Message to the troops: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps

Dear Friend.

In our new October PDF newsletter, we're again talking about the massive military-hosted immigrant detention camps decreed this summer by the Trump Administration. Just the idea of these concentration camps brings back memories of the forced relocation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. While resistance has slowed them down, they are moving forward. Many of us thought something like that could never happen again, and yet, here we are.

We need to reach the troops with this simple challenge: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps. With your help, we'll spend one penny per military service member--$20,000--on a strategic outreach campaign. Our stretch goal is two cents.

Along with everything else you can do to resist this affront to humanity, please support our campaign to challenge military personnel to refuse these illegal orders. Your tax-deductible donation of $50 or $100 will make a huge difference.

Also in this issue: Army Capt. Brittany DeBarros / Shutting down recruiting center; Hoisting peace flag / Presidio 27 "mutiny" 50th anniversary events / Whistleblower Reality Winner update--"So unfair" says Trump

More info


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

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist




New "Refuse War" Shirts

We've launched a new shirt store to raise funds to support war resisters. 

In addition to the Courage to Resist logo shirts we've offered in the past, we now  have a few fun designs, including a grim reaper, a "Refuse War, Go AWOL" travel theme, and a sporty "AWOL: Support Military War Resisters" shirt.

Shirts are $25 each for small through XL, and bit more for larger sizes. Please allow 9-12 days for delivery within the United States.

50% of each shirt may qualify as a tax-deductible contribution.


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

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



Transform the Justice System







Court: Evidence To Free Mumia, To Be Continued...

District Attorney Larry Krasner Opposes Mumia Abu-Jamal's Petition for New Rights of Appeal – Despite Clear Evidence of Ronald Castille's Bias and Conflict of Interest When He Participated As a PA Supreme Court Justice Denying Abu-Jamal's Post-Conviction Appeals from 1998-2012

October 29, 2018: A victory—the judge granted a 30-day extension to defense attorneys seeking to have Mumia's previous appeals vacated so they can file a new appeal!

Free Mumia Now!

Mumia's freedom is at stake in a court hearing on August 30th. 

With your help, we just might free him!

Check out this video:

This video includes photo of 1996 news report refuting Judge Castille's present assertion that he had not been requested at that time to recuse himself from this case, on which he had previously worked as a Prosecutor:

A Philadelphia court now has before it the evidence which could lead to Mumia's freedom. The evidence shows that Ronald Castille, of the District Attorney's office in 1982, intervened in the prosecution of Mumia for a crime he did not commit. Years later, Castille was a judge on the PA Supreme Court, where he sat in judgement over Mumia's case, and ruled against Mumia in every appeal! 

According to the US Supreme Court in the Williams ruling, this corrupt behavior was illegal!

But will the court rule to overturn all of Mumia's negative appeals rulings by the PA Supreme Court? If it does, Mumia would be free to appeal once again against his unfair conviction. If it does not, Mumia could remain imprisoned for life, without the possibility for parole, for a crime he did not commit.

• Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent and framed!

• Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist censored off the airwaves!

• Mumia Abu-Jamal is victimized by cops, courts and politicians!

• Mumia Abu-Jamal stands for all prisoners treated unjustly!

• Courts have never treated Mumia fairly!

Will You Help Free Mumia?

Call DA Larry Krasner at (215) 686-8000

Tell him former DA Ron Castille violated Mumia's constitutional rights and 

Krasner should cease opposing Mumia's legal petition.

Tell the DA to release Mumia because he's factually innocent.



A Call for a Mass Mobilization to Oppose NATO, War and Racism

Protest NATO, Washington, DC, Lafayette Park (across from the White House)

1 PM Saturday, March 30, 2019.

Additional actions will take place on Thursday April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting

April 4, 2019, will mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the internationally revered leader in struggles against racism, poverty and war.

And yet, in a grotesque desecration of Rev. King's lifelong dedication to peace, this is the date that the military leaders of the North American Treaty Organization have chosen to celebrate NATO's 70th anniversary by holding its annual summit meeting in Washington, D.C. This is a deliberate insult to Rev. King and a clear message that Black lives and the lives of non-European humanity really do not matter.   

It was exactly one year before he was murdered that Rev. King gave his famous speech opposing the U.S. war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" and declaring that he could not be silent.

We cannot be silent either. Since its founding, the U.S.-led NATO has been the world's deadliest military alliance, causing untold suffering and devastation throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

Hundreds of thousands have died in U.S./NATO wars in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Millions of refugees are now risking their lives trying to escape the carnage that these wars have brought to their homelands, while workers in the 29 NATO member-countries are told they must abandon hard-won social programs in order to meet U.S. demands for even more military spending.

Every year when NATO holds its summits, there have been massive protests: in Chicago, Wales, Warsaw, Brussels. 2019 will be no exception.

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) is calling for a mass mobilization in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 30.  Additional actions will take place on April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting. 

We invite you to join with us in this effort. As Rev. King taught us, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

No to NATO!

End All U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad!

Bring the Troops Home Now! 

No to Racism! 

The Administrative Committee of UNAC,

To add your endorsement to this call, please go here: http://www.no2nato2019.org/endorse-the-action.html

Please donate to keep UNAC strong: https://www.unacpeace.org/donate.html 

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



In Defense of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson

Update on Rashid in Indiana

By Dustin McDaniel

November 9, 2018—Had a call with Rashid yesterday. He's been seen by medical, psych, and

dental. He's getting his meds and his blood pressure is being monitored,

though it is uncontrolled. The RN made recommendations for treatment

that included medication changes and further monitoring, but there's

been no follow up.

He's at the diagnostic center and he (along with everyone else I've

talked to about it) expect that he'll be sent to the solitary

confinement unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, though it could

be 30 days from now.

He's in a cell with no property. He has no extra underwear to change

into. The cell is, of course, dirty. He's in solitary confinement. He

didn't say they were denying him yard time. He didn't say there were any

problems with his meals.

They are refusing him his stationary and stamps, so he can't write out.

He gets a very limited number of phone calls per month (1 or 2), and

otherwise can only talk on the phone if a legal call is set up.

They are refusing to give him his property, or to allow him to look

through it to find records relevant to ongoing or planned litigation.

He's already past the statute of limitations on a law suit he planned to

file re abuses in Texas and other deadlines are about to pass over the

next month.

He has 35 banker boxes of property, or 2 pallets, that arrived in IDOC.

He needs to be allowed to look through these records in order to find

relevant legal documents. Moving forward, I think we need to find a

place/person for him to send these records to or they are going to be

destroyed. It would be good if we could find someone who would also take

on the task of organizing the records, getting rid of duplicates or

unnecessary paperwork, digitizing records, and making things easier to

search and access.

Although he does not appear in the inmate locator for IDOC, he does

appears in the JPay system as an Indiana prisoner (#264847). At his

request, I sent him some of his money so hopefully he can get stamps and


Hold off on sending him more money via JPay - I've been told that some

of the IDOC facilities are phasing out JPay and moving to GTL and

wouldn't want to have a bunch of money stuck and inaccessible due to

those changes. If you want to send him more money immediately, send it

to Abolitionist Law Center. You can send it via Paypal to

info@abolitionistlawcenter.org, or mail it to PO Box 8654, Pittsburgh,

PA 15221. We will hold on to it and distribute it according to Rashid's


Please write to him, if you haven't already. He's got nothing to do in

solitary with nothing to read and nothing to write with.


you can also hear a recent interview with Rashid on Final Straw podcast here: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/tag/kevin-rashid-johnson/

Write to Rashid:

Kevin Rashid Johnson's writings and artwork have been widely circulated. He is the author of a book,Panther Vision: Essential Party Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Minister of Defense, New Afrikan Black Panther Party, (Kersplebedeb, 2010).

Write or email:

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson #264847

Indiana Dept. of Corrections Reception Diagnostic Center 

737 Moon Road

Plainfield, IN 46168




Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg: PHONE ZAP on 11/13

Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more.  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018.  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102

Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up.

Phone zap on Tuesday, November 13

**Mark your calendars for the 11/13 call in, be on the look out for a call script, and spread the word!!**


- Convene special review of Malik's placement in Ad-Seg and immediately release him back to general population

- Explain why the State Classification Committee's decision to release Malik from Ad-Seg back in June was overturned (specifically, demand to know the nature of the "information" supposedly collected by the Fusion Center, and demand to know how this information was investigated and verified).

- Immediately cease all harassment and retaliation against Malik, especially strip searches and mail censorship!

Who to contact:

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier

Phone: (936)295-6371

Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)

Phone: (361) 362-2300


Background on Malik's Situation

Malik's continued assignment to Ad-Seg (solitary confinement) in is an overt example of political repression, plain and simple.  Prison officials placed Malik in Ad-Seg two years ago for writing about and endorsing the 2016 nationwide prison strike.  They were able to do this because Texas and U.S. law permits non-violent work refusal to be classified as incitement to riot.

It gets worse.  Malik was cleared for release from Ad-Seg by the State Classification Committee in June--and then, in an unprecedented reversal, immediately re-assigned him back to Ad-Seg.  The reason?  Prison Officials site "information" collected by a shadowy intelligence gathering operation called a Fusion Center, which are known for lack of transparency and accountability, and for being blatant tools of political repression.

Malik remains in horrible conditions, vulnerable to every possible abuse, on the basis of "information" that has NEVER been disclosed or verified.  No court or other independent entity has ever confirmed the existence, let alone authenticity, of this alleged information.  In fact, as recently as October 25, a representative of the State Classification Committee told Malik that he has no clue why Malik was re-assigned to Ad-Seg.  This "information" is pure fiction.   



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.



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



    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 

    Charity for the Wealthy!





    1) Deployed Inside the United States: The Military Waits for the Migrant CaravanBy Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Helene Cooper, November 10, 2018https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/us/deployed-inside-the-united-states-the-military-waits-for-the-migrant-caravan.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Soldiers relaxed in their tent at Base Camp Donna in Texas. Thousands of troops have been deployed to the border with Mexico. Photo by Tamir-Kalife.BASE CAMP DONNA, 


    Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Micek, a platoon sergeant with the 89th Military Police Brigade, tore open the brown packaging of his M.R.E. on Thursday.

    It was a chicken and noodle dish, one of the more sought-after rations because it came with Skittles. But from the cot outside his platoon's tent at the Army's latest forward operating base, Sergeant Micek could almost see the bright orange and white roof of Whataburger, a fast-food utopia eight miles away but off limits under current Army rules. The desert tan flatbed trucks at the base are for hauling concertina wire, not food runs.

    Such is life on the latest front where American soldiers are deployed. The midterm elections are over, along with President Trump's rafter-shaking rallies warning that an approaching migrant caravan of Central Americans amounts to a foreign "invasion" that warrants deploying up to 15,000 active-duty military troops to the border states of Texas, Arizona and California.

    But the 5,600 American troops who rushed to the brown, dry scrub along the southwest border are still going through the motions of an elaborate mission that appeared to be set into action by a commander in chief determined to get his supporters to the polls, and a Pentagon leadership unable to convince him of its perils.

    Instead of football with their families on this Veterans Day weekend, soldiers with the 19th Engineer Battalion, fresh from Fort Knox, Ky., were painstakingly webbing concertina wire on the banks of the Rio Grande, just beneath the McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.

    Nearby, troops from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State were making sure a sick call tent was properly set up next to their aid station. And a few miles away, Staff Sgt. Juan Mendoza was directing traffic as his engineer support company from Fort Bragg, N.C., unloaded military vehicles.

    Come Thanksgiving, they most likely will still be here.

    Two thousand miles away, at the Pentagon, officials privately derided the deployment as an expensive waste of time and resources, and a morale killer to boot.

    Leading up to the midterm vote on Tuesday, the military announced that the border mission would be called Operation Faithful Patriot. But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Election Day told officials to drop the name, and the Pentagon sent out a terse news release a day later saying the operation was now simply to be known as border support. The term "faithful patriot," officials said, had political overtones.

    A final cost estimate of the deployment has not been made available. But Defense Department budget officials fret that if the number of troops sent to the border does reach 15,000, the price tag could hit $200 million, with no specific budget allocation from which to draw.

    The last time active-duty troops were sent to the border was in the 1980s, to help with counternarcotics missions. Since then, Mr. Trump's predecessors have relied on the National Guard, which arrived with considerably less fanfare than the convoys of vehicles and tent cities that have sprung up in recent days.

    The Defense Department's fiscal 2019 budget had already carved out funds for fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, continuing the endless war in Afghanistan and preparing for a potential conflict with a foreign nation, such as China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

    There has been no money set aside to combat the men, women and children who are bound for the American border, many of them fleeing violence or corruption, nearly all seeking better lives. The troops are tasked with the same types of logistical, support and even clerical jobs that National Guard soldiers sent to the border earlier this year are already doing.

    The military's morale issue is almost as worrisome. The deployment orders last until Dec. 15, meaning the troops will be on the border over Thanksgiving. They will have little to do beyond providing logistical support, unless Mr. Trump declares martial law. The troops will not be enforcing United States immigration law — that would run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, unless a special exception is made.

    "When you give a soldier a real mission, you have less of a morale problem, even if it's Christmas or Thanksgiving," said Representative Anthony G. Brown, Democrat of Maryland and a former Army helicopter pilot who served in the Iraq war. "But when you send a soldier on a dubious mission, with no military value, over Thanksgiving, it doesn't help morale at all."

    The soldiers, by and large, shy away from talking about the political winds that sent them to the border.

    But in the last furious days before the midterm elections, photographs of a group of soldiers, clad in full military kit and flak jackets, were presented at Trump rallies and shown in the news media. Mr. Trump himself lauded the stringing up of "beautiful barbed wire" at a rally in Montana.

    Still, there is political theater and there is real life.

    Two days after the midterms, on Thursday, a platoon of Army engineers in Hidalgo, Tex., who were stretching bands of concertina wire on the American side of the Rio Grande had ditched the body armor. The decision to wear only their uniforms, canteens, gloves and helmets was simple: It was too hot to wear the armored vests, and the soldiers knew they didn't need them. And some had already suffered heat exhaustion, just days into their new mission.

    Roughly 15 miles away, some 500 troops — a medley of medical units, military police officers and engineers — were settled into a routine at Base Camp Donna. It was named after the adjoining Texas town, which Border Patrol agents believe is one of the most likely entry points into the United States for the migrant caravan, should it arrive.

    Wedged between a four-lane highway and the American-Mexican border wall, the base is reminiscent of those found in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s.

    As it was at the bases in those early war zones, electricity at Base Camp Donna is scarce except to power lights and communications gear. In the last several days, the soldiers installed a small shower tent. Men and women have set hours for bathing. Permitted shower length: seven minutes. 

    There is no mess hall, just the brown, prepackaged M.R.E.'s. Military police officers patrol the perimeter at night, armed with handguns. The tents sleep 20 soldiers and have no electricity or air-conditioning. Phone charging is relegated to a few generators that power the spotlights around the living area.

    Capt. Lauren Blanton, who oversees logistics for the base, is caught between monitoring the influx of equipment and troops and ensuring that her facility is livable, with enough amenities so the troops living there can call home.

    "I want to talk to my kid too," she said.

    The Army is setting up another outpost in an abandoned furniture store in nearby Weslaco and is eyeing a spot in Brownsville — all in an effort to shore up the entry points with, so far, hundreds of miles of concertina wire.

    Unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, the troops do not receive extra combat pay. Nor is there hostile fire pay, since the troops will not be interacting with the migrants.

    Mr. Mattis, the defense secretary, has long argued against politicizing the military. For the entirety of his nearly two years at the Pentagon's helm, he has sought to shield the country's 1.2 million active-duty troops from the political forces that have plagued other agencies. In August, on a trip to Brazil, Mr. Mattis warned of the dangers of a military that is viewed as supporting one candidate or another.

    Putting troops at the border to protect against what Mr. Trump deemed a threat, in his rallying cry for the midterms, has put Mr. Mattis's views about politicizing the military on a collision course with the president. That clash comes as Mr. Mattis's relationship with Mr. Trump has deteriorated sharply over the last year.

    Last month, the president accused Mr. Mattis of being a Democrat. Mr. Trump has also chafed at what he perceives as the Defense Department's slow-walking of his many proposals, from holding a military parade to banning transgender troops to putting into place a Space Force.

    Officially, Pentagon leaders said their duty was to follow the orders of the commander in chief, not to tell him how he can deploy American troops.

    "It's not my role to make those assessments," the Army secretary, Mark T. Esper, said in an interview on Wednesday. "We all recognize that one of the many missions of the military is defense of the homeland and security of our borders."

    The border troops are just the latest example of the White House pushing a mission that the Pentagon has resisted.

    In late October, the Department of Homeland Security sent a memo to the Pentagon with a series of formal requests for support in handling immigrants at the southern border, including the caravan on its way from Central America, according to two senior administration officials.

    Among the requests, issued at the White House's behest, were that troops deployed to the border be armed, prepared for direct contact with the migrants and ready to operate under rules for the use of force to be set by the Defense Department.

    When Defense Department officials replied the same day, on Mr. Mattis's orders, they rejected those requests and referred the Department of Homeland Security to the White House, the officials said. The Defense Department viewed the requests as inappropriate and legally treacherous, potentially setting up soldiers for violent encounters with migrants.

    For Mr. Mattis, "you only get to fall on your sword once," said Paul Eaton, a retired major general and veteran of the Iraq war, who is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.Org, a progressive veterans advocacy group.

    "You pick your fight," Mr. Eaton said. "This was a case of, 'We will do this, but I will protect the U.S. military and ensure the rules of engagement are appropriate.'"

    Defense Department officials said the tasks by the troops at the border were the best compromise that Mr. Mattis could reach. The Pentagon agreed to other requests for help, including sending supplies, setting up tents and providing transportation as needed.

    "A wasteful deployment of overstretched Soldiers and Marines would be made much worse if they use force disproportional to the threat they face," tweeted Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "They won't."

    Back at the border, near the Hidalgo bridge, two soldiers squeezed into the cab of an armored front-end loader, its engine idle.

    They had spent the morning jamming engineer stakes into the ground as pillars for the new fence. Now, the soldiers were enjoying the truck's air-conditioning, watching camera crews interviewing their colleagues, and spitting a steady stream of sunflower seeds out the open window.

    Hours later and 15 miles away, rain was in the forecast as night fell upon Base Camp Donna. Some soldiers slowly began digging a trench outside their tents, to keep water from pooling around their cots and their feet in the coming hours.

    Others shuffled to port-a-potties and foot-powered sinks to shave and brush their teeth. A new tranche of troops who arrived just hours earlier were unloading their bags, bringing them to their cots in a quiet march.

    Scott Shane contributed reporting from Washington, and Mitchell Ferman from McAllen, Tex.

    Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a reporter in the Washington bureau and a former Marine infantryman. @tmgneff

    Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent. She was previously an editor, diplomatic correspondent and White House correspondent, and was part of the team awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for its coverage of the Ebola epidemic. @helenecooper



    2) Runners Practiced in Sports Bras. Rowan University Told Them to Go Elsewhere.

    By Talya Minsberg, November 9, 2018


    Brandi Chastain ripped off her jersey after scoring a game-winning World Cup penalty kick in 1999, creating controversy and an enduring sports image.

    It was 69 degrees when the Rowan cross-country teams arrived for practice at the Glassboro, N.J., university's track on Oct. 30. During the workout, several of the male runners removed their shirts. Some members of the women's team did the same, continuing the session in sports bras.

    On the field inside the track, the university's football team was holding its own daily practice. There had been tensions between the teams for years, said Gina Capone, a student and a former Rowan cross-country runner.

    "The football coach had a problem with the women running on the track," Capone said. "He said that it was distracting."

    The issue boiled over that day, after a football coach approached the cross-country coach, Derick Adamson, to restate his concerns. Then in a private meeting three days later, according to a university spokesman, Rowan's athletic department informed Adamson that the men's and women's cross-country teams would now hold their practices across the street from campus, on the track at Glassboro High School.

    To the female cross-country runners, who had sat silently outside the Nov. 2 meeting, the decision was infuriating but not surprising.

    "We were angry, but we knew it was coming; the football team gets what they want," one senior member of the women's cross-country and track teams said. The runner requested anonymity, fearing repercussions for herself and her teams, which share several members and often train together.

    The prioritization of football teams over other sports is not uncommon at N.C.A.A. institutions, and members of the cross-country team at Rowan, where athletes compete in the N.C.A.A.'s Division III, say their university is no exception. The runner who requested anonymity and several other team members said that they did not have locker rooms near the track where they train and that they sometimes had to provide their own transportation to meets.

    Rowan's football coach, Jay Accorsi, did not respond to requests for comment, and the athletic department staff referred questions about the practice arrangement to the university's communications department. An official there disputed the notion that the runners had been forced away from the track, saying the athletic department was merely enforcing a longstanding policy that only one team can use a facility at a time.

    According to Joe Cardona, the vice president for university relations at Rowan, that means the football team gets the field — and by extension the track that surrounds it inside Rowan's stadium — when it holds practice. Cardona said the cross-country and track teams had declined an offer to use the track at a different time of the day.

    "In the fall," he said, "the track and field folks don't want to wait until after football practice in order to have their practice on the track."

    Capone, the former Rowan runner, said the frustration her ex-teammates were feeling had prompted her to publish an article about the dispute Thursday on the self-publication platform Odyssey.

    In it, she quoted a current team member who said the issue was not one of scheduling, but of football coaches who did not want their players distracted by women training in sports bras nearby.

    "As girls, we could look at the football team and say that their tight pants showing off everything is asking for it, but we don't," Capone wrote, quoting a current member of the cross-country team. "When we are on the track, we are doing a hard workout that requires all our focus, so we aren't looking at them and what they are doing.

    "If they are distracted by us, then their practices clearly don't require their full attention, or they just aren't as committed to the sport."

    Adamson, the cross-country coach, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

    But as Capone's article drew attention to this dispute, Rowan distributed multiple statements related to the controversy through its social media channels, including one regarding the one-team-per-facility practice policy and another, signed by the university's president, Ali A. Houshmand, in which he responded to Capone's article directly, saying it raised "questions about the possibility of an inequitable protocol for women's athletic apparel."

    "Rowan's Athletic Department has had a longstanding verbal protocol that all athletes must wear shirts, even during practices," Houshmand's statement said.

    "Having practiced all season in 'sports bra' tops," he added, "many interpreted this as a new policy."

    To be clear: Sports bras are perhaps one of the more important athletic inventions in the history of women's sports. The first one was created in 1977, when three women sewed two jockstraps together to create a prototype. (They were granted a patent two years later.)

    In the years since, sports bras have been integral parts of some of the most memorable events in sports: Brandi Chastain tore off her shirt to reveal one after scoring the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup finals; Paula Radcliffe ran in one when she set a world record in the marathon in 2003; and Kerri Walsh Jennings played in them for more than a decade, winning three Olympic gold medals and becoming one of the most celebrated beach volleyball players in the world.

    Houshmand's statement said confusion on whether sports bras were appropriate practice attire at Rowan would be codified in a new written policy that would explicitly allow female athletes to wear sports-bra tops without shirts during practice.

    "In the new formal policy, there will be no restriction of sports bras without shirts as practice apparel," Houshmand said.

    Hannah Vendetta, a second-year transfer student and cross-country runner at Rowan, said she appreciated the statement, which was posted online less than 24 hours after Capone's article was published.

    "But there's still an issue at hand," Vendetta said, "and it's the fact that we aren't able to practice on the track."



    3) 'Paradise Is Gone': California Fires Devastate Communities

    By Kirk Johnson and Jose A. Del Real, November 10, 2018


    A pickup truck in a driveway in Paradise. Fires melted the plastic exteriors of cars and trucks and charred their frames.

    PARADISE, Calif. — Rex Stewart was broke when he landed in Paradise, Calif., more than 40 years ago. But he found work as a carpenter, helping build parts of this mostly modest town of retirees and commuters tucked away in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

    On Saturday, after escaping what is now the most destructive and one of the deadliest fires in California history, he stood outside an evacuation shelter with no more to his name than the coat he had on and a winter cap with a peace symbol on it.

    "Paradise is gone," Mr. Stewart, 66, said, pulling on a cigarette. "There's nothing to go back to."

    Fires continue to rage on both ends of California, spreading with breakneck speed and displacing hundreds of thousands of people in a state where a once-seasonal worry has become a near-constant terror. At least 23 are dead in the so-called Camp Fire, about 100 miles north of Sacramento, and two others have died in fires near Los Angeles.

    With the discovery of 14 more bodies on Saturday, the Camp Fire surpassed the death toll in last year's Tubbs Fire, which killed 22 people and was the third-deadliest fire in the state's history until now. The deadliest, the Griffith Park fire in 1933, killed 29 people.

    Many people in the area affected by the Camp Fire remained unaccounted for, and Sheriff Kory L. Honea of Butte County said on Saturday night that officials were expanding the team of people tasked with searching for bodies.

    Wildfires are fickle pillagers, pivoting to spare one thing and destroy another, twisted by wind and the fuels they feed on. Fire prevention authorities routinely drum the words "perimeter defense" into residents' minds in this part of California. Keep trees trimmed and burnable things far from home, and fire's danger diminishes.

    But the fires that erupted this week did not follow those rules. And Paradise, in Butte County just east of the city of Chico, bore the brunt of the devastation. In what fire officials said was an unstoppable storm-front fire, beginning early Thursday morning, the Camp Fire has exploded across 105,000 acres and destroyed more than 6,700 homes and commercial buildings.

    Paradise, home to about 26,000 people, was shrouded in smoke on Saturday. Flames still licked downed power poles, and ghostly chimneys jutted up from charred concrete foundations. Evidence of the chaos of escape lined the road out of town, in the charred frames of cars and trucks that were abandoned midescape. Some cars had crashed into one another as flames roared on both sides of the road. At least seven people died in their vehicles, overcome by the inferno, authorities said.

    Jackie Gayle, 73, was riding down out of Paradise as vehicles were burning.

    "There was a motor home on fire and we had to sit there by it until we were waved on to go," she said. "You could feel that heat coming through the glass."

    At Adventist Health Feather River hospital, which Mr. Stewart said he had helped build, a helicopter pad was filled with the remainders of an evacuation this week. Wheelchairs and beds, lab equipment and saline bags still hanging on their hooks sat jammed on the concrete pad, which was surrounded by a moat of rocks to keep the flames at bay. Portions of the hospital escaped destruction and became a shelter for some people who huddled in a basement as the fire came through.

    The Camp Fire is not over. Only 20 percent contained, it still threatens other communities, including the edges of Chico, the biggest city in Butte County and the evacuation destination for many Paradise residents, like Mr. Stewart.

    For James Betts, another Paradise resident, the miracle of escape has given way to the losses he knows he will face back home. Mr. Betts, a 33-year-old groundskeeper at a tree nursery, had tried to get out on foot on the morning of the fire. He does not own a car, and none of the seven people with him, including a nephew and his pregnant girlfriend, did either.

    A man in a pickup truck, known to none of them — Mr. Betts never even learned his name — pulled up and shouted for them to climb into the bed of the truck. And so they all made it.

    "It's kind of hard when you don't have a town to go back to," Mr. Betts said. "When you've been raised in the mountains your whole life, it's always your retreat."

    A spokesman for the Camp Fire command said that winds, which died down on Saturday, were expected to pick back up Saturday night into Sunday.

    President Trump weighed in on the fires on Saturday, saying he would withhold federal funds from the state.

    "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," Mr. Trump said on Twitter. "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

    The comments drew outrage from local leaders and firefighters' organizations.

    "At this moment, thousands of our brother and sister firefighters are putting their lives on the line to protect the lives and property of thousands," said Brian Rice, the president of the California Professional Firefighters, which represents more than 30,000 firefighters and paramedics. "Some of them are doing so even as their own homes lay in ruins."

    Nearly 60 percent of California's 33 million acres of forestland are owned by the federal government, according to a 2018 report by the California Legislative Analyst's Office. An additional 25 percent of the state's forests are privately owned, and about 14 percent are owned by industrial owners like timber companies. State and local governments own just 3 percent of the state's forests.

    One of two major fires in Southern California, called the Woolsey, has also surged to about 83,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of about 250,000 people, according to state officials. It was 5 percent contained as of Saturday night. Fire crews in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties were fighting on steep, hilly terrain that made controlling the blaze difficult.

    "Our firefighters have been experiencing some extreme, tough fire conditions that they said they've never seen in their life," said Daryl Osby, the chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. "We just ended the hottest summer on record. We have fuels that are in critical drought state right now. This is the sixth year of seven years of drought in this region."

    Mr. Osby said that winds were expected to pick up on Sunday and last through Tuesday, further complicating firefighting efforts in the region, and that they currently had no timeline for lifting evacuation orders or opening Highway 101, one of the region's major thruways.

    Scott StJohn, 42, an entrepreneur and fitness company owner, was evacuated from his home in Malibu on Friday morning with his family, believing that "there was no way the fire was going to reach all the way down to the beach."

    Ash from the fire and heavy winds rained down on the family's car as they drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. The situation sank in when they looked behind them as they drove. All they could see, Mr. StJohn said, was "a blaze of orange."

    "What are we going to do?" he added. "We're seeing posts and videos and literally the community is torched. Even if the house is still there, the community itself is in ashes. I don't even know what it will be like if the house is still there."

    The hardest thing for them, Mr. StJohn said, was going to be bringing some kind of normalcy back for their children. "They don't have school, they don't have any of their clothes," he said. "All we grabbed was our passports."

    At East Avenue Church in Chico, 200 people made temporary homes in church classrooms, in a gym filled with cots, air mattresses and couches, and in tents set up in a field on the property. As one of the few shelters in the area accepting pets, it was also teeming with displaced dogs.

    Pastor Ron Zimmer recalled receiving guests shortly after the fire broke out, with many arriving in vehicles that bore the marks of the flames.

    "We started getting cars where all the plastic in the outside was melted and the bumpers were gone," Mr. Zimmer said. "Everybody came down and told horrific stories. We haven't talked to a lot of people who think they have homes left."

    Kirk Johnson reported from Paradise, Calif., and Jose A. Del Real from Los Angeles. Scott Bransford contributed reporting from Chico, Calif. Julia Jacobs contributed reporting from New York.



    4) Why I Dread Returning to an American Public School

    By Firoozeh Dumas, November 10, 2018


    After almost six years in Munich, my family and I will soon be returning to California, and there are a few things I already know I will miss. I am not talking about the obvious (fresh pretzels, fresh pretzels with cheese, fresh pretzels with cheese and pumpkin seeds, no potholes, universal health care) but the less known differences that come with spending time in schools.

    We are fortunate to live in a part of Munich with top-notch public schools, similar to where we lived in America. We pay a few percentage points more in taxes than we paid in California, but holy Betsy DeVos, do we get more!

    Our daughter's elementary school, which she graduated from a few years ago, offered a rich curriculum, from math and sciences to arts and languages. After school, in addition to the more traditional offerings of chess, theater and computers, she could take circus lessons, where children learned to juggle, walk on a tightrope and ride a unicycle. Since her school did not have a pool, students were bused every week to a nearby sports club for swim lessons, at no extra charge.

    The school also offered a weeklong enrichment program that varied year to year. One year, students spent five days visiting sports clubs, each day being introduced by experts to sports such as fencing, ice hockey and volleyball. Once a real circus came to her school for a week and trained the students, who then put on a performance. We did have to contribute $25 per student for that, since constructing an actual circus tent was costly.

    We have also paid for extras like trips to museums (about $4 each) and $250 for a weeklong class trip to Austria intended to foster independence (a highlight was that each child did a short walk alone at night in a field), but that's it. On the few occasions when the school organized fund-raising efforts, the recipients were in other countries.

    Based on their academic performance in fourth grade, children in Germany are divided into three tracks. I do not agree with this system but high-performing children benefit greatly. The top track qualifies for "gymnasium," the most advanced secondary school, with a curriculum that prepares students for higher education. The gleaming facilities of our daughter's gymnasium, complete with sports halls, music rooms and a library housing ancient books, rivals those of any top university. Did I mention that higher education is free?

    The schools I attended growing up in California were nothing like this. I was in middle school when Proposition 13, a law meant to ease residents' tax burden, passed in 1978. The impact on the state's school budgets was immediate. I still remember art, music and language programs being gutted seemingly overnight, and counselors and librarians disappearing. As a parent, I assumed that for schools to get what they needed, we would have to pay significantly more in taxes, and who wants that? Parents are expected to donate time and money to make up for what the government can't provide. In addition to raising funds for our own schools, I and many others raised money for schools in areas with fewer resources. It was the little Dutch boy and the dike, but for every hole we plugged, a dozen more appeared.

    And in Munich, in addition to well-funded schools, life comes with reliablepublic transportation. Our morning school commute consists of waving our child out the door as she walks to the nearby tram. It took me years to get used to the sight of tiny children with huge backpacks sitting by themselves on the train. 

    Now that I have lived in a society with a much better alternative, I realize that the idea of a city where children can practice independence from an early age requires a social contract: A certain number of people have to participate in order to achieve success. I don't know if we can replicate this independence in America, not just because of the lack of transit in most places but also because of the anxiety intertwined with the idea of a child going anywhere alone.

    The system here in Munich has also left me with more time, not to mention dignity. Have I had to accompany my child door to door to sell overpriced wrapping paper to save a school program? Thank the good Lord, no. Have I had to cringe and repeatedly ask family and friends to sponsor walkathons, danceathons, readathons or carwashathons? No. People are no longer avoiding my phone calls. (Note to friends in America: Those phone calls will start again. Please answer. Also, do you need any wrapping paper?)

    As I prepare to return to California, I am looking forward to seeing my family and reuniting with dear friends, many of whom I met while chaperoning, organizing auctions, selling cupcakes, supervising the playground and doing lice checks. I will undoubtedly take part in fund-raising for my child's new school, but please forgive me if my homemade cupcakes taste like resentment frosted with betrayal and sprinkled with exasperation. Unfortunately, I've now enjoyed a system where for a little more in taxes, I get a lot more in services. And that leaves a bitter aftertaste.

    Firoozeh Dumas is the author of "Funny in Farsi" and "It Ain't So Awful, Falafel."



    5) Britain's Equal Pay Day Highlights Gender Gap

    By Palko Karasz, November 10, 2018


    In January the China editor of the BBC, Carrie Gracie, quit her job to protest unequal wages and donated backdated pay she received from the organization to a legal fund for low-income women.

    "I'm out of office until 2019."

    The automated email replies from working women were part of a campaign to mark Equal Pay Day in Britain on Saturday and to draw attention to the country's gender pay gap. 

    The Fawcett Society, a group that campaigns for gender equality and women's rights, set Nov. 10 as the date in Britain when women begin working effectively "for free" when compared to men, based on the disparity in pay annually. 

    There are many ways of looking at wage discrimination. But widely used definitions of the gender pay gap use the difference in median or average pay between men and women in full-time jobs in terms of gross salary without overtime. 

    In Britain, the gap was 13.7 percent this year. Put another way, women earn on average 86.3 percent of what men do for the same work.

    In the United States, Equal Pay Day fell on April 10 to mark how far into the year women had to work to match the previous year's wages of male counterparts. 

    The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, observes Equal Pay Day based on the average gap across the bloc. Based on 2016 figures, that difference was 16 percent.

    It is illegal in most industrialized nations to pay women less than men for the same job, but men continue to earn significantly higher median salaries. A 2016 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the gender pay gap was 13.9 percent in member nations.

    If nothing is done, research in Britain has shown it could take nearly a century to bridge the gap at the current rate of change.

    "This Equal Pay Day we are asking you to talk about pay at work," said Sam Smethers, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society. The group has started a fund to provide legal advice for low-paid women.

    Fawcett Society also launched a social media campaign encouraging women and men to show their solidarity by sharing photos with equal signs drawn on their hands or paper to call for change. Dozens shared their photos and calls to action.

    In France, the minister in charge of gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, sent out a tweet with the hashtag used by campaigners on the day to announce a plan to combat wage inequality in the next three years on France's Equal Pay Day, Nov. 6.

    "The fight for equal pay often pits a lone woman against a very powerful employer," said Carrie Gracie, who quit her job as China editor of the BBCin January to protest unequal wages and donated backdated pay she received from the organization to the legal fund.

    Dominique Meurs, an economist at Paris Nanterre University who specializes in gender inequalities in the workplace, said large corporations have become "very sensitive" to the issue even though the gap in France had not closed significantly since the 1990s

    "It has become an integral part of their corporate social strategy," she said. 

    "The inequalities that are easy to eliminate have been eliminated," Ms. Meurs said. But to resolve the pay gap, companies will have to look beyond that figure at career evolution. 

    In Britain, the pay gap is the lowest since records began in 1997. The the gap in average pay was 20.7 percent then. 

    recent European Commission opinion poll found that attitudes are shifting: Most people in the European Union believe it is unacceptable for women to be paid less than men. But many don't know that equal pay is guaranteed by law. Equal pay legislation exists in all European Union member state. 

    Many men and women also assume that they are paid equally, according to Allyson Zimmermann, the executive director of Catalyst Europe, a nonprofit consulting and research organization. 

    "What it's highlighting year after year is that progress is incredibly slow, and it's highlighting the need for change," Ms. Zimmermann said. 

    "It opens a much wider discussion of what is happening — it goes even beyond the pay, it goes to inequity and it shows talent not being valued," she said.

    Elian Peltier contributed reporting from Paris.



    6) They Were Stopped at the Texas Border. Their Nightmare Had Only Just Begun.

    By Manny Fernandez, Photos by Caitlin O'Hara, November 12, 2018


    M.G. showing the scars on her wrists.

    MCALLEN, Tex. — The Border Patrol agent, she remembers, was calm when he tied her to the tree and put silver duct tape over her mouth. He said very little.

    She was a 14-year-old undocumented immigrant who had just crossed the Rio Grande, traveling with a teenage friend and the friend's mother from Honduras. They had hoped to surrender to the Border Patrol and stay in the United States.

    But instead of taking them in for processing, the agent, Esteban Manzanares, had driven them to an isolated, wooded area 16 miles outside the border city of McAllen, Tex. There he sexually assaulted the friend and viciously attacked her and her mother, twisting their necks, slashing their wrists and leaving them, finally, to bleed in the brush. Then he led the 14-year-old girl to the tree.

    "I only asked him why he was doing this," she recalled. "Why me? He would only say that he had been thinking about it for days. He had been thinking about this for days."

    The Border Patrol's parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, with nearly twice the staff of the F.B.I. Through the years, a small number of officers have succumbed to temptation and reached for a share of the millions of dollars generated in the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people across the southwest border. But a civil suit stemming from the March 2014 attack near McAllen, now making its way through the courts, is shedding light on a more sinister kind of corruption. Over the past four years, at least 10 people in South Texas have been victims of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping or rape — all, according to prosecutors and officials, at the hands of Border Patrol agents who suddenly and violently snapped.

    In April, Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, 29, an agent in the sprawling 116-county Laredo sector, was charged with stabbing and killing his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son. Then, in September, another Laredo sector agent, Juan David Ortiz, 35, admitted to investigators that he went on a 12-day killing spree, fatally shooting four people working as prostitutes and trying to abduct a fifth.

    As a result of a civil suit filed by the three women attacked by Mr. Manzanares, the Border Patrol has been forced to answer questions about its hiring practices, its ability to weed out disturbed agents, and whether there is adequate supervision of officers.

    Sworn testimony and other documents filed in that case, as well as lengthy interviews the three women gave to The New York Times, provide an unusual window into a case that otherwise might have had little scrutiny. Mr. Manzanares never went to trial, because he fatally shot himself as soon as federal investigators discovered his crime and closed in to stop him.

    The case goes beyond any one Border Patrol administration: President Trump has given the agency substantial reinforcements and a wider mission, but the attack on the Honduran women occurred during President Barack Obama's presidency. Critics say the very nature of Border Patrol agents' work — dealing with vulnerable, powerless people, often alone on the nation's little-traveled frontiers — makes it easy for troubled agents to go unnoticed.

    In September, Judge Randy Crane of the Federal District Court in McAllen, Tex., dismissed claims of negligent hiring and supervision of Mr. Manzanares filed by the two women who were the victims of his initial attack. The judge concluded that supervisors had not been alerted to any problem in the agent's background and had no reason to know that anything was amiss. But he allowed claims filed by the 14-year-old girl, now 18, whose ordeal had gone on well into the night — and might have been prevented if Mr. Manzanares's actions had been detected earlier — to proceed. 

    The case will drag out for months, however. Judge Crane suggested recently that he was prepared to allow appeals of some of his previous rulings to proceed before the case goes to trial.

    Lawyers for the three women presented evidence that Mr. Manzanares's supervisors failed to notice or intervene when the agent ignored his duties for hours, and failed to thoroughly inspect his truck when he returned at the end of his shift. If they had, the evidence showed, they would have seen it contained used duct tape, blood and discarded restraints.

    Mr. Manzanares, a father of two, had no major disciplinary infractions during his six years with the agency, which he joined in 2008 after serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan and working as a jailer for the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department. But according to court documents, he appeared to have become a pedophile, and one of the issues in the lawsuit has been whether the Border Patrol should have conducted the kind of employee reviews that would have brought that to light.

    In late 2013 and early 2014, he was in the midst of a divorce, living in an apartment in the border city of Mission with his two dogs. Even among his neighbors — more than two dozen of his Border Patrol colleagues lived in the same gated complex — Mr. Manzanares largely kept to himself.

    His rampage that day might never have been discovered had the older woman left for dead after the initial attack not come across a Customs and Border Protection officer as she emerged from the brush.

    She was still bleeding, and clearly terrified.

    The man who did this to her and her daughter, she told the officer, was "dressed just like you."

    The woman, M.G., still has trouble sleeping. (All three women, interviewed in January, asked to be identified only by their initials.) When she dreams, the border agent returns to her in her nightmares. When she wakes, she stares and rubs at the scars on both of her wrists, not so much neat slices as pale, jagged, random dashes. "Last night, I dreamed all of it, from the moment that we crossed the river," she said. "Every time I dream it, I live through it again. Sometimes I'd like to block my mind and think this didn't happen, but this did happen."

    It had been a coincidence that the three women had crossed the river together.

    All three were from the same small town in northern Honduras and were neighbors and friends. J.E., the girl who had been tied to the tree, had been trying to join her parents, who were already in the United States. M.G. and her daughter were on their own journey to America. The three of them stayed at the same hotel in Guatemala and decided to travel the rest of the way together.

    They crossed the Rio Grande on a raft early that morning as their smuggler directed it to the other side. They had been on a dirt road for only a matter of minutes when Mr. Manzanares pulled up in his Border Patrol vehicle.

    "When I saw him, I said, 'Thank God,'" M.G. said.

    But they slowly began to worry as they sat on metal benches in the back of the truck. M.G. thought there was something strange about the way the man was breathing. At first, she tried not to show her fear to the girls.

    "I pretended," she said. "I tried to be strong."

    When her husband had come to the United States, he had been lost in the desert for three days. "He told me that the only thing that he did was to pray Psalm 91 many times, and he told me that's how God had saved him and protected him," she said. So the three of them prayed Psalm 91 as Mr. Manzanares drove.

    Surely he will save you

    from the fowler's snare

    and from the deadly pestilence.

    He will cover you with his feathers.

    "We prayed it many times, many times, many times," M.G. said.

    Mr. Manzanares made a series of stops with them. J.E. recalled that he told them to get on their knees so he could put plastic restraints on their wrists. On one of the last stops, M.G.'s daughter, N.C., watched Mr. Manzanares force her mother out of the back of the truck and lead her into the woods.

    "I was crying, telling him to leave my mom alone," said N.C., who is now 18.

    M.G., now 40, recalled hearing her daughter's screams as he led her away. "I was begging him to kill me but not kill my daughter, and my daughter was screaming there where she was, 'Come kill me, don't harm my mother.'"

    He threw M.G. down, twisted her neck and cut her wrists. "I felt I was losing consciousness, but every time my daughter screamed, I didn't want to go," she said.

    He returned to the truck for N.C. She said she had only one thing on her mind: "I was only thinking about finding my mother." Mr. Manzanares took N.C. out into the woods, twisted her neck, molested her, took pictures of her, cut her wrist and then covered her with dirt and brush, as she pretended to be dead.

    He went back to the vehicle again and drove J.E. to a stand of trees at the edge of a field. She said she steeled herself, in part, by keeping her mind blank, "as if nothing were happening."

    It is unclear how many hours she was handcuffed to the tree. According to interviews with the victims and court documents, Mr. Manzanares left his Border Patrol station at the end of his shift at a few minutes before 6 p.m. He changed out of his uniform into a shirt and sweatpants and then returned to the field in his own pickup. He took J.E. from the tree and drove her to his apartment. J.E. recalled that she still had duct tape over her mouth when he carried her over his shoulder to the apartment, and that she made eye contact with a woman standing in the complex.

    "She didn't do anything," J.E. said. "Why didn't she do anything?"

    Inside his apartment, Mr. Manzanares used shoelaces to tie her hands and feet to the bed. Then he took pictures of her, naked, with his phone.

    "He behaved like he had done it before," she said. He began talking about things that did not make sense, telling her a drug cartel was coming to kill her. She did not believe him, but "in that moment, it felt like my life was over."

    She asked him one thing: If he had any daughters, would he like it "if someone did the same thing that he was doing to me, to them."

    He sexually assaulted her three times that night, while she remained tied to a bunk bed in a bedroom. F.B.I. agents and Mission police officers, meanwhile, having identified the agent based in part on M.G.'s report, were closing in.

    It was shortly before 1 a.m. and J.E. was trying to fall asleep when she heard loud knocking on the apartment door. Then she heard a single gunshot. Officers eventually forced open the door, untied her and kept her wrapped in a blanket as they put her in an ambulance.

    Mr. Manzanares had shot and killed himself with a .40-caliber pistol while seated at his dining room table. On the table, officers found a two-page suicide note. "I am sorry for what I have done," he wrote, explaining that he had been troubled since coming back from Afghanistan. "I am a monster."

    The three women now live far from the South Texas border, in southwestern Virginia. All three were granted permission to remain in the United States on so-called U visas, issued to victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

    Officials with Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that they cannot comment on the pending lawsuit, but that they take allegations of misconduct seriously. "C.B.P. has a work force of dedicated men and women who are among the finest civil servants in the world, who carry out their duties with the utmost professionalism, efficiency, honor and distinction," the statement read. "C.B.P. acts decisively and appropriately to address any misconduct."

    But agency officials revealed in their response to the women's lawsuit that they had no procedure in place for supervising agents in the field. No policy, they noted, required supervisors to make verbal or physical contact with agents during a shift.

    Mr. Manzanares had so much autonomy that day that he even briefly drove his victims into and out of his Border Patrol station in McAllen, but no one questioned his actions.

    Sensors set up in the borderlands alert Border Patrol to suspicious activity and movements in the brush, and though Mr. Manzanares failed to respond to the majority of sensor activity in his zone that day, none of his superiors took any steps to find out why.

    Government officials defended the criminal background checks performed on Mr. Manzanares. In court documents, they said that two background investigations — one in 2007 before he officially started working as an agent, and another during his employment in 2013 — turned up nothing.

    Today, all Border Patrol applicants who pass background checks are required to also take a polygraph test, but Mr. Manzanares never took one, because the requirement did not apply to employees hired before 2012. One Customs and Border Protection official testified that if Mr. Manzanares had been given a polygraph exam, it probably would have revealed that he appeared to be a pedophile.

    Now, the agency is likely to face similar questions about Mr. Ortiz in Laredo. The authorities are continuing to examine whether any government equipment and weapons were used in the assaults he is accused of, and whether his supervisors were aware of any unusual behavior.

    "These individuals who are supposed to be protectors were predators, both of them," Christine Poarch, a lawyer who represents Mr. Manzanares's three victims, said of the Ortiz and Manzanares cases. "They preyed on vulnerable populations."

    Mitchell Ferman contributed reporting from McAllen, Tex.

    Manny Fernandez is the Houston bureau chief, covering Texas and Oklahoma. He joined The Times as a Metro reporter in 2005, covering the Bronx and housing. He previously worked for The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. @mannyNYT



    7)  He Befriended 4,000 Dogs to Get Their Side of the Story

    By Winnie Hu, November 11, 2018


    The author Ken Foster with some very good boys at the dog-friendly Boris & Horton cafe in Manhattan. Boris, for whom the establishment is co-named, is the long-haired pit bull terrier mix in the blue handkerchief.

    Dogs in New York City have a miserable life — that's what Ken Foster kept hearing. How could they not? Many live in tiny apartments. Most do not have backyards to romp around in. They are bored at home all day while their owners toil long hours.

    Mr. Foster's job is to help dogs (and cats, too). He runs a community outreach program in the Bronx for the Animal Care Centers of NYC, a nonprofit that operates the city's animal shelters. The program provides free vaccinations, training and food to pets whose owners are strugglingfinancially. Mr. Foster, 54, also writes books about dogs

    He has met more than 4,000 dogs in their homes, in their neighborhoods and with the people they love. Lots of them are happy. So Mr. Foster and a photographer, Traer Scott, decided to tell some of the canines' stories in a new book, "City of Dogs." 

    This interview has been edited and condensed.

    Q. What did you learn about how dogs live in New York City?

    A. People live a variety of amazing, different kinds of lifestyles in the city, and dogs do as well. I think we think of dogs strictly as pets, but we went to J.F.K. Airport, where there are dogs that work and love their jobs. They are mostly looking for agricultural contraband, but they also go through the mail that comes through, like every piece of mail. They go through people's luggage on the conveyor belts. It's like a game that they're playing all day long. We should all enjoy our jobs that much.

    What is an example of a dog living the good life?

    There's Oz. He's a pit bull mix in NoHo. His owner, Noah, is a trainer and has this chain of gyms across the country called Rumble Boxing. Oz often goes to the gym and sits, waiting for classes to be over. He lives in a great apartment with a nice roof deck. He's got the spoiled life. I like to say, and Noah doesn't disagree, that he needed to maintain his dog in the lifestyle he deserved.

    You even found dogs on Rikers Island. What are they doing there?

    The Rikers dogs are spending eight weeks, usually living in a cell with inmates who are charged with caring for them and training them. They come from different shelters. The men who are assigned to them work in teams, so part of it is also about really learning to work with other people and build team skills. It's a mutually beneficial exchange. A lot of the men have dogs that are waiting for them to come home.

    You went to all five boroughs in search of dogs. How are the dogs different by borough?

    Manhattan: They are more cosmopolitan because they're used to being around a lot of activity, a lot of people, a lot of businesses. They walk by everything that's going on every day because Manhattan is completely built up. There aren't many quiet corners left.

    Bronx: They seem very much like family dogs, and there's always an extended family. The dogs have cousins. The extended family includes not just your human relatives, but your human relatives' dogs. So everybody knows everybody. In talking with people, I'll hear the story not just of their dog, but their sister-in-law's dog.

    Staten Island: They are quieter. They're a little bit more laid back because they have less chaos around them. They probably have no idea that they live in New York City. It's very suburban there.

    Brooklyn: The dogs that we met were, for the most part, from single-dog homes. Even if they were in a family, it was five people and one dog. And so they seemed to feel a little bit like they were the center of the world. Maybe Brooklyn feels that way about itself, too, these days?

    Queens: They are the most diverse. If you look at the pictures that we took in Long Island City of a group of people who meet every morning with their dogs, every dog is completely different. There's a sheepdog, an Akita, a pit bull, a corgi, a Pekingese, and a Chihuahua. These dogs are all best friends. 

    What is one of your favorite dog places in the book?

    You can go off-leash in Central Park after dark. It seemed like something out of a storybook, and the moon was out and it was reflecting in the water. At first, there weren't that many other people around, but as we went a little deeper into the park, we started running into more and more people with their dogs. It really was like a secret society because unless you have a dog, you're probably not going to walk in there. 

    Did you actually interview the dogs or just their owners? 

    It was really a little bit of both. Sometimes their owners try to speak for them. But then, if you're observing, you can see where the dog might disagree. We talked about, where do you want to go? Where do you typically go with your dog? That's kind of a dog interview, I think, when you walk a neighborhood with a dog and you see where their nose goes.

    Your book shows the relationships between dogs and their humans. Is there one that stands out? 

    Talia is a girl in Queens who is autistic. She has a service dog that's trained to stay with her. As she is getting older, holding her mother's hand in public is not a cool thing to do. So now she has this dog to hold on to. I think dogs are anchors in a lot of different ways for all of us. But in this case, it almost seemed like a literal anchor to keep somebody calm and in place.

    What can dogs teach us about city life?

    No matter how completely different we are, if you have dogs in common it cuts through whatever else you might think would be a barrier. We're different people, we come from different cultures, we speak different languages sometimes, and yet if there's a dog in front of us, we can find a way to connect.

    I think that's true no matter what part of the city you're in. We may not have the same kind of dogs, and we might not interact with them in exactly the same sort of way, but we can all understand each other by observing the bond that we have with our pets.



















































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