The Song Of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
by Graeme Darling
I've been working my arse off for years,
So that parasites can sit on theirs,
Counting all the money they have stolen from me.
These venal cannibals are legal criminals,
Cloaking their immorality in the joke of respectability.
It's the same story in every capitalist trap;
The most essential employees ( exploitees ) are treated like crap.
Decent folk on scrimping wages strain, scrub and mop,
While bloodsucking turds ride on their backs to the top.
You don't need to know the Communist Manifesto
To recognise injustice that's manifestly so.
This situation blights every organisation, I'm telling you true;
The higher the pay, the less work they do!
I'm sick and tired of being trod into the ground,
I'd turn this crazy pyramid the right way round.
The bosses in armchairs should clean toilets and stairs,
And experience an existence of struggling for subsistence.
Along with a decent minimum, I'd have a wage maximum.
Four to one should be the widest disparity;
Anything more is an utter obscenity.
This economic system of domination wreaks global exploitation;
Our training shoes are made by kids in sweatshops,
The Earth is ravaged for our phones and laptops.
We must side with the oppressed of every form and nation;
The universal kinship should be our motivation.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: a literary exposure of The Great Money Trick of capitalism

By Jenny Farrell, August 3, 2018







"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!"















 Donate to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button ***
The spark that lit the most recent rebellion was an announcement by the Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant that gas, diesel and kerosene prices would be raised by 38-51%.  Haitians took to the streets en-masse across the country.  After just two days, the growing grassroots mobilization forced the government to rescind the gas price increases.  But the protests escalated into a two-day general strike, barricades blocking streets and highways in cities throughout the country.  PM Jack Guy Lafontant resigned but it was too little too late.  The Haitian people are demanding the removal of the US-backed and fraudulently-elected president, Jovenel Moïse.
·        The Jovenel Moïse government's announcement of a double-digit increase in fuel prices, increasing the cost of gas by about $1.20/gallon, sparked the latest protests which began July 6th
·        Government corruption including the theft of $3.8 billion from PetroCaribe by officials - those named include two former prime ministers as well as heads of private firms in Haiti.  
·        Ongoing attacks on Haiti's grassroots majority, including the burning of public markets, targeting market women; government land theft and demolition of homes; teachers not being paid; attacks on student protesters; and the violence of poverty – 59% of Haitians live on less than $2/day, 24.7% on less than $1.25.
·        Ongoing repression.  As of July 6th, independent media on the ground Radio Timoun reported five people killed and many wounded by gunfire by police and government-sponsored paramilitary; more protestors have been killed or injured since.
·        Fourteen years of corrupt government since the 2004 US-backed coup that removed Haiti's first democratically-elected president, much loved Jean/Bertrand Aristide, and imposed a UN/US military occupation.  The massive election fraud that made Jovenel Moïse president in 2017.  Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Aristide and the poor majority, said on July 8th, 2018: "The cauldron of corruption and lies has been boiling non-stop 24 hours a day. The time has come to overturn it, for Haitians to begin to see the light of peace. Haiti is for all Haitians."
·        Independent media including Radio and Tele Timoun have been vital to spread the news of what is actually going on rather than spouting the US Embassy/Haitian government line. 
·        Independent Haitian journalists have increasingly been targeted and some killed for reporting the truth and giving a voice to the people's movement.

Donate to support independent GRASSROOTS MEDIA IN HAITI, so it can continue to share news and information among people in all parts of Haiti, and with the rest of the world.  

Make a tax-deductible donation to the 
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button  via their fiscal sponsor Eastbay Sanctuary Covenant's Paypal

For more info: Haiti Action Committee www.haitisolidarity.net  @HaitiAction1 & on FACEBOOK

Issued by the Global Women's Strike & Women of Color GWS – please donate to HERF & circulate your networks.


sent by Haiti Action Committee



Dangerous far right forces are planning another demonstration at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley on August 5, 2018.

The Berkeley far right mobilization is being organized in conjunction with a far right "Freedom March" in Portland, Oregon, planned for the day before on Saturday, August 4, 2018.  The Portland far right rally has been initiated by a group that was engaged in street fighting in Portland as recently as June 30 of this year. Many far right activists from the Pacific Northwest are planning to first attend the demonstration in Portland on August 4 and then to travel to Berkeley for the demonstration on August 5. Far Right organizations are now threatening to hold additional rallies in Oakland and Berkeley this summer and fall.
These West Coast mobilizations are scheduled to take place one week prior to a  "White Civil Rights Rally" planned for August 12 in Washington, DC. This mobilization will take place on the one-year anniversary of the violent "Unite the Right" demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia when a neo-Nazi murdered anti-racist activist Heather Heyer. Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler is also behind the White Civil Rights Rally this year in DC.
The far right is attempting to reassert itself on the streets of U.S. cities one year after it was exposed for its violence and its neo-nazi sympathies in Charlottesville but was peacefully outnumbered in Boston and the Bay Area.
Solidarity Against Fascism Eastbay (SAFEBay) is organizing a peaceful, non-violent counter protest on Sunday August 5th . The counter protest will start at 2:00 in Ohlone Park (Playground and Greenway) in Berkeley, located across the street from the North Berkeley BART station. At 3:00, some folks and organizations will leave the area and others will march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, in downtown Berkeley, where the far right will be rallying.

Sweep Out the Fascists: A Festival of Resilience

Endorsed by:
Solidarity Against Fascism East Bay (SAFEBay) 
SURJ Bay Area
National Lawyer Guild S.F. Bay Area Chapter
East Bay DSA Socialist Feminist Caucus
DSA Communist Caucus
DSA San Francisco
International Socialist Organization
Movement Generation
Critical Resistance Oakland
John Brown Anti-Klan Committee
Bay Area Queer Antifascist Network
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Folsom Lake College Campus Antifascist Network
Punks for Progress

Last August (2017), groups of white supremacists, aided by police and politicians, attempted to take over Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Park in order to build a base in the Bay. A crowd of thousands—including students, unionists, faith-based activists, teachers, and other everyday people—was there to confront them. We worked together to shut down the fascists and send them packing. Nationally, we sent a message that hate will not be welcome in the Bay. (Photo essay of 8/27 here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/kellyjohnsonrevelationaryphotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1371548832961154)

Once again, a group of white supremacists, Trump supporters, and fascists has announced a rally in downtown Berkeley for August 5, 2018. This event is part of a week-long nationwide "commemoration" of the hateful acts that took place nearly a year ago in Charlottesville, in which DeAndre Harris was beaten and Heather Heyer murdered. It is our duty to loudly and publicly reject their hate and to redouble our efforts in building a truly just and liberatory world. 

We are calling on all members of our community to assemble together to stop white supremacist and state violence from growing. As history demonstrates, regular maintenance is required by people of heart and conscience to shut down white supremacy and fascism, which are foundational violences of this settler-colonial state. We've got to tend to the relationships and values that fuel, nourish, and inspire us to build a vision of collective liberation. 

On August 5, we will gather to maintain a Bay Area free of fascism and white supremacy, sweeping out those that seek to deport, cage, harm, or extinguish members of our communities. Attacks on immigrants, Black and Indigenous people and other people of color, Muslims, the un-housed, queer and trans folks, disabled people, and/or women are becoming more prevalent as fascism reasserts itself in governments, state agencies, and increasingly organized groups across the globe. In the US, law enforcement, ICE and other deportation agents, and the jails and prisons work to remind people that this country was built on Indigenous land, on the backs of enslaved people, and that the prison industrial complex currently functions to maintain racial capitalism. We are reminded of this every time police kill another Black, Brown, and/or trans person in the streets. This country was founded on white supremacy and we must rise up with others around the world in an international movement to resist the fascism of both government and vigilantes. It's time to take out the trash. 

This is a community-wide call for each of us to perform critical community maintenance by removing fascists and white supremacists from our community. This will be a festival of resilience starting in Ohlone Park at 2pm going to MLK park for August 5, 2018. Featuring local artists, activists, musicians, comedians and everyday people. Our rally will send a clear message: "No hate in the Bay."
#TrashtheFash #FashFreeBayArea 
Join SAFEBay on Friday evening (August 3rd at 7:00pm) for and Art Build and Public Forum as we organize and come together to protect our communities. 

Fascists and other far-right racists that are again planning to meet in Berkeley, on August 5th. They're attempting to reassert the far right on the streets of U.S. cities after it was exposed in Charlottesville and outnumbered in Boston and the Bay Area last summer. We will not be silenced or intimidated. The massive demonstrations of last August in Boston and the Bay Area proved that when we come together, we can protect our communities and politically defeat the bigots.

There will be a panel presentation on who these racists and fascists are, why they keep coming to the Bay, and ways to stay safe during that weekend. SafeBay will also talk about the counter-rally planned, and why it's important to show up as a community.

There will be free art supplies for people to create signs and banners for the counter-rally, but please feel free to bring your own too!





Mass Action: No Nazis, No KKK in D.C.
Sunday, August 12, 2018, 11:00 A.M.
Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

On August 12, the same white supremacist movement which murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia (exactly one year earlier) are bringing their racist roadshow to Lafayette Park in front of the White House. They are coming to Washington because they want to fan the flames of racism throughout the country. They were thrilled when Donald Trump said that their fascist ranks included "some very fine people".

We won't stand for that, or let this disgusting event go unanswered!

The vast majority of people in the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the country reject the message of the Nazis, KKK and other white supremacists. They are coming to Washington to be deliberately provocative. They are trying to prove that the fascist right wing is now a legitimate part of the political landscape.

We won't allow Washington, D.C., to be used as a stage to promote white supremacist hatred. This is a moment that demands action, not passivity. It is critically important to show that the forces opposed to racism, anti-immigrant bigotry, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ hatred and anti-Semitism will not be silenced or intimidated.

We urge you to help mobilize and support this protest against racism. We know that you believe just as much as we do that the disgusting forces who make up the "unite the right" coalition must be visibly rejected by the people of this country.

Initiating organizations include: ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Justice First, Link-UP, Justice Center en El Barrio NYC, Internationalist Students Front-George Washington University, GW Queer Radicals, Philadelphia Liberation Center.

Click here to endorse this protest against racism:



Right now, Californians have the opportunity to make waves not just in our state, but around the globe. Together, we can make California the first major economy in the world to stop all new fossil fuel development and embark on a racially, economically just transition to 100% clean energy.
In the past year Trump has launched unprecedented attacks on frontline communities, the Clean Power Plan, and the EPA. Meanwhile, Governor Brown would like to build his legacy around the climate - but he has yet to stand up to Big Oil and prioritize a clean energy future for all of us. Now Governor Brown is hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco September 12-14 with public officials from around the world.
That's why we're planning the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen – days before the Summit, as part of a global day of action. Sign up to march in San Francisco on September 8.
Eight weeks later, millions more will take these demands to the polls, making Climate, Jobs, and Justice deciding issues in the mid-term elections and beyond.
We won't be acting alone. Bay Resistance is working with the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Idle No More SF Bay, 350, People's Climate Movement, and hundreds of other labor, faith, environmental justice, and community groups.
Mark your calendars to Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice on September 8th. Then sign up to paint the largest street mural ever with us that day, so elected officials hear our message loud and clear!
In solidarity,
Kung, Celi, Kimi, Irene, and the Bay Resistance team



Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Self Portrait, 2013

To: Virginia Department of Corrections; Chief of VA Corrections Operations David Robinson

We call on the Virginia Department of Corrections to immediately release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from solitary confinement and not to transfer him again out of state.
Why is this important?

Click here to sign this petition.

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson has been a Virginia prisoner (#1007485) since 1990. During his imprisonment, he became a human rights advocate and a journalist. His journalistic work in particular exposes abuses by prison administration and staff. His related steps toward litigation have resulted in his being "interstate compacted" or transferred back-and-forth between state prisons.

Currently, Rashid is being held in solitary confinement with no legitimate security justification at Sussex I State Prison in Virginia. Between 2012 and June of 2018, he has been transferred to prisons in three other states (Oregon, Texas, and Florida) before being returned to a different prison in Virginia. He was kept in solitary confinement in Texas and Florida, where he witnessed and suffered many acts of abuse by prison staff. All this, in reprisal for his political and journalistic activity.

Each state prison transfer has subjected Rashid to serious abuses -- the most recent being caged in a freezing cold cell without heat or a blanket for over a week. Over the years, Rashid has had his life threatened by corrections officers and endured explicit, violent retaliation for exercising his First Amendment right of protected free speech. 

Rashid expects to be transferred again soon and to be subjected to more serious conditions of extreme isolation.

Kevin Rashid Johnson does not advocate for violence or illegal activity and has not been charged with anything of the like during his imprisonment. He is not a threat to the Virginia Department of Corrections – he is an imprisoned journalist and human rights advocate – and should be released from solitary confinement immediately.

Help by adding your name here.

Solitary confinement has been increasingly recognized by courts and society as a torturous means of punishment. This punitive measure has been imposed on Kevin Johnson not because of any violent conduct on his part but because of his relentless exposure of abuses by prison officials, his willingness to challenge those abuses through the legal system, and his efforts to educate fellow prisoners and encourage them to challenge by peaceful means the unhealthy and humiliating conditions to which they are subjected. Using solitary confinement as a tool to silence someone who exposes prison abuses and advocates for prison reform is a human rights abuse and unconstitutional.

Click here to demand the immediate release of Kevin Johnson from solitary confinement and for the VADOC not to transfer him again out of state.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now. 

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

> Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw 
> Kevin "Rashid" Johnson: The Rising Tide of Hate in Amerika: A Sign of the Times


immigrant camps
US Military Ordered to Host Massive Immigrant Concentration Camps
We believe that all military personnel have a moral and legal obligation to refuse to comply with any order that involves collaboration with these camps.
Actual concentration camps are in the process of development at military bases across the Southern United States. This isn't the first time in US history that facilities are being constructed and used to imprison large numbers of a persecuted minority in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities (the definition of a concentration camp). Previous examples of this are now infamous, such as the so-called Japanese internment camps. We're now on the brink of adding a new chapter to this dark history.
Potential locations have been identified as:
  • Tornillo Port of Entry, Texas - capacity 360 teenagers CURRENTLY ACTIVE
  • Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas - capacity 45,000
  • Fort Bliss, Texas
  • Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
  • Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas - capacity 20,000
  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Air Station, California - capacity 47,000
  • Navy Outlying Field Wolf and Silverhill, Alabama - capacity 25,000
  • Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Arizona
  • Concord Naval Weapons Station, California - capacity 47,000 CANCELLED
to support resistance

Military officials, in response to pressured deadlines from the White House, have stated that these camps can begin to be operational by mid-August. Estimates are that capacity for another 10,000 people can be added each month. The White House's stated timeline of 45 days out from June 27th has local base commanders scrambling and caught unaware.
In addition to providing the land, military personnel will construct the camps while private agencies will manage the operations. While this simplified explanation of operations seeks to minimize the military's role, it omits the endless capacities in which the armed forces will surely be facilitating the functioning of these camps such as with water, electricity, sewage, trash, and all of the other services to go allow with sustaining tens of thousands of immigrant detainees.
The military is strictly prohibited from domestic policing as stated in the constitution yet military personnel are being drafted into doing just that with this rising domestic enforcement of immigration policy. Just because Trump/Sessions Co. declares a war on immigrants, doesn't make it an actual war. Being quite clearly an illegal order, the question is who will refuse to aid and abet?

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist




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).

  • 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

"Trumpty Dumpty"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall,
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kingpin's forces and all the KKKlansmem
Couldn't put Trumpty together again.

July 25, 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) New Study Finds Insects Speak in Different "Dialects"
    Different fruit flies species can learn each other's language to warn against parasitic wasps
    By Lina Zeldovich, July 31, 2018

    Fruit Fly close-up

    Insects may not possess high-order language skills, but they are quite sophisticated communicators. They talk, and can even learn new dialects, a recent study found.
    Entomologists have known for a while that insects can communicate with each other—through vibrations that they typically make using body parts like legs or wings. Some communicate using sound, others produce water ripples and air currents, or generate tremors on the surfaces where they reside. Some of these vibrational signals are not audible to humans—they often have low frequencies and sometimes include combinations of contrasting acoustic elements. Other signals humans can percept quite well—in fact some scientists are trying to eavesdrop on mosquitoes' love song to find clues to battling malaria better.
    As species, insects are highly diverse and so is the variety of signals they produce. Their world is constantly abuzz, but the bugs are experts at distinguishing the cacophony created by winds, rain, leaves rustling, and other noises around them. And while the meaning of their vibrations may not be apparent to humans, flies, beetles, and grasshoppers use these communication methods to find each other, attract a mate, and send out warnings about approaching predators and parasites
    Fruit flies, for example, alert each other when parasitoid wasps are nearby. The wasps deposit their eggs into the fruit flies larvae, which eventually kills the fruit fly brood. The fruit flies fear the wasps so much that when they spot one, they start laying fewer eggs. Scientists at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth found that fruit flies also use their wing movement to send warning messages to other fruit flies—who then also lay fewer eggs, even if they have never seen that wasp.
    The team found that while distantly related flies did not communicate as effectively as flies of the same species, after spending some time together they learned to "converse" better. Living together helped them learn new dialects made up of different visual and scent cues. As researchers experimented further, they found that fruit flies use a specific part of their brain—which act as the center of learning and memory—to pick up new dialects. Study author Balint Z. Kacsoh says that while there is a conserved fly "language"—a basic or standard set of messages fruit flies use—the team observed some "variation in communication ability" between different fruit fly species.
    "We suggest that variation in communication ability could to be analogous to 'dialects,' as the term reflects natural variations between a common mode of communication," Kacsoh says. "The dialect barrier can be alleviated through socialization between species, without which, information would otherwise be lost in translation."


    2) After 23 Years on Death Row, Barry Jones Sees His Conviction Overturned: Arizona Must Retry or Release Him Immediately
    By Liliana Segura, August 1, 2018

     A photo of 54-year-old Barry Jones is shown by his former attorney Sylvia Lett.

    AFTER MORE THAN 23 years insisting upon his innocence while living on Arizona's death row, Barry Lee Jones had his conviction thrown out by a federal judge on Tuesday. In a 91-page order filed from Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess found that the verdict in Jones's 1995 trial was the product of a "rush to judgment" by law enforcement, whose "lack of due diligence and thorough professional investigation" was compounded by the failures of Jones's defense attorneys. Absent such failures, he wrote, "there is a reasonable probability that his jury would not have convicted him of any of the crimes with which he was charged and previously convicted." Burgess ordered that Jones be immediately retried or released.
    The order is a sharp rebuke to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, which has stubbornly defended Jones's conviction even as its theory of the crime has fallen apart. In a state that has exonerated nine people from death row, prosecutors fought to preserve Jones's conviction, relying on procedural barriers while showing indifference to the grave flaws in the case. That Jones was able to overcome such barriers is extraordinary on its own — and further proof of the rot that pervaded the case at every stage. Burgess's order comes five months after an evidentiary hearing revealed stunning neglect on the part of his defense attorneys at both the trial and post-conviction levels — and profound tunnel vision by Pima County Sheriff's Detective Sonia Pesqueira, who led the investigation.
    Jones, now 59, was convicted and sentenced to die for raping and murdering his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter, Rachel Gray. The child died from a blow to the stomach, which tore her duodenum, part of her lower intestine, leading to a fatal condition called peritonitis. Jones was arrested shortly after dropping off the child and her mother, Angela Gray, at the hospital early in the morning on May 2, 1994. But the evidence against him was flimsy, based on a narrow window of time during which he'd been seen with Rachel in his van on the afternoon of May 1. A pair of 8-year-old twins would say they saw Jones hitting her while driving the vehicle, and drops of blood in the van and on his clothes were used as proof that Jones had raped the little girl. But there was no other evidence to support this. Investigators never even collected the clothing Rachel wore that day.
    At the evidentiary hearing in Tucson last fall, Pesqueira, who has since retired, conceded that Jones became her sole suspect within hours of seeing Rachel's body at the hospital — and that she never investigated the timing of Rachel's fatal injury, merely assuming it had occurred the day before she died. Prosecutors nevertheless maintained that Pesqueira "followed the evidence of guilt for Rachel's injuries, and that road led directly to Jones," while insisting that the quality of her work was irrelevant, since the question at hand was whether Jones's defense attorneys were constitutionally ineffective in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. "Law enforcement has nothing to do with this case," Assistant Arizona Attorney General Myles Braccio argued at an oral argument in March.
    Burgess disagreed. Pesqueira's failures were inextricable from those of Jones's defense attorneys, he found. "There were several significant red flags that should have objectively and reasonably alerted counsel to the need to investigate the evidence regarding the timing of Rachel's injuries," Burgess wrote. Among them was evidence of alternate suspects, such as Jones's girlfriend, who was "a serial abuser of her children," as Assistant Arizona Federal Public Defender Cary Sandman reminded the court last spring. At the evidentiary hearing, Pesqueira seemed clueless when shown statements alleging that Gray had hit her children and thrown them down the stairs. "That would have been a good thing to have," she said.
    That the evidence no longer supported Jones's conviction was clear long before the hearing took place, however. In a letter to Jones's attorneys last year, the attorney general's office wrote that the current Pima County medical examiner "did not dispute the conclusions of your experts." These experts have long argued that Rachel's injuries predated the window presented by the state. Renowned pediatric pathologist Janice Ophoven, who first looked at the case in 2002, has insisted for years that Arizona's theory of the crime was impossible. At the evidentiary hearing, Ophoven explained how Rachel's abdominal injury developed over time, with the severity of her illness unclear until it was too late.
    Burgess clearly found the defense's experts compelling, while remaining unconvinced by the ever-shifting opinions of the state's key witness, former Pima County Medical Examiner John Howard, whose estimates regarding Rachel's fatal injury have been bewilderingly fluid since he first handled the case back in 1994. "Dr. Howard's inconsistent answers are plain in the differing testimony he provided on direct examination, on cross-examination, and during examination by the Court during the evidentiary hearing," Burgess wrote.
    "Contrasting the evidence presented at trial with the evidence that could have been presented at trial" made clear that Jones's trial was unconstitutional, Burgess found. While he did not address the issue of innocence explicitly, the new evidence "undermines considerably the confidence in the outcome," he wrote.

    A Maze of Procedural Barriers

    In a lengthy investigation into the Jones case last year, The Intercept reviewed thousands of pages of trial transcripts, police records, and investigative reports that revealed several hallmarks of wrongful convictions. Two jurors from Jones's original trial expressed misgivings about the outcome, telling The Intercept that they had been disturbed by the weak defense Jones received. One juror, Hildegard Stoecker, was particularly troubled by the case. "It lessens my faith in the judicial system," she said.
    Despite the egregious flaws in Jones's conviction, procedural barriers might easily have led to his eventual execution. Among the considerable obstacles was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, passed one year after Jones was sent to death row. If not for a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a different Arizona case, Martinez v. Ryan, the law might well have prevented any chance for Jones to show the evidence casting doubt on his conviction. Under AEDPA, if attorneys failed to bring a claim of ineffective assistance during state post-conviction proceedings, that claim was forever barred from being heard in federal court. But Martinez carved out a "narrow exception," as Burgess noted, holding that if such a claim was itself the result of ineffective lawyering by post-conviction counsel, a defendant should have a chance at relief.
    The ruling was a lifeline for Jones. "Before Martinez, our office lost many, many, many ineffective assistance cases because the claims were never raised in the state court," Sandman said. "If Barry's initial appeal in the 9th Circuit had moved a little more rapidly, it could have been decided before Martinez and he might have been executed."
    "The evidentiary hearing is the key," said Dale Baich, supervising attorney of the Arizona Federal Public Defender's Capital Habeas Unit. "All our clients really want is one fair opportunity to have a full, fair hearing at the post-conviction level." But such chances are exceedingly rare. Even under Martinez, there was no guarantee of a hearing. If there was any reason for Jones to feel optimistic about his chances before the ruling, it was that Burgess granted an evidentiary hearing at all. Even then, ineffective assistance claims are notoriously hard to win. Under the U.S. Supreme Court case Strickland v. Washington, Jones had to show, first, that his attorneys had provided an unconstitutionally inadequate defense, and second, that the outcome of his trial would likely have been different absent their failures. In his order, Burgess spent considerable detail explaining why Jones met the burden demanded by Strickland.
    The state of Arizona has shown contempt for the resources Jones's current lawyers have devoted to his case. "With a seemingly limitless budget, full-time counsel, investigators, support staff, and a horde of new experts, Jones has spent the past 15 years re-investigating his case," prosecutors argued in a January filing. At the evidentiary hearing, Braccio and Assistant Attorney General Lacey Gard repeatedly contrasted the money spent by Sandman and his colleagues with the comparatively slim resources of Jones's original attorneys, arguing that the lawyers could not be considered ineffective for having limited funds.
    Burgess flatly dismissed the notion. "The Court rejects any suggestion by Respondents that trial counsel's deficient pretrial investigation be excused on the grounds that funding for investigators and experts was lacking or inadequate," he said. In fact, with regard to the failures of Jones's post-conviction attorney, James Hazel, Burgess drew a parallel to the case of Anthony Ray Hinton, in which the Supreme Court found "counsel's failure to request additional funding for an expert was unreasonable and constituted deficient performance." Hinton was exonerated from Alabama's death row in 2015.

    "Right on Time"

    On Tuesday afternoon, Jones's legal team gathered in a conference room in their Tucson office to call Jones. "They don't get short-notice phone calls very often," defense investigator Andrew Sowards said. "He kind of knew something was up." Upon hearing the news, he said, "there was a sense of relief in Barry's voice I've never heard."
    In an email, the Arizona Attorney General's Office told The Intercept that it had no comment on the order. If the state does not initiate a retrial within 45 days, Jones must be released. As they wait for the state to signal its next move, Jones's legal team is reaching out to his family members, many of whom he has not seen in decades. In his time on death row, his three children have grown up and have kids of their own. Speaking to The Intercept over the phone last year, Jones said he felt like an emotional burden on them. "I'm hurting everybody out there by being here. I've got to live with that. That's not easy." Decades of severe isolation have taken their toll, not to mention the 33 executions carried out in Arizona since 1995, when Jones was sent to death row. "They've killed friends of mine," he said.
    The ruling came "right on time," Sandman said. "He was really struggling." As Sowards says, "It's a tough life for a guy with that kind of conviction in any prison — especially on death row." For 23 years, Jones has been seen as a child rapist and murderer. To be able to return to his unit to share the news was powerful vindication of what he has insisted all along: that he did not commit the crime that sent him to die.
    Sowards himself was emotional over the decision. He joined the Arizona Federal Public Defender's Office in 2008, just as Jones's initial federal habeas petition had been denied. In the years that followed, he uncovered critical information that had been withheld by the prosecution at trial. Like all the members of Jones's legal team, Sowards believed in his innocence.
    To Sylvia Lett, Jones's former federal habeas attorney, it was a stroke of good luck that the case fell to Burgess. Speaking to The Intercept last year, she had a hard time remembering when a federal district judge in Arizona granted relief in a death penalty case during the years she represented Jones. "It took a district judge from Alaska having the guts to say, 'Hey, wait a second, there's something wrong here,'" Lett said.
    "It just seems like this judge got it," Sowards said. "He saw the state's investigation for what it was, which was shoddy, the defense investigation for what it was, which was nonexistent, and he said, 'That's not fair.' And that's how it's supposed to work."


    3) Saudis Escalate Siege of Port in Yemen, Alarming Aid Groups
    By Mohammed Ali Kalfood and Margaret Coker, August 2, 2018

    Airstrikes by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia killed at least 30 people in Al Hudaydah, Yemen, on Thursday, medical workers said. Relatives of some of the victims gathered in a morgue in the city

    AL HUDAYDAH, Yemen — Warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition fired more than two dozen missiles into this rebel-held Yemeni port city on Thursday, hitting the fish market, the entrance to the main hospital and a security compound in an attack that killed at least 30 people, medical workers said.
    The missile strikes, which were an escalation of the conflict, came after a week of tensions in which Saudi Arabia accused its Yemeni adversaries, the Houthi rebels who occupy Al Hudaydah, of attacking a Saudi oil vessel in a Red Sea shipping lane.
    At the same time, aid agencies sharpened criticism of the Saudi coalition over civilian suffering in the city, which the coalition has been threatening to invade for months.
    Hours after the missile strikes, the United Nations special representative for Yemen briefed the Security Council in New York about a possible renewal of peace talks in the country, which the United Nations has declared the scene of the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

    Yemeni political factions and militias have been fighting for control of Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, since power-sharing talks collapsed in 2015 and the Houthis ousted the internationally backed government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
    Since then, fighting has devolved into proxy warfare, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arming and fighting alongside a disparate group of Islamist, tribal and regional militias against the Houthis, who control Sana, the capital, as well as Al Hudaydah and their ancestral territories along the Saudi border.
    The Saudis and their allies have accused Iran of aiding the Houthis. Iran has denounced the Saudi-led coalition for the loss of life and destruction in Yemen but denies it is arming the Houthis, despite evidence that the rebels are using Iranian weaponry including missiles.
    In June, the Saudi and Emirati governments launched the battle for control of Al Hudaydah in an effort to tip the balance of power against the Houthis. The Saudi-led coalition ignored a resounding diplomatic outcry over concern for the safety of the city's 600,000 residents and the possibility that the fighting could disrupt supply lines for urgent humanitarian assistance to millions of others in Yemen.
    Aid arriving in the Red Sea port accounts for about 70 percent of imports in Yemen, a country where two-thirds of the 29 million people rely on international aid.

    Less than a month later, the coalition halted the Al Hudaydah ground assault as it faced the hard realities of urban warfare and little progress. Instead the Saudis and Emiratis said they would support United Nations efforts to find a political solution, as well as a possible formula for a wider cease-fire.

    Martin Griffiths, the United Nations special envoy, offered a grim progress report to Security Council members. "Recently, and despite all our efforts, the pace of war has increased," he said, with Al Hudaydah becoming the "center of gravity" for the conflict.
    Since the assault on Al Hudaydah started, more than 330,000 people, approximately half the city's inhabitants, have fled, according to the United Nations.
    Mr. Griffiths said he planned to invite the warring sides to Geneva on Sept. 6 for a first round of consultations aimed at convening peace talks. The plan is to "discuss a framework of negotiations and specific plans for moving the process forward," he said.
    On Thursday afternoon, however, the Arab coalition's aerial forces were pounding several neighborhoods of Al Hudaydah, according to residents and aid workers.
    Shortly after 4 p.m., bombs hit the city's crowded fish market, about 200 yards from Al Thawrah Public Hospital. Medics rushed to the scene trying to save lives, but then about 30 minutes later another strike rocked the street in front of the hospital, where the wounded had been transported from the market.

    By nightfall, medics reported that at least 30 people had been killed and that dozens were in critical condition. Sanitation workers tried to clean the targeted areas of blood and body parts.
    Missiles also struck security facilities controlled by the Houthis, which like the fish market is a few hundred yards from the hospital.
    The missile strikes on Thursday were the most intense in a series of Saudi-led aerial attacks over the past week. Earlier attacks hit targets near a reproductive health center and a public laboratory in Al Hudaydah, and a water station and sanitation plant that supplies much of the water to the port city, according to United Nations relief agencies.
    "For weeks, we've been doing everything possible to help hundreds of thousands of people living in and near Hudaydah," Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement. "These airstrikes are putting innocent civilians at extreme risk."
    Save the Children, which runs a diphtheria clinic at Al Thawrah Public Hospital, the largest government hospital in the city, criticized the targeting of heavily populated civilian areas.
    "We're seriously concerned that the area is simply not safe for civilians and that people seeking help at the hospital may not be safe," said Tamer Kirolos, the aid agency's country director.

    Mohammed Ali Kalfood reported from Al Hudaydah, and Margaret Coker from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Michael Schwirtz contributed reporting from New York


    4) Pope's Death Penalty Stance Won't Stop Execution, Nebraska's Catholic Governor Says
    By Timothy Williams, August 3, 2018

    Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska during a visit to the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, where the state's death row is located.

    LINCOLN, Neb. — When Nebraska lawmakers defied Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2015 by repealing the death penalty over his strong objections, the governor wouldn't let the matter go. Mr. Ricketts, a Republican who is Roman Catholic, tapped his family fortune to help bankroll a referendum to reinstate capital punishment, a measure the state's Catholic leadership vehemently opposed.
    After a contentious and emotional battle across this deep-red state, voters restored the death penalty the following year. Later this month, Nebraska is scheduled to execute Carey Dean Moore, who was convicted of murder, in what would be the state's first execution in 21 years.
    The prospect has renewed a tense debate in a state with strong Christian traditions that has wrestled with the moral and financial implications of the death penalty for years, even before the 2015 attempt to abolish it. Protesters have been holding daily vigils outside the governor's mansion to oppose Mr. Moore's execution.
    Complicating matters, Pope Francis this week declared that executions are unacceptable in all cases, a shift from earlier church doctrine that had accepted the death penalty if it was "the only practicable way" to defend lives. Coming only days before the scheduled Aug. 14 execution here, the pope's stance seemed to create an awkward position for Mr. Ricketts, who is favored to win a bid for re-election this fall.

    Mr. Ricketts, who in the past has said that he viewed his position on the death penalty as compatible with Catholicism, on Thursday issued a statement about the pope's declaration.
    "While I respect the pope's perspective, capital punishment remains the will of the people and the law of the state of Nebraska," Mr. Ricketts's statement said. "It is an important tool to protect our corrections officers and public safety. The state continues to carry out the sentences ordered by the court."

    But opponents seized on the pope's comments. Nebraska's Catholic bishops urged people to contact state officials to stop the scheduled execution of Mr. Moore and cited the pope's teaching. "Simply put, the death penalty is no longer needed or morally justified in Nebraska," the bishops wrote.

    Jane Kleeb, who leads the Nebraska Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Ricketts "is going against the teachings of the church" on the matter of executions.

    "When you have a priest on Sunday talking about how we don't believe in the death penalty, I think that will matter to people," she said in an interview. "Nebraskans are churchgoers and believe in the church and strong family units, and they believe in people paying for their crimes, but not necessarily with their lives."
    In many respects, Mr. Moore, 60, has become an afterthought in the buildup to his own execution. He has been on the state's death row longer than any of the other 11 other men and is among the longest-serving prisoners on any death row in the nation's history.
    The execution planned here has also become part of a national dispute over the use of drugs in death chambers. Nebraska, which was still using an electric chair the last time it executed someone in 1997, has said Mr. Moore will be the state's first execution by lethal injection, using a combination of four drugs, including fentanyl. Nebraska officials have refused to disclose where they obtained the drugs. The execution would be the nation's first to use fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that has been at the center of the nation's overdose crisis.
    Though the state has had capital punishment on the books for most of the past century, it very rarely condemns people to death and even more rarely kills them. In the United States, executions have been on the decline for years. In 1999, there were 98 executions across the nation, compared to 23 in 2017, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. So far this year, there have been 14.

    Carey Dean Moore has been on death row in Nebraska for 38 years, longer than any other prisoner. His execution is scheduled for August 14.

    While 31 states still have death penalty statutes, only 10, including Texas, Ohio and Florida, have carried out executions since 2014, according to the center. During the past decade, several states have placed moratoriums on capital punishment or abolished it altogether. The most recent was Delaware, which banned the death penalty in 2016.

    The crimes Mr. Moore committed — the murders of two Omaha taxi drivers, Reuel Van Ness Jr. and Maynard Helgeland, during a five-day span in 1979 — occurred so long ago that many in Nebraska know about them only through newspaper articles.
    For years, Mr. Moore, who admitted to the killings, has made it clear that he is ready to die. He has dismissed his lawyers and refused to take part in efforts to spare his life. He has told friends that, as a born-again Christian, he believes he will be in the presence of God upon his death, his sins forgiven, said Geoff Gonifas, his longtime pastor.
    "No one's happy a man's life is going to be taken," said Michael Fischer, 35, a Republican and a financial planner in Omaha who, like many along the streets here, said he supported capital punishment. "But if you take the death penalty off the books, the fear is there won't be strong discouragement for people to commit crimes."
    In 2016, in part through the governor's efforts, 61 percent of Nebraska voters chose to rescind a ban on the death penalty that an unlikely coalition of Democratic and Republican lawmakers had passed a year before.
    In Lincoln, the state capital, where a unicameral legislature is officially nonpartisan but is dominated by Republicans, the battle over the death penalty has gone on for decades. State Senator Ernie Chambers, an independent from Omaha and one of the Legislature's most outspoken members, tries nearly every year to push legislation to abolish capital punishment and has clashed bluntly with Mr. Ricketts.

    Opposition to the death penalty in this state has often centered around matters of religion and morality, but also money. An essential argument that helped an array of lawmakers support an end to capital punishment was the extensive costs involved before a prisoner is actually executed.

    "If any other government program had been as inefficient as this one, we would have gotten rid of it," said Colby Coash, a former Republican state senator who was instrumental in convincing other conservatives to support the death penalty repeal in 2015. "How is killing someone 20 years after the crime justice for anyone?"
    Mr. Chambers, who once described the death penalty debate as "a personal struggle between me and the governor," called Mr. Ricketts "evil" during a recent interview. A spokesman for the governor responded by questioning Mr. Chambers's religious tolerance.
    Mr. Ricketts, scion of the TD Ameritrade family fortune and an owner of the Chicago Cubs, has made the death penalty a signature issue as he seeks a second term as governor. In the past, he has repeatedly said that capital punishment deters violent crime. He contributed $300,000 to help with a petition drive that led to the restoration of the death penalty by voters.
    Mr. Ricketts declined requests to be interviewed for this story, but in an interview in The Omaha World-Herald in 2015, the governor said that his position in favor of executions was in keeping with the tenets of his faith.
    "The Catholic Church does not preclude the use of the death penalty under certain circumstances: That guilt is determined and the crime is heinous. Also, protecting society," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "As I've thought about this and meditated on it and prayed on it and researched it, I've determined it's an important tool."
    Some have suggested that Mr. Ricketts's own family's experience with violence may have affected his views, though the governor has rarely addressed the issue publicly. In a meeting in 2015 with death penalty opponents, first reported by The World-Herald, participants said the governor spoke to them about the troubling death of a cousin, Ronna Anne Bremer, in Missouri years ago.
    Ms. Bremer, 22, was the mother of two children and was pregnant when she disappeared in the 1980s. Three years after she disappeared, her skull was mailed to the local sheriff's department. The authorities said they believe she was murdered, but they never made an arrest in the case.

    Mitch Smith contributed reporting from Chicago.


    5)  How Oil Exploration Cut a Grid of Scars Into Alaska's Wilderness
    By Henry Fountain, August 3, 2018

    Matt Nolan, who runs a mapping business in Alaska using aerial photography, was flying a small plane to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northeastern part of the state last month when he noticed a pattern on the tundra.
    Dr. Nolan, a geophysicist, saw a grid of tracks left by heavy vehicles involved in recent seismic testing for oil and gas exploration in an area called Point Thomson. The tracks, several hundred yards apart, were as regular as a checkerboard and ran across the landscape just outside of the refuge.
    A similar dense grid may soon cover some of the refuge itself, perhaps beginning as early as December, if seismic testing starts under a plan to sell leases for oil and gas exploration that was approved by Congress last yearand that is strongly opposed by environmental and conservation groups. The northern part of the refuge, 1.5 million acres of the Arctic coastal plain known as the 1002 Area, is thought to overlie billions of barrels of oil and gas.

    Disturbances like the tracks Dr. Nolan saw could remain for decades or longer like a tattoo on the refuge, a vast tableau of mosses, sedges and shrubs atop permafrost that is considered one of the most pristine landscapes in North America. There are still signs, for example, of a much less dense pattern of tracks from the only other time testing was allowed there, in the mid-1980s, and of the only drilling pad, which was built at the same time.

    Any new tracks could also potentially alter how surface water flows in the tundra, draining lakes or accelerating the thawing of permafrost in some areas.

    Dr. Nolan spent most of July flying across the 1002 Area making a high-resolution elevation map that will serve as a baseline for any changes to come. When he saw the tracks outside the refuge (lingering snow and ice made some of them easier to spot) he decided to map those as well. He found that they were up to half a foot deep.
    Dr. Nolan, a former research professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks who has mapped changes in land and glaciers for years, said he was not taking sides in the fight over drilling in the refuge, "but I want to make sure that whatever happens out here happens in the most responsible way."

    Environmental and conservation groups, which have fought to preserve the 19-million-acre refuge for decades, say that seismic testing, not to mention eventual drilling and production of oil and gas, could irreversibly alter the 1002 Area and potentially affect the habitat and behavior of caribou, polar bears and other animals there.
    "There's not a lot in here that you can look at and feel good about," said Kristen Miller, conservation director of the Alaska Wilderness League, referring to a plan for testing in the 1002 Area put forth this year by a seismic services company, SAExploration, and two Alaska native corporations.
    That plan proposes that testing begin this winter, when ice and snow provide some protection to the tundra, and resume, if necessary, the following winter. In addition to special trucks that vibrate the ground, the effort would include movable fuel tanks as well as housing and other facilities for two crews of 160 workers each. In the plan, the company said it and its partners were "dedicated to minimizing the effect of our operations on the environment."
    By producing three-dimensional images of the subsurface, the testing would help oil companies determine whether there are enough reserves to make it worth buying leases to drill in the area.
    The plan drew criticism from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service when it was first put forth in May. But another agency of the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management, will review the plan and decide whether to allow testing. Lesli Ellis-Wouters, a bureau spokeswoman, said that SAExploration had been asked to provide more information.
    The approval process includes conducting an environmental assessment, a less-thorough appraisal than an environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., although the bureau can require an E.I.S. later if the initial review finds the work could result in significant impacts.

    Ms. Ellis-Wouters said there would be a 30-day public comment period when the assessment is finished. She said there was no time frame for a decision as yet.
    But Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization in Washington, said the bureau seemed intent on moving quickly so that testing could begin this winter, part of an overall push to conduct lease sales within a few years.
    Dr. Nolan has financed his mapping project himself, spending about $30,000 on fuel for his single-engine Cessna, among other expenses. To make his map he uses a method called photogrammetry, combining tens of thousands of digital aerial photographs, each with precise location data, to form a three-dimensional map of the land surface.
    The map, which Dr. Nolan claimed in a blog post would be the best topographic map ever made of the 1002 Area, should have a resolution of about five inches. The map will be, in effect, a snapshot of the current landscape that can be compared to future maps to detect even small changes.
    Dr. Nolan said he hoped to sell the finished product to oil companies, environmental groups and government agencies. "My hope is that it's all of them," he said. "I'm doing it now to support rational decision-making when it comes to oil and gas stuff."
    He said he thought the seismic work could be done differently to reduce impacts — perhaps using less elaborate, and heavy, facilities for the crews. "This is a place where we're supposed to do things different and better," he said.

    Vehicles that rove and repeatedly depress the land can affect the flow of surface water.

    Sue Natali, an ecologist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts who studies Arctic tundra and permafrost, said that depressions, even shallow ones, can have cascading effects. "The ground sinks, so it gets wetter," she said. Since water carries and conducts heat, the land thaws more and then sinks more. "The impact can last for a very long time," she said.
    "The issue is, you're causing connections and movements of water across the landscape that perhaps weren't happening before," Dr. Natali added.
    Ms. Ellis-Wouters, the bureau spokeswoman, said that hydrological and visual impacts, as well as effects on vegetation, would be considered in the review. "The visual impacts are only detected from the air," she added.
    She said the bureau expected that more advanced 3-D testing technology would result in less surface impact than the work done in the 1980s.
    Dr. Nolan acknowledged there was little time to pressure the Bureau of Land Management or exploration companies to change their approach. Still, he said, the existence of his new map may have an effect.
    "I hope the oil and gas people understand that someone's watching," he said. "When you know someone is watching you get on better behavior."


    6) Restraint Chairs and Spit Masks: Migrant Detainees Claim Abuse at Detention Centers
    By Jess Bidgood, Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset, August 4. 2018

    An 18-year old Honduran who says he suffered abuse inside a Virginia detention center.

    VERONA, Va. — Guards at a juvenile detention center for troubled immigrant teenagers had many ways of handling serious problems. At times, they resorted to the chair. Other times, the mask.
    According to migrant teenagers and a former worker, the high, hard-backed metal chair had wheels so it could be tilted and moved like a dolly through the halls of the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, a northwest Virginia facility that houses American and undocumented migrant youths who have emotional, behavioral and psychological issues.
    Teenagers as young as 14 were strapped to the chair — some stripped down to their underwear — with their feet, arms and waist restrained by cushioned leather straps and loops, they said.
    Those who guards feared might spit on staff, said one former worker, got the mask — a mesh hood that covered their entire faces and heads. Sometimes, the detainees said, they were forced to wear it while in the chair.

    Uses of the chair and mask are among the more extreme examples of complaints that have emerged from inside a handful of detention centers that house teenage migrants with a history of violence, mental health problems or, in some cases, gang affiliation. A few hundred a year are held in this separate network of jail-like facilities that also hold American juveniles who have been sent there for a range of behavioral issues and crimes, including assault and murder.
    The centers have tougher security measures than the immigrant-only shelters where the vast majority of the migrant teenagers are sent after entering the country illegally, either on their own or with their families.
    For years, the government has sent the most troubled migrant youths to these more restrictive facilities, and many complaints about these sites came well before the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. Others, though, have been lodged in the wake of the recent surge of detained immigrant children and teenagers, accusations that include use of the restraint devices, injections of psychotropic drugs and long periods in solitary confinement.
    In sworn statements at the center of a class-action lawsuit against the Shenandoah Valley facility and the government commission that receives millions of federal dollars to run it, six former detainees paint a hellish portrait of daily life inside.
    "They locked me in a room that was 8x10, or maybe 8x16, for 23 hours a day, all by myself," said one detainee identified only as R.B. in the suit. Originally from Guatemala and now 18 and living with his mother in Texas, he had a pre-existing mental illness and was transferred to the Shenandoah Valley facility because of "behavioral problems," according to the lawsuit. He said he often got into fights with other detainees and guards because he felt so isolated and angry over his fate. Punishment was the chair and mask, he said.

    The Pattern of Allegations

    Every year, according to federal figures, between 25,000 and 60,000 immigrant children who are without a parent or guardian are apprehended at the southwest border. The vast majority, including those separated from their families, are sent to federally financed shelters across the country, while a smaller number are found to have emotional disorders or other mental health and behavioral issues and are sent to more specialized facilities, such as the Shenandoah Valley center.

    Of the more than 100 migrant youth sites overseen by federal officials in 17 states, about 15 are known as residential treatment centers, staff-secure facilities and secure facilities. The local, state and federal standards and policies by which they must abide vary by state.
    Most of the centers existed long before unaccompanied migrant youths began flooding the border: They originally were opened to hold emotionally disturbed and convicted American juveniles brought to them by the criminal justice system. But as the number expanded beginning about six years ago, many won federal contracts to also treat immigrant children, and have done so while continuing to hold local teenagers.
    These restrictive detention centers are challenging to run in the best of circumstances and can present dangers to the detainees and employees. One former Shenandoah employee said in an interview that fights between detainees in rival gangs were common, and another former worker said he was jumped and struck repeatedly by several juveniles at once.
    At the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center near Sacramento, the population has been so difficult to supervise that earlier this year, the county probation chief recommended the county end its $2.9 million federal contract to house migrant teenagers. Instead, it received an additional $2.2 million in federal funding through January 2019 to bulk up its staff. There is now one guard for every four inmates, he said, one case manager for every six, and one licensed therapist for every eight.
    "They were hitting our officers, spitting, throwing urine on them, they were head butting, we had a lot of assaults on officers," said Brent Cardall, the probation chief, adding that the center uses spit masks and pepper spray but not a chair to restrain detainees.

    Over all, the facility can house up to 24 immigrant inmates. It usually holds about half that number of local youths sentenced there for crimes like murder, assault or "extreme drug use," Mr. Cardell said.
    Kenneth J. Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, which oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the agency responsible for the care and housing of migrant youths — said in a statement that federal officials take appropriate action when there are allegations of abuse.
    "Our office also conducts federal monitoring visits and medical reviews, and takes seriously the responsibility of caring for each child," Mr. Wolfe said.

    'They Had Me In That Chair'

    Far north of the border where they were first apprehended, behind the walls of a taupe building with tidy landscaping in the verdant Shenandoah Valley west of Charlottesville, detainees at the center of the lawsuit described being beaten while handcuffed, slammed against walls, stabbed with pens, subjected to anti-Latino and other racist remarks, and forced to spend hours strapped to the restraint chair.
    [Read the detainees' sworn statements.]
    One 15-year-old from Mexico, identified by the initials J.A., said that staff members, who never told him why he was transferred there, pushed him to the floor, handcuffed him, took off his clothes, put a spit mask over his head and strapped him to the restraining chair — all because he did not want to go to his room.
    In interviews, two former employees of the Shenandoah Valley facility, which has received $31.4 million in federal contracts since 2009, said the use of the chair and the mask was carefully monitored, and they were used only as a last resort. They disputed any suggestion that their treatment of the migrant youths was abusive, cruel or unlawful.

    But detainees in the lawsuit said that the chair was used often on them and other children, and that they were tied to it for varying lengths of time, from 30 minutes to — in at least one case — two and a half days. One detainee, an 18-year-old Guatemalan who immigrated with his mom at a young age and was sent to the detention center after running away from home and being caught by immigration authorities, said he and other migrants were not allowed to take bathroom breaks, so they urinated on themselves while strapped in the chair.

    "They had me in that chair for a good hour, but they don't check the time," said another former detainee identified by the initials of D.M., a Honduran who was apprehended after he illegally crossed the southwest border when he was 15, and has bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. He was detained at the Shenandoah Valley site starting in 2014 and said he was there at least 11 months.
    "When you're in a crisis, the bag is the least helpful thing," said D.M., now 20, referring to the spit mask. "They just grab the left side of your head and they force it over you. You can't move to resist. The first thing that came to my head when they put it on me was, 'They are going to suffocate me.'"
    The class-action lawsuit was filed late last year by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on behalf of three plaintiffs who were asking for quality treatment and mental health care for all detainees. Since then, two plaintiffs were returned to their home countries and a third decided not to proceed. A fourth migrant teenager who has been detained at the center since December — a 17-year-old boy who he said left Honduras after a gang threatened to kill him if he didn't join it — was recently added to continue the suit. Three former detainees, including D.M., gave sworn statements about their treatment at the Shenandoah Valley center, but are not plaintiffs.
    After news reports in late June about abuse allegations, Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, ordered officials at two state agencies to investigate the claims in the lawsuit. Officials and a child protective services worker interviewed all detained migrants and reviewed their case files.
    The detention center — operated by the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center Commission, a three-county, four-city agency — said in a statement that it "takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously, including the complaints of abuse described in the pending federal lawsuit." The center concluded, after a thorough investigation, that the allegations lacked merit.
    As of late June, 22 of the facility's 58 beds were occupied by immigrant youths. In congressional testimony earlier this year, Kelsey Wong, a program director, said the center serves an average of 92 migrants every year, and about 300 youths in total.

    Interviews with the former employees echoed some of the accusations made by the young migrants, including that staff members punished the children with extensive periods in isolation. One of them said staff members often put juveniles in a restraining hold that occasionally left both the detainees and the workers with bruises.
    They described the center as a tense place where they feared for their own safety and defended its handling of the migrants, saying nothing they witnessed amounted to excessive force.
    One of the former employees, a youth worker who spent about three years there several years ago, said use of the restraint chair required approval from a top manager, and was used only when a detainee was believed capable of hurting himself or herself. Once, he said, the chair was used on an immigrant detainee who hit a window with his fist so hard that it cracked, and threatened to jump off his bunk to injure himself.
    "Personally, I don't agree with the chair, I think it's too much," said the former youth worker, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the center and did not want to endanger his job prospects elsewhere. "But when I think, 'What would be the other way to do it?' I can't come up with a different way."

    Critics have called it the "Devil's Chair," and a 2009 report prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation began by showing the visual similarities between a restraint chair at a juvenile detention center and one used at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. A guidebook that is widely used as a best practices manual by juvenile detention administrators states that devices like restraint chairs can lead to injuries and cardiac arrest, can traumatize teenagers with histories of abuse, and often appeared to be used as punishment or for convenience rather than as part of a response to an emergency.
    "It's not something that has any place at all, in our view, in a well-run juvenile facility," said Jason Szanyi, deputy director of the Center for Children's Law and Policy, who has worked with officials in more than 100 juvenile detention centers around the country.

    A Call to Close a Texas Facility

    On a two-lane road south of Houston, where the sprawling metropolis peters out into the Brazoria County countryside, the Shiloh Treatment Center makes its headquarters in a small complex of white trailer-like structures set amid a landscape of cattle and horses grazing in the heat.
    Allegations of abuse have persisted over the years at Shiloh, which has received about $30 million in federal contracts for migrant youth services since 2009. It remains part of the federal migrant youth shelter system, even after Representative Pete Olson, a Republican from Texas, called for it to be closed, citing years of troubling reports.
    Jeri Yenne, the longtime Republican district attorney for Brazoria County, has said three deaths of local youths from 2001 to 2010 at Shiloh and its nonprofit sister facility Daystar were "attributable to restraint holds" used by staff members. After the third death in 2010, state child welfare officials investigated, resulting in one child abuse finding and two child neglect findings against two Daystar employees. Texas officials revoked Daystar's license.
    Because of the deaths, as well as other incidents, Ms. Yenne contacted federal officials in 2011 and asked them to consider reducing the number of immigrant children they place at Shiloh.
    With a licensed capacity to hold 44 children, Shiloh had about 25 undocumented teenagers in July. In legal filings from earlier this year in an ongoing class-action lawsuit, young migrants allege that staff members have engaged in physical and verbal abuse, forced them to take medication and, in some cases, overmedicated them.
    In a statement posted recently to its website, the center said it has been investigated, but "the children have been found to be properly cared for and treated."
    United States District Judge Dolly Gee last week disagreed, finding that the government violated parts of the 1997 Flores settlement, a federal agreement that limits the time and conditions under which immigrant children can be detained, when it placed certain migrants at Shiloh. Under the terms of her ruling, migrants must be transferred from Shiloh unless a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist has determined the detainee is a threat to himself or others, and they cannot be drugged unless a legal guardian or emergency court order authorizes it.

    Judge Gee also ordered that migrants be told why they were sent to Shiloh, or any of the other more restrictive facilities, and that they be given access to drinking water, as many claimed they were not.
    One boy, identified as Julio Z., attested that a staff member at Shiloh "often refused to allow Julio and other class members to leave their living quarters to obtain drinking water," the July 30 order states. On one occasion, the boy tried to leave and a staff member threw him to the ground, injuring one of his elbows.
    The government has until Aug. 10 to work out the details of the transfers.

    Jess Bidgood reported from Verona, Va., and Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset from Houston. Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington. Alain Delaquérière contributed research from New York.


    7) A Revolution Within the Revolution: Cuba Opens to Same-Sex Marriages
    By Rubén Gallo, August 3, 2018

    PARIS — "I want to go there before things change" is a phrase I hear often from friends considering a trip to Cuba. But change has been underway for over a decade, from the day Raúl Castro became president after his brother Fidel fell ill in 2006. Since then, private property and self-employment have been legalized; tourism has boomed, benefiting thousands of Cubans who rent out rooms or serve meals in their apartments; and a lively art scenehas sprouted in Havana, where artist-run spaces host exhibitions and lectures. 
    Reforms have been slow and gradual, but they have added up over the years and have transformed the country: The economic despair of the 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of its aid plunged the country into the worst recession in its history, has been left behind, and many Cubans, especially those who are self-employed, now enjoy a modest prosperity. Cuba is now a very different country than it was in 2006. To acknowledge these changes, former president Raúl Castro supported the constitutional change. The Cuban legislature approved a draft in July, and it will now be submitted to a national referendum. 
    A new constitution is much needed; the current version, written under Soviet tutelage, dates from 1976 and sets "building a Communist society" as the nation's main goal. The new version eliminates this phrase, though it continues to define the country as a "socialist state governed by the rule of law."
    There are other substantial innovations: It legalizes private property and introduces a juridical framework for foreign investment. While Cubans have been allowed to buy and sell their primary residence since 2011, the new text recognizes "private" and "personal" among other forms of property, including "socialist, belonging to the people," "cooperatives" and "mixed." It also creates the position of prime minister, who will share power with the president. Other clauses, more attuned to 21st-century problems, affirm Cuba's respect for international law, repudiate terrorism, condemn nuclear proliferation and ban the use of the internet to destabilize sovereign nations. An article on environmental protection emphasizes the need to fight global warming.

    Out of all of the projected constitutional reforms, one has provoked intense debate: the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage. It was introduced by Mariela Castro, a daughter of Raúl Castro who, as director of the National Center for Sex Education, or Cenesex, has become a staunch defender of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals — in Cuba, the preferred term is "trans." Her proposal was adopted by her fellow lawmakers in the National Assembly — where she also serves as a representative — but has met with opposition from conservative groups, especially evangelical Christians, who have gained influence since religious freedoms were expanded in the 1990s. In recent weeks, five evangelical churches released a joint statement opposing the proposal, prompting protests by L.G.B.T. activists.

    Mariela Castro, a daughter of the former Cuban president Raúl Castro, supports rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, as she demonstrated last year at an L.G.B.T. rights event in Havana.

    It is widely expected that the draft constitution will be approved in the coming months, making Cuba one of the most progressive nations in the Americas in its protection of L.G.B.T. rights. The country has come a long way since the 1970s, when, as in other socialist countries, gay men were routinely harassed, barred from government jobs and even sent for re-education at labor camps. Many gay Cubans were forced into exile in the 1970s, and one of them, the novelist Reinaldo Arenas, wrote "Before Night Falls," a chilling memoir of the repression he suffered before leaving in the 1980 Mariel boatlift. 
    The repression of gay men caused international outrage and eventually stopped. By the 1990s, Cuba began to reflect on its treatment of L.G.B.T. citizens. In 2010, Fidel Castro recognized that an injustice had been done to gays in Cuba and admitted his own responsibility in a widely publicized interview. But it was not until Mariela Castro was appointed director of Cenesex that a radical change in Cuban society began to take place: In part thanks to her initiatives, the government funded campaigns to fight homophobia and transphobia, started educational programs aimed at the prevention of H.I.V. and AIDS and, in what is surely a first in the history of homosexuality, opened gay cabarets and discothèques and even a beach. Today, Cuba is the only country in the world where the state owns and operates gay bars, some of them livelier than similar, privately owned locales in New York or London. 
    These days Cuba is one of the most tolerant societies in the world when it comes to sexual difference. During a recent afternoon visit to Coppelia, a popular ice-cream parlor in Havana, I saw a group of trans friends, dressed to the hilt in tight miniskirts and high heels, casually sharing tables with families, heterosexual couples and schoolchildren. The country's official gay-friendly policy has also made it a popular destination for L.G.B.T. travelers. Over the years I have met dozens of older European gay men who have bought property and settled permanently in the capital, many of whom can be seen on weekend nights sitting in the park on 25th Street in Vedado, socializing with Cubans. This newfound tolerance is one of the surprising results of the current transition, in which elements of the socialist past — like the rejection of religion, especially in attitudes toward sexuality — coexist with a new cosmopolitanism.

    Critics of the government argue that the increased protection of sexual minorities must be considered in the larger context of freedom of expression, where Cuba lags behind most of Latin American, and peaceful activists are routinely harassed and even imprisoned for voicing their discontent with the system. 
    Just a few weeks ago, several artists were arrested after protesting, on the steps of the Havana Capitol, against a recent law requiring artists to secure government permission for all performances and against penalties for works that use pornography or violence or that denigrate "the nation's symbols." 
    It is true that much work remains in terms of civil and cultural rights, but one should not forget how much Cuba has changed since those dark years in the 1970s: Today, artists and writers use the internet and other alternative forums to participate in debates — including weighing the pros and cons of the new constitution and the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage — that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. 
    The proposed constitution is a welcome and necessary reform, one that will introduce a legal framework to guarantee the permanence of the many achievements that Cuban society has attained in the past decades. 
    Cuba could capitalize on the progress it has made over the years. It could export its innovative approaches to L.G.B.T. rights and sex education in the same way that, earlier, it disseminated its revolutionary ideology through the use of culture. With a bit of creativity, Cenesex could do the same with its magazine, devoted to gender and sexuality issues. If in the 20th-century Cuba was a model for leftist governments from Chile to Algeria, in the 21st it could be an example for lawmakers seeking to make their countries more livable for their L.G.B.T. citizens.
    The next time I hear a friend say, "I want to go to Cuba before things change," my response will be: "Things have already changed, but that is precisely why you should go: to see the new Cuba. And if you hurry up, you might even get to see the first same-sex marriage on the island."
    Rubén Gallo is a professor at Princeton University and the author, most recently, of "Teoría y Práctica de La Habana," a memoir of life in Cuba during the current transition.


    8) Star Athlete Is Injured in Egg Attack, and Italy Debates 'a Racism Emergency'
    By Jason Horowitz, August 3, 2018

    The Italian discus thrower Daisy Osakue addressed the media outside the hospital in Turin on Monday after she was hit in the face by an egg hurled from a car.

    MONCALIERI, Italy — Daisy Osakue grabbed her pink sneakers from the terrace and packed them in a suitcase embossed with the Italian flag. All around her family's apartment, newspaper articles, old photos and posters hailed her success in track and field. Dozens of medals hung from pictures of her family celebrating in traditional Nigerian dress.
    "Just need to get my medicine," she said on Thursday morning, her left eye tearing and bloodshot, as she grabbed prescription drugs and eye patches. They sat on a coffee table next to white flowers a neighbor had dropped off in solidarity.
    Before this week, Ms. Osakue, 22, had a modicum of renown for throwing the discus farther than any other Italian woman ever in her age group.
    But since Sunday, when young men outside her apartment complex threw an egg that cut her cornea, she has become the bandaged face of Italy's explosive debate over whether the country is becoming more racist under its new populist, anti-immigrant government or whether politically motivated liberals and a sensationalist media are unfairly sounding the alarm. What is clear is that Italy is on edge.

    The country's head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, who clashed with the populist government over his reservations about its formation, is giving speeches warning that migrants risk entrapment in a "modern slavery" and is urging Italians not to "look away." Catholic newspapers are sounding the alarm over the country's xenophobic climate. The left is issuing ominous warnings.
    There's a lot of violence to point to. This summer, a Calabrian shot and killed a migrant who took sheets of metal from an abandoned warehouse, and Italians in the cities of Caserta, Naples, Forlì and Latina have shot migrants with air guns.
    In Rome, a 13-month-old Roma girl was hit by a bullet on her terrace, and a man in Vicenza shot a migrant, claiming he was trying to kill a pigeon. This week, men in Aprilia killed a Moroccan they had suspected of trying to steal a car. On Thursday night, two men on a motor scooter in Naples shot a Senegalese vendor in the leg.
    "All the other attacks were like a moment of anger, maybe mine as well," said Ms. Osakue, an ebullient, photogenic and gregarious polyglot with dreams of winning an Olympic medal for Italy, the only country she has ever known.

    A student of criminal justice at Angelo State University in Texas, where she also trains (a "Go Rams" sticker is stuck on her parents' radiator), Ms. Osakue, who is black, wondered if Italy was descending into a state governed by a fear of immigrants.

    "They tell you, 'Oh, the monster is here, there is a monster, here is the monster, there is the monster,'" Ms. Osakue said. "So you think the first person who comes in that door is a monster, so you attack them. But then maybe he wasn't the monster, actually."
    For advocates of migrants, the major concern is the League, the anti-immigrant party led by Matteo Salvini. Its governing partner, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, has mostly closed ranks on the migration issue, and dismissed the recent incidents as a conspiracy by the establishment media against the government.
    The egg attack happened on Sunday night, as she returned from a training camp to visit her godmother, whose child has been sick in the hospital. As she approached a small bridge often trafficked by African prostitutes, she noticed a car waiting. Moments later, the Fiat Doblò sped toward her and she felt a burning sensation in her left eye.
    She said she believed the men in the car thought they had an easy target in a black woman or a prostitute who wouldn't be able to say anything.
    "Unfortunately for those two guys, I was Daisy," she said.
    Ms. Osakue, whose parents came to Italy in the early 1990s, isn't the shy type. Her mother is proudly competitive. Her father, a judo black belt who advocates for Nigerian asylum seekers, said he instilled in her the principle of competing, but for "the glory of the country and then for you."
    After the assault, Ms. Osakue leveled accusations of racism on television and her bandaged left eye was emblazoned across the cover of the national newspapers. She seemed to mean something to everyone.

    The left hoisted her up as their champion.
    "Her words are our words," Maurizio Martina, the leader of the Democratic Party, said in an interview.
    Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called Ms. Osakue from the United States, where he had stood next to President Trump as the American leader said: "The Prime Minister, frankly, is with us today because of illegal immigration. Italy got tired of it."

    After the phone conversation, Mr. Conte said Ms. Osakue had assured him she did not consider the attack racist.
    Ms. Osakue acknowledged that she had said Italy was not a racist country but that she had also told Mr. Conte she believed the assailants were "moved by an idea that can be called racist."
    That assertion soon played into the hands of populists, who have characterized the concerns about racism as politically motivated media hysteria. Late Thursday, the authorities identified the assailants as local men, including a 19-year-old who had confessed to throwing eggs at passers-by, regardless of skin color, on at least seven occasions over recent months.
    Beppe Grillo, the co-founder of the Five Star Movement, had already mocked the indignation over an "egg in the face" and how it was "enough to paralyze the media." Mr. Salvini already had written, "A racism emergency in Italy? Let's not speak nonsense."

    After the phone conversation, Mr. Conte said Ms. Osakue had assured him she did not consider the attack racist.
    Ms. Osakue acknowledged that she had said Italy was not a racist country but that she had also told Mr. Conte she believed the assailants were "moved by an idea that can be called racist."
    That assertion soon played into the hands of populists, who have characterized the concerns about racism as politically motivated media hysteria. Late Thursday, the authorities identified the assailants as local men, including a 19-year-old who had confessed to throwing eggs at passers-by, regardless of skin color, on at least seven occasions over recent months.
    Beppe Grillo, the co-founder of the Five Star Movement, had already mocked the indignation over an "egg in the face" and how it was "enough to paralyze the media." Mr. Salvini already had written, "A racism emergency in Italy? Let's not speak nonsense."

    Followers of Mr. Salvini, who argue that illegal immigration and crime — not racism — are Italy's major problems, found additional talking points on Friday. Conservative news outlets reported that in the 2000s, Ms. Osakue's father, Iredia Osakue, had been arrested multiple times for drug dealing and promoting prostitution. In 2007, he was sentenced to five years in jail for those crimes and for heading up a violent Nigerian mafia. Her mother had also been arrested, on prostitution charges in 2002, according to a spokesman for the Carabinieri of Turin, who confirmed the other charges. "No comment," the father said when reached on the phone Friday evening.
    Ms. Osakue said she had found the mockery of her as a "poor little black girl" that erupted after her injury to be unfair, and disputed the accusation that she had milked the injury for notoriety. "I'd have sought attention in another way. I do track," she said.
    She loaded her bag in a cab and rode to the train station on her way to meet with officials in Rome before a European championship competition in Berlin next week. On the way, she said she still had some concerns about where Mr. Salvini was taking her country.
    "He gives people an excuse to do what they do," she said, worrying that all his scapegoating of illegal immigrants carried more weight now because of his power, and hurt "black people who have been here for years." She added, "he should use words in a better way."

    Mr. Salvini has a formidable talent for exploiting a sense of victimization, for building a nationalist base and baiting liberals. "So many enemies, so much honor," he wrote in an apparent ode to Mussolini's phrase "Many enemies, much honor" on the Fascist dictator's birthday, July 29.
    He has also become something of an expert at using black Italian athletes for political gain. He maddened the left by congratulating the black women who won for Italy a race at the Mediterranean Games, saying he'd like to meet and hug true Italians "regardless of the color of their skin." His problem was with "hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants."
    In June, Mr. Salvini engaged in a spat with Italy's most famous black soccer star, Mario Balotelli, who recalled having endured years of racism before and after he gained citizenship as an adult. Italian citizenship is based on blood and can only be earned by the children of immigrants who reach age 18 after living in the country since birth.
    Mr. Salvini's opposition to the previous government's proposal to ease the citizenship requirements for children of immigrants born in Italy was a key campaign issue for him.
    Ms. Osakue, who was born, raised and educated in Turin, became a citizen under the existing rules. She and her two younger siblings, who are also talented athletes, took the failure of the previous government's citizenship proposal hard.
    Ms. Osakue said she was teased through childhood, called a "prostitute or monkey" and often mistaken for an immigrant — until she responded in her flawless, native tongue. Despite all that, she said, her inability to represent Italy after having won a hurdles competition for minors stung because she was not yet a citizen back then.
    "I still think about it," said Ms. Osakue, who has only been to Africa once, for a competition in Tunisia. "I was born here. I went to school here. I was raised here."

    When the opportunity to study and train in Texas presented itself in 2017, she said her parents and coaches had made sure she jumped at it.
    "I'm the Italian girl there, even though I'm black," she said, adding that her girlfriends joke, "'You're the Italian girl. Cook for us.' I make lasagna."

    Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Rome.


    9) Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes
    By Alissa J. Rubin, August 4, 2018

    People trying to cool down in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

    PARIS — In Northern Europe, this summer feels like a modern-day version of the biblical plagues. Cows are dying of thirst in Switzerland, fires are gobbling up timber in Sweden, the majestic Dachstein glacier is melting in Austria.
    In London, stores are running out of fans and air-conditioners. In Greenland, an iceberg may break off a piece so large that it could trigger a tsunami that destroys settlements on shore. Last week, Sweden's highest peak, Kebnekaise mountain, no longer was in first place after its glacier tip melted.
    Southern Europe is even hotter. Temperatures in Spain and Portugal are expected to reach 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend. On Saturday, several places in Portugal experienced record highs, and over the past week, two people have died in Spain from the high temperatures, and a third in Portugal.
    But in the northernmost latitudes, where the climate is warming faster than the global average, temperatures have been the most extreme, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and the World Weather Attribution network.

    By analyzing data from seven weather stations in northern Europe, the researchers found that the closer a community is to the Arctic Circle, the more this summer's heat stood out in the temperature record. A number of cities and towns in Norway, Sweden and Finland hit all-time highs this summer, with towns as far north as the Arctic Circle recording nearly 90-degree temperatures.

    A crowded beach in Nazaré, Portugal, on Thursday. The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere warned that the maximum temperatures will be well above normal.

    Not only is much of northern and western Europe hotter than normal, but the weather is also more erratic. Torrential rains and violent thunderstorms have alternated with droughts in parts of France. In the Netherlands, a drought — rather than the rising seas — is hurting its system of dikes because there is not enough fresh water countering the seawater.
    The preliminary results of the Oxford study found that, in some places, climate change more than doubled the likelihood of this summer's European heat wave.
    "In the past, we had this kind of heat wave once every 10 years, and now we have them every two years or something like that," said François-Marie Bréon, a climatologist and deputy director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Science, a research institute affiliated with France's National Center for Scientific Research. "That's really the sign of climate change: We have heat waves that aren't necessarily more intense but that are more and more frequent."

    Temperatures that used to be seen as outliers — like those in the summer of 2003 when at least 70,000 people died across Europe — will become "the norm for summer" after 2060, said Jean Jouzel, who was vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 when it won the Nobel Prize.
    Occasional heat waves could push temperatures in Europe toward 120 degrees unless there is a dramatic slowdown in global warming trends, he said.

    A wildfire in Karbole, Sweden, in July. Forest fires have destroyed more than 61,000 acres of timber in the country.

    "This really is to enter into another world," Mr. Jouzel said. "This is a world that France and Western Europe are not used to. For Western Europe, this is truly a major change of climate if we do not fight efficiently against global warming."
    The Dachstein glacier is one of the more dramatic symptoms. The glacier "is melting so fast you can see it with your naked eye," the meteorologist Klaus Reingruber told journalists.
    It has been melting incrementally for many years, but the change became more visible this summer after the hottest June on record since 1767, when the country started keeping track, according to researchers at Innsbruck University.
    For Europeans living with the heat day to day, a raft of practical problems has become worrisome — difficulties that might have happened elsewhere or rarely, but never before seemed likely to become facts of daily life.

    Climate change is gradually becoming understood here as something that will alter many aspects of how Europeans live, potentially destroy or diminish some parts of the economy, and halt beloved local traditions such as the summer barbecue, which was banned this year in public spots in parts of Sweden to reduce the chance of fire.

    Jumping in a pond on Hampstead Heath in London.

    "In Europe, each year about 5 percent of Europeans have to face an extreme climate event — be that a heat wave, a flood, a drought. But in the second half of this century, if the global warming is not checked, we could see two Europeans out of every three who have to face extreme climate events," said Mr. Jouzel, citing a recent study in The Lancet Planetary Health.
    It used to be winter storms that closed down airports and delayed flights. But this summer in the northern German city of Hannover, the 50-year-old runways buckled in the 93-degree heat and travelers were delayed for hours.
    Across northern Germany, trees, especially saplings, have been hard hit by the drought and cities have been calling on citizens to help local trees. They have responded by dragging garden hoses from their houses or sloshing pails of water to nearby trees.
    Throughout the Alps but especially in eastern Switzerland and western Austria, as well as in Ireland, the water shortages have been so severe that there is not enough hay in the pastures to feed local milk cows. So farmers are having to dip into their winter feed stocks, diminishing what they will have for their livestock later in the year.

    In Switzerland, where the herds are led to the high pastures in summer to graze, the drought has stranded cows without water. Farmers have turned to the country's helicopter association and the Swiss Air Force to transport tens of thousands of gallons of water every week to keep the herds alive.

    "The situation is very serious," said Christian Garmann, a spokesman for the Swiss Helicopter Association. "For thousands of years, the cows could get water at small watering holes. Now they are dry in many places."
    The last time the association undertook an aid mission was in the summer of 2003, but this year "the situation is more extreme" with some farmers considering slaughtering their herds, Mr. Garmann said.
    The association's managing director, Reto Rüesch, said they are running 30 to 40 trips a day, transporting 250 gallons on each run.
    In France, the hot weather has not broken records so far. But it is part of an overall trend — this July was one of the three hottest on record — and subtle changes are taking place countrywide. Among them are rising sea levels, which Mr. Bréon, the climate scientist, fears are being underestimated.
    "Today, the sea level is increasing by three millimeters per year, or between three and four millimeters," Mr. Bréon said. "One might think that's not very much, but I would insist otherwise because it is completely irreversible."

    Cooling down in the Katzensee Lake in Zurich in July

    "Even if we respect the Paris climate accord and manage to stabilize the temperatures at two degrees higher than in the preindustrial era, the level of the sea will continue to rise for many hundreds of years. There are coastal cities that are already condemned," Mr. Bréon said.
    Among them are areas of the Camargue on the Mediterranean, in Brittany both on the English Channel and along the Atlantic coast and in the Vendée and Gironde, the area near Bordeaux. In some places, that is already affecting land and house values as well as bird habitats.
    In England, as in almost all of Europe, growing patterns are changing. The drought has increased food prices, and staples may be in short supply this fall.
    In July, farmers had to fly in lettuce from overseas to meet contracts with supermarkets. One cargo firm said it flew in 30,000 heads of lettuce from Los Angeles during one hot July weekend alone.
    The drought in Ireland means that income for dairy farmers is likely to be cut in half this year, said Teagasc, the state's farming advisory body.
    Sweden has faced some of the most severe repercussions from the hot weather, starting with the forest fires that destroyed more than 61,000 acres of timber, according to David Sundström of the Swedish Contingencies Agency. Wildfires are still burning, although significantly fewer than when they were at their height.
    The drought has also severely hurt production of the iconic Scandinavian bilberries (similar to blueberries), cloudberries (similar to raspberries and blackberries, but often yellow or orange), and red lingonberries.

    Sylve Bjorkmanm, 62, said he buys berry crops from farmers and brings 1,000 workers from Thailand each year to pick them. In a telephone interview from Vasterbotten in Sweden's north, where he was looking for berries for his pickers, he said bilberry prices are up 30-35 percent because the hot weather has meant a smaller harvest
    The cloudberry harvest was down as well because it was too hot for the beautiful alpine fruit.
    "We had an early season and the cloudberries ripened really fast," said Mr. Bjorkmann, adding that the berry season had outstripped the arrival of the pickers, who came too late.

    Reporting was contributed by Aurelien Breeden and Emma Bubola in Paris; Melissa Eddy and Christopher Schuetze in Berlin; Elisabetta Povoledo in Rome; Milan Schreuer in Brussels; Rafael Minder in Madrid; Christina Anderson in Stockholm; Ceylan Yeginsu and Palko Karasz in London; Ed O'Loughlin in Dublin; and Niki Kitsantonis in Athens.


    10)  2 Workers at Arizona Migrant Children Centers Are Charged With Sexual Abuse
    By Matthew Haag, August 3, 2018

    A playground at a migrant detention facility in Phoenix operated by Southwest Key Programs, one of the largest government-contracted providers in the country. The authorities said that a worker at that center, as well as an employee at a facility in Mesa, Ariz., sexually abused immigrant children housed at the facilities

    Two youth care workers at Arizona shelters for migrant children have been charged with sexually assaulting immigrant teenagers, according to court records. They are the latest claims of abuse at government-contracted shelters that have a key role in the Trump administration's hard-line immigration crackdown.
    On Tuesday, the police in Phoenix arrested Fernando Magaz Negrete, 32, on charges of sexual abuse and child molestation after he was seen kissing and fondling a 14-year-old girl in June, the authorities said. That arrest came a day after federal prosecutors detailed their case against another youth worker, Levian D. Pacheco, 25, who is H.I.V. positive and is accused of groping six teenage boys and performing oral sex on two others at a detention center from late August 2016 through July 2017.
    While the men worked at separate facilities, both centers are operated by Southwest Key Programs, a Texas nonprofit that has received at least $955 million in federal contracts since 2015 to provide shelters and other services to immigrant children in federal custody. The contractor is one of the largest operators in the highly secretive, billion-dollar business of housing, transporting and watching over migrant children in federal custody on the southern border.
    President Trump's policies on immigration, including the administration's now-defunct family separation policy, have provided a financial boon to contractors like Southwest Key Programs. The contractors have also come under increased scrutiny for their treatment of immigrants, prompting a top government official on Tuesday to defend the detention centers for families as "more like a summer camp."

    But in the case against Mr. Pacheco, a federal prosecutor in Arizona offered a very different description for the juvenile migrant center where he worked: "a prison setting."
    Workers checked on the children in their rooms at the facility, Southwest Key's Casa Kokopelli in Mesa, Ariz., about every 15 minutes, the prosecutor told a federal judge in January.
    "During those check-ins and at other times, this defendant would go in, it's alleged, and touch these children," Robert I. Brooks, an assistant United States attorney, said in a hearing, according to court documents. The case against Mr. Pacheco, who has pleaded not guilty, was reported this week by ProPublica.
    Allegations against Mr. Pacheco were first reported to Mesa Police Department officers on July 24 last year, according to federal court records. Three boys, all 17, told the police similar stories about their interactions with him.

    A boy from Guatemala said that Mr. Pacheco came into his bathroom early one morning that month and groped him as he washed his hands. Another boy said that Mr. Pacheco fondled him while he was in bed at night. A third boy said Mr. Pacheco grabbed his crotch while he was cleaning his room.
    Mr. Pacheco was indicted in August 2017 and the authorities arrested him later that month in Miami after he had returned on a flight from Cuba, where he was born. Mr. Pacheco was granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States after fleeing Cuba, federal authorities said.
    Over the past year, the case was handed over to federal investigators in the Department of Health and Human Services, and additional allegations were uncovered. Mr. Pacheco is now accused of sexually assaulting eight boys, ages 15 to 17, according to court documents.
    Six boys said they were groped over their clothing, and two others said Mr. Pacheco had performed oral sex on them. One of the boys said Mr. Pacheco also tried to engage in anal sex with him. Federal authorities told the boys that Mr. Pacheco was H.I.V. positive, and "a couple of the victims" decided to be tested for H.I.V., according to court documents.
    In the January hearing, Mr. Brooks told the judge, Steven P. Logan of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, that Mr. Pacheco tried to persuade one of the boys to run away with him.
    "All these children are particularly vulnerable. They are children. They are minors," Mr. Brooks said. "They are in the United States without status. They don't know the culture. They don't know the custom, and they don't know their future."

    Mr. Pacheco, who was hired at the facility on May 23, 2016, did not submit his fingerprints for a background check to the state's Department of Public Safety until Sept. 12 of that year, according to an agency official, despite a letter sent to him asking for them. He passed the background check at the end of the month, and court records state that Mr. Pacheco did not have a criminal record before his arrest in August 2017.
    In the case against Mr. Negrete, the authorities said a girl witnessed him kiss her roommate, a 14-year-old girl, at the center, Southwest Key's Casa Campbell in Phoenix. Another witness told the police that Mr. Negrete kissed the girl and touched her chest and vagina during a different encounter.
    The Phoenix police first learned of the allegations against Mr. Negrete on July 25, about a month after the first lady, Melania Trump, visited the same migrant center during a tour of facilities in Arizona.
    He was arrested on July 31 and is being held in the Maricopa County Jail on $150,000 bond. Jail records indicate that Mr. Negrete has been assigned a public defender, but a name of a lawyer was not listed.
    A spokesman for Southwest Key Programs said that Mr. Negrete had been fired and that the organization's workers immediately report allegations of abuse or neglect to the authorities.
    "In addition to vetting and training our staff, we educate every minor in our care of their right to be free from abuse or neglect in our program and in this country," the spokesman said in an email on Friday. "This message is shared with them upon arrival and repeated to the children throughout the duration of their stay at our shelters."
    In 2017, the Arizona Department of Health Services issued a $1,000 fine to Southwest Key's Casa Kokopelli for failing to complete fingerprint background checks for three of its employees. The other facility, Casa Campbell, has received no citations during the past three years, according to the state agency.


    11) Hiroshima Survivor Speaks Out
    Instead of helping nuclear bomb survivors, U.S. studied us like guinea pigs, says Satsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima survivor.
    By Sophie Shevardnadze, RT, August 3, 2018
    Nuclear weapons disarmament activist, Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow

    The world looked total destruction in the eye 73 years ago, when American nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today, can humanity come together and prevent the catastrophe from ever happening again? We ask nuclear weapons disarmament activist, Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow.
    Sophie Shevardnadze:Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, welcome. It's really great to have you with us. 
    Setsuko Thurlow: Thank you.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: You were in Hiroshima in August 1945, when the nuclear bomb was dropped on the city. We now know that a nuclear bomb kills not only at the moment of explosion, but for many years after. You weren't far from the epicenter of the explosion—were you exposed to radiation, did it make itself known later?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Everybody in the city was exposed to radiation. We were all contaminated to a different degree of seriousness. Some people were killed immediately, some people survived but they started developing symptoms like loss of hair, internal bleedings, bleeding from the gum, diarrhea, fever—those things. Practically all the people who were in the city or who entered the city to rescue the dying people got contaminated too. So we all shared the common symptoms for some time. I lost my hair, had internal bleeding, bleeding from the gum, diarrhea, those things.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I read that someone pointed you out of the burning building and you crawled out…
    Setsuko Thurlow: That's correct.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: What happened then? How did you find your family, how many of them survived?
    Setsuko Thurlow: On the next day, August 7th, in the morning hundreds, thousands of people were just sitting on the nearby hills. We hardly slept; we kept watching the entire city burn all night. And then, the Japanese soldier came around with a megaphone and said: "Is there Setsuko Nakamura?" I said: "Here I am!" "Your parents are here looking for you!" And I was surprised. I saw my parents and learnt what happened to them. My father left town early that morning on the 6th of August, he was out in the fishing boat in the Inland Sea. He loved fishing and that was his day-off. And suddenly he heard something and saw a mushroom cloud rising. He knew something terrible happened so he came back. My mother was doing dishes after breakfast and she too was buried under the collapsed building. She had to be helped. She was helped and was able to escape outside of the city. How they came together I don't know. But they told me that my married sister and her four-year-old child who had been evacuated, moved out from the city of Hiroshima in order to protect themselves from air raids. But they came home the night before to visit us. That morning they were on their way to the hospital, they were walking over the bridge—the mother and her four-year-old child—and they had no chance. By the time I saw them that morning they were just blackened and swollen. You just couldn't recognize them. They were simply blackened melted chunk of flesh. They survived for about four days, they kept begging for water, but there were no doctors or nurses, no food, all we could give them was some water. In my very close family eight people perished. My sister-in-law was a high school teacher; she was in the center of the city, supervising about seven or eight thousand students who were mobilized to do the task for the army in the city to establish the fire lane. So they were doing the physical labor at eight o'clock on August 6. It was so hot, many boys took off shirts, and then detonation took place right above them—500-600 meters above them. They were the ones who simply vaporized, melted or carbonized. From my school 321 girls simply disappeared.    
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, what were the days, months after the bombing like? How did you survive in a burnt-out city? Did you even know what had happened? I mean, it was the first time something like that ever took place…
    Setsuko Thurlow: I thought Americans finally caught us because they had been air-raiding most of the cities especially since March 1,1945. So we, people in Hiroshima were beginning to feel very anxious. Hiroshima was supposed to be tenth largest city in Japan at that time. But even smaller cities had been bombed, most of the cities had been bombed. How come we hadn't been attacked? Every day and every night B-29s flew around but they didn't drop any bomb. Little did we know, that the Americans had already selected Hiroshima as a target for the new type of bomb, which they already had.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: The American government's position has been that bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were needed to save American soldiers' lives from being lost in a potential war on the ground. How do you feel when you hear that? Does this explanation sound logical to you? 
    Setsuko Thurlow: That's an American myth, just a myth, because Japan had been exhausted, finished by that time. I can verify that, we were practically starving at home. The soldiers in the Pacific or any other battlefield didn't have any food, munitions. We were finished. The war ended and the Japanese were considering surrendering. There's much historical evidence that the use of nuclear weapons wasn't necessary, and most of historians acknowledge that.  
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I read you saying that the U.S. occupation forces brought you a sense of relief and liberation from the oppression of Japan's militaristic government. But those were the people who, like you were describing so vividly, brought total destruction to your city, killed hundreds-of-thousands of people, eight people from your immediate family died. Did you not connect the U.S. soldiers with the atom bomb? Was there any hatred in you towards the Americans, or you were grateful they have brought the end of the war with them?
    Setsuko Thurlow: At that time, I would say, most of the people in Hiroshima who experienced the atomic bombing, we were in the numbed condition. All the experience was so massive and grotesque, and our psyche wouldn't accept that. That meant the cessation of emotions, we were not responding to all the horrible scenes inside. If we had responded normally we wouldn't have survived. So in that condition people's emotional response to many things that we happening around us wasn't as sharp and normal and powerful as you would expect. You have to remember this very point.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, I know that the U.S. occupational forces also imposed their sort of oppression—on the bombings survivors. What was it like?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Let me give you a couple of examples. United States established an institution called ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) and people were very happy that finally we got some medication, medical experts who knew what this was all about, who would help Japanese doctors who were at a loss. But the sole purpose of the ABCC was to study the effects of radiation on human bodies, not to help the people sick because of the radiation. The survivors felt they were used as guinea pigs twice: first time as a target, second as a subject for research. You can imagine that. Occupational forces didn't want the media, newspapers to write anything that could be seen as disadvantageous to occupational forces. And if a newspaper writes something about the destruction and especially human suffering in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this would be considered disadvantageous. This would have to stop. So they censored and forced some media companies to close up shop. This is not exactly a democratic thing to do. And the survivors wrote diaries. They had correspondence. Some people wrote haiku—a Japanese literary form—when they had pains. They had to express that by writing haiku. They had photographs, films, even medical information. All these things were confiscated, and 32 thousand items were shipped back to the United States because the scientific triumph of the United States of producing the atomic bombs was OK, the world could find out. But the human suffering these bombs caused—this was not to be found out by the world. That was the reason why.     
    Sophie Shevardnadze: So I want to talk a little about the American reaction towards what happened 73 years ago. President Obama was the first American president to come to Hiroshima in 2016. He delivered a very emotional speech, but never said sorry for America's decision to drop the bomb. I know that the American public went nuts over the suggestion that he could apologize, with the pundits relentlessly mocking that idea. My question is—why in your opinion is it so hard for the Americans, why are the Americans so uneasy about owning up to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings?
    Setsuko Thurlow: I suppose even today, 73 years later, they must believe what they did was justifiable. It was justified to end the war quickly, to rescue American G.I.'s lives. That was OK. I think, that mentality still continues unfortunately. Not thinking people though, many Americans woke up, it was such an atrocity; an unacceptable, immoral, illegal act that the United States took. And many Americans are sorry about that. But as a state, as a nation, I guess they are too proud to apologize. I know, apology was a very contentious and controversial issue. I feel that if he had offered it we should have accepted it. We deserve to accept it. But he chose not to. And he couldn't, I suppose, because of the political milieu in the States especially during the presidential election time. But it's not totally inappropriate if he did offer that apology. You know, in the war everybody did horrible things that were against the international humanitarian law. The Germans did, the British did, the U.S. did, the Japanese did too.   
    Sophie Shevardnadze: But in most cases nations do apologize. The Germans made sure that their life after World War II was one big apology. British people apologized many times as well.
    Setsuko Thurlow: And remember, both Germany and Japan were tried by the Tribunal.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Yes.
    Setsuko Thurlow: And the Japanese military leaders—six or seven of them—were hung. So the losers were tried, but the victors—no matter what they'd done—were not to be tried. It's a very unfair world—I understood that even as a child.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: The memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been kept alive thanks to people like you—and governments remember those lessons as well. There has not been a single combat use of a nuclear bomb since 1945. To me, it seems that humanity has learned its lesson, has seen enough to not ever use nukes again. Do you have less faith in humanity than I do?
    Setsuko Thurlow: No, I do have faith. They are going to find the army. If they don't have it now, they will. Certainly, I have faith in humanity. This humanity must continue to live and this civilization must be preserved. I think, it's ridiculous that some goofy people are threatening each other by saying their bombs are bigger than others' and "we have more of them." Imagine, such childish impulsive statements are being exchanged by those people. Anyway, it's hard to believe those things are still happening. But I think people are gradually learning. More than anything, I'm grateful that hundreds-of-thousands and millions of people around the world came to realize, NGOs and 122 nations signed to adopt a United Nations treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: You said over and over again that you're doing this so that the deaths of your loved ones won't be in vain. Do you really have to make amends for what happened in 1945? It wasn't your fault, you didn't drop the bomb; it wasn't you who started or fought that war. Why do you feel that you're responsible in some way? Why do you burden yourself with it?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Look, I experienced this, I witnessed the massive death and destruction. Anybody with the conscience and moral sense can't just remain silent about that horror. Something is wrong. Somebody did it. Somebody created such destruction and massive death of humanity. An entire city just disappeared with one bomb—that was caused by human beings. Then we have to stand up and stop that kind of behavior by the human beings who are responsible. The United States was responsible. They never said sorry about that, unfortunately. More important is to make sure that something like that will never happen again to any human beings. To us that's the highest priority. We have to stop that. And this is why we have been speaking out about our painful experiences for the past seven decades. Believe me, it's not easy. Each time I talk about it, I try to embrace but still I don't succeed, it pains me. But I keep doing it because there's no other way I can live. This is my moral imperative. I guess, that would be my answer to your question.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, thank you so much for being with us. I have no words actually to express my gratitude. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Setsuko Thurlow: I wish I could speak more. I really would. This is the first time that I speak to the Russian people.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I promise you we're going to have another lengthy interview in the near future. I promise you that much.
    Setsuko Thurlow: I hope so. I really want the Russian people to think about life and death. It's the life of every citizen I'm concerned about, not the national or international security and all these military joggings. Yes, it's important for us to know such things, but the most important thing for us is to remember our humanity. That's the most important thing.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I hope your message gets across and people will hear it, understand it and take it close to heart. Thank you so much. We were talking to Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima bombing survivor and disarmament campaigner, discussing how her grave experience should help us address the nuclear danger today.  
    RT, August 3, 2018


    12) Venezuelan President Targeted by Drone Attack, Officials Say
    By Ana Vanessa Herrero and Nicholas Casey, August 4, 2018

    Mr. Maduro in an image taken from state television on Saturday. His wife, Cilia Flores, appeared to flinch as the blast went off.

    CARACAS, Venezuela — A drone attack caused pandemonium at a military ceremony where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was speaking on Saturday, making the first lady flinch and sending National Guard troops scurrying in what administration officials called an assassination attempt.
    The president, who was unharmed, later told the nation, "To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive." He blamed right-wing elements and said, "The Bolivarian revolution keeps its path."
    Mr. Maduro has presided over a spectacular economic collapse in Venezuela, where inflation is expected to reach one million percent this year despite the country's large oil reserves. Economists blame decades of mismanagement under Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.
    The drone attack was the latest in a string of attempts in recent years to end the tenure of Mr. Maduro, who was declared the victor of an election in May that carries his term until 2025. No previous assaults have been as bold, though, and this appeared to have been the first assassination attempt on a head of state using drones.
    It was an attack that seemed scripted for Hollywood: Off-camera explosions. Low-flying drones exploding midair. The president and first lady ducking for cover. Thousands of soldiers in a military parade suddenly fleeing in a stampede that was broadcast to the country, live.

    Jorge Rodríguez, the communications minister, said the attackers had used "several flying devices" that were detonated near where the president was standing.
    The attack came shortly after 5:30 p.m. during an event the government said was meant to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the country's National Guard.
    During the president's speech, which was broadcast live on state television, the camera began to shake. Mr. Maduro then looked into the air as his wife, Cilia Flores, flinched and reached for another official to brace herself.
    The video feed was interrupted, but Mr. Maduro could be heard continuing to talk as voices in the background yelled for people to flee.
    The video feed then showed figures dressed in black breaking through a barrier from the sidelines of a wide street where hundreds of uniformed guardsmen were arrayed in formation. The figures in black ran toward the guardsmen, who abruptly fled in panic.

    A wounded officer was led away in Caracas on Saturday.

    The transmission then cut off.
    Mr. Maduro, addressing the nation just before 9 p.m., blamed right-wing elements in Venezuela and Colombia for the attack, and said that President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was also responsible.
    "All the investigations point to Bogotá," he said, accompanied by his ministers and military high command. "They have tried to kill me today." Mr. Maduro also suggested involvement by unidentified Americans, and said some arrests had been made of those responsible.
    On Saturday, the Colombian government dismissed the claims. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said its Caracas embassy had issued a security alert, but did not respond to Mr. Maduro's allegation of a plot, which he has made repeatedly in the past.
    Carlos Julio Rojas, an activist in Caracas, said that he had just arrived to protest water shortages when he felt the first explosion.
    "We thought it was a bolt of lightning, but with the second explosion we could see the wall vibrating," he said. "We saw the soldiers running."

    Mr. Rojas said neighbors told him they had seen drones approach and explode midair.
    Figures aligned with the opposition condemned the attack.
    "This is not the way out of the Venezuelan crisis," said Nicmer Evans, a political scientist who has campaigned with the opposition. "No one wants the exit to be the death of someone to resolve this country's situation."
    It was not the first time that the government, which has presided over years of food shortages and rules with an authoritarian fist, has suffered a spectacular attack in its capital.
    In June 2017, Óscar Pérez, a rogue police officer, commandeered a helicopterand used it in a brazen midday assault to drop grenades on the Supreme Court building and to fire on the Interior Ministry.
    Mr. Pérez took to Instagram to call for others to join his cause and wage attacks against military bases, but he was killed by the government during an assault in January.

    In another attack last year, a group of soldiers struck a military barrackswest of Caracas. Like Mr. Pérez, they released videos calling for others to join their cause, but no rebellion materialized.
    And in 2016, Mr. Maduro himself was attacked by a mob who chased him down the street banging pots and pans and screaming that they had no food.
    Despite widespread discontent, Mr. Maduro continues to hold power. His most popular rivals were banned from running in elections this spring, and opposition parties boycotted and said the vote was rigged.
    Analysts said Saturday that while the attack might be used to drum up support for the president, it was a deep embarrassment for Mr. Maduro.
    "It will boost his rhetoric and give some substance to his conspiracy theories," said David Smilde, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group. "But the optics of this weaken him. The images of him being interrupted in mid-speech and the armed forces running away make him look vulnerable."
    Mr. Smilde dismissed theories on Saturday that the government had organized a failed attack to build support for Mr. Maduro. He said the attack appeared "amateurish."
    Leaders friendly to Mr. Maduro offered their support and cast suspicion on foreign powers.
    "We energetically repudiate this new aggression and cowardly attack," said Evo Morales, Bolivia's president and a fellow leftist. "After failed attempts to topple him democratically, economically, politically and militarily, now the empire and its servants try to take his life."
    That wasn't the reaction of some residents who stood nearby as officials fled.
    "Running like rats," said a woman who filmed a video of the soldiers and officials fleeing on Saturday. "All of those fancy cars of the plugged-in elites trying to get away at the same time."

    Ana Vanessa Herrero reported from Caracas, and Nicholas Casey from Popayán, Colombia.


    13) Video Shows Sergeant Shooting Man and Dropping Knife, Spurring Inquiry
    By Benjamin Mueller, August 3, 2018

    The scene in East New York, Brooklyn, where the police and the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting of Thavone Santana by Sgt. Ritchard Blake.

    Moments after Sgt. Ritchard Blake shot and wounded a man who had confronted him amid a dispute over a woman they both knew, the sergeant patted down the man's pockets as if looking for a weapon, surveillance footage shows.
    There was nothing there: The man was unarmed.
    But then Sergeant Blake, who was off-duty, pulled a sheath knife out of his back pocket and dropped it out of its covering beside the man, Thavone Santana, as he lay on a Brooklyn sidewalk, the video shows. After briefly pacing, Sergeant Blake picked it back up.
    Those images of Sergeant Blake seemingly trying to plant a knife on Mr. Santana before thinking better of it are at the center of an intense investigation that has also focused attention on red flags that Sergeant Blake's off-duty conduct had already raised.
    Sergeant Blake, 40, had been arrested and charged with assaulting a woman in 2016 and was still on a form of administrative probation when he shot Mr. Santana, 21, early Thursday morning. Later on Thursday, the Police Department stripped Sergeant Blake of his gun and badge and placed him on modified duty.

    Mr. Santana remained hospitalized on Friday in stable condition after being operated on for a gunshot wound to the mouth. Chris Banks, a community activist in East New York, said Mr. Santana's eyes were open and he was communicating with people at his bedside through hand signals.
    As investigators scrutinized the surveillance video, which was described by two law enforcement officials and later published online by NBC New York, some questions persisted about the aftermath of the shooting.
    The Police Department initially told reporters on Thursday morning that the off-duty sergeant fired his weapon because a man pretending to have a gun tried to rob him.
    It was not clear where that account came from. A law enforcement official said on Friday that Sergeant Blake told responding officers at the scene that Mr. Santana told him he had a gun, but not that Mr. Santana had been trying to rob him.
    Sergeant Blake also told the officers he was concerned about the safety of his girlfriend, the woman whose relationship with the two men had been the source of a simmering dispute between them.

    Investigators on Friday were trying to piece together a rolling skirmish that had ended in Sergeant Blake firing two shots at Mr. Santana on the sidewalk near the corner of Livonia Avenue and New Jersey Avenue in the neighborhood of East New York.
    A neighbor of Sergeant Blake's girlfriend, who declined to give his name, said a number of people had arrived at her apartment in the hours before the shooting and tried to break down the door, though it was not clear why they were there or how the standoff ended. Mr. Banks, the community activist, said both Mr. Santana and Sergeant Blake had been at the woman's apartment. He said they had been quarreling over her.
    Around 5 a.m., Sergeant Blake was walking away from her home to head to work at the 109th Precinct in Queens, where he was to report for a 7 a.m. tour, two law enforcement officials said. Mr. Santana, following behind him, caught up and got his attention.
    The rest of the encounter is visible on the surveillance footage. Sergeant Blake holds his arms out at his sides as he talks. Mr. Santana keeps one hand in his shorts pocket as he creeps closer to Sergeant Blake.
    Sergeant Blake said Mr. Santana told him he was armed, the two law enforcement officials said.
    Sergeant Blake fired his gun twice, hitting Mr. Santana once in the face, and then called 911 to report an off-duty shooting.
    The Police Department said in a statement on Friday, "The video captures actions that raise serious questions, and require further investigation."
    The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said in a statement that investigators from the office went to the shooting scene and were doing "an independent and thorough" review.

    "We will follow the facts and evidence wherever they lead us," the statement said.
    Attempts to reach Sergeant Blake on Friday were unsuccessful.
    The shooting quickly drew criticism from local elected officials and community leaders, who on Friday afternoon accompanied Mr. Santana's mother, Arrie Spencer, to meet with officials at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. They urged prosecutors to charge Sergeant Blake with attempted murder.
    "We've been down this road before," said the Rev. Kevin McCall, a representative of the National Action Network, at a news conference outside the district attorney's office on Jay Street. "Meeting is good, but we want to make sure they investigate fairly, not sweep it under a rug."
    Mr. McCall called attention to Sergeant Blake's disciplinary history. After being charged with assaulting a woman, he was suspended for 36 days and placed on dismissal probation, according to a New York Daily News story on police discipline published in March. That designation allows officers who have been disciplined to continue to work but gives the police commissioner the power to fire them without a trial during a yearlong probation.
    The speakers also protested that Mr. Santana had been handcuffed in the hospital.
    "We're telling the police department, the commissioner, they owe this family an apology for handcuffing her son," said Assemblyman Charles Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat. "While he was heavily sedated and committed no crime, they handcuffed him in the hospital."
    Ms. Spencer said just a few words: "I want justice for my son and my family."

    Sean Piccoli contributed reporting, and Susan C. Beachy contributed research.


    14)  The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That's a Problem for Everyone.
    By Jeff Sommer, August 4, 2018
    "Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants — with Apple at the forefront — that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money."

    The American stock market has been shrinking. It's been happening in slow motion — so slow you may not even have noticed. But by now the change is unmistakable: The market is half the size of its mid-1990s peak, and 25 percent smaller than it was in 1976.
    "This is troubling for the economy, for innovation and for transparence," said René Stulz, an Ohio State finance professor who has written a new report on these issues for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
    When I say "shrinking," I'm using a specific definition: the reduction in the number of publicly traded companies on exchanges in the United States. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 8,000 of them. By 2016, there were only 3,627, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
    Because the population of the United States has grown nearly 50 percent since 1976, the drop is even starker on a per-capita basis: There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016, according to Professor Stulz.

    This puts the United States "in bad company in terms of the percentage decrease in listings — just ahead of Venezuela," he said. "Given the size of the United States, its economic development, financial development and its respect for shareholder rights," he added, one might expect that tally to be climbing, not falling.
    In his new paper, "The Shrinking Universe of Public Firms: Facts, Causes, and Consequences," Professor Stulz surveyed the body of academic research on the topic. In an interview, he said that the casual observer may not entirely grasp the implications of the changes that have taken place.
    "The headline is that the number of public firms is shrinking, but it's not just that," he said. Profits in the overall market are now divided among fewer winners. And as capital-intensive companies have been supplanted by those whose value is largely found in their intellectual property, the marketplace is less transparent — with troubling consequences.
    Consider these big shifts:
    ■ The companies on the market today are, on average, much larger than the public corporations of decades ago. Fast-rising upstarts are harder to find.
    In 1975, 61.5 percent of publicly traded firms had assets worth less than $100 million, using inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars. But by 2015, that proportion had dropped to only 22.6 percent.

    Because of this, Professor Stulz said, "It's not possible for the general public to invest in a diversified portfolio of really small, publicly traded companies in the way they could a few decades ago."
    ■ Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants — with Apple at the forefront — that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.
    In theory, as a shareholder, you are entitled to a piece of a company's future earnings. That's one of the main arguments for buying stock in the first place. But the reality is that you often are buying a piece of a money-losing proposition. Aside from the top 200 companies, the rest of the market, as a whole, is burning, not earning, money.
    ■ A quirk of accounting is at the root of some of that profit deficit, especially for smaller and younger companies. Increasingly, value resides in intellectual property — "intangibles" like software and data and biological design — rather than in the production of physical objects like cars.
    But under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, which American companies must follow, research and development must be deducted from corporate income — and those charges can reduce or eliminate profits. (Capital expenditures — in physical things like factories — appear on corporate balance sheets, not income statements, and don't reduce profits.)
    Without deep knowledge of a company's critical research — which businesses may be reluctant to share, for competitive reasons — it's difficult for outsiders to evaluate a start-up's worth. That makes it harder to obtain funding, and it may be partly responsible for certain trends: why there are fewer initial public offerings these days, why smaller companies are being swallowed by the giants, and why so many companies remain private for longer.
    That creates opportunities for private equity firms, which have insider access to innovative start-ups that may never go directly to the public markets. Meanwhile, Main Street investors are consigned to a less diverse universe than they may realize.

    There's a broader problem. Our visibility into the inner workings of public companies isn't great, but we know far more about them than we do private companies, which aren't required to disclose nearly as much information.
    And these changing dynamics mean we know far less about many of the creators of American profits and jobs than would otherwise be the case.
    In a democracy in which corporations already have enormous clout, that is worth worrying about.



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