Kim Kardashian visits inmate on death row at San Quentin State Prison

By Lee Brown, May 31, 2019
Kim Kardashian at San Quentin State Prison

Kim Kardashian's social justice crusade has taken her to death row.
The reality TV star spent two hours inside a cell in California's San Quentin State Prison, one of the most notorious jails in the US, as part of her latest crusade to free convicted murderer Kevin Cooper, sources confirmed.
"They met for two hours in a cell in the visitors' area of death row — a proper cell with bars," a source said.
The 38-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star was pictured wearing an all-black jumpsuit as she entered the prison.
"Kim decided to pay a visit so she could have her first face-to-face with the guy she's trying to free," TMZ said.
She left "more convinced than ever he was framed," the site insisted.
The 61-year-old death row inmate was convicted in 1985 of four murders — including two 10-year-old children — but has maintained his innocence.
Kevin CooperCourtesy Photo
Kardashian — who is studying to be a lawyer to help her social justice mission — publicly announced her involvement in Cooper's case last year.
"Governor Brown, can you please test the DNA of Kevin Cooper?" Kardashian tweeted then-California Gov. Jerry Brown last June.
Cooper's advocates have argued that DNA found on a T-shirt that Cooper says he never wore should be retested.
The current governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has ordered that DNA testing, with results yet to be announced, according to TMZ.
Newsom is also a death penalty opponent and has decided to suspend all executions while he is in office.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Kardashian had quietly bankrolled a successful campaign to free 17 federal inmates serving life sentences for low-level drug crimes over the past three months.





On Abortion: From Facebook

Best explanation I've heard so far..., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save., , That's the law., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy., , She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y
Sent from my iPhone



Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release

Jalil A. Muntaqim was a member of the Black Panther Party and has been a political prisoner for 48 years since he was arrested at the age of 19 in 1971. He has been denied parole 11 times since he was first eligible in 2002, and is now scheduled for his 12th parole hearing. Additionally, Jalil has filed to have his sentence commuted to time served by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Visit Jalil's support page, check out his writing and poetry, and Join Critical Resistance in supporting a vibrant intergenerational movement of freedom fighters in demanding his release.

48 years is enough. Write, email, call, and tweet at Governor Cuomo in support of Jalil's commutation and sign this petition demanding his release.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224

Michelle Alexander – Author, The New Jim Crow
Ed Asner - Actor and Activist
Charles Barron - New York Assemblyman, 60th District
Inez Barron - Counci member, 42nd District, New York City Council
Rosa Clemente - Scholar Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate
Patrisse Cullors – Co-Founder Black Lives Matter, Author, Activist
Elena Cohen - President, National Lawyers Guild
"Davey D" Cook - KPFA Hard Knock Radio
Angela Davis - Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Native American historian, writer and feminist
Mike Farrell - Actor and activist
Danny Glover – Actor and activist
Linda Gordon - New York University
Marc Lamont Hill - Temple University
Jamal Joseph - Columbia University
Robin D.G. Kelley - University of California, Los Angeles
Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine
Imani Perry - Princeton University
Barbara Ransby - University of Illinois, Chicago
Boots Riley - Musician, Filmmaker
Walter Riley - Civil rights attorney
Dylan Rodriguez - University of California, Riverside, President American Studies Association
Maggie Siff, Actor
Heather Ann Thompson - University of Michigan
Cornel West - Harvard University
Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only
Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov. Cuomo with this form

Tweet at @NYGovCuomo
Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as:
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116



A Visit With Kevin Cooper
Saturday, June 1, 2019

Top photo from left to right: Norm Hile, Ken Carlson (film maker), Kim Kardashian West, Kevin Cooper, Elspeth Farmer

Bottom Photo: Kim Kardashian West and Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper is an innocent man on San Quentin's Death Row in California. He continues to struggle for exoneration and to abolish the death penalty in the whole U.S. Learn more about his case at: www.kevincooper.org.

Write to:
Kevin Cooper #C-65304 4-EB-82           
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974



Painting by Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on San Quentin's death row. www.freekevincooper.org

Decarcerate Louisiana

Declaration of Undersigned Prisoners 
We, the undersigned persons, committed to the care and custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC), hereby submit the following declaration and petition bearing witness to inhumane conditions of solitary confinement in the N-1 building at the David Wade Corrections Center (DWCC). 
Our Complaint:
We, the Undersigned Persons, declare under penalty of perjury: 
1.    We, the undersigned, are currently housed in the N-1 building at DWCC, 670 Bell Hill Road, Homer, LA 71040. 
2.    We are aware that the Constitution, under the 8th Amendment, bans cruel and unusual punishments; the Amendment also imposes duties on prison officials who must provide humane conditions of confinement and ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and must take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates. 
3.    We are aware that Louisiana prison officials have sworn by LSA-R.S.15:828 to provide humane treatment and rehabilitation to persons committed to its care and to direct efforts to return every person in its custody to the community as promptly as practicable. 
4.    We are confined in a double-bunked six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another human being 22-hours-a-day and are compelled to endure the degrading experience of being in close proximity of another human being while defecating. 
5.    There are no educational or rehabilitation programs for the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1 building except for a selected few inmates who are soon to be released. 
6.    We get one hour and 30 minutes on the yard and/or gym seven days a week. Each day we walk to the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which takes about one minute to get there. We are given ten minutes to eat. 
7.    The daily planner for inmates confined in the N-1 building is to provide inmates one hour and 30 minutes on yard or gym; escort inmates to kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to sit and eat for approximately ten minutes each meal; provide a ten minute shower for each cell every day; provide one ten minute phone call per week; confine prisoners in cell 22-hours-a-day. 
8.    When we are taking a shower we are threatened by guards with disciplinary reports if we are not out on time. A typical order is: "if you are not out of shower in ten minutes pack your shit and I'm sending you back to N-2, N-3, or N-4"—a more punitive form of solitary confinement. 
9.    When walking outside to yard, gym or kitchen, guards order us to put our hands behind our back or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. 
10.  When we are sitting at the table eating, guards order us not to talk or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. ) 
11.  Guards are harassing us every day and are threatening to write up disciplinary reports and send us back to a more punitive cellblock (N-2, N-3, N-4) if we question any arbitrary use of authority or even voice an opinion in opposition to the status quo. Also, guards take away good time credits, phone, TV, radio, canteen, and contact visits for talking too loud or not having hands behind back or for any reason they want. We are also threatened with slave labor discipline including isolation (removing mattress from cell from 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.,) strip cell (removing mattress and bedding and stationery from cell for ten to 30 days or longer), food loaf  (taking one's meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and mixing it all together into one big mass, bake it in oven and serve it to prisoners for punishment.)
12.  When prison guards write up disciplinary reports and transfer us to the more punitive restrictive solitary confinement in N-2, N-3, N-4 or N-5, guards then enforce an arbitrary rule that gives prisoners the ultimatum of sending all their books and personal property home or let the prison dispose of it. 
13.  Louisiana prison officials charge indigent prisoners (who earn less than four cents an hour) $3.00 for routine requests for healthcare services, $6.00 for emergency medical requests, and $2.00 for each new medical prescription. They wait until our family and friends send us money and take it to pay prisoners' medical bills. 
Our concerns:
14.  How much public monies are appropriated to the LDOC budget and specifically allotted to provide humane treatment and implement the rehabilitation program pursuant to LSA- R.S.15:828? 
15.  Why does Elayn Hunt Correctional Center located in the capitol of Louisiana have so many educational and rehabilitation programs teaching prisoners job and life skills for reentry whereas there are no such programs to engage the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1, N- 2, N-3, and N-4 solitary confinement buildings at DWCC. 
16.  It is customary for Louisiana prison officials and DWCC prison guards to tell inmates confined in the prison's cellblocks to wait until transfer to prison dormitory to participate in programs when in fact there are no such programs available and ready to engage the majority of the state's 34,000 prisoner population. The programs are especially needed for prisoners confined in a six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another person for 22-or-more-hours-per-day. 
17.  Why can't prisoners use phone and computers every day to communicate with family and peers as part of rehabilitation and staying connected to the community? 
18.  Why do prisoners have to be transferred miles and miles away from loved ones to remote correctional facilities when there are facilities closer to loved ones? 
19.  Why are prison guards allowed to treat prisoners as chattel slaves, confined in cages 22-or-more-hours-per-day, take away phone calls and visitation and canteen at will, and take away earned good time credits for any reason at all without input from family, one's peers and community? 
20.  Why do the outside communities allow prison guards to create hostile living environments and conditions of confinement that leaves prisoners in a state of chattel slavery, stress, anxiety, anger, rage, inner torment, despair, worry, and in a worse condition from when we first entered the prison? 
21.  Why do state governments and/or peers in the community allow racist or bigoted white families who reside in the rural and country parts of Louisiana to run the state's corrections system with impunity? For example, DWCC Warden Jerry Goodwin institutes racist and bigoted corrections policies and practices for the very purpose of oppression, repression, antagonizing and dehumanizing the inmates who will one day be released from prison. 
22.  David Wade Correctional Center Colonel Lonnie Nail, a bigot and a racist, takes his orders from Warden Jerry Goodwin, another racist and bigot. Both Goodwin and Nail influences subordinate corrections officers to act toward prisoners in a racist or bigoted manner and with an arrogant attitude. This creates a hostile living environment and debilitating conditions of confinement for both guards and prisoners and prevents rehabilitation of inmates.
23.  In other industrialized democracies like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, et al, it is reported that no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them. Punitive or harsh conditions of confinement are not supported because they see the loss of freedom inherent in a prison sentence as punishment enough. One Netherlands official reported that their motto is to start with the idea of "Reintegration back into society on day one" when people are locked up. "You can't make an honest argument that how someone is treated while incarcerated doesn't affect how they behave when they get out," the official added. 
24.  Additionally, some Scandinavian countries have adopted open prison programs without fences or armed guards. Prisoners who prove by their conduct that they can be trusted are placed in a prison resembling a college campus more than a prison. The result is a 20 percent recidivism rate, compared to a 67 percent rate in the United States. 
25.  The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in a position statement says: "Prolonged (greater than 15 consecutive days) solitary confinement is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and harmful to an individual's health."
 What We Believe: 
26.  We believe that when the greater portion of public monies goes to war and the military, this leaves little funds left for community reinvestment and human development.The people have less access to resources by which to get a better idea of human behavior and rely on higher education instead of prison to solve cultural, social, political, economic problems in the system that may put people at risk to domestic violence and crime as a way to survive and cope with shortcomings in the system. 
27.  We believe that investing public monies in the rehabilitation program LSA-R.S.15:828 to teach prisoners job and life skills will redeem inmates, instill morals, and make incarcerated people productive and fit for society. 
28.  We believe that confining inmates in cellblocks 15-or-more=hours-per-day is immoral, uncivilized, brutalizing, a waste of time and counter-productive to rehabilitation and society's goals of "promoting the general welfare" and "providing a more perfect union with justice for all." 
29.  We believe that corrections officers who prove by their actions that incarcerated people are nothing more than chattel slaves are bucking the laws and creating hardening criminals and these corrections officers are, therefore, a menace to society. 
Our Demands:
30.  We are demanding a public conversation from community activists and civil rights leaders about (1) the historic relationship between chattel slavery, the retaliatory assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the resurrection of slavery written into the 13th Amendment; (2) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the backlash against Reconstruction, Peonage, Convict Leasing, and Slavery; (3) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the War Against Poverty, the War on Drugs, Criminal Justice and Prison Slavery. 
31.  We demand that the Louisiana legislature pass the Decarcerate Louisiana Anti-Slavery and Freedom Liberation Act of 2020 into law and end prison slavery and the warehousing of incarcerated people for the very purpose of repression, oppression, and using prisoners and their families and supporters as a profit center for corporate exploitation and to generate revenue to balance the budget and stimulate the state economy. 
32.  We are demanding that Warden Jerry Goodwin and Colonel Lonnie Nail step down and be replaced by people are deemed excellent public servants in good standing with human rights watchdog groups and civil rights community. 
33.  We are demanding that the LDOC provide public monies to operate state prison dormitories and cellblocks as rehabilitation centers to teach incarcerated people job and life skills five-days-a-week from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. 
34.  We are demanding that the LDOC release a public statement announcing that "from this day forward it will not support punitive or harsh conditions of confinement," and that "no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them."
35.  We are demanding that the prison cellblocks be operated as open dormitories (made in part a health clinic and part college campus) so that incarcerated people can have enough space to walk around and socialize, participate in class studies, exercise, use telephone as the need arise. Prisoners are already punished by incarceration so there is no need to punish or further isolate them. Racism and abuse of power will not be tolerated. 
36.  We are demanding an end to unjust policies and practices that impose punishments and deprive incarcerated people of phone calls, visitation, canteen, good time credits, books and other personal property that pose no threat to public safety. 
37.  We are demanding that LDOC provide incarcerated people cellphones and computers to communicate with the public and stay connected to the community. 
38.  We are demanding the right to communicate with reporters to aid and assist incarcerated persons in preparing a press release to communicate to the public Decarcerate Louisiana's vision and mission statements, aims, and plans for moving forward. 
39.  We are demanding the right to participate in the U.S.-European Criminal Justice Innovation Project and share our complaint, concerns, and demands for a humane corrections program. 
40.  We are only demanding the right to enough space to create, to innovate, to excel in learning, to use scientific knowledge to improve our person and place and standing in the free world. The rule of law must support the betterment and uplifting of all humanity. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." 
41.  We demand that the responsibility for prisoner medical care be removed from DOC wardens and place it under the management of the state's health office; increase state health officer staff to better monitor prisoner healthcare and oversee vendor contracts. 
42.  We have a God-given right and responsibility to resist abuse of power from the wrongdoers, to confront unjust authority and oppression, to battle for justice until we achieve our demands for liberation and freedom. 
We, the undersigned, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 
Executed on this 28th Day of January 2019. 
Ronald Brooks #385964 
David Johnson #84970 
Freddie Williams #598701 
Earl Hollins #729041 
James Harris #399514 
Tyrone Carter #550354 
Kerry Carter #392013 
Ivo Richardson #317371 
Rondrikus Fulton #354313 
Kentell Simmons #601717 
Jayvonte Pines #470985 
Deandre Miles #629008 
Kenneth P. #340729 
Brandon Ceaser #421453 
Tyronne Ward #330964 
Jermaine Atkins #448421 
Charles Rodgers #320513 
Steve Givens #557854 
Timothy Alfred #502378 
—wsimg.com, January 2019



New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice

By yearend 2017, the United States prison population had declined by 7.3% since reaching its peak level in 2009, according to new data released by the Department of Justice. The prison population decreases are heavily influenced by a handful of states that have reduced their populations by 30% or more in recent years. However, as of yearend 2017 more than half the states were still experiencing increases in their populations or rates of decline only in the single digits. 
Analysis of the new data by The Sentencing Project reveals that: 
  • The United States remains as the world leader in its rate of incarceration, locking up its citizens at 5-10 times the rate of other industrialized nations. At the current rate of decline it will take 75 years to cut the prison population by 50%.
  • The population serving life sentences is now at a record high. One of every seven individuals in prison – 206,000 – is serving life.
  • Six states have reduced their prison populations by at least 30% over the past two decades – Alaska, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.  
  • The rate of women's incarceration has been rising at a faster rate than men's since the 1980s, and declines in recent years have been slower than among men.
  • Racial disparities in women's incarceration have changed dramatically since the start of the century. Black women were incarcerated at 6 times the rate of white women in 2000, while the 2017 figure is now 1.8 times that rate. These changes have been a function of both a declining number of black women in prison and a rising number of white women. For Hispanic women, the ratio has changed from 1.6 times that of white women in 2000 to 1.4 times in 2017. 
The declines in prison and jail populations reported by the Department of Justice today are encouraging, but still fall far short of what is necessary for meaningful criminal justice reform. In order to take the next step in ending mass incarceration policymakers will need to scale back excessive sentencing for all offenses, a key factor which distinguishes the U.S. from other nations. 

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[Note: China's population is 1,419,147,756* as of April 26, 2019 with 1,649,804 in prison***; while the population of the USA is 328,792,291 as of April 27, 2019** with 2,121,600 in prison.*** 



Brief Medical Update on Mumia Abu Jamal

"Like a Cheesecloth over both my eyes"

Mumia's visual impairment has rapidly progressed.

I reviewed Mumia's chart and saw the patient for a regular monthly f/u on Memorial Day 5/27/19

Mumia's suffers from multiple medical conditions including Glaucoma, (Open Angle) as well as Vitreous Detachment and Cataracts.

This in addition to Cirrhosis, Hypertension, NIDDM, (Type 2 diabetes), Hepatitis C.

The patient reports being unable to read or write anything for over 5 weeks in March and April and although reporting improvement over the last 3-4 weeks given the over all clinical context:

1. Several Severe risk factors-positive family history, NIDDM, poorly controlled hypertension, Hx of Cirrhosis, as well as the demands of his profession as a journalist (incessant reading under conditons of poor lighting) and the increased stress typical of the correctional envirionment, it is nearly certain that Mumia Abu-Jamal will progress to near- total if not total Blindness within 2-4 years.

2. Immediate release on a Medical and Compassionate basis to his community and family would be the standard of care in this situation. The has indicated an extensive social network that would assist him in his release.

3. If a question of Public Safety is posed home confinement would be an acceptable alternative.

Full report to follow.

The patient Mumia Abu-Jamal gave permission to discuss his medical case publicly.

I will seek to personally visit District Attorney this week to discuss this medical need.



Joseph Harris MD

Plea for Medical Release for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia and Dr. Harris

Dr. Joseph Harris MD Speaks on Mumia Abu-Jamal's need for medical release. Conversation with the O.G.M.D Series

"This is a people's victory"  Pam Africa.

Who would ever think that we would see this headline, in our lifetime.  This is the press release up on the Philadelphia District Attorney's website posted minutes ago.

The path to freedom is going to be hard and long, but we are on it.  When We Fight, We Win,
Noelle Hanrahan, P.I. Prison Radio

Mumia Abu-Jamal

See below: 

Statement: Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdraws appeal in Mumia Abu-Jamal case 

Contact: Ben Waxman
PHILADELPHIA (April 17th, 2019) — Today the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdrew its recent appeal of an opinion granting a re-hearing of some previously decided issues in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. We withdrew the appeal because the opinion we appealed has been modified consistent with our primary concern — -that ruling's effect on many other cases.
By way of background, Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of a young police officer, Daniel Faulkner, that occurred on December 9, 1981. Even after Maureen Faulkner, the wife of the victim, chose not to continue seeking the death penalty several years ago in hopes of closure, the case has evoked polarizing rhetoric and continues to assume a symbolic importance for many that is distinct from the factual and often technical legal issues involved in the case.
The technical issue at stake here is simply whether or not some decided issues need to be re-heard by a Pennsylvania appellate court due to one former judge's having worn two hats — -the hat of an apparently impartial appellate judge deciding Abu-Jamal's case after he earlier wore the hat of a chief prosecutor in the same case. Although the issue is technical, it is also an important cautionary tale on the systemic problems that flow from a judge's failing to recuse where there is an appearance of bias.
Justice Castille did not recuse himself before deciding appeals in the Abu-Jamal case and several others, including the Williams case. In the Williams case, the United States Supreme Court decided that Castille should have recused himself because of the role he took as a chief prosecutor in Mr. Williams's matter. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Mr. Williams's appeal be re-heard by the Pennsylvania appeals judges, without the taint of Castille's participation.
A similar question of Castille's role exists in the Abu-Jamal case. In order to help resolve it, our Office exhaustively searched hundreds of file boxes in relation to the Mumia Abu-Jamal matter, including six previously undisclosed boxes (now turned over to the defense, as required by law). While we did not find any document establishing the same level of involvement by Castille in the Abu-Jamal case as in the Williams case, we did find (and turned over) a June, 1990 letter from then-District Attorney Castille to then-Governor Robert Casey, urging that the Governor issue death warrants, especially in cases involving people who have killed police, in order to "send a clear and dramatic message to all police killers that the death penalty actually means something." Although the letter does not mention Mr. Abu-Jamal or his case by name, at the time Justice Castille wrote to Governor Casey, there were only three cases involving people who had been convicted of killing police that were pending. One was Mr. Abu-Jamal's.
In the end, the trial-level judge considering this issue wrote an opinion that agreed with us that these indications of strong feelings on the part of Justice Castille did not rise to the level of the direct and active involvement Justice Castille took in the Williams case but went further, deciding there should be a re-hearing of Abu-Jamal's decided issues anyway, based on more general principles of judges needing to recuse to avoid the appearance of bias.
We appealed, making it extremely clear in our court papers that our primary concern was with the overly broad language of the opinion and its potentially devastating effect on hundreds of long settled cases, decades after their cases were resolved, including its hurtful effect on victims and survivors. We highlighted our concern with the overly broad language of that opinion in five specific respects and specifically noted that we would re-consider appealing if the trial-level court issued another decision addressing the concerns we raised.
Although the judge was not required to do so, on March 27 he issued another decision that addressed the concerns we raised. The judge made clear that his opinion should not be read to mean that several hundreds of cases were disturbed — -it should be applied only to people convicted of killing police officers whose cases were in the District Attorney's Office while Castille was District Attorney (the category of cases Castille highlighted in his June 1990 letter to Casey). Given that the trial-level court has now addressed the concerns that led us to appeal in the first place, we have withdrawn the appeal.
Our decision to withdraw the appeal does not mean Mr. Abu-Jamal will be freed or get a new trial. It means that he will have the appeals that Justice Castille participated in deciding reconsidered by a new group of appellate court judges, untainted by former Chief Justice Castille participating in their decision. The trial-level judge has ordered the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the defense to re-submit the legal briefs done in the past (which were written under prior administrations), effectively setting the clock back to where it was in the past.
The result will be that long-settled convictions in other cases will not be disturbed and that decisions made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the legal issues raised decades ago in the Abu-Jamal matter will no longer be tainted by the appearance of bias.  ===========end press release====================
Cuando luchamos, ganamos. When We fight, we win. 

Noelle Hanrahan
Director, Prison Radio
To give by check: 
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan



Courage to Resist
daniel hale drone activist
Drone vet turned activist facing 50 years for whistle-blowing
Daniel Hale, an Air Force veteran and former US intelligence analyst was arrested May 9th and charged with violating the Espionage Act. Daniel is a well-known anti-drone activist who has spoken out a number of anti-war events and conferences. He's a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War, and he's featured in the documentary "National Bird." For years, Daniel has expressed concern that he'd be targeted by the government.  Learn more.
Hal Muskat
Podcast: "There were US anti-war soldiers all over the world" - Hal Muskat
"I told my command officer that I wasn't going to, I was refusing my orders [to Vietnam] … In his rage, he thought if he court-martialed me, he'd have to stay in the Army past his discharge date." While stationed in Europe, Hal Muskat refused orders to Vietnam and joined the GI Movement, resulting in two court martials. This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace. Listen to Hal Muskat's story.

Chelsea Manning returned to jail after brief release; Faces half million dollar fine in addition to another 18 months prison
chelsea manning resists
Since our last newsletter less than two weeks ago, Chelsea Manning was freed from jail when the grand jury investigating Julian Assange and WikiLeaks expired. However, a few days later, she was sent back to jail for refusing to collaborate with a new grand jury on the same subject. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Chelsea fined $500 every day she is in custody after 30 days and $1,000 every day she is in custody after 60 days -- a possible total of $502,000. Statement from Chelsea's lawyers.
Stand with Reality Winner, rally in DC
chelsea manning resists
June 3, 2019 at 7pm (Monday)
Lafayette Square, Washington DC 

Please join friends and supporters as we raise awareness of the persecution of this young veteran and brave truth teller. This marks two years of imprisonment of Reality for helping to expose hacking attempts on US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election. For more info, visit the "Stand with Reality" pages on Twitter or FacebookOrder "Stand with Reality" shirts, banners, and buttons from Left Together protest shirts.
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist


Funds for Kevin Cooper


For 34 years, an innocent man has been on death row in California. 

Kevin Cooper was wrongfully convicted of the brutal 1983 murders of the Ryen family and houseguest. The case has a long history of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering, and numerous constitutional violations including many incidences of the prosecution withholding evidence of innocence from the defense. You can learn more here . 

In December 2018 Gov. Brown ordered  limited DNA testing and in February 2019, Gov. Newsom ordered additional DNA testing. Meanwhile, Kevin remains on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. 

The funds raised will be used to help Kevin purchase art supplies for his paintings . Additionally, being in prison is expensive, and this money would help Kevin pay for stamps, paper, toiletries, supplementary food, and/or phone calls.

Please help ease the daily struggle of an innocent man on death row!



Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK
Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state. Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority. We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested. 
Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West. 
The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible. They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him. Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger. The world is still watching.
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks.html
[2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/



Words of Wisdom

Louis Robinson Jr., 77
Recording secretary for Local 1714 of the United Auto Workers from 1999 to 2018, with the minutes from a meeting of his union's retirees' chapter.

"One mistake the international unions in the United States made was when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When he did that, the unions could have brought this country to a standstill. All they had to do was shut down the truck drivers for a month, because then people would not have been able to get the goods they needed. So that was one of the mistakes they made. They didn't come together as organized labor and say: "No. We aren't going for this. Shut the country down." That's what made them weak. They let Reagan get away with what he did. A little while after that, I read an article that said labor is losing its clout, and I noticed over the years that it did. It happened. It doesn't feel good."

[On the occasion of the shut-down of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant March 6, 2019.]



How to buy a gun in the U.S. and New Zeland:

New Zealand to Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Guns, Jacinda Ardern Says
By Damien Cave and Charlotte Graham-McLay, March 20, 2019













Statement: Academic Institutions Must Defend Free Speech

The International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity issued the following statement on 23 December, signed by 155 distinguished academics and human rights advocates.

Petition Text

Statement issued by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity:
We, the undersigned, oppose the coordinated campaign to deny academics their free speech rights due to their defense of Palestinian rights and criticism of the policies and practices of the state of Israel. Temple University in Philadelphia, USA and the University of Sydney, Australia have been under great pressure to fire, respectively, Marc Lamont Hill and Tim Anderson, both senior academics at their institutions, for these reasons. Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have already had their careers destroyed by such attacks. Hatem Bazian, Ahlam Muhtaseb, William Robinson, Rabab Abdulhadi and others have also been threatened.
The ostensible justification for such action is commonly known as the "Palestinian exception" to the principle of free speech. One may freely criticize and disrespect governments – including one's own – religions, political beliefs, personal appearance and nearly everything else except the actions and policies of the state of Israel. Those who dare to do so will become the focus of well-financed and professionally run campaigns to silence and/or destroy them and their careers.
We recognize that much of the free speech that occurs in academic and other environments will offend some individuals and groups. However, as has been said many times before, the answer to free speech that some may find objectionable is more free speech, not less. We therefore call upon all academic institutions, their faculty and students, as well as the public at large, to resist such bullying tactics and defend the free speech principles upon which they and all free societies and their institutions are founded.



Updates from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Justice for Rasmea Odeh! Justice for Palestine!

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression strongly supports Rasmea Odeh's right to speak in Berlin about the Palestinian liberation struggle. We stand with the many other organizations who condemn the German, Israeli, and U.S. governments' attacks on Rasmea and their attempts to silence her by revoking her visa and prohibiting her from political activity (see article about the March 15 incident).

The actions of these governments blatantly reflect their racist anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim views. But we want to draw attention to the underlying reason for their targeting of Rasmea. The attack on her right to speak is deeply tied to U.S. and German support for the Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism in Palestine. Moreover, the attack on Rasmea reflects these countries' imperialist strategies for control of the Middle East. By the same token, these governments are clearly acting out of fear - fear that when Palestinian women and activists like Rasmea speak up, it chips away at such countries' grasp on Palestine and the surrounding region.

The attacks on Rasmea and Palestine also relate to political repression taking place across the globe. Germany, the U.S. and Israel are attempting to silence Rasmea for the same fundamental reasons that the Duterte government has murdered and attacked activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines; that the U.S. government is trying to forcibly install a new government in Venezuela; and that the NYPD's Strategic Response Group is surveilling and harassing leaders and activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. The imperialists who are in power are clearly afraid that people like Rasmea might inspire others to rise up and fight back against the racist and oppressive system in place.

We want to send a message to these imperialist powers, to say that fighting back is exactly what we plan to do. It is imperative that we fight back against this unjust system that tries to silence Palestinian women like Rasmea. We demand that Rasmea Odeh be permitted to speak in Germany, and we demand an end to state repression against all Muslim women, and all Palestinians who have boldly raised their voices against the imperialist and colonialist powers that are oppressing people across the world.

Activists are not terrorists! We stand in solidarity with Rasmea and all Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation.

-- NYC Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Copyright © 2019 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book



















Courage to Resist
Courage to Resist is working closely with our new fiscal sponsor, the Objector Church, on a couple projects that we're excited to share with you.
objector registry
Objector Registry launches as draft registration of women nears
The first ever Objector Registry (objector.church/register) offers a declaration of conscience for anyone to assert their moral opposition to war, regardless of age, gender, or religious affiliation. This serves to create a protective record of beliefs and actions with which to oppose a later forced draft. Given last week's release of the report by the Congressionally mandated commission on military service, this free registry is coming online just in time. Please sign up yourself and share with friends!
weekly meetup
You're invited to join us online weekly
This is a great way to find out more about the Objector Church and why we might be the religious humanist interfaith peace and justice community you have been looking for! Our live meetups are lead by Minister James Branum from Oklahoma City. This Sunday at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern, if your not excited by the NFL's "big game", pop online and check us out at objector.church/meetup
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.

Courage to Resist -- Support the Troops who Refuse to Fight!
484 Lake Park Ave. #41, Oakland, CA 94610, 510-488-3559
couragetoresis.org -- facebook.com/couragetoresist







To: Indiana Department of Corrections

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Should Have Access to His Personal Property

Petition Text

1. IDOC regulation 02-01-101-VIII must be respected! Kevin Johnson (IDOC# 264847) must be allowed to select from his property the items that he most immediately needs. He has been left without any of the material he requires for contacting his loved ones, his writing (this includes books), his pending litigation, and for his artwork. 
2. Kevin Johnson (IDOC# 264847) should be released into General Population. Prolonged solitary confinement is internationally recognized as a form of torture. Moreover, he has not committed any infractions.

Why is this important?

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson (IDOC# 264847) – a Virginia prisoner – was transferred to Indiana on November 4. His transfer was authorized under the Interstate Corrections Compact, commonly used to ship prisoners out of state. Virginia is one of several states that make use of this practice as a tool to repress and isolate prisoners who speak up for their rights.
These transfers are extremely disruptive, and serve as an opportunity for prison officials to violate prisoners' rights, especially regarding their property. This is exactly what has been done to Rashid.
Rashid has 24 boxes of personal property. These are all of his possessions in the world. Much of these 24 boxes consist of legal documents and research materials, including materials directly related to pending or anticipated court cases, and his list of addresses and phone numbers of media contacts, human rights advocates, outside supporters, and friends.
At Pendleton Correctional Facility, where Rashid is now being kept prisoner and in solitary confinement, only one guard is in charge of the property room. This is very unusual, as the property room is where all of the prisoners' belongings that are not in their cells are kept. The guard in charge, Dale Davis, has a dubious reputation. Prisoners complain that property goes missing, and their requests to access their belongings – that by law are supposed to be met within 7 days, or if there are court deadlines within 24 hours – are often ignored, answered improperly, or what they receive does not correspond to what they have asked for.
Despite having a need for legal and research documents for pending and anticipated court cases, his requests to receive his property have not been properly answered. The property officer, Dale Davis, is supposed to inventory the prisoners' property with them (and a witness) present, according to IDOC regulation 02-01-101-VIII; this was never done. When Rashid did receive some property, it was a random selection of items unrelated to what he asked for, brought to the segregation unit in a box and a footlocker and left in an insecure area where things could be stolen or tampered with.
On December 19th, Rashid received notice that Davis had confiscated various documents deemed to be "security threat group" or "gang" related from his property. Rashid has no idea what these might be, as (contrary to the prison regulations) he was not present when his property was gone through. Rashid does not know how much or how little was confiscated, or what the rationale was for its being described as "gang" related. None of Rashid's property should be confiscated or thrown out under any circumstances, but it is worth noting that the way in which this has been done contravenes the prison's own regulations and policies!
Dale Davis has been an IDOC property officer for 8 years. He has boasted about how he does not need any oversight or anyone else working with him, even though it is very unusual for just one person to have this responsibility. Prisoners' property goes "missing" or is tampered with, and prisoners' rights – as laid out by the Indiana Department of Corrections – are not being respected.
Rashid is not asking to have all of his property made available to him in his cell. He is willing to accept only having access to some of it at a time, for instance as he needs it to prepare court documents or for his research and writing. 
After two months in Indiana, he has still not been supplied with his documents containing the phone numbers and addresses of his loved ones and supporters, effectively sabotaging his relationships on the outside. Rashid is not asking for any kind of special treatment, he is only asking for the prison property room to follow the prison's own rules.
We ask that you look into this, and make sure that Mr. Johnson's right to access his property is being respected, and that something be done about the irregularities in the Pendleton property room. We ask that the rules of the Indiana Department of Corrections be respected.

Sign the petition here:

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).

Kevin Johnson D.O.C. No. 264847
G-20-2C Pendleton Correctional Facility
4490 W. Reformatory Rd.
Pendleton, IN 46064-9001



Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

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
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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:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com




    On Monday March 4th, 2019 Leonard Peltier was advised that his request for a transfer had been unceremoniously denied by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.
    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him.
    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.
    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.
    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0

    Please call the ILPDC National office or email us for a copy of the postcard you can send to the White House. We need your help to ask President Trump for Leonard's freedom.

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    Free Leonard Peltier!

    Art by Leonard Peltier
    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132
    USP Coleman 1,  P.O. Box 1033
    Coleman, FL 33521



    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!


    1) When We Talk About Abortion, Let's Talk About Men
    Since women don't have unwanted pregnancies without them.
    By Michelle Oberman and W. David Ball, June 2, 2019

    A man in Atlanta protesting Georgia's restrictive abortion law in May. CreditCreditElijah Nouvelage/Getty Images
    Abortion opponents won major victories last week when Louisiana lawmakers voted to ban abortions as early as six weeks into a woman's pregnancy and the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring the burial of fetal remains in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc.
    So what happens if Roe v. Wade falls?
    Abortion won't disappear. Our research shows that countries where abortion is illegal have higher rates of abortion than in the United States — figures which are largely a function of unwanted pregnancies. Nearly half of all pregnancies here are unintended, of which four in 10 end in abortion.
    But it takes two to make an unwanted pregnancy. That's why we need to talk about men when we talk about abortion.

    The last time we included men in the discussion was 1992, when the Supreme Court wisely overturned Pennsylvania's law requiring a woman seeking an abortion to prove she had first notified her husband. That's right — attempting to give men veto power over women was the only meaningful effort to include men in abortion regulation.

    Our entire abortion debate pits the fetus against the woman. Men are absent. They can shrug off an unwanted pregnancy as someone else's problem, even though they contributed half the genetic material to the fetus. Most men probably won't think the abortion bans littering statehouses have anything to do with them.
    They are both wrong and right.
    It would be easy to apply these laws to men, to punish them in the ways we have long punished women. But we also know that's not going to happen.
    Alabama's abortion ban, for example, exempts women from criminal punishment. But if the Supreme Court allows the law to stand, and all abortions become illegal, a man could easily be prosecuted.
    Here's how. Say John and Jane have gotten pregnant, and they want to end the pregnancy. This is a common scenario, as ethics professor Katie Watson has found. Nearly nine in 10 unwanted pregnancies happen in relationships, and most abortion patients say their male partners support their decision.
    If John buys abortion drugs online, or even encourages Jane to, then he could serve from 10 to 99 years in prison for aiding her. This happened in 2014 to a Pennsylvania mother, imprisoned for buying her teenage daughter abortion drugs.

    Things get worse for John when you consider that Alabama, along with other states that have passed embryonic heartbeat laws, grants personhood to fetuses as early as two weeks after a missed period.
    If a fetus is a child, then John is a parent.
    John can't abandon his child and is legally obligated to protect it. Current law gives Jane the exclusive right to decide whether to end her pregnancy. But if abortion is a crime, John's obligations to the fetus may shift. If John walks away, knowing he got her pregnant and suspecting she will have an abortion, he may be committing child neglect. Or worse — mothers have been found guilty of murder for having failed to prevent their partners from fatally abusing their children. It's not clear what John is supposed to do. Nor is it clear whether John can avoid liability.
    John may even have broken Alabama law before Jane got pregnant, by failing to take precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Like most states, Alabama law criminalizes recklessly engaging in "conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person." When John ejaculated inside Jane without knowing whether she wanted a baby, he arguably showed a conscious disregard for the risks caused by pregnancy, whether from childbearing or abortion.
    We know these prosecutions sound absurd. Indeed, we think they are a terrible idea. Prosecution won't deter men from having unprotected sex. And the threat of any abortion-related prosecution already jeopardizes pregnant women's lives, which is why the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and many states oppose prosecuting those who end their own pregnancies. Prosecuting men would intensify those risks: if John is angry or panicked about his own legal jeopardy, he might threaten or hurt Jane to force her not to abort.
    And surely the last thing we need is another way to fill the nation's prisons with men — especially since, as so often happens, punitive laws are disproportionately enforced against low-income people and people of color.
    Maybe Alabama prosecutors will head to the white fraternities in Tuscaloosa and begin to arrest young men for conspiring to recklessly endanger the lives of the partygoers they hope to have unprotected sex with. But we doubt it.
    Think about it, though. The novelty of prosecuting men for abortion — despite the sound legal footing of such charges — tells us something important about the way we have, until now, framed the debate. Boys will be boys, but women who get pregnant have behaved irresponsibly

    We are so comfortable with regulating women's sexual behavior, but we're shocked by the idea of doing it to men. Though it might seem strange to talk about men and abortion, it's stranger not to, since women don't have unwanted pregnancies without them.
    All men, whether leaders, legislators or just regular guys, should know that abortion is personal for them, too. They shouldn't just speak to and about women. They must take responsibility for themselves.
    Michelle Oberman is the author of "Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion War, From El Salvador to Oklahoma" and a law professor at Santa Clara University, where W. David Ball is also a law professor.


    2) Migrants in Custody at Hospitals Are Treated Like Felons, Doctors Say
    By Sheri Fink, June 10, 2019
    "It disallows bathroom privileges, requires at least two limbs to be secured to beds unless medically inadvisable, gives agents discretion over whether mothers may visit newborns and obliges law enforcement officers to remain with patients."

    Border Patrol vehicle near Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson.CreditCreditDeanna Alejandra Dent for The New York Times

    Rom Rahimian, a medical student working at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson, was trying to help a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who had been found late last year in the desert — dehydrated, pregnant and already in labor months before her due date. But the Border Patrol agents lingering in the room were making him uncomfortable.
    The agents remained in the obstetrics ward night and day as physicians worked to halt her labor. They were present during her medical examinations, listened in on conversations with doctors and watched her ultrasounds, Mr. Rahimian said. They kept the television on loud, interfering with her sleep. When agents began pressing the medical staff to discharge the woman to an immigration detention facility, the doctors took action.
    "It was a race against the clock to see if we can get her into any other situation," Mr. Rahimian said. He called a lawyer and asked, "What can we do? What are her rights?"

    As apprehensions of migrants climb at the southwest border, and dozens a day are taken to community hospitals, medical providers are challenging practices — by both government agencies and their own hospitals — that they say are endangering patients and undermining recent pledges to improve health care for migrants.

    The problems range from shackling patients to beds and not permitting them to use restrooms to pressuring doctors to discharge patients quickly and certify that they can be held in crowded detention facilities that immigration officials themselves say are unsafe. Physicians say that needed follow-up care for long-term detainees is often neglected, and that they have been prevented from informing family members about the status of critically ill patients. Agency vehicles parked conspicuously near hospital entrances, health providers say, are also stoking fear and interfering with broader immigrant care.
    Doctors typically do not know what rights they might have to challenge these practices. At Banner and several other hospital systems across the country, they have called on administrators to oppose and change security measures that they view as endangering health.
    In many cases, doctors say, their patients are newly arrived asylum seekers, like the Guatemalan woman in Tucson, who had fled violent abuse from her baby's father back home. Such patients, who are in custody only because of their immigration status, are often subjected to security measures meant for prisoners charged with serious crimes. (In her case, medical providers at the hospital persuaded officials to allow her to be discharged to a respite center run by the Casa Alitas program of Catholic Community Services.)
    "Doctors, who have a moral and ethical obligation and duty to care for patients, are actively being prevented from carrying out the practice of medicine as they've been trained to practice it," said Kathryn Hampton, a program officer for Physicians for Human Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group. In a new report, the group documents a range of cases in which it said optimal health care was compromised by stepped-up immigration security.
    Representatives for the two main agencies responsible for detaining migrants — Customs and Border Protection, on the border, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees longer-term detention — declined to discuss the issue. They referred to their written standards for the supervision of detainees taken to community medical facilities. In C.B.P.'s case, the standards state that at least one agent should accompany detainees and, if the patient is hospitalized, "follow their operational office's policies and procedures."

    ICE has separate standards that require custodial officers to transport and remain with detainees during off-site medical treatment.
    Health systems, too, maintain policies that doctors say are problematic. Banner Health, like some others, has a policy that applies equally to immigration detainees and prisoners. It disallows bathroom privileges, requires at least two limbs to be secured to beds unless medically inadvisable, gives agents discretion over whether mothers may visit newborns and obliges law enforcement officers to remain with patients.

    In response to medical staff complaints, administrators at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson scheduled a meeting with the Border Patrol's Tucson sector leaders this week to ensure that both the hospital and the agency "have policies in place that uphold the highest standards of patient care, safety and privacy," Rebecca Armendariz, the Banner Health public relations director, said in an email.
    Banner Health operates 28 hospitals in six states, and its custody policy applies to all of them. Elizabeth Kempshall, Banner Health's senior director of security, wrote the policy; she said in a telephone interview that she planned to modify it "just to clarify things, but it's not going to change a whole lot."
    Ms. Kempshall said she wanted to ensure a safe environment that never impeded medical care and that treated everyone in custody the same. "It's a very delicate situation," she said. "I have to be consistent across the board."
    Dr. Patricia Lebensohn, a family physician who has pressed for changes to the policy, said that constant supervision in a patient's room "makes sense if you have a prisoner that's convicted of murder, but this is a different population, especially the asylum seekers." She added, "They're not criminals."

    Doctors say that agents arriving with immigrants are typically kind and respectful. But one exception galvanized physicians in Texas last year. A cancer patient was admitted to a public hospital accompanied by two guards from the GEO Group, the private contractor for the immigration detention facility where he was being held. Doctors came to believe that guards were texting parts of their conversations with the patient to someone outside the hospital.
    The patient told his doctors that he feared speaking in the earshot of the guards, who, unlike local police officers, refused to step outside during examinations. As the man lay shackled to his hospital bed by both wrists and ankles and at his waist, the skin on his back began to ulcerate. Doctors said they felt intimidated and powerless.
    "His treatment by the guards limited and challenged the ethical care of a patient by the physicians," Dr. Judy Levison said at a board meeting for the Harris Health System, which operates the Texas hospital where he was treated.
    The GEO Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Harris Health's communications director, Bryan McLeod, said that a task force was reviewing the care of patients in law enforcement custody. Harris Health's policy, like Banner's, applies to both immigration detainees and prisoners.
    Another Texas physician, Dr. Amelia Averyt, testified before the Texas Legislature about one of her patients — not a recent migrant, but an immigrant already living in Texas — who was so fearful of encountering immigration officials at a hospital that he delayed care for a stroke, missing the chance to receive medicine that could have prevented permanent brain damage.
    Fears of immigration raids in medical institutions have led some immigrant advocates to organize training sessions, including one in Chicago that stresses disclosing patient information to immigration authorities only when required by a court order or warrant, and informing patients of their right to remain silent. Providers are encouraged not to record immigration statuses in medical records.
    For migrants already in Border Patrol custody, medical providers are particularly concerned about minors. A medical student, Claire Lamneck, said she had seen an armed agent watching a teenage mother breast-feed her baby at Diamond Children's Medical Center in Tucson. "The agent was sitting across from her, just staring at her chest," Ms. Lamneck said. He refused to leave the room until a physician persuaded him.

    Many young migrants arrive at hospitals already traumatized from whatever they were fleeing. In another new report from Physicians for Human Rights, Weill Cornell Medicine experts analyzed more than 180 forensic evaluations conducted in the United States on young asylum seekers. Most of the migrants reported having experienced physical violence, and nearly one out of five said they had suffered sexual violence. Health providers documented physical injuries, and commonly found evidence of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
    Immigration officials are not just accompanying patients to the hospital. They are, at least on occasion, apprehending them there, despite a federal policy that considers health care settings sensitive locations.

    One arrest occurred in the emergency room at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson, where a Mexican man was being treated for a rattlesnake bite. Cameron Jones, a volunteer from the organization No More Deaths, who had treated the man at a desert aid station and alerted emergency workers, later went to his room in the intensive care unit. A Border Patrol agent leapt to his feet and blocked his entry, he said. The migrant man was handcuffed to his bed.
    The man's wife, Julinna, had been present when agents arrived at the hospital at night. (In an interview, she requested that she and her husband, Oscar, be referred to only by their first names. The hospital declined to comment on specific cases for privacy reasons.) Barred from Oscar's room, Julinna later asked nurses, who appeared jittery, about his condition. A doctor arrived. "She looked at the Border Patrol agent and asked if it was O.K. for her to tell the family the update she had to tell," said Mr. Jones, who was present for the exchange. The agent looked baffled, but assented.
    "Everyone was treating him like he was in charge," Mr. Jones said of the agent. "He was the person with the gun."
    Julinna returned daily. Once, a sympathetic guard let her speak with Oscar, but a nurse followed her into the room and demanded that she leave. And then one day, Oscar disappeared. He had been released from the hospital into detention and then was deported.

    Sometimes, American hospitals send immigrant patients who are not in custody to hospitals in their countries of origin. Known as medical deportation, the practice occurs because immigrants without documentation — and even some who are legally present in the country — are ineligible for most federally funded health insurance benefits. When these patients experience catastrophic injuries or illnesses and cannot afford long-term care or rehabilitation, hospitals incurring the expenses have limited options.
    But doctors are finding solutions. When an immigrant at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson faced possible medical deportation last year, health providers, community members and the patient's family raised funds and worked with administrators to ensure her care, said Dr. Samantha Varner, a founder of the Arizona Asylum Network, which conducts medical evaluations of immigrants requesting asylum.
    As a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arizona, Dr. Varner also regularly treats pregnant women in the custody of Border Patrol agents, who insist on a special discharge note stating "not only that the patient is discharged, but that they're healthy to be detained," she said. She views this as akin to certifying the safety of detention conditions that she cannot control and that give her great concern.
    Recently a pregnant woman was exposed to chickenpox in detention and required preventive treatment at Dr. Varner's hospital. And last year, an 8-year-old boy, Felipe Alonzo Gomez, died of complications from influenza and sepsis after being treated at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, N.M., and released back to Border Patrol custody, before being returned hours later.
    "They're pressuring you to do something medically unethical, which is to say you give your medical approval to detain a person," Dr. Varner said.
    She drafted a template letter for her colleagues to use instead. It states that the patient is stable to be discharged, but that the letter "should not be construed as any form of approval for detention." The letter refers to a statement sent last year to a top Department of Homeland Security official from leaders of three major organizations representing pediatricians, obstetricians and family physicians. The letter concluded that "the conditions in D.H.S. facilities are not appropriate for pregnant women or children."
    Last week, when a fellow obstetrics resident, Dr. Justin Gamez, refused to certify that a patient was safe to be transported by Border Patrol agents, an agency official called him.

    "He gave examples of other hospitals and other providers that he could take her to tomorrow and get the kind of language he needs," Dr. Gamez said. The official even hinted that the woman would be released from custody, he said, and that the doctor was slowing the process.
    Shaken, Dr. Gamez provided the letter.


    3) Brazil Fails to Replace Cuban Doctors, Hurting Health Care of 28 Million
    By Shasta Darlington and Letícia Casado, June 11, 2019

    A group of Cuban doctors who returned to Cuba in November waiting to meet the island's president, Miguel Diaz-Canel.CreditDesmond Boylan/Associated Press

    EMBU-GUAÇU, Brazil — The shiny plastic chairs all sat empty in a public health clinic, and the patients who staggered in were told to come back Thursday — the only day of the week now when a doctor is there.
    This small Brazilian city, Embu-Guaçu, home to 70,000 people, recently lost eight of its 18 public-sector doctors, a devastating loss for the city's network of free clinics, forcing hard choices about who gets care and when.
    "It's heartbreaking," said Fernanda Kimura, a doctor who coordinates the assignment of physicians to the clinics for the local health department. "Like choosing which child to feed."

    The sick and the injured turned away that day in a working-class neighborhood of Embu-Guaçu represent only a tiny fraction of the estimated 28 million people across Brazil whose access to health care has been sharply curtailed, according to the National Confederation of Municipalities, following a confrontation between Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, and Cuba.

    In November, Cuba announced it was recalling the 8,517 doctors it had deployed to poor and remote regions of Brazil, a response to the tough stance against Cuba that Mr. Bolsonaro had vowed to take when he was elected in October.
    The abrupt departure of thousands of doctors has presented Mr. Bolsonaro with one of his first major policy challenges — and has tested his ability to deliver on a promise to find homegrown substitutions quickly.

    "We are graduating, I am certain, around 20,000 doctors a year, and the trend is to increase that number," Mr. Bolsonaro said in November. "We can solve this problem with these doctors."
    But six months into his presidential term, which started in January, Brazil is struggling to replace the departed Cuban doctors with Brazilian ones: 3,847 public-sector medical positions in almost 3,000 municipalities remained unfilled as of April, according to the most recent figures available.

    "In several states, health clinics and their patients don't have doctors," said Ligia Bahia, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. "It's a step backward. It impedes early diagnoses, the monitoring of children, pregnancies and the continuation of treatments that were already underway."
    During his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, committed to making major changes to the Mais Médicos program, an initiative begun in 2013 when a leftist government was in power. The program sent doctors into Brazil's small towns, indigenous villages and violent, low-income urban neighborhoods.
    About half of the Mais Médicos doctors were from Cuba, and they were deployed to 34 remote indigenous villages and the poorer quarters of more than 4,000 towns and cities, places that established Brazilian physicians largely shun.
    "The willingness of Cuban doctors to work in difficult conditions became a cornerstone of the public health system," said Ms. Bahia, the professor.
    Brazil paid millions of dollars a month to Cuba for the doctors, making them a vital export for the island's coffers. But most of the money went directly to Cuba's Communist government, an arrangement Mr. Bolsonaro warned he would change.

    Cuban doctors have long complained about getting only a small cutof the money for their work, and Mr. Bolsonaro said they would have to be allowed to keep their entire salaries and to bring their families with them to Brazil. They would also have to pass equivalency exams to prove their qualifications.

    "Our Cuban brothers will be freed," Mr. Bolsonaro said in an official campaign proposal presented to electoral authorities. "Their families will be allowed to migrate to Brazil. And, if they pass the revalidation, they will begin to receive the entire amount that was being robbed by the Cuban dictators!"
    Two weeks after Mr. Bolsonaro won the presidency in October, Cuba ordered all its doctors out.
    Access to free health care is a right under Brazilian law, and Mais Médicos was enacted in 2013 by President Dilma Rousseff in a bid to provide medical care to communities that were not being served by the public health system. Through a network of free clinics, the program provided 60 million Brazilians with access to a family doctor in their community for the first time.
    In the first four years of Mais Médicos, the percentage of Brazilians receiving primary care rose to 70 percent from 59.6 percent, according to a report by the Pan-American Health Organization, which coordinated Cuba's participation in the program.
    The withdrawal of Cuban doctors could reverse that trend, with the consequences especially severe for those under 5, potentially leading to the deaths of up to 37,000 young children by 2030, warned Dr. Gabriel Vivas, an official with the Pan-American Health Organization.
    In February, it looked as if Mr. Bolsonaro would fulfill his promise: the national Health Ministry announced that all of the positions left vacant by Cuba's withdrawal had been filled with Brazilian doctors. But by April, thousands of the new recruits had either quit or failed to show up for work in the first place.
    More than 2,000 Cuban doctors have chosen to remain in Brazil, defying the call to return home. But with the special arrangement with Cuba terminated, they are now ineligible to practice medicine until they pass an exam — which the Brazilian government has not offered since 2017 and for which the Health Ministry has set no date.
    Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Brazil's health minister, said the new government was working on a bill to ensure the goals of Mais Médicos were achieved and the doctors replaced.

    "Even if the program has various problems, it has a positive side, which is, precisely, diminishing the inequality in health care neglect," he said.
    But Mr. Mandetta initially said the bill would be sent to Congress between April and May. Now, the ministry says it will be introduced by the end of June.
    Karel Sánchez was one of four Cuban doctors sent to the remote region of Cachoeira do Arari in the Brazilian Amazon. He waited there for five months after his government ordered the withdrawal of all Cuban doctors, with the expectation that Mr. Bolsonaro would respect his campaign pledge to provide an exam so he could continue to work and receive his full salary.

    "I was happy when Bolsonaro said he wouldn't support a dictatorship," Dr. Sánchez said.
    In April, Dr. Sánchez gave up and moved to São Paulo, where he scrapes together money by selling homemade sweets and working as a baggage handler at an airport.
    "Now he doesn't talk about us at all, just silence," Dr. Sánchez said.
    In Embu-Guaçu, Dr. Santa Cobas, the Cuban doctor who had been serving residents at the clinic now only open on Thursdays was still nearby and eager to work.
    But Dr. Cobas is unemployed, and the 4,000 people she once cared for don't have access to a local doctor six days a week.

    "Now we end up doing triage all day — deciding who needs to rush to another hospital, who gets to see the visiting doctor on Thursday and who will just have to wait," said Erica Toledo, the head nurse at the clinic, Jardim Campestre, which was opened in 2015.
    "Dr. Santa was here from the first day, and it was the first time people felt taken care of by their 'own' doctor," Ms. Toledo said. "They really love her."
    The health secretary of Embu-Guaçu, Dr. Maria Dalva, said she was frustrated that 63 percent of the city had voted for Mr. Bolsonaro, despite his overt antipathy for Mais Médicos.
    "The child mortality rate here dropped to 7 percent from 17 percent in five years thanks to Mais Médicos," said Dr. Dalva. "I told people to think about that before they voted."


    4) Justice Breyer Raises Specter of Perpetual Detention Without Trial at Guantánamo
    The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a man who has been held in wartime detention for 17 years with no end in sight.
    By Charlie Savage and Carol Rosenberg, June 10, 2019

    Of the 40 detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison, 26 have been deemed unable to be tried but recommended for continued detention.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a lawsuit by a Yemeni man who has been held in wartime detention for more than 17 years at the military's Guantánamo Bay prison, prompting Justice Stephen G. Breyer to warn that the American legal system is on autopilot toward permitting life imprisonment without trial.
    "It is past time to confront the difficult question left open by" a 2004 ruling allowing the indefinite detention of Guantánamo detainees captured after the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan, Justice Breyer wrote in a dissenting opinion.
    That difficult question: In a war that effectively has no end, is it lawful to hold a person in perpetual detention, until he dies of natural causes decades after his capture, because he was once part of an enemy force — though never charged with committing a crime?

    Because fighting in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban continues with no end in sight, the roughly 42-year-old detainee who brought the case, who was captured there in 2001 and taken to the naval base in Cuba in January 2002, "faces the real prospect that he will spend the rest of his life in detention based on his status as an enemy combatant a generation ago," Justice Breyer wrote.

    Unlike most habeas corpus lawsuits by detainees, which focused on whether there was sufficient factual evidence to establish that they had been members of the enemy force, the one brought by the plaintiff, Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi, did not challenge accusations that he had served in a Qaeda militia helping the Taliban fight the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. (He also did not concede they were accurate.)
    Instead, he argued that the legal basis for holding him as a wartime detainee had unraveled because so much time had passed since his capture and because the conflict in Afghanistan had changed. But an appeals court panel disagreed, and only Justice Breyer was interested in taking up his appeal. 
    Justice Breyer flagged similar concerns in 2014 when the Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal of another Guantánamo detainee, but that detainee had not raised the legal arguments. However, none of the other justices joined him in his desire now to hear a case presenting the issues he had essentially invited.
    After a series of landmark rulings about the rights of Guantánamo detainees in 2004, 2006 and 2008, the Supreme Court has not taken up such a case in 11 years. 
    Still, Justice Breyer's statement put a spotlight on a legal and moral dilemma that has been hovering around the edges of the war on terrorism since the Bush administration began bringing detainees from Afghanistan to Guantánamo in 2002.

    Under the laws of war, to prevent captured enemies from returning to the battlefield, a military can detain them without trial until hostilities end. In 2004, the Supreme Court declared it lawful for the Bush administration to hold detainees at Guantánamo in open-ended detention without trial, citing that wartime practice and Congress's 2001 decision to authorize military force against those responsible for Sept. 11 attacks.
    But that practice developed in the context of traditional wars — the type that come to a definitive end after a few years and soldiers stop fighting and go home. A war against a loose-knit, evolving and transnational network of Islamist militants is different. 
    It is not clear anyone has the authority to halt the war declared by Al Qaeda's founder, Osama bin Laden, and make all its members stop fighting — especially because the network has splintered into associates and successor factions, like the Islamic State, which share Al Qaeda's ideology but have their own leaders.

    Justice Breyer wrote that the Supreme Court should consider whether the legal basis to keep holding a particular person in detention can expire even if the broader conflict continues. "Today's conflict may differ substantially from the one Congress anticipated when it passed" the 2001 force authorization, he wrote.
    A lawyer for Mr. Alwi, Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York, called his client's predicament a "cruel farce" and urged Congress or the executive branch to cap how long someone like his client can be imprisoned.
    "That Moath remains behind bars although the courts found no evidence that he ever used arms against the United States shows just how inhumane both the government and the law have become in these cases," Mr. Kassem said.

    Mr. Alwi is a jailhouse artist who has crafted model boats from found objects at the prison. His work was featured at a John Jay College of Criminal Justice exhibit that stoked controversy in 2017, after which the Pentagon forbade the release of art from the prison.
    The Supreme Court declined to hear the case as Congress is considering new provisions in its annual defense authorization bill for the first time since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. 
    On Monday, the House Armed Services Committee chairman, Representative Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat who supports closing the prison, disclosed draft language that would ban bringing any new wartime prisoners to the base. It would also omit the extension of a legal ban on the transfer of detainees to the United States for any purpose, which dates to 2011.
    The bill has a long way to go before it would become law, and it is not clear whether the Republican-controlled Senate would agree to the provisions or whether Mr. Trump would sign it.
    Mr. Smith said on Monday that he hoped Republican lawmakers, who in the Obama era tended to support strict detainee transfer restrictions, would be more willing to relax the rules under Mr. Trump, who has vowed to keep the prison open.
    "I think the Republicans are a little bit more flexible about it because they trust President Trump to uphold their policies on this," Mr. Smith. "We don't mandate shutting down Guantánamo — we just remove the restriction if you want to do it."
    Neither provision mirrors language moving through the Senate. But any lifting of transfer prohibitions would permit the temporary transfer of detainees with urgent or complex medical needs to mainland United States military medical facilities — a provision approved in the Senate Armed Services Committee legislation.

    Health care for aging detainees is a growing concern at Guantánamo. The military has repeatedly dispatched specialists, surgical teams and equipment there to provide treatment unavailable at the base's small community hospital — at taxpayer expense. 
    The Bush administration brought about 780 detainees to Guantánamo before deciding to try to close the prison. The Obama administration, which also tried but failed to close it, inherited 242 detainees and further winnowed its population. The Trump administration's policy is to keep the prison open, but it has brought no new detainees there.
    Mr. Alwi is one of 40 remaining detainees. Nine are charged or convicted in the troubled military commissions system; 26 are recommended for continued detention; and five are recommended for transfers to stable countries, although the Trump administration has not sought to carry them out.
    Captive Moath al Alwi at Guantánamo in a photo taken from his 2008 prison profile provided to McClatchy by WikiLeaks.

    The prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, put its stamp of approval for release on the sail of this model ship built by Yemeni captive Moath al Alwi from paper and other found objects at the Camp 6 communal prison for low value detainees. It was on display on Oct. 25, 2017 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as part of an exhibit of art made at the prison by captives past and present.  CROSENBERG@MIAMIHERALD.COM

    The prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, put its stamp of approval for release on the sail of this model ship built by Yemeni captive Moath al Alwi from paper and other found objects at the Camp 6 communal prison for low value detainees. It was on display on Oct. 25, 2017 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as part of an exhibit of art made at the prison by captives past and present. CAROL ROSENBERG CROSENBERG@MIAMIHERALD.COM

    Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article185088673.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article185088673.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article185088673.html#storylink=cpy


    5) Maine Abortion Law Lets Nurse Practitioners and Others Perform Procedure
    By Jacey Fortin, June 10, 2019

    Gov. Janet Mills of Maine signed a bill Monday that will allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other qualified medical professionals to administer abortions.CreditCreditRobert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

    The governor of Maine signed a bill on Monday that will expand access to abortions in the state by allowing health care professionals who are not physicians to perform the procedure.
    Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, said in a statement that the measure "will ensure that Maine women, especially those in rural areas, are able to access critical reproductive health care services when and where they need them from qualified providers they know and trust."
    The law will go into effect in September, and it will allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other qualified medical professionals to administer abortions involving oral medicine or in-clinic procedures.

    The governor's office said only three cities in Maine — Augusta, Bangor and Portland — have publicly accessible health care centers where a patient can get an aspiration abortion, which is a procedure that involves suction. The new law could make it easier for more rural clinics to offer the same service.

    Most states require that aspiration abortions be performed by a physician, but a handful also allow other medical professionals to administer the procedure. Those include California, Colorado and some of Maine's neighbors in the Northeast.
    "States across the country, including Vermont and New Hampshire, have already eliminated this outdated restriction on abortion care," Sara Gideon, a Democrat who sponsored the bill as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said in a statement. "This law will allow women to receive the care they need from a provider they trust and eliminate the financial and logistical hurdles they face today."
    Many Republicans in the state, including former Gov. Paul LePage, have resisted expanding abortion rights. So have organizations including the Christian Civic League of Maine.
    Carroll Conley, the organization's executive director, said he was concerned whether nurses and other health care professionals would receive adequate training to administer abortions by September; whether the law would allow them to conscientiously object to performing the procedure; and whether patients might be endangered if they had medical complications during an abortion at a more remote clinic.
    "Obviously, for transparency's sake, we would oppose it anyway on philosophical grounds," Mr. Conley added.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the bill, pointed to peer-reviewed research showing that nurse practitioners and other non-physician practitioners have provided safe abortion care.
    "Maine's leaders have stepped up to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families in our great state," said Oamshri Amarasingham, the advocacy director for the A.C.L.U. of Maine.
    Women in urban areas tend to have easier access to reproductive health care. A New York Times analysis last month found that more than 11 million women in the United States live more than an hour's drive from an abortion facility.
    Mr. Conley of the Christian Civic League said there was a lack of evidence that women in Maine were having trouble accessing abortion services because of proximity, so the legislation seemed more political than practical.
    Since 2011, there has been a surge in laws that restrict abortion access in many states. Some targeted providers by establishing tighter regulations for clinics, while others targeted patients by mandating waiting periods or limiting insurance coverage.
    In recent months, lawmakers in states including AlabamaLouisianaMissouri and Ohio have supported increasingly restrictive abortion laws, setting up potential Supreme Court battles that could reshape abortion access across the country.


    6) Why Women, but Not Men, Are Judged for a Messy House
    They're still held to a higher social standard, which explains why they're doing so much housework, studies show.
    "On average, women spend 2.3 hours a day on house tasks, and men spend 1.4 hours, according to Department of Labor data. Even when men say they split housework evenly, the data shows they do not. (Women do more of these kinds of chores in the office, too.)"
    By Claire Cain Miller, June 11, 2019

    "The Smiths share the drudgery of housework, for they both have important war jobs," the Office of War Information wrote about this photo circa 1944.CreditLibrary of Congress

    Even in 2019, messy men are given a pass and messy women are unforgiven. Three recently published studies confirm what many women instinctively know: Housework is still considered women's work — especially for women who are living with men. 
    Women do more of such work when they live with men than when they live alone, one of the studies found. Even though men spend more time on domestic tasks than men of previous generations, they're typically not doing traditionally feminine chores like cooking and cleaning, another showed. The third study pointed to a reason: Socially, women — but not men — are judged negatively for having a messy house and undone housework.
    It's an example of how social mores, whether or not an individual believes in them, influence behavior, the social scientists who did the research say. And when it comes to gender, expectations about housework have been among the slowest to change

    "Everyone knows what the stereotype or expectations might be, so even if they don't endorse them personally, it will still affect their behavior," even if they say they have progressive views about gender roles, said Sarah Thébaud, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of one of the papers.

    The additional time that women spend on unpaid household labor is a root of gender inequality — it influences how men and women relate at home, and how much time women spend on paid work. 
    On average, women spend 2.3 hours a day on house tasks, and men spend 1.4 hours, according to Department of Labor data. Even when men say they split housework evenly, the data shows they do not. (Women do more of these kinds of chores in the office, too.)
    One of the recent studies, in the journal Demography, analyzed American Time Use Survey data and found that mothers married to men did more housework than single mothers, slept less and had less leisure time. 
    "One possibility is what people believe is expected of them to be a good wife and partner is still really strong, and you're held to those standards when you're living with someone," said Joanna Pepin, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, who wrote the paper with Liana Sayer, a colleague at Maryland, and Lynne Casper from the University of Southern California. 
    Other possibilities, Ms. Pepin said, were that men created more housework; single mothers were more tired; or children did more chores when they lived with a single mother.

    Women tend to do more indoor chores, research shows, like cleaning and cooking, most of which occur daily. Men do more outdoor chores, like lawn mowing or car washing, which happen less often. 
    Another recent study, in the journal Gender & Society, looked at people in opposite-sex marriages and found that even though men who live in cities spend less time on outdoor chores than suburban or rural men, they don't spend any additional time on other kinds of chores. Women spend the same amount of time on chores regardless of where they live. 
    The pattern demonstrates how much housework is considered women's work, said the researchers, Natasha Quadlin at Ohio State University and Long Doan at the University of Maryland, who used data from the American Time Use Survey and the Current Population Survey. 
    One way to be masculine is to do typically male chores, they concluded — and another way is to refuse to do typically female ones. 
    These studies relied on survey data to show what people do. A study published last month in Sociological Methods & Research tried to explain why women do more housework. The researchers conducted an experiment to uncover the beliefs that drive people's behavior. 
    They showed 624 people a photo of a messy living room and kitchen — dishes on the counters, a cluttered coffee table, blankets strewn about — or the clean version of the same space. (They usedMTurk, a survey platform popular with social scientists; the participants were slightly more educated and more likely to be white and liberal than the population at large.) 
    The results debunked the age-old excuse that women have an innately lower tolerance for messiness. Men notice the dust and piles. They just aren't held to the same social standards for cleanliness, the study found.

    When participants were told that a woman occupied the clean room, it was judged as less clean than when a man occupied it, and she was thought to be less likely to be viewed positively by visitors and less comfortable with visitors. 
    Both men and women were penalized for having a messy room. When respondents were told it was occupied by a man, they said that it was in more urgent need of cleaning and that the men were less responsible and hardworking than messy women. The mess seemed to play into a stereotype of men as lazy slobs, the researchers said. 
    But there was a key difference: Unlike for women, participants said messy men were not likely to be judged by visitors or feel uncomfortable having visitors over. 
    "It may activate negative stereotypes about men if they're messy, but it's inconsequential because there's no expected social consequence to that," said Ms. Thébaud, who did the study with the sociologists Sabino Kornrich of Emory and Leah Ruppanner of the University of Melbourne. "It's that 'boys will be boys' thing." 
    Most of the time, respondents said a woman would be responsible for cleaning the room — especially if the occupants were in a heterosexual marriage and both were working full time. 
    "The ways it gets reinforced are so subtle," said Darcy Lockman, the author of a new book about the unequal division of labor, "All the Rage," and a clinical psychologist. " 'I should relieve my husband of burdens' — it's so automatic." 
    Social scientists have been observing these pressures for decades. In 1989, the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote "The Second Shift," documenting how even in dual-career couples, women did significantly more housework and child care than men. In 1998, the sociologist Barbara Risman described in the book "Gender Vertigo" how people feel pressure from members of both genders to perform certain roles.

    Since then, men's and women's roles have changed in many parts of life — but not regarding housekeeping. In a study last year, Ms. Risman showed that Americans are now more likely to value gender equality at work than at home. 
    Bigger forces shape these beliefs. Employers increasingly demand employees to be on call at work, for example, which can end up forcing one parent (usually the mother) to step back from work to be on call at home. This happens for same-sex couples, too, showing that it's not just about gender — it's also about the way paid work is set up. 
    Policies that encourage men to take on more responsibility at home — like use-it-or-lose-it paternity leave in Canada and Scandinavian countries — could increase their involvement, evidence suggests. 
    The stereotypes start with what boys are taught. Research has found that when mothers work for pay and fathers do household chores, their sons become adults who spend more time on housework. 
    So far, what we know about the next generation is that girls are doing less housework. But boys aren't doing that much more.


    7) At Long Last, a Measure of Justice for Some Drug Offenders
    The First Step Act was aimed at righting racial disparities in drug sentencing. So far, more than 1,000 inmates have benefited.
    By The Editorial Board
    CreditCreditIrene Rinald

    New data about the effects of the First Step Act, a bipartisan prison reform bill that President Trump signed into law in December, is showing that past injustices can be corrected, even in the most politically polarized of times.
    Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency that advises federal judges on carrying out changes to sentencing policy, reported that in the four months after the law went into effect, more than 1,000 federal inmates were granted a sentence reduction for offenses involving crack cocaine. In 2010, Congress passed legislation to address these racially unjust sentences, but that change wasn’t retroactive.
    The old crack laws were a vestige of the racist war on drugs started in the 1970s. Offenders convicted of crack-related offenses, a vast majority of them African-American, received unduly punitive sentences — about 100 times harsher than those imposedon white, more affluent offenders who were convicted of crimes related to powdered cocaine. (Crack is the rock form of powdered cocaine.)
    Under the First Step Act’s retroactive application, federal inmates across the country who had been sentenced under the old crack laws began to apply for relief — and judges began reducing their sentences, which resulted in many of them being set free. According to the Sentencing Commission, the average sentence reduction has been 73 months, or a little more than six years.

    Ninety-one percent of those people who have benefited from the reduction are black.
    Matthew Charles, whom Mr. Trump invited to the State of the Union address in February, was among the first people to invoke the First Step Act in court. A Sentencing Commission analysisestimated that as of May 2018 there were around 2,660 cases like Mr. Charles’s — people sentenced under repudiated crack laws who are now eligible for more equitable treatment.
    There’s more to the First Step Act than sentencing reform. Under William Barr, the attorney general, the Justice Department has begun to put into effect other requirements of the law, such as the development of a risk and needs assessment tool that the Trump administration expects will lead to the release of an additional 3,000 inmates once fully completed, with many thousands more expected to benefit in the years ahead — inmates who are deemed to be low-risk and who demonstrate good conduct while incarcerated.
    The success of the law’s sentencing measures is significant, however, given that many civil rights advocates expressed sharp opposition to earlier, weaker versions of the bill, even as the former attorney general, Jeff Sessionsmounted his own opposition to the legislation.
    Still, more can be done. As with any law, the First Step Act’s success is tied to a chief executive’s willingness to see it flourish. Mr. Trump has yet to renominate individuals to fill four vacancies at the Sentencing Commission, which currently lacks a quorum and is hamstrung from moving forward on technical components of the First Step Act that could give judges greater guidance on “compassionate release” and other provisions that would shorten some prison sentences.

    The president can be proud of the passage of the First Step Act. But the law’s true measure, and promise, will be determined by how it is enforced to do justice on the ground.


    8) The End of the Rape and Incest Exception
    Republicans are abandoning language that has long been standard in abortion bans. Why?
    By Mary Ziegler, June 11, 2019

    CreditCreditDischa-as/Stock, via Getty Images

    All of a sudden, abortion opponents have abandoned rape and incest exceptions to abortion bans.
    Louisiana became the latest state to do so last month, following Ohio, Mississippi and, most notoriously, Alabama. That same month, younger abortion foes in groups like Students for Life of America fired off a letter asking the Republican Party to stop supporting exceptions that before this year had long been standard components of anti-abortion legislation. 
    Why the sudden shift on rape and incest, and what does it mean? Fights about rape and incest exceptions expose deeply different ideas about the guilt and trustworthiness of women — and about how much popular opinion should dictate abortion politics.
    These exceptions weren’t always viewed as standard. The American Law Institute, an expert body, created the rape and incest exceptions in 1959 when proposing a model abortion law. Anti-abortion scholars immediately denounced the idea. Even if women were victims of sexual assault, these commentators argued, these unborn children were innocent.

    And, they argued, maybe the women were not really victims at all. A lawyer named Eugene Quay wrote an influential articledeclaring that as a scientific matter, it was nearly impossible for women to become pregnant as a result of rape — a myth whose influence is still being felt — to make the point that many women would simply lie about sexual assault to get an abortion when they had consented to sex all along.

    Across the anti-abortion movement, opposition to these exceptions ran high for years. After Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, a ban on Medicaid funding for abortion, abortion foes fought to eliminate a rape or incest exception, suggesting that women would “cry rape” to get their procedures reimbursed.
    This began to change only in the 1980s, when rape and incest exceptions became a third rail. In the previous years, abortion-rights forces had effectively used the lack of a rape and incest exception as a cudgel against the anti-abortion movement. When Republicans in Congress seemed to have the votes to pass a constitutional amendment in 1981 declaring that there was no right to abortion, abortion-rights groups wasted no time in reminding Americans that the move would allow some states to force victims to bear their rapists’ children. They also ridiculed the idea that women could not become pregnant as a result of rape, using it to claim that abortion foes were both anti-science and anti-woman.
    Republicans of the era seemed to fall in line behind supporting the exceptions, even if they generally fought to keep them out of the Hyde Amendment. Ronald Reagan, the president who made the Republicans the “party of life,” favored excepting rape and incestwhen it came to abortion bans (though not abortion funding). So did large majorities of the American public. Indeed, in 1990, the National Right to Life Committee, one of the nation’s largest anti-abortion groups, proposed a law banning most abortions but making an exception for rape and incest.
    None of this changed the fact that many abortion opponents were against the exceptions in principle. But publicly condemning the exception just seemed too politically risky.
    So why are opponents of abortion defying the political consensus now?
    Part of the answer seems to be generational. With a conservative majority now in place on the Supreme Court, some younger abortion foes seem willing to buck the Republican Party’s orthodoxy on issues from climate change to immigration — so why not abortion too?

    Do abortion opponents really think that Americans will so easily let go of rape and incest exceptions? Yes and no. Social movements on both sides of the abortion debate rely on their own pollsters and focus groups. And it’s possible these sharply polarized sources of data might simply be misleading them on what the public is willing to support. After all, a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll confirmed that strong majorities supported the rape and incest exception, including more than 30 percent of those who describe themselves as pro-life
    But what the abandonment of rape and incest exceptions reveal is that some abortion opponents no longer care about what most Americans have to say. These activists argue that popular opinion will never change unless abortion foes make a case for what they really want. This March, David French spoke for many in writing in National Review that it was “time to throw down the gauntlet, declare to the world” that “the era of incrementalism is over, and show that the people are ready to embrace life.”
    Debate about these exceptions may give hints of what may be to come. Up until now, anti-abortion lawmakers have not promoted laws directly punishing women. They do so as a matter of strategy, to make the case that abortion hurts women in addition to unborn children and that pro-choice — not pro-life — Americans are anti-woman. And many abortion opponents sincerely believe that women are victims of abortion.
    But we live in a world in which a woman in Alabama could easily buy abortion pills on the internet and end her pregnancy without ever seeing a doctor. In such a case, the only person whom states could easily prosecute and punish would be the woman having an abortion. The temptation to do so may prove to be too great. Just look at the debate about rape and incest. For abortion foes, there may be two victims of abortion, but some are more innocent than others.

    9) You Can Talk to Plants. Maybe You Should Listen.
    An installation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden ponders the sounds made by plants.
    By JoAnna Klein, June 11, 2019

    Visitors to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden can hear a version of the songs these corn plants have to sing.CreditCreditMarcos Brindicci/Reuters

    What does a plant sound like?

    This is the sound of corn growing

    It’s also part of an art installation on display at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York through October. This veggie-lullaby plays from large, yellow horns planted with corn seeds in a plot of soil. As the seedlings grow, their sounds will also be recorded.
    “They’re communicating to each other,” says Adrienne Adar, the artist who designed this installation, “Sonic Succulents: Plant Sounds and Vibrations,” on display until Oct. 27. “We are not their audience.”
    But she asks us to listen to plants and reflect on how we feel: “How does it make us think about them differently? How does it change our minds and our relationship to them? Because they’re doing their thing, and what are we going to feel like if they’re not there anymore?”

    On a quiet night, farmers say they can hear corn grow. But for most others, the constant sounds plants make are inaudible without technology like Ms. Adar’s to bring them to life. By allowing visitors to interact with audible plants, she hopes to evoke a new perception of these photosynthesizing organisms: not as inanimate objects for humans to control, but as living co-inhabitants, just as important to this planet as we are.
    Sound plays an important role in scientific discovery. Researchers found gravitational waves, mapped the seafloor and created pictures of babies in wombs — just by listening to vibrations bounce and shift when they struck otherwise invisible objects. Listening to plants, and understanding how they interact with sound, could lead to discoveries, too
    To make the invisible visible, Ms. Adar “audiolizes” plants. At the garden, she has also planted sensors with succulents and cactuses indoors. When visitors touch the plants, sensors pick up vibrations, normally inaudible to humans. For a one-on-one experience, these sounds travel through a wire into a machine for amplification and delivery through headphones. For others, a prerecorded track of these plant bodies plays through a large speaker mounted in the room.
    “That way the plants can listen to each other,” Ms. Adar said.
    Here’s the sound of flicked cactus spines, brushed trunks or rubbed leaves between fingers.

    These vibrations are just physical reactions to touch. But in nature, quiet vibrations inside and outside plant bodies are daily soundtracks and important communication signals, scientists are starting to learn.
    For instance, scientists have found that corn grows better when exposed to sounds at frequencies between 200 and 300 Hertz (like the ones layered in the recording above). Playing sounds for mustard plants enhanced survival in the face of simulated drought. Sound delayed tomato ripening. Mung beans, cucumbers and ricehave all sprouted more in response to certain sounds. Strawberries have grown bushierkiwi and rice roots, longer. Sound has guided roots to water.
    Sound has also influenced interactions between plants and animals. For instance, only the vibrating buzz of a particular bee will trigger some plants to release pollen. Pitcher plants even create their own bat call to attract bats.
    There’s much to learn from what plants communicate with sound — on a scientific and personal level.
    Ms. Adar once placed a wired palm in the middle of an office walkway that emitted sounds through a speaker. Passers-by began apologizing when they bumped it. In her exhibits, she wants people to feel what plants feel.
    “It adds a level of information they didn’t have before, and they think of the plant differently,” she added.
    Throughout history, the general view of plants has varied between rock-life objects or humanlike friends. But with technology and greater knowledge about plant biology, Ms. Adar highlights an emerging alternative.
    “People are more open to thinking about plants and how they exist on their terms,” said Ms. Adar. “Things don’t have to live like humans for us to understand them anymore.”


    10) Trump Administration to Hold Migrant Children at Base That Served as WWII Japanese Internment Camp
    BY W.J. HENNIGAN, June 11, 2019
    The Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody after running out of room at government shelters.
    Fort Sill, an 150-year-old installation once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    The agency said Fort Sill will be used “as a temporary emergency influx shelter” to help ease the burden on the government as it prepares to house a record number of minors even though it already operates about 168 facilities and programs in 23 states.
    Health and Human Services said in a statement that it has taken about 40,900 children into custody through April 30. That’s a 57% increase from last year, which is a rate on-pace to surpass the record figures in 2016, when 59,171 minors were taken into custody. The agency had assessed two other military bases before selecting Fort Sill.
    The children would be held inside facilities that are separate from the general on-base population. HHS personnel, not American troops, will oversee them.
    Using military bases in this way is not new. In 2014, the Obama Administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months. Last year, the government evaluated several military bases to shelter migrants, but ultimately decided not to use the facilities.
    However, it appears unavoidable this year. Apprehensions of children at the border are already nearing record numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data last week that showed the figures had skyrocketed to 56,278 at the end of May, a 74% increase over last year. The influx of migrants, mainly from Central America, is straining an already exhausted system, U.S. officials say. Several children have died while in U.S. custody since last year.
    Fort Sill, located southwest of Oklahoma City, was one of several internment camps where Japanese-Americans were held during World War II. Between 1942 and 1946, the U.S. government forcibly removed an estimated 120,000 men, women and children from their homes and incarcerated them across the country. Fort Sill was later used to hold German prisoners of war.

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