a shock," said Fermin Reygadas, the director of Cántaro Azul, an organization that provides clean water to rural communities.

    Coca-Cola executives and some outside experts say the company has been unfairly maligned for the water shortages. They blame rapid urbanization, poor planning and a lack of government investment that has allowed the city's infrastructure to crumble.

    Climate change, scientists say, has also played a role in the failure of artesian wells that sustained San Cristóbal for generations.

    "It doesn't rain like it used to," said Jesús Carmona, a biochemist at the local Ecosur scientific research center, which is affiliated with the Mexican government. "Almost every day, day and night, it used to rain."

    Mikaela Ruiz, 41 and her daughter Ana Valentina, 5. Ms. Ruiz believes carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick.

    But at a time of growing strife between Mexico and the United States, fed by President Trump's vow to build a border wall and his threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, the increasing antipathy toward Coca-Cola has come to symbolize the frustrations that many Mexicans feel about their northern neighbor.

    The plant is owned by Femsa, a food and beverage behemoth that owns the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola throughout Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Femsa is one of Mexico's most powerful companies; a former chief executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico, Vicente Fox, was the country's president from 2000 to 2006.

    Nafta has been beneficial for Femsa, which has received hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign investment.

    But in San Cristóbal, Nafta is widely viewed as an unwelcome interloper. On New Year's Day in 1994, the day the trade pact went into effect, rebels from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation swept into San Cristóbal, declared war against the Mexican state and burned government buildings.

    Although the two sides eventually signed a peace agreement, anti-globalization sentiment still simmers across the region, one of the poorest in Mexico.

    A family at a graduation event in San Juan Chamula, where soda anchors many ceremonies.

    "Coca-Cola is abusive, manipulative," said Martin López López, a local activist who has helped organize boycotts and protests against the soda company. "They take our pure water, they dye it and they trick you on TV saying that it's the spark of life. Then they take the money and go."

    Femsa executives say the plant has little impact on the city's water supply, noting that its wells are far deeper than the surface springs that supply local residents.

    "When we hear, and when we read in the news, that we're finishing up the water, the truth is it really shocks us," said José Ramón Martínez, a company spokesman.

    The company is also an important economic force in San Cristóbal, employing about 400 people and contributing around $200 million to the state economy, Mr. Martínez said.

    Critics, however, say the sweetheart deal between Femsa and the federal government doesn't serve the city well.

    Maria del Carmen Abadía's son, Juan José, at a water truck outside their home. Many households in the town are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.

    Laura Mebert, a social scientist at Kettering University in Michigan who has studied the conflict, says Coca-Cola pays a disproportionately small amount for its water privileges — about 10 cents per 260 gallons.

    "Coca-Cola pays this money to the federal government, not the local government," Ms. Mebert said, "while the infrastructure that serves the residents of San Cristóbal is literally crumbling."

    Among the issues facing the city is a lack of wastewater treatment, meaning that raw sewage flows directly into local waterways. Mr. Carmona, the biochemist, said San Cristóbal's rivers were rife with E. coli and other infectious pathogens.

    Last year, in an apparent effort to appease the community, Femsa began talks with local residents to build a water treatment plant that would provide clean drinking water to 500 families in the area.

    But rather than easing tensions, the plan led to more protests by locals and forced the company to halt construction of the facility.

    A little girl drinking from a can of soda on her way out of a church in San Juan Chamula.

    "We're not against the treatment plant," said León Ávila, a professor at the Intercultural University of Chiapas, who led the protests. "We just want the government to fulfill its obligation to provide potable water for its citizens. How are we supposed to allow Coke to wash its sins after years of taking the water from San Cristóbal?"

    Since bottles of Coca-Cola arrived here a half-century ago, the beverage has been deeply intertwined with the local culture.

    In San Juan Chamula, bottled soda anchors religious ceremonies cherished by the city's indigenous Tzotzil population.

    Inside the town's whitewashed church, tourists step gingerly across carpets of fresh pine needles as copal incense and smoke from hundreds of candles fill the air.

    But the main draw here for tourists is to watch the faithful, who pray over bottles of Coke or Pepsi, and also over live chickens, some sacrificed on the spot.

    San Juan Chamula at dawn. In the past, "Chamula was isolated and didn't have access to processed food," said a doctor. "Now, you see the kids drinking Coke and not water."

    Many Tzotzil believe carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick. Mikaela Ruiz, 41, a local resident, recalls how soda helped cure her infant daughter, who was weak from vomiting and diarrhea. The ceremony was performed by her diabetic mother, a traditional healer who has performed the soda ceremonies for more than 40 years.

    But, for many in San Cristóbal, the ubiquity of cheap Coca-Cola — and the diabetes that stalks nearly every household — simply compounds their anger toward the soft drink company.

    Local health advocates say aggressive marketing campaigns by Coke and Pepsi that started in the 1960s helped embed sugary soft drinks into local religious practices, which blend Catholicism with Maya rituals. For decades, the companies produced billboards in local languages, often using models in traditional Tzotzil garb.

    Although Coke has since discontinued the ad campaigns, Mr. Martínez, the Femsa spokesman, described them as "a gesture of respect toward indigenous communities."

    He also rejected criticisms that the company's beverages have had a negative impact on public health. Mexicans, he said, may have a genetic proclivity toward diabetes.

    While scientific research does suggest that Mexicans of indigenous ancestry have higher rates of diabetes, local advocates say this puts even greater responsibility on multinational companies that sell products high in sugar.

    "Indigenous people ate very simple food," said Mr. López, the activist, who spent years living with rural communities as a missionary. "And when Coke arrived, their bodies weren't ready for it."

    Ms. Abadía, the security guard, said she blamed herself for drinking so much soda. Still, with her mother's health deteriorating, and having watched her father die from complications from diabetes, she can't help but fear for her own well-being.

    "I'm worried I'll end up blind or without a foot or a hand," she said. "I'm very scared."



    11) 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Wounded in Israel, in Most Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

    By David M. Halbfinger, July 14, 2018


    A daylong exchange of rockets and airstrikes in and around the Gaza Strip reflected the most intense fighting since the 2014 war.CreditMahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    JERUSALEM — Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike and four Israelis were wounded by mortar fire from Gaza on Saturday as fighting in and around the Gaza Strip escalated to what the Israeli prime minister called the most intense level since the 2014 war.

    Hamas and allied Islamic militant groups fired nearly 100 projectiles at Israeli territory throughout the day, most of them mortar rounds, though rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon.

    Israel's Iron Dome air-defense batteries intercepted more than 20 of those that had the potential to do damage, the military said, but some got through. A mortar struck the courtyard of a Sderot synagogue, according to the Israeli military, and local news media reported that a house in Sderot was also hit, wounding four members of a family.

    "All the house was smoke and glass," said one member, Aharon Buchris, from his hospital bed in Ashkelon, where he was treated for head and leg wounds. His wife and two daughters were also hurt. "There was a lot of blood. The television exploded, the aquarium exploded."

    Azzat Magirov, 45, a neighbor, told Ynet that she had accompanied the family's two daughters, ages 14 and 15, to the hospital. She described hearing "a boom" and then shouting from the neighbors' home, before running over and finding them all bleeding. The rocket had exploded outside their living room window, and an aquarium inside the house had shattered.

    "Dead fish, glass and blood covered the floor," she said. "The mother was in the kitchen and was in shock."

    She added, "I hugged the children and then I was covered in blood."

    Another Sderot resident, Refael Yifrah, told Kan Radio that she heard a terrifying blast around 6:15 p.m., about 15 seconds after receiving a text alert of incoming fire, but that parked cars bore the brunt of the shrapnel.

    "It's better to be in Gaza where they get warning that they're going to be fired upon in one neighborhood or another and they evacuate," Ms. Yifrah said. "Here, there's an alert, no one knows where it's going to land."

    The alerts kept coming all day long, and Israeli aircraft pounded at scores of what it called strictly military targets, including tunnels as well as storage sites for helium used to inflate incendiary balloons. The balloons, along with flaming kites, have scorched thousands of acres of Israeli farmland in recent months.

    But Israel's targets on Saturday also included one in downtown Gaza City that Israel said was used by Hamas as a training center for urban warfare and was built atop a tunnel complex used to train fighters in underground combat.

    Two Palestinian teenagers were killed and 14 people wounded in the attack, which heavily damaged the building.

    Witnesses said the teenagers were relaxing near the roof of the five-story structure, little more than a concrete skeleton, when Israeli drones struck with warning shots — an Israeli practice known as "roof knocking" — before the bombing began in earnest. In video images released by the Israeli military, a large number of people can be seen running for safety on the building's rooftop after one of the initial drone strikes.

    The building, in Al Katiba Square, sits within a block of Al Azhar University, various Hamas government offices and a grassy square that is a popular picnic spot for Gaza families. A mosque next door appeared largely unscathed aside from some broken windows.

    Muhammad Abdelaal, 30, a guard at the ministry of religious affairs, said he raced to the top of the training center after the initial drone strikes and helped carry the two teenagers, who suffered head injuries, down to ambulances, then returned to his post to lock up. Just then, he said, another rocket hit close to him, and he was riddled with shrapnel. He was interviewed at Shifa Hospital while soaked with blood and being treated for his wounds.

    Israel said it warned Palestinians in Arabic to steer clear of Hamas locations and centers of militant activity. The initial drone strikes came more than an hour before the building was blown up, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces.

    "Any uninvolved civilian casualties is regrettable, but the I.D.F. took extreme safety measures in order to signal our intentions and to warn anyone who was near what our intentions were," he said.

    Saturday's fighting did not arise out of the blue: It came as a ratcheting-up of hostilities a day earlier, when an Israeli army officer was wounded by an explosive hurled across the barrier fence from Gaza, and an unarmed 14-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed as he climbed the fence.

    The sheer number of mortars and rockets fired from Gaza was itself an escalation. Of roughly 100 launched before 8 p.m., most landed in open areas, said Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovic of Israel's air-defense forces. "We engaged more than 20, each one of them a huge threat," he said. "A few of them we didn't intercept, and we saw the damage." As effective as Iron Dome is, he added, no missile shield is impregnable: "There is no magic solution."

    By Saturday night, the two sides were still exchanging blows, but Hamas said at about 10 p.m. that regional mediation had brought about a cease-fire. It was not immediately clear, however, that this would hold. Each side has tended to insist on getting in the last word.

    And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel posted a message on Twitter assuring his citizens that Israel had "struck Hamas the harshest blow since Protective Edge" — the name for Israel's 2014 military operation in Gaza — "but we shall increase the force of our attacks as necessary."

    Iyad Abuheweila and Ibrahim El-Mughraby contributed reporting from Gaza City.



    12)  It's 4 A.M. The Baby's Coming. But the Hospital Is 100 Miles Away.

    By Jack Healy, July 17, 2018


    Kela Abernathy napped while visiting with her son Kaleb at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

    KENNETT, Mo. — A few hours after the only hospital in town shut its doors forever, Kela Abernathy bolted awake at 4:30 a.m., screaming in pain.

    Oh God, she remembered thinking, it's the twins.

    They were not due for another two months. But the contractions seizing Ms. Abernathy's lower back early that June morning told her that her son and daughter were coming. Now.

    Ms. Abernathy, 21, staggered out of bed and yelled for her mother, Lynn, who had been lying awake on the living-room couch. They grabbed a few bags, scooped up Ms. Abernathy's 2-year-old son and were soon hurtling across this poor patch of southeast Missouri in their Pontiac Bonneville, racing for help. The old hospital used to be around the corner. Now, her new doctor and hospital were nearly 100 miles away.

    Medical help is growing dangerously distant for women in rural America. At least 85 rural hospitals — about 5 percent of the country's total — have closed since 2010, and obstetric care has faced even starker cutbacks as rural hospitals calculate the hard math of survival, weighing the cost of providing 24/7 delivery services against dwindling birthrates, doctor and nursing shortages and falling revenues.

    Today, researchers estimate that fewer than half of the country's rural counties still have a hospital that offers obstetric care, an absence that adds to the obstacles rural women face in getting health care. Specialists are increasingly clustered in bigger cities. Clinics that provide abortions, long-term birth control and other reproductive services have been forced to close in many smaller towns.

    "It's scary," said Katie Penn, who said she was rejected by eight doctors before finding an obstetrician in Jonesboro, Ark., about an hour from Kennett. "You never know what can happen."

    When obstetric services leave town, a cascade of risks follows, according to experts at the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center who have studied the consequences. Women go to fewer doctor's appointments and more babies are born premature, compared with similar places that do not lose access to care. And when women go into labor, they are more likely to end up at emergency rooms with no obstetric care or to deliver outside a hospital altogether.

    Families struggle to afford the gas, child care and time off work to drive hundreds of miles for an ultrasound, shots or hospital tests. Women say they have ended up on waiting lists at overwhelmed clinics, or been turned away because they said doctors did not want to take them as patients late into their pregnancies.

    Women like Ms. Abernathy and Ms. Penn are particularly isolated because they live in the Missouri Bootheel in the southeast corner of the state, named for the way the area juts out of the state's otherwise orderly shape.

    The region was already coping with some of the state's highest rates of maternal and infant mortality, and then in April came the news that Dunklin County's only hospital, the Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center, would be closing. More than 179 rural counties have lost hospital obstetric care since 2004. Dunklin was now one of them.

    'Hospital Closed. Call 911 for Emergencies'

    The white, 116-bed hospital had been a busy lifeline for this 31,000-person county's most vulnerable people. The emergency room received about 22,000 visits a year, and unlike many struggling hospitals, the maternity ward was busy. About 400 babies were born at Twin Rivers every year, often to mothers who had themselves been born in the same rooms.

    About 95 percent of the hospital's patients were on Medicare, Medicaid or had no insurance, said Dr. Steve Pu, a former member of the hospital's advisory board. Rural hospitals like Kennett's are being financially battered by several factors: Cuts to public health-insurance programs, struggles with debt and sharply worsening finances in states that did not expand Medicaid.

    In April, Twin Rivers announced it would be shutting down as part of a corporate consolidation by its owner, Community Health Systems, a publicly traded, for-profit hospital company. In a statement announcing the closing, the hospital's local chief executive, Christian H. Jones, called it the "most sustainable plan for the future."

    Patients say they were told to seek care at another Community Health Systems hospital in Poplar Bluff, about 50 miles away down narrow two-lane roads. The hospital in Kennett had about 300 employees, the largest employer in a county with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate.

    Then last month, with little warning, a sign went up at Twin Rivers: HOSPITAL CLOSED. CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES. Its last day of operations was June 11, more than two weeks earlier than the date executives initially told people in Kennett.

    The only obstetrician in Kennett had operated his practice out of the hospital, and he began discharging patients and winding down services in the weeks before Twin Rivers closed. Women said his waiting room became a scene of sadness and confusion as they worried about where they would go next and how they would afford gas for weekly visits at distant hospitals when they barely had enough money to pay electric bills and rent.

    The only pediatrician in Kennett, Andy Beach, hung a banner outside his clinic that mirrored the town's defiant spirit, "We are not leaving the area!"

    An ambulance service has been shuttling patients to other hospitals in the region, and a medical helicopter is on call for the worst emergencies. Doctors around Kennett and a hospital in Jonesboro are working to open urgent-care clinics, and officials have put a tax increase onto August ballots to raise money to build a hospital. Someday.

    State officials and doctors are also trying to work out a plan and find $1.5 million to reopen the obstetric unit at the Pemiscot County hospital in Hayti, the closest hospital to Kennett.

    In the meantime, the absence of local care is being felt already.

    Mary Louisa, who was 26 weeks pregnant, recently started experiencing contractions that are a hallmark of preterm labor but had not had a full prenatal checkup in a month.

    Susanna Hernandez's first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Now she was worried about her second and had not seen a doctor since the hospital in Kennett closed. Every few minutes, she touches her abdomen to feel for a kick, a movement, any sign that the girl inside is still healthy and growing. Ms. Hernandez, who emigrated from Mexico a year ago, speaks almost no English and spends her days trying to relax and pray.

    "Our community is just in panic," Deloris Johnson, who sits on the county's ambulance board, said in an interview in June. "They don't know what to do."

    Then, this month came the news that she and many in Kennett had been dreading. Two infant boys, each about a month old, died on opposite ends of the county, one on July 4 and the other the following morning.

    In both instances, officials said that family members discovered the children unconscious and rushed them to local ambulance stations. One was driven 20 miles to a hospital in Paragould, Ark., and the other was taken to a hospital in Piggott, Ark., where they were each pronounced dead, investigators said. Investigators would not release the children's names or any additional details. They said autopsy reports had not been completed and said they did not yet know how the children had died, or whether any intervention could have saved them.

    Their deaths sent a shudder through Kennett.

    "This is just the beginning," Ms. Johnson said. "To think we don't even have a damn hospital for these people to go to."

    Rushed Into Surgery
    After a Four-Hour Trek

    As Ms. Abernathy and her mother raced down dark country roads at 90 miles an hour, all they could think about were the twins. Would she have to deliver them on the side of the road, before she got to a hospital? Would the babies be O.K.?

    They pulled into the town of Hayti 17 miles east and rushed into the Pemiscot County hospital. It was an act of desperation. The hospital's obstetrics unit had closed four years ago, and the emergency-room staff looked shocked to see her. The labor and delivery rooms now sat unused.

    The staff told Ms. Abernathy she needed to reach the hospital now caring for her after Kennett's closed: St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo., nearly 80 miles away. It had a neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal operating rooms and a full battery of obstetric doctors and nurses. But there was no ambulance ready to take her.

    Ms. Abernathy said she waited for about 25 minutes as an ambulance rushed over from Kennett to pick her up. An obstetric nurse rode along, rubbing her back and helping her breathe as the contractions continued.

    When they passed through the small town of Sikeston, Ms. Abernathy said the ambulance driver asked whether they needed to stop at the hospital there. Keep going, Ms. Abernathy and the nurse told him. Nearly four hours after she woke up screaming in bed, they arrived at a hospital with an obstetrics ward.

    Her doctor rushed to get her into surgery. Forty-five minutes later, the twins were born by cesarean section, first Kaleb at 3 pounds 6 ounces and then Kylynn at 2 pounds 12 ounces.

    They were healthy, but because they arrived early, they would need weeks of close care at the hospital: nurses who could check their breathing and vital signs and also show Ms. Abernathy how the babies needed to be touched and held.

    This meant that Ms. Abernathy had to make regular 200-mile round trips to the hospital to see the twins and then back to Kennett to be with her 2-year-old. One day, her C-section incision was so inflamed by the drive that she could barely stand. Another afternoon, she and her mother had to pull over when a summer storm swamped the highway.

    Ms. Abernathy said she was eager to bring the twins home and to get back to her $8.50-an-hour job as a home health aide. There is rent to make, baby clothes to purchase, $80 of gas to buy for the coming week.

    "My mom raised me to be independent," she said. "I've always worked."

    One morning, she lay underneath a blanket on her couch, exhausted and upset about the inconveniences and indignities of the past month and the stress of not seeing a doctor for weeks when she knew she was a high-risk patient.

    "I was an emotional wreck. I can't tell you how many times I cried," Ms. Abernathy said, as her mother hovered beside her. "We can't keep a hospital. What is our community coming to?"



    13)  Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories

    By Emily Kasale, July 17, 2018


    It was an early morning in May when Maria was released from the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Center in Texas. She had been granted bond and was permitted to stay with her brother in Washington D.C. while her asylum case was pending.

    After gathering her belongings, she was escorted to a loading area fenced with razor wire and placed into a cage inside a van. The driver was a male guard named Donald Dunn. Shortly after leaving Hutto, Dunn pulled off the road.

    "He grabbed my breasts … He put his hands in my pants and he touched my private parts," she said. "He touched me again inside the van, and my hands were tied. And he started masturbating."

    In 2014, a 19-year-old asylum seeker, "E.D.," was staying in a family detention center in Pennsylvania with her 3-year-old son. A few months into her seven-month stay, she was sexually assaulted by a male guard. "I didn't know how to refuse because he told me that I was going to be deported," she said. "I was at a jail and he was a migration officer. It's like they order you to do something and you have to do it."

    Our video follows Maria and E.D., who are among the thousands of migrants who have said they were sexually abused while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the past 10 years, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General. Both were seeking asylum in the United States.

    ICE has reported 1,310 claims of sexual abuse against detainees from fiscal years 2013 to 2017. Though the agency maintains that this number is relatively low — close to half a million immigrants flow through its detention system each year — watchdog organizations estimate the occurrence of sexual abuse to be significantly higher.

    While national attention is focused on President Trump's shifting border policies concerning immigrant families and children, abuses inside detention continue to take place.



    14) Kushners 'Made Tenants' Lives Miserable and Many Left,' Lawyer Says

    By Charles V. Bagli, July 16, 2018


    A group of current and former tenants at 184 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, which is owned by the Kushner Companies, filed a lawsuit that claimed the developer tried to drive them out of the building using tactics like "loud and obnoxious drilling."

    The developer Charles Kushner, whose son Jared Kushner is a son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, has received a lot of attention in New York.

    But perhaps not the way he, or his son, ever wanted.

    On Monday, 20 current and former tenants of a one-time warehouse in Brooklyn that the Kushners are converting to luxury condominiums filed a $10 million lawsuit in State Supreme Court, claiming that the family's business aimed to force them out with tactics like "loud and obnoxious drilling" and a "constant cloud of toxic smoke and dust."

    As a result, scores of rent-regulated tenants left the seven-story building at 184 Kent Avenue, in Williamsburg, and their apartments were sold to buyers for millions of dollars. Despite numerous complaints to the city's Department of Buildings, tenants said, the dangerous conditions and the violation of city statutes persisted for about three years.

    "It certainly seems as if it was in the Kushners' interest to oust the tenants," a lawyer for the tenants, Jack L. Lester, said Monday at a news conference in front of the Supreme Court building in Downtown Brooklyn. "The construction activity, intentional or not, made tenants' lives miserable and many left."

    Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who is a former New York Police Department captain and a sponsor of the lawsuit, said: "We need to use this moment in a real way. The Kushner name draws attention not only to the president's chief adviser but also to what a big-name developer is doing to tenants right here in Brooklyn."

    Mr. Adams suggested that the city needed to focus on the displacement of tenants by rapacious landlords in the same way that the Police Department had used data to fight crime.

    "The key," he said in an interview before the news conference, "is that we should be using the same methods to fight grand larceny to monitor bad-acting landlords in real time."

    The Kushner Companies issued a statement on Monday saying that the lawsuit was "totally without merit" and the company would defend it "vigorously."

    Until the last decade, the Kushners were known as developers and owners of garden apartment complexes in New Jersey, philanthropists and major Democratic contributors. But in 2007, Charles and Jared Kushner paid a record price of $1.8 billion for a 41-story aluminum-clad tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

    After selling a large portfolio of garden apartments for nearly $2 billion, the father and son went on a buying spree, acquiring land, buildings and storefronts in Queens, Brooklyn and Jersey City.

    The older Kushner is now in the middle of a deal for a financial rescue of 666 Fifth Avenue by Brookfield Asset Management, one of the world's biggest real estate investment companies. A proposed three-tower project in Jersey City came to a standstill last year after a falling out with the mayor.

    The previous owner of 184 Kent Avenue carved the landmark — a 103-year-old former warehouse known as the Austin Nichols House — into apartments more than five years ago. Kushner Companies, with Jared at the helm, bought the property with partners for $275 million in 2015.

    Their plan was to make renovations to create larger units and then sell the apartments as condominiums, a seemingly daunting challenge since all the apartments were rent-regulated, with tenants protected from large rent increases and unreasonable evictions.

    The apartments, which rented for as much as $4,000 a month, were not for low-income tenants or older adults. But the units were regulated because the previous owner had received a tax break under a city housing program designed to encourage building improvements. That owner had given leases to tenants at rents lower than what was permitted under rent regulation to fill the building, according to an executive who works with Kushner Companies and spoke anonymously.

    Kushner Companies moved to implement the full legal rents, which in some cases resulted in large increases.

    Then, according to the lawsuit, it used the renovation process to make tenants so miserable they would leave, a tactic that housing activists say has become widespread, contributing to the current housing crisis.

    "This is going on throughout the city," said Mr. Lester, the tenants' lawyer. "They're not the only landlords doing this. But the Buildings Department seems to think their mission is to expedite construction, rather than protect tenants."

    Apartment prices in the building today range from $950,000 for a studio to more than $2.5 million for a three-bedroom.

    The Kushner Companies' statement insisted that the residents were fully apprised of the renovation work before it started and the work was conducted under the supervision of the city's Buildings Department and other regulatory agencies.

    "Tenants were never pressured to leave their apartments" and the company complied with all rent regulation laws governing the property, the statement said. "Any complaints during construction were evaluated and addressed by the property management team."

    The city's Department of Buildings, which said it had responded to 27 tenant complaints at the Kushner building in Brooklyn over three years, seemed somewhat bewildered by the criticism from tenants, housing activists and elected officials.

    "Department of Buildings inspectors were at the building dozens of times since 2015 and did not observe any violation of construction rules," Joe Soldevere, an assistant commissioner for the agency, said. "In addition, our building marshals performed proactive sweeps of the building in July 2017 and April 2018 and found no violations."

    In the spring, an outside firm, Olmsted Environmental Services, hired by tenants to assess conditions in the building, found that construction work had contaminated apartments with potential toxic dust containing lead, gypsum and other minerals. Olmsted concluded that the residue supported "the tenant committee contention that no dust controls are used during work." But the assessment was conducted many months after construction was completed and stopped short of describing what the lawsuit said was a "constant cloud of toxic smoke and dust."

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wrote on Twitter on Monday that the state was "launching an investigation into allegations of tenant harassment by the Kushner Cos."

    But housing activists were not letting him, or Mayor Bill de Blasio, off the hook. Aaron Carr, the founder of the Housing Rights Initiative who helped initiate several lawsuits against the Kushners, said it was "the Kushner Companies' failed morality" that exposed tenants, including children, to toxic dust, but that "it was New York state's failed policies that exposed tenants to Kushner."



    15) Police Dept. Gives Federal Investigators Ultimatum in Eric Garner Case

    By Benjamin Weiser and J. David Goodman, July 16, 2018


    The Rev. Al Sharpton with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, in Harlem on Monday.

    The New York Police Department, impatient at the slow pace of the federal government's civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner in July 2014, told the Justice Department on Monday that it would soon start disciplinary proceedings against the officers involved in the killing in the absence of federal action.

    The Police Department, acting one day before the fourth anniversary of Mr. Garner's death on Staten Island, said it would no longer hold off on disciplinary proceedings if the Justice Department had not announced by Aug. 31 whether it will file criminal charges.

    "Understandably, members of the public in general and the Garner family in particular have grown impatient with the fact that N.Y.P.D. has not proceeded with our disciplinary proceedings and they have difficulty comprehending a decision to defer to a federal criminal investigation that seems to have no end in sight," Lawrence Byrne, the department's deputy commissioner for legal matters, said in a letter to the Justice Department on Monday.

    Mr. Byrne added that "given the extraordinary passage of time since the incident without a final decision" on the federal investigation, "any further delay in moving ahead with our own disciplinary proceedings can no longer be justified."

    The disciplinary proceedings would involve Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen on a bystander's video holding Mr. Garner's neck as he begged for breath, as well as a sergeant, Kizzy Adonis, who was one of the first supervisors at the scene. Sergeant Adonis has already been administratively charged with failing to properly oversee her officers, according to a senior police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter. The disciplinary proceedings against her, however, have paused, pending the federal investigation.

    Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo on criminal charges.

    Each anniversary of Mr. Garner's death has brought anguish to his family. Critics have challenged the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to explain how, after so long, the officer seen on video applying a chokehold to Mr. Garner, who was 43, still had not faced discipline.

    With its letter on Monday, the department appeared interested in getting ahead of the inevitable questions police officials and Mr. de Blasio have faced each summer.

    "No one is dragging their feet," Mr. de Blasio said on July 17, 2016, in response to a question about the process, which, even then, seemed unnecessarily delayed. "Everything is being done meticulously because we want to make sure that what happens is fair to everyone involved."

    The mayor said then, as he has said frequently since, that the Police Department would move forward with its internal disciplinary process after the federal investigation had been completed. Now, the de Blasio administration, in its letter, said it would no longer wait.

    The Justice Department said in a statement that the letter "does not have any bearing on the decision-making timeline" of prosecutors. The statement also said prosecutors informed Mr. Byrne "this spring" that the Police Department could move forward with disciplinary proceedings.

    Phil Walzak, the Police Department's top spokesman, disputed that account. "D.O.J. did not provide a green light this spring," he wrote in an email.

    The department filed internal charges against Sergeant Adonis in January 2016. Officials said at the time that they had to begin the process because of an 18-month statute of limitations under the state's Civil Service Law.

    The same time constraint did not apply to Officer Pantaleo because of an exception made in cases where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, officials said; the Police Department's inquiry into Officer Pantaleo was completed more than two years ago.

    If the Justice Department takes no action, an internal trial at the Police Department would begin, overseen by a deputy police commissioner. The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an outside oversight agency that looks into police wrongdoing, found last year that Officer Pantaleo used a prohibited chokehold and recommended departmental charges that could lead to suspension or dismissal. A lawyer from the complaint board would act as a prosecutor in the departmental trial, officials from the board and the Police Department said.

    "When this police hearing goes forward, Daniel Pantaleo is not the only one on trial," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Mr. Garner's mother at a news conference in Harlem on Monday. "The chokehold policy of the N.Y.P.D. is on trial."

    Sergeant Adonis would be prosecuted by a police department lawyer. The complaint board does not have jurisdiction over the kind of managerial mistakes she is accused of committing.

    If found guilty of misconduct at a departmental trial — a process that would likely stretch into next year — Officer Pantaleo and Sergeant Adonis could face a range of penalties, including mandatory retraining, lost vacation time to outright dismissal. The police commissioner, James P. O'Neill, has the final say over their fates.

    Defense attorneys for both officers declined to comment. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said in a statement that Officer Pantaleo "is entitled to due process and an impartial consideration of the facts" and would eventually be "vindicated."

    The city paid $5.9 million to settle a civil suit over Mr. Garner's death in 2015.

    Esaw Snipes, Mr. Garner's widow, said she had been told of the Police Department's decision to move ahead with the trial if the Justice Department does not act before Aug. 31. She said she hoped it would mean an end to what has been an "emotionally draining" experience that included the death last year of her daughter, Erica Garner, who had actively protested her father's death.

    "I'm kind of like skeptical about everything now," Ms. Snipes, 50, said in an interview. "If something happens, then great. But I've kind of like given up hope. It's been so long. It's been four years."

    Mariana Alfaro contributed reporting.



    6)  Remains of Black People Forced Into Labor After Slavery Are Discovered in Texas

    By Sarah Mervosh, July 18, 2018


     historic cemetery was discovered on the construction site of a new school outside Houston. Archaeologists have found the remains of about 95 people who they believe were African-Americans forced to work as laborers after slavery ended.

    The remains of dozens of people found at a construction site in Texas this year are mostly likely those of African-Americans who were forced to work on a plantation there around the turn of the 20th century, officials said this week.

    That finding, announced Monday, opens a window onto a little-remembered period in which blacks in certain Southern states were essentially treated like slaves post-emancipation.

    The remains of about 95 people were discovered early this year on a construction site outside Houston, where the Fort Bend Independent School District is building a new school, according to school district officials and court records.

    This week, archaeologists announced that the bones were most likely those of African-American laborers who worked as part of the so-called convict lease system, in which the state of Texas outsourced prisoners to work and live on plantations. The researchers estimated that the cemetery, which was on the plantation's grounds, was used from 1878 to 1911.

    About half of the bodies have been exhumed, and more than 20 have been analyzed. Of those analyzed, archaeologists said, all but one were male, ranging in age from about 14 to 70. All were African-American, and some may have been former slaves.

    It is rare to discover an African-American cemetery from this time period, but rarer still to find a grave site of black prisoners from the convict lease era, said Ken Brown, a professor at the University of Houston who specializes in African-American archaeology.

    "You have a chance to study what the actual bone material has to say about what life was like — we know it was crappy, we know it was tough — but what impact does all of that have on the body?" he said.

    Researchers hope to run tests that could tell which diseases the prisoners lived with, what kind of foods they ate and where they grew up.

    "It really does change the history books in Texas," said Reign Clark, a lead archaeologist on site.

    The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery in 1865, except as punishment for a crime. Several Southern states, including Texas, used this exception to outsource prisoners for labor, Mr. Brown said.

    Texas first "leased" out prisoners for caretaking on plantations and later took over the land as state-run prison farms, Mr. Brown said.

    It was "more or less slavery by a new name," said Reginald Moore, a historian and prison reform advocate who has studied convict leasing in the Houston area.

    He noted that vagrancy laws at the time made it so that blacks were often convicted of minor offenses, such as loitering, and sentenced to years of hard labor in the fields. White prisoners, he said, were often assigned easier work indoors.

    From 1870 to 1912, 60 percent of prisoners in Texas were black, according to the Texas State Historical Association. During this time, prisoners helped build the Capitol building in Austin and constructed part of the Texas State Railroad.

    Today, the Fort Bend Independent School District is building a technical high school on the site of a former sugar plantation that later served as a state-run prison farm.

    After construction workers spotted human bones in February, archaeologists eventually discovered the cemetery on the site, according to court records. In June, a judge granted permission to exhume the remains.

    So far, the results show that the men who were buried there lived difficult lives, researchers said. Their bones show stress from poor health during childhood, such as fever and malnutrition, and stress from repetitive work later in life.

    "They were really doing a lot of heavy labor from the time that they were young," said Catrina Banks Whitley, a bioarchaeologist who is analyzing the bones.

    Because of that, she said, it is possible that some were former slaves.

    The discovery was particularly gratifying for Mr. Moore, who lives nearby and had long suspected such graves might be hidden there. He has been fighting for recognition for African-American convict laborers, whose role in Texas history, he said, has been mostly forgotten.

    He said he hoped the new findings would encourage Texas to remember them and include their stories in history books and memorials.

    "When I went out there and seen those bodies, I felt so elated that they would finally get their justice," Mr. Moore said. "It was overwhelming for me. I almost fainted."












































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