Reuters: A suspected drone strike in Yemen mistakenly killed 15 civilians Thursday, officials say.
It is not known, at this time, which country executed the drone strike.
Pass this on Tumblr
some really great photos from Euromaidan in Kyiv, Ukraine
Nelson Mandela passed away today at 95 after a long battle with a recurring lung infection.
Explore his life and legacy with FRONTLINE’s Nelson Mandela timeline, based on the 1999 FRONTLINE documentary “The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela.”
Mikhailovskaya Square and Maidan 30.11.13 (Kiev)
We demand justice: The racist killing of Renisha McBride
November 18, 2013
A 19-year-old African American woman is dead for the “crime” of asking for help after a car accident in a predominantly white suburb of Detroit.
Renisha McBride was shot in the head with a shotgun in the early morning hours of November 2. She had been in a car crash and—with her cell phone dead and bleeding from a wound on her head—was seeking help from residents.
According to reports, 54-year-old Theodore Wafer shot Renisha through the screen door of his home. Wafer didn’t call police until an hour later—at which point, he claimed to have fired in self-defense. He then changed his story, claiming the shotgun went off by accident—only to change it back again when prosecutors filed murder and manslaughter charges against him.
Contrary to initial reports, Renisha was shot not in the face but the back of the head, as she turned to leave, according to the Detroit Free Press—another contradiction of Wafer’s self-defense claim. Likewise, initial reports said Renisha’s body had been “dumped,” but police later said it was found on the porch.
Renisha’s murder is being compared to the Trayvon Martin case, and for good reason—Wafer is using “Stand Your Ground”-style self-defense laws to try to escape punishment by claiming that he felt threatened by Renisha.
Although her death was ruled a homicide, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy didn’t file charges for 13 days, during which time police and the mainstream media kept the killer’s identity secret. Worthy reportedly refused an initial request for a warrant by Dearborn Heights police, saying more investigation was needed.
Detroiters didn’t take the same do-nothing attitude toward Renisha’s murder.
On November 7, about 50 people gathered outside police department headquarters in Dearborn Heights. Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, spoke for the crowd when he asked: “Had she been a white woman and the shooter a black man, would the shooter be sitting comfortably at home watching TV today?”
Two days later, some 200 people attended a rally, organized by the National Action Network, on the West Side of Detroit. Another protest was held a week later, on December 16, organized by the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and the International Socialist Organization.
Faced with this mounting pressure, Worthy finally filed charges against Wafer, including second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Now that charges have been filed against Wafer, the media are taking another page out of the Trayvon Martin case and are putting the victim on trial. Mainstream outlets are reporting on toxicology reports showing that the alcohol level in Ranisha’s blood was past the legal limit for intoxication—and unconfirmed tests showing marijuana in her system. As if that justifies her execution by shotgun for seeking help.
Worthy insisted that the decision to charge Wafer had “nothing whatsoever to do with the race of the parties”—but no one who looks at the case can take that seriously. As journalist Rania Khalek wrote at her blog, Renisha was “a Black woman from Detroit, which is 82 percent Black, whereas Dearborn Heights, the area she was shot in, is 86 percent white.”
Anyone who has protest police violence and racism in Detroit is familiar with the double standards applied to Black and white, including by Kym Worthy, who is African American.
Worthy, for example, wasn’t so cautious about filing charges with Charles Jones, the father of Aiyana Jones, the seven-year-old girl murdered by Detroit police in her sleep three years ago. Shortly after Aiyana’s death during a police raid on her home, Charles was charged with providing the gun used in another murder. Although the only “evidence” against him was the testimony of a jailhouse snitch that had been thrown out by a judge, Jones has been held without bail for three years as Worthy continually postponed his trial.
The prosecutor assigned to Jones’ case is the very same one as for his daughter’s killer,which Worthy denies is a conflict of interest. In the case of Aiyana’s killer, the prosecutor’s office somehow managed to select an all-white jury from a predominantly Black area for the cop’s first trial, which ended in a mistrial.
This is only another example of a justice system that treats Black life as less valuable—something made gruesomely clear once every 28 hours—the rate at which African Americans are killed by police, security guards or vigilantes, according to a report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
It goes without saying that a Black man who killed a white woman on his porch would be put in jail right away. The news media wouldn’t be printing statements from his neighbors about how he’s a “good man” who “never bothered anybody.” Wafer wouldn’t have been released on 10 percent of a $250,000 bond and described as a “low risk to the community”—and the media wouldn’t be talking about whether he reasonably believed his life was in danger.
Illustration by Robert Trujillo, Dignidad Rebelde
Dearborn Heights — Police sent a request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday asking for charges to be filed against a resident accused in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Detroit woman Saturday in a case of suspected self-defense gone bad.
Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old Detroit woman, was shot in the head with a shotgun by a resident of a home in the 16000 block of Outer Drive near Warren Avenue early Saturday morning after she is believed to have sought help at the home.
The family of McBride said she went for help after a car accident around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Her cellphone battery had died, her family said.
McBride’s maternal aunt, Bernita Spinks, said the shooting was not justified even if the resident believed her niece was an intruder looking to break into the home.
“He shot her in the head … for what? For knocking on his door,” said Spinks on Tuesday. “If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911.”
Spinks praised the latest police’s decision to seek charges against the resident in the shooting of her niece saying “Thank you Jesus! I’m very happy there is progress (on the case).”
Spinks said the family met with officials from the Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday. Spinks said she believes her niece was the victim of racial profiling.
“You see a young black lady on your porch and you shoot?” Spinks said. “He killed my niece and he needs to pay for it. He needs to be in jail.
“There was no window broken. My niece didn’t bother anyone. She went looking for help and now she’s dead.”
Preliminary autopsy information from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office indicates Renisha McBride was shot in the head with a shotgun. Spinks said the young woman was shot in the back of the head as she turned to walk off the porch of the home where she sought assistance.
A vigil for the young woman, who recently started a job for Ford Motor Co., is scheduled today for 4:45 p.m. in front of the home where she was shot to death.
Services for McBride will be 11 a.m. Friday at House of Prayer and Praise, 16520 Wyoming in Detroit.
The Child-Rape Assembly Line: In Ritual Bathhouses of Jewish Orthodoxy, Children Are Systematically Abused
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg—who is 63 with a long, graying beard—recently sat down with me to explain what he described as a “child-rape assembly line” among sects of fundamentalist Jews. He cleared his throat. “I’m going to be graphic,” he said.
A member of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim fundamentalist branch of Orthodox Judaism, Nuchem designs and repairs mikvahs in compliance with Torah Law. The mikvah is a ritual Jewish bathhouse used for purification. Devout Jews are required to cleanse themselves in the mikvah on a variety of occasions: women must visit following menstruation, and men have to make an appearance before the High Holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Many of the devout also purify themselves before and after the act of sex, and before the Sabbath.
On a visit to Jerusalem in 2005, Rabbi Rosenberg entered into a mikvah in one of the holiest neighborhoods in the city, Mea She’arim. “I opened a door that entered into a schvitz,” he told me. “Vapors everywhere, I can barely see. My eyes adjust, and I see an old man, my age, long white beard, a holy-looking man, sitting in the vapors. On his lap, facing away from him, is a boy, maybe seven years old. And the old man is having anal sex with this boy.”
Rabbi Rosenberg paused, gathered himself, and went on: “This boy was speared on the man like an animal, like a pig, and the boy was saying nothing. But on his face—fear. The old man [looked at me] without any fear, as if this was common practice. He didn’t stop. I was so angry, I confronted him. He removed the boy from his penis, and I took the boy aside. I told this man, ‘It’s a sin before God, a mishkovzucher. What are you doing to this boy’s soul? You’re destroying this boy!’ He had a sponge on a stick to clean his back, and he hit me across the face with it. ‘How dare you interrupt me!’ he said. I had heard of these things for a long time, but now I had seen.”
The child sex abuse crisis in ultra-Orthodox Judaism, like that in the Catholic Church, has produced its share of shocking headlines in recent years. In New York, and in the prominent Orthodox communities of Israel and London, allegations of child molestation and rape have been rampant. The alleged abusers are schoolteachers, rabbis, fathers, uncles—figures of male authority. The victims, like those of Catholic priests, are mostly boys. Rabbi Rosenberg believes around half of young males in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community—the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world—have been victims of sexual assault perpetrated by their elders. Ben Hirsch, director of Survivors for Justice, a Brooklyn organization that advocates for Orthodox sex abuse victims, thinks the real number is higher. “From anecdotal evidence, we’re looking at over 50 percent. It has almost become a rite of passage.”
Oh my g_d.
Red Cross: Up to 1,200 dead in the Philippines after typhoon hits
The full extent of casualties and damages is still unknown due to communications being cut-off by the storm.
Haiyan is currently headed west toward Vietnam.
Follow the latest at Breaking News.
Photo: Residents fetch water from an artesian well after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban, central Philippines, on Nov. 9. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)
Thousands of people in cities across the country marched for immigration reform this month. The actions included the “National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect,” where organizers estimated that 50,000 people turned out nationwide. In total, rallies took place at more than 150 sites in 40 cities in an effort to pressure Congress to act on an immigration reform bill before the end of the year. Here’s a look at the action that took place in Los Angeles, New York City, and New Haven.