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Bill Cosby stands behind critical comments 5/31/04 NNPA: "As for Autumn Jackson, who claims to be Cosby's out-of-wedlock daughter, the comedian told Kane that she has repeatedly refused his offer to take a paternity test.
In the interview with Kane, Cosby deplored the glorification of a pimp mentality, placing more emphasis on athletics than academics and celebrating rap videos on BET.
"I am talking about parenting. It is time for us to turn the mirror around. We have to take back the neighborhood." "
Bill Cosby's remarks defended, questioned - Criticisms of habits of some blacks draw local reaction 5/30/04 Louisville Courier-Journal, KY
Memories of France still strong for black WWII veteran 5/29/04 Stars & Stripes
Commission Named to Uncover Truth of Greensboro Tragedy 5/28/04 Black America Web: "Nov. 3, 1979 left an eternal stain on Greensboro, N.C. That day five activists protesting the treatment of workers in North Carolina mills at a “Death to the Klan” rally were attacked and killed by Ku Klux Klan members and American Nazis."
Many Reasons to Pause and Celebrate Black Music 5/28/04 Black America Web
Cuban-American reggae man on a musical mission 5/28/04 Miami Herald: "''What people don't know is that Hispanics looooooove reggae,'' Johnny says. In fact, many of Johnny's efforts these days are concentrated in that arena. He has just returned from his second South American tour, two concerts in Lima, Peru. He has done Venezuela and Costa Rica, where 3,000 people waited hours on a soccer field for him.
A posting to his website from Caracas calls him el máximo and asks when he'll return to Venezuela."
Bill Cosby's Heroic Assault on the Poor 5/27/04 Dissident Voice: "I'm not accusing Bill Cosby of being a tool of white supremacists or even that he's a conservative, but given the widespread promotion he is receiving from some of the most right-wing, racist elements of our political culture, I think it's safe to say his comments aren't helping anything.
What is even more disturbing is the fact that Cosby is being almost universally praised for his misguided rant, as if bravely stood up and dished out some "straight talk" to an unsuspecting group of self-satisfied race hucksters. A brief scan of the columns people have written about the incident only turned up two that disagreed with Cosby. Most were gushing over with praise. One black columnist grandiosely proclaims, "Cosby openly chastised some black people for our dirty, little secrets. We are exposed." This is some bullshit. The stereotypes Cosby played upon are anything but "secret." They get promoted every night on the television news and get repeated ad nauseum by white people looking to deflect attention away from the fact that racism that still infects this country to its very core."
Beyond what Bill Cosby said 5/27/04 MSNBC: "I knew, even before I reached the stage, that Cosby's comments would be hijacked by those who pretend that racism is no longer an issue and who view poor black people with disdain. So, departing from my own prepared remarks, I embraced the notion of personal responsibility, at the same time calling attention to problems faced by African Americans that are not self-inflicted.
One example is the now infamous Tulia, Tex., drug sting. With no drugs, no money and no weapons recovered, 10 percent of the black population of this small town was arrested and convicted on the word of one corrupt undercover police officer. The sentences ranged from 20 to 341 years. Only after the Legal Defense Fund and other lawyers represented these individuals in post-conviction proceedings were they released."
African-Americans Challenge US Blockade on Cuba 5/26/04 Cuba Now: "The Virginia-based African-Awareness-Association announced that a delegation of African-Americans will organize a freedom ride (on bus and aircraft) to Cuba next July to challenge US travel restrictions."
Some Blacks Find Nuggets Of Truth in Cosby's Speech 5/26/04 Washington Post\
A Reality Check: Bill Cosby’s Take on Black Responsibility 5/25/04 Black America Web
WHAT BILL COSBY SAID 5/25/04 The Oregonian
Ex-U.S. Marine: I Killed Civilians in Iraq 5/24/04 Democracy Now: "It sickened me so that I had actually brought it up to my lieutenant, and I told him, I said, you know, sir, we're not going to have to worry about the Iraq -- you know, we're basically committing genocide over here, mass extermination of thousands of Iraqis, and with the depleted uranium that we're leaving around on the battlefield, we're setting up genocide for future generations within Iraq. He didn't like that. He immediately went to my commanding officer, Captain Schmitt and proceeded to tell him about how I felt about Iraq. Word spread pretty quickly and I knew that my Marine Corps career was over. I knew that the statement that I had just made was going to bring about the blackball pretty quickly. So, I was scurried out of Iraq quickly, and ordered to report back stateside to receive psychological therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. When I got back stateside, that's when things really became ugly."
Blacks, Latinos blast proposal for counting TV viewers 5/24/04 Final Call: "Nielsen survey results are used to determine advertising rates for broadcasters.
The Black and Latino coalition charges that the new method undercounts minorities and will lead to diminished programming for Blacks and Latinos as a result of lower ratings, fewer outlets for minority producers and actors, and fewer opportunities for Black and Latino advertising agencies.
“Nielsen knows its system undercounts African Americans, but they are going ahead anyway,” said Rep. Davis, during the press conference in downtown Chicago. “Their decision demonstrates a great insensitivity and will perpetuate a great injustice. We do not intend to just sit along the sidelines and shrug our shoulders. We’re gong to make our voices heard.” "
Cosby isn't alone in asking blacks to own up to problems 5/24/04 USA Today
Continuing the Cover-Up? Military Takes Action Against Key Witness in Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal 5/21/04 ABC: "A witness who told ABCNEWS he believed the military was covering up the extent of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison was today stripped of his security clearance and told he may face prosecution because his comments were "not in the national interest." "
New front in Iraq detainee abuse scandal? 5/21/04 MSNBC: "According to two top U.S. government sources, it is the scene of the most egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions in all of Iraq’s prisons. A place where the normal rules of interrogation don’t apply, Delta Force’s BIF only holds Iraqi insurgents and suspected terrorists — but not the most wanted among Saddam’s lieutenants pictured on the deck of cards.
These sources say the prisoners there are hooded from the moment they are captured. They are kept in tiny dark cells. And in the BIF’s six interrogation rooms, Delta Force soldiers routinely drug prisoners, hold a prisoner under water until he thinks he’s drowning, or smother them almost to suffocation."
Berg, Abu Ghraib/Why the focus is on the prison 5/21/04 Star Tribune, Minneapolis: "But there's another reason this story is gathering, rather than losing, steam: Top civilian and military officials in the U.S. government, many of them Republican, are fueling it. They were sickened by the abuse and the stains it has left on institutions they care about, and they are fed up with the arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration. They have resented for a long time the cabal of neoconservatives who call the shots in this administration and who are responsible for the failures in Iraq."
Jury Rejects $1.6M Suit in Fla. Riot Case 5/20/04 AP
African Roots Planted Deeply in Brazil 5/19/04 Black America Web: "For many people in this country, Brazil is a distant, exotic land best known for it annual Carnival celebration. But in the far-flung Diaspora of the descendants of African slaves, Brazil holds a special place. With more than 80 million people of African descent, this South American country has the second largest black population in the world — and a strong connection to the African continent.
This is the second article in a four-part series that explores Brazil’s special connection to Africa and people of African descent throughout the American hemisphere."
Soldier’s Smile Recalls America’s ‘Strange Fruit’ 5/19/04 Black America Web
Saturday peace march highlights Malcolm X Festival 5/19/04 WAVE, LA
Killing of Iraqi leader deals new blow to Bush 5/18/04 AFP: "The attack, outside the huge, heavily guarded headquarters of the US-led military and political authority in Baghdad, sent stock markets falling across Asia and Europe, pushed oil prices to a new record high and battered the dollar.
"The fallout from events in Iraq is clearly having a negative impact on support for the US administration," Credit Agricole Indosuez currency strategist Mitul Kotecha said in London, where the greenback slumped from 1.1885 to the euro on Friday to 1.2034."
White Fear 5/18/04 Alternet: "In his just-published book, Who Are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity, Huntington speaks about the meteoric rise of white nativism in America, for which he offers not an apology but a rationale: "The most powerful stimulus to such white nativism will be the cultural and linguistic threats whites see from the expanding power of Latinos in U.S. society."
What Bronx residents and for that matter most of us don't know is that, in crossing the East River or the Rio Grande, Latinos have crossed a modern-day Rubicon into hostility and war in the eyes of some whites like Huntington.
We Latinos are now living in the vast and varied terrain of white fear."
Barbados encouraged to tap African American tourist market 5/18/04 Barbados Advocate
Lee And Boxer Full Steam Ahead On Rail Security 5/18/04 BCN
For these vets, Senate abuse probe is personal 5/18/04 CSM: "One is a former secretary of the Navy. Another survived five years of torture in a North Vietnamese prison cell. A third, the only active reservist in the US Senate, served the Air Force as a prosecutor in Europe. Yet another gets her intelligence on the war direct from constituents serving in Iraq, via e-mail.
This phalanx of Republican senators - John Warner of Virginia, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Susan Collins of Maine - are at the front lines of a bid to pursue the Iraq prison abuse scandal as far up the chain of command as it needs to go."
The Real Deal on Emmett Till 5/18/04 The Black World Today
Audiobook Review:Brothers In Arms: The Epic Story The 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes. 5/17/04 Black World Today
Rumsfeld Knew: Iraq Prison Abuse Part of Pentagon-Approved Black Ops Program 5/17/04 Democracy Now: interview with Seymour Hersh, author of New Yorker pieces on the direction Rumsfeld and his aid Cambone gave to US torture policy.
The Roots of Torture 5/17/04 Newsweek: confirmation of Seymour Hersh's New Yorker articles - "The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war."
Guantanamo: US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp 5/16/04 Guardian: "Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed. The disclosures, made in an interview with Tarek Dergoul, the fifth British prisoner freed last March, who has been too traumatised to speak until now, prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately. They say that if the contents are as shocking as Dergoul claims, they will provide final proof that brutality against detainees has become an institutionalised feature of America's war on terror."
County: ‘Come clean about slavery’ 5/16/04 Michigan Citizen
The New Racial Domain 5/16/04 Znet: By Manning Marable - "The nearly forty million Americans of African descent find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, with the slow demise of affirmative action. The enemies of racial justice have not (yet) reinstalled "colored" and "white" signs at restrooms and restaurants. Jim Crow segregation isn't just around the corner. Yet something more powerful and deadly seems to be on the agenda."
Brutality starts at home 5/15/04 Asia Times: ""Five years ago, after prison scandals gripped California with tales of guards setting up inmates in human cockfights and then shooting them dead, the state Department of Corrections vowed to change its ways," read a December 28, 2003 article from the Los Angeles Times. Notably, the article was entitled "Despite State Promises, Reform Eludes Prisons", illustrating a well-established official pattern of effectively condoning abuse, then paying lip-service to outrage and reform when a scandal breaks." - long list of ignored violations in this article.
THE GRAY ZONE - How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib. 5/15/04 New Yorker: "The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror."
Torture at Abu Ghraib followed CIA's manual 5/14/04 Boston Globe: "THE PHOTOS from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison are snapshots not of simple brutality or a breakdown in discipline but of CIA torture techniques that have metastasized over the past 50 years like an undetected cancer inside the US intelligence community. From 1950 to 1962, the CIA led secret research into coercion and consciousness that reached a billion dollars at peak. After experiments with hallucinogenic drugs, electric shocks, and sensory deprivation, this CIA research produced a new method of torture that was psychological, not physical -- best described as "no touch" torture."
Polls: Abuse Photos Spell Trouble for War Party 5/13/04 AntiWar
Suspicion of lynching looms over black man's death 5/13/04 Chicago Sun Time: "Today, a Mississippi community is in an uproar because authorities there ruled that the death of Roy Veal, 55 -- found hanging from a tree -- was a suicide.
E-mail alerts circulating since Veal's body was found in Woodville, Miss., on April 23 claim otherwise.
I received an e-mail allegedly sent by the "best friend" of Veal's cousin:
"Roy lived in Seattle and had gone to Mississippi to help his family secure their property that a white man was trying to take from them (oil was found on the land)," the e-mail said.
"Roy was a Vietnam vet who survived Vietnam only to come home and be lynched in Mississippi."
Veal's body was discovered by two turkey hunters, his head covered with a pillow case.
"They found my brother hanging from a tree with a hood over his head and some papers burned at his feet," Veal's sister, Doris Gordon, told the Associated Press in a phone interview from her home in San Francisco."
Reaching out - SBA aims to attract black entrepreneurs 5/13/04 Ledger Inquirer, OH
Leaking self-doubt 5/13/04 Spiked: "Tracing how the photos became such hot public property reveals something striking, not only about the torture scandal, but about the coalition itself. This is a story, not of investigative journalism or antiwar activists exposing imperialist America to the world, but rather of America exposing its own uncertainty for all to see. The photos appear to have come from within US military or political circles; they were effectively volunteered for public consumption by elements within the military or higher up in the Pentagon, seemingly as part of a process of internal unravelling and deep disagreement over aspects of the war. In a sense, the publication of these photos to international outrage can be seen as the externalisation of America's own self-doubt about Iraq, and about its own mission in the world."
World Wide Technology named largest black-owned business 5/13/04 St Louis Business Journal
Councilor takes up Iraq issue - Turner releasespurported images of rape by soldiers 5/12/04 Boston Globe: "Holding a news conference with activist Sadiki Kambon in the wake of congressional hearings over incendiary photographs of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, City Councilor Chuck Turner said, "The American people have a right and responsibility to see the pictures."
The images, depicting men in camouflage uniforms having sex with unidentified women, bear no characteristics that would prove the men are US soldiers or that the women are Iraqis. And there is nothing apparent in the images showing they were taken in Iraq. Unlike the photographs widely publicized last week, the images appear to have been taken outdoors in a sandy area with hills in the background.
Kambon, who is director of the Black Community Information Center, said at the news conference that he received the photographs by e-mail from Akbar Muhammad, a representative for the Nation of Islam."
Family Describes R&B Legend's Shooting 5/12/04 NBC: "Philadelphia music legend John Whitehead was gunned down in broad daylight Tuesday, and now police say they don't think he was the target of the shooters."
Nato aids Africa to combat terror 5/11/04 BBC: "Western military chiefs and African officials are trying to identify ways to prevent terror groups like al-Qaeda gaining a foothold in north Africa."
The 'moving target' of black educational progress 5/11/04 Black America Today
Justice Department Will Investigate Emmett Till Case 5/11/04 NNPA: "After initially declaring that it did not have authority to investigate the 1955 death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American who was beaten, shot in the head, and thrown into the Tallahatchie River near Greenwood, Miss. for allegedly whistling at a White woman, the United States Justice Department reversed itself this week and announced that it will work with a District Attorney in Mississippi to see if further prosecutions are warranted."
Chiquita paid alleged terror groups - Banana producer says Colombian unit made protection payments to groups U.S. regards as terrorists. 5/11/04 Reuters: the banana republic - "Chiquita ships bananas from plants in northern Colombia in areas with a heavy presence of the outlawed far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, which is responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in recent Colombian history.
Known by its Spanish initials AUC, it has killed thousands of people, mainly peasants, for suspected links to Marxist rebels over the past few years. It also traffics cocaine, according to U.S. officials.
Human rights groups say the AUC worked closely with the army in a push against rebels in the Uraba banana growing region in the 1990s."
General Who Made Anti-Islam Remark Tied to POW Case 5/11/04 Reuters: "The U.S. Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by U.S. officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas.
A Senate hearing into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was told on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian under review for saying his God was superior to that of the Muslims, briefed a top Pentagon civilian official last summer on recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners.
Critics have suggested those recommendations amounted to a senior-level go-ahead for the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners, possibly to "soften up" detainees before interrogation -- a charge the Pentagon denies."
Torture as Normalcy - As American as Apple Pie 5/9/04 Counterpunch
Official US Reaction Compounds the Rage 5/9/04 LA Times: "There is no room for rape counseling in Iraqi culture. Cruel as it is, this is the reality of their culture, and it cannot be ignored. It is also a cruel reality that all the approximately 10,000 Iraqi detainees have been stigmatized by the shame at Abu Ghraib, no matter what these detainees claim. This helps explain why many released prisoners don't return to their neighborhoods and why many of them may join the resistance against the occupation as a means to reclaim their pride and dignity… But Americans and their allies must understand that Iraq is not a pragmatic society when it comes to religion, culture and sexual mores. It is never acceptable to touch a woman and then come back later to express regret or, worse, offer money. In their culture, Iraqis would accept money and a public apology for the killing of a family member. But in matters of honor — sexual assault, for example — an apology is accepted only when it comes with the head of the perpetrator. Those who are unable to pay such a price had better not commit the offense in the first place. This is why Bush's appearance on Arab TV last week was insulting and meaningless. He can never have enough money to cleanse the shame that his soldiers inflicted upon the Iraqi prisoners, and no words can do this either."
Bush's Foreign Policies Fueling Global Hatred 5/8/04 Black World Today
Lemvo blends sounds of Africa and Cuba 5/7/04 Contra Costa Times: "Since he founded Makina Loca in 1990, Lemvo has pioneered an uncategorizable sound that's both essentially African and Latin, drawing equally on Cuban son montuno and Congolese soukous, with a dash of Latin jazz and funk thrown in for good measure. In many ways, the seeds of his sound were planted during the restless nights of his youth.
Growing up in Kinshasa in the 1960s, Lemvo was lulled to sleep in his bed by the surging Cuban and Congolese dance music wafting up from a bar next door. Like much of West Africa at the time, the cosmopolitan capital of the huge country then known as Zaire (and now as the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo) was awash with Cuban music, which was embraced by West Africans who recognized their diaspora kin through the Afro-Caribbean rhythms." "
From Terrell Unit in Texas to Abu Ghraib - Doesn't It Ring a (Prison) Bell 5/7/04 Counterpunch: "When he sat down in front of Arab tv audiences on Wednesday to explain the true American way, he could have pointed to an October, 1999 story in the Austin American Statesman that detailed how female prisoners there were regularly kept in portable detention cells for hours at a time in summer heat with no water. "In fear of more time in the cages," the article explains, "many women submit sexually to their oppressors and are raped, molested and forced to perform sodomy on their captors."
And in 1996, if Bush hadn't so busy handling the transfer of $9 billion in public funds over to the University of Texas Investment Management Company, the governor might have had time to read about the videotape that surfaced that year depicting prison guards brutalizing inmates in the Brazoria County Detention Center in Angleton, TX. The tape, which was originally shot for use as a training video, showed riot-clad guards beating prisoners (arrested on drug violations) and forcing them to crawl while kicking them and poking them with electric prods. Had Bush cleared a little time to watch this video, he would had an easier time digesting the images out of Abu Ghraib, and thus saved himself those few moments of humiliating supplication in front of all those Arabs, based as they were on the faulty assumption that those pictures "weren't America." "
Rumsfeld apologizes to abused Iraqis
Defense secretary warns that worse photos, videos are yet to come 5/7/04 MSNBC: "“There are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he said. “... It’s going to get a good deal more terrible, I’m afraid.”
Rumsfeld did not describe the photos, but U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner and “acting inappropriately with a dead body.” The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys."
Why we’re in Iraq By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS 5/7/04 The State, SC
America Unfit to "Change the World" 5/6/04 Black Commentary: "In the Abu Ghraib pictures we see U.S. soldiers performing a slave master’s ritual, a specific, American kind of grotesquerie. Thoroughly ordinary young men and women pretend to be gods, lording over darker humanity. U.S. culture empowers them to act out their most hideous fantasies at the expense of “lesser” peoples. Lynndie England demanded that Iraqi men surrender their dignity by masturbating for her sick enjoyment. The Iraqi victims knew that the Americans’ pornographic theater could turn into a snuff film at any moment. To the Arab men, Pvt. England and Specialist Megan Ambuhl must have seemed like “Bay Watch” from Hell."
Powell aides go public on rift with Bush 5/6/04 Guardian, UK: "Colin Powell's key aide has described US sanctions policy against countries such as Pakistan and Cuba as "the dumbest policy on the face of the Earth". "
US Army Report on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse 5/5/04 AntiWar: "Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba."
22 Bay State men wrongfully jailed 5/5/04 Boston Herald: "Within the last two decades, at least 22 innocent Bay State men - most of them black and most investigated by Boston Police - have served serious prison time after being wrongfully convicted on rape and murder charges, according to a Boston Herald/Fox 25 investigation.
Since 1997 alone, nine innocent black men convicted in Suffolk County have been freed after serving anywhere from four to 30 years behind bars.
Throughout the country, 143 innocent suspects have been freed since 1990, but experts say the number of Suffolk County's wrongful convictions is second only to Chicago, which has sent the largest number of innocent men to jail."
CHAIN OF COMMAND
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH 5/5/04 New Yorker: "One of the new photographs shows a young soldier, wearing a dark jacket over his uniform and smiling into the camera, in the corridor of the jail. In the background are two Army dog handlers, in full camouflage combat gear, restraining two German shepherds. The dogs are barking at a man who is partly obscured from the camera’s view by the smiling soldier. Another image shows that the man, an Iraqi prisoner, is naked. His hands are clasped behind his neck and he is leaning against the door to a cell, contorted with terror, as the dogs bark a few feet away. Other photographs show the dogs straining at their leashes and snarling at the prisoner. In another, taken a few minutes later, the Iraqi is lying on the ground, writhing in pain, with a soldier sitting on top of him, knee pressed to his back. Blood is streaming from the inmate’s leg. Another photograph is a closeup of the naked prisoner, from his waist to his ankles, lying on the floor. On his right thigh is what appears to be a bite or a deep scratch. There is another, larger wound on his left leg, covered in blood."
BVHP under siege by occupying army 5/5/04 SF Bay View: "For 16 hours on Monday, in blatant retaliation for the killing of Officer Isaac Espinoza on April 20 in Hunters Point, the sky rumbled with the sound of a California Highway Patrol plane and helicopter as an unprecedented armed force of countless city cops joined by 32 CHP officers moved in to occupy Bay View Hunters Point under the pretext of curbing traffic violations, stopping over 250 cars and arresting 30 community members.
The young man accused of killing Officer Espinoza is Hunters Point resident David Hill, 21, but the SFPD is retaliating against the entire neighborhood… When several police and CHP cruisers and a total of 22 officers jammed the intersection of Third and Quesada at one point on Monday evening, a young onlooker cried out, “We need to rise UP!” He was immediately arrested."
Sentence voided in Black-White sex case 5/4/04 AP: "The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Black high school football star's conviction and 10-year prison sentence for having sex with an underage White girl - a case that led to allegations of racism and heavy-handed prosecution."
Boomerang and Blowback 5/4/04 Black World Today: "The ultimate form of blowback for the ruling elites will occur when the lobotomized and comatose masses wake up and begin the process of taking their country back. The worse case scenario for the masses is for them to remain asleep and end up toiling as surfs, zombies and cannon fodder for the elites as their rulers continue to run their okey-doke about freedom, democracy and the War on Terror on them."
Telltale Signs of Torture Lead Family to Demand Answers 5/4/04 The New Standard: "Lt. Col. Hodges’ medical report listed the primary diagnoses of Zoman’s condition as hypoxic brain injury (brain damage caused by lack of oxygen) "with persistent vegetative state," myocardial infarction (heart attack), and heat stroke. The same medical report did not mention any bruises, lash marks, head injury, burn marks or other signs Iraqi doctors said they found on Zoman's body upon his arrival at Tikrit hospital nearly two weeks later… Rheem Zoman, the 19 year-old daughter of Sadiq, spoke frankly about her father and his condition. "I was horrified," she said of his bittersweet return to his worried family. "He had whip marks all across his back and electrical burn marks all over his body."
The alleged mistreatment of Sadiq Zoman while in US custody came as no surprise to his friends and neighbors. Some of them had returned after having been abducted by US forces with their own stories of terrifying and heartbreaking ordeals."
Cutbacks to Section 8 housing threaten increased homelessness 5/3/04 Final Call
Cowell's pot shot at Elton John's racism charges! 5/2/04 Web India
Milestone in U.S. secret terror surveillance 5/1/04 SF Chronicle: "Federal and state courts authorized the use of wiretaps and other electronic surveillance in 1,442 criminal cases last year, according to data released Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. By comparison, the FBI says the number of warrants filed last year with the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in Washington jumped to more than 1,700."
Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Psychodynamics of Occupation, and the Responsibility of Us All 5/1/04 Znet: "If I, a single individual maintaining a web page in my spare time, was well aware of the abuses being reported in the US prisons in Iraq, the only way the top generals, Pentagon officials, senior Administration policy-makers such as the President and Vice-President, and U.S. reporters could be ignorant of them is if they willfully chose to be ignorant. Much more likely, they were aware but considered these abuses -- like the ones documented among detainees in Afghanistan, and those reported by the few released detainees from Guantanamo -- to be the inevitable costs of war and occupation, especially, as is the case in Iraq, when that occupation now is opposed by the majority of the occupied."
Failure in Fallujah 4/30/04 Black World Today: "Reading reports and viewing scenes of U.S. Marines withdrawing from Fallujah, I was reminded of the battle of Cuito Carnavale in southeastern Angola in 1988. I was "embedded" with Jonas Savimbi’s rebel army when it arrived on the outskirts of the town. A few days before, Angola’s government troops, strongly supported by Cuban soldiers, had laid siege to South African forces backing Savimbi’s UNITA (the National Union for the Independence of Angola).
Crumbled tanks, mangled artillery, and deep gashes of earth where rockets had fallen marked the battlefield. It was a telling victory for the Cuban freedom fighters, and provided a devastating blow to the pillars of white political and military domination in southern Africa."
Retreat from Iraq? 4/30/04 G2 Mil: "A careful reader of the limited news coming out of Iraq will discover the US military situation is perilous and a few more bad moves could send the US Army and Marines retreating back to Kuwait in the same manner they fled southward 54 years ago in Korea… The main problem in Iraq today is the massive logistics effort required to sustain US Forces at a over a hundred dispersed camps. Over 95% of supplies arrive by ship, and the closest major seaport is in Kuwait. This means everything must be hauled hundreds of miles over war torn roads among hostile natives. This is far more difficult than Vietnam, which had a long coastline where supplies could be dropped off. A recent article by Tom Ricks of the Washington Post noted that most convoys are attacked, and that soldiers must to stop to check each bridge for explosives because there is not enough manpower to guard them. Other reporters tell of recently destroyed bridges, forcing convoys to travel on secondary roads which doubles their travel time. In addition, many civilian truck drivers have refused to drive and many foreign logistics contractors have left Iraq.
Many reports tell of ammunition rationing. The US military was not expecting a prolonged conflict, and drawing and transporting dangerous ammo from limited worldwide stockpiles is a challenge. Senior Army officials told the House Armed Services Committee last month that nearly all the wartime stockpiles in Southwest Asia and on the island of Diego Garcia have been issued, as well as equipment stashed in Europe—a total of 10,000 tanks, personnel carriers, trucks, and other vehicles. Only the Army's equipment for one brigade in Korea and the Marines' brigade stock in Guam remain untouched. In addition, the desert sand and heavy use of helicopters and equipment is wearing them out many times faster than usual. This demands many more spare parts and shortages have developed."
Broadcaster pulls plug on listing of Iraq dead - Maryland firm bans its TV stations from airing 'Nightline' show tonight, citing politics. 4/30/04 Star News: the land of the free and the home of the brave…
Tampa Teacher Charged with Deadly Hit and Run 4/29/04 AP: "Authorities were criticized by some members of the community for not arresting Porter sooner. The Uhuru Movement, a local black activist group, alleged that Porter would have been arrested more quickly except that she is white and the children black."
UMass president criticizes student's column on felled soldier 4/29/04 AP
Commentary: ‘People of Color’ Solidarity a Fictional Bubble that may Burst 4/29/04 Black America Web: "Relations between the two races were not as smooth as some historians
have portrayed. Guinn, who talked to descendants of the black Seminoles
who still live in Brackettville, Texas, wrote that their oral history
says the Native Americans were just as committed to keeping blacks in
bondage as whites were. Eventually many of the blacks fled to Mexico,
where they fought Comanche and Kickapoo for the Mexican government.
When they returned to the United States after the passage of the 13th
Amendment, the blacks served the Army as the Seminole Negro Indian
Scouts. They settled in Brackettville, while other black Seminoles
remained in Oklahoma.
A few years ago the 15,000 Native Americans of the Seminole tribe in
Oklahoma voted out the 2,000 black Seminole members.
The government had awarded the tribe $56 million, and some folks did
the math and noted the loot divided by 15,000 came out better than
divided by 17,000."
Film Challenges Police Brutality 4/29/04 Black World Today
Hitting them while they’re down: The difficult position of Afro-Colombians 4/29/04 Progreso Weekly: "Colombia has progressive laws providing Afro-Colombians with rights and displaced persons with help, but these laws have no teeth. They suffer intimidation, massacres, supply blockades, and massive displacement caused by the armed actors, both paramilitaries on the right and guerrillas on the left. They are also affected by harsh U.S.-funded drug policies that spray herbicides on illegal coca crops, often mixed with food crops, and are provided relatively little in the way of alternative development assistance. And Afro-Colombian communities endure lower scores than their compatriots on all the human development indicators.
The Afro-Colombian population is no small minority, representing around a quarter to a third of the country’s population. There are about 10 million Afro-Colombians, 900,000 of which are displaced – a number which represents a large percentage of all displaced Colombians. Noteworthy when you consider that Colombia suffers the largest internal refugee crisis after the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
The Afro-Colombians: Afrodes 4/29/04 Zmag: published 7/01 - "Afrodes is the name of the organization of displaced Afro-Colombians. Although we didn't have enough time with them, we had the privilege of hearing from some of the most courageous and effective organizers in the hemisphere. They were incredibly generous with their time and energy, opening their office to talk to us at great personal risk."
Court Upholds Pa. Congressional Boundaries 4/28/04 AP: "A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a Republican-drawn redistricting plan for Pennsylvania and appeared to leave scant room for similar Democratic challenges in Texas and elsewhere.
The 5-4 ruling was the latest in a string of redistricting-related setbacks suffered by the Democrats, who are struggling in court as well as at the ballot box to end a decade of Republican rule in the House."
Elton John Says 'Idol' Vote Is Racist 4/28/04 AP
P. Diddy Gets Mixed Reviews for 'Raisin' 4/28/04 AP
Bush and Kerry court Cuban swing vote 4/28/04 BBC
Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Announced 4/28/04 Dept of Education
African Colombian activist wins $125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize 4/28/04 SF Bay View: by Willie Thompson "Libia Grueso Castleblanco, a 43-year-old African Colombia civil rights and environmental activist, was presented last week with the “Nobel Prize” for the environment: the 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize… The 16 million Colombians of African descent have never had title to the land their ancestors lived on for more than 400 years as maroons, enslaved and ex-enslaved people. Law 70, passed in 1991 with determined pressure of Libia and others, grants Afro-Colombians collective land title rights to their ancestral lands. However, title to very little land, if any, has actually been transferred to them so far."
Why let in Le Pen but ban Farrakhan? One has convictions for racist incitement - the other is black 4/27/04 Guardian: "Both Farrakhan and Le Pen have been rightly condemned for their slurs against Jewish people (though only Le Pen seeks the suppression of millions from minority groups as a point of principle); so why is our home secretary hellbent on ensuring one never gets near our country, and yet so relaxed about the other? Why does one have such powerful enemies, and the other not? Guess which one's black, and which one's white."
The End of Blackness? By Ta-Nehisi Coates, Washington Monthly 4/26/04 Alternet: "But ultimately she proves the opposite of her thesis – the book has convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are definitely a group of people in this country who are black.
Blackness is the wrong book to convince anyone otherwise. Ethnic monikers (Jewish, Irish, Japanese, whatever), like virtually anything else in the English language, never succeed as complete definitions of anything. They are abstractions applied to realities, and thus bear all the shortcomings of that transition. When the abstract no longer works well enough, people generally jettison it: the Italians are not the Lombards, the French are not the Franks, black people are not Negroes. People know when to change their names – unsubstantiated intellectual hackery doesn't make the process go any faster."
Black college women take aim at explicit rap videos 4/24/04 AP
Hudson thinks she didn't get 'Idol' boot on talent 4/24/04 Chicago Sun Times: "The bottom three in the voting -- Hudson, Fantasia Barrino and La Toya London -- all were African-American women, prompting some observers to suspect racism. But Hudson isn't among them."
What Does Jackson's Indictment Mean? A Lawyer Explains 4/24/04 MTV
Racism and Reproductive Rights 4/23/04 Alternet
Apartheid-era killers hired by U.S. firm to protect Iraqi oil 4/23/04 Milwaukee Courrier: "SAS International, an American based private security company, has joined the group. In August 2003, Erinys International, a British security company, was awarded an estimated $ 39.5 million contract to guard Iraqi oil wells. Seeking assistance, Erinys subcontracted SAS International.
On January 28, 2004, a van disguised as an ambulance exploded outside the Shaheen Hotel in Baghdad. Francois Strydom was among the dead. Deon Gouws was among the injured. Strydom and Gouws were revealed to be former apartheid-era killers from South Africa employed by SAS International.
Strydom, a member of the South Africa military, did most of his killing in the border country of Namibia. Gouws, a South African police officer, honed his skills in South Africa."
Hollow Force - Has Iraq stretched the U.S. military to its breaking point? 4/23/04 Slate
Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force 4/20/04 AFP
United Effort to Curb Tobacco Use Among Blacks is Launched 4/20/04 Chicago Standard Newspapers
Seattle: Schools Review Excessive Force Claim 4/20/04 La Times
Rap, Rage, REDvolution 4/20/04 Village Voice: "As hip-hop emerges as an empowering voice for indigenous youth, mainstream rappers still objectify Indian country"
Study Suspects Thousands of False Convictions 4/19/04 NYT: "A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are thousands of innocent people in prison today.
Almost all the exonerations were in murder and rape cases, and that implies, according to the study, that many innocent people have been convicted of less serious crimes. But the study says they benefited neither from the intense scrutiny that murder cases tend to receive nor from the DNA evidence that can categorically establish the innocence of people convicted of rape."
The bad hair day at UCF wasn't funny 4/18/04 Orlando Sentinel: "I was perturbed when I saw a photograph of the Hitt-Nunis wig-wearing stunt, because it reminded me of the historic racist imagery used to mock black people. But I was even more perturbed when some people chose to dismiss the issue by saying those who voiced legitimate complaints were being too sensitive.
To fully understand what happened here, we need to dissect the image of two white men wearing Afro wigs by looking at the history of racial images and how the impact of those images is still relevant today.
Hitt and Nunis stopped short of blackening their faces with burnt cork, dressing in outlandish costumes and performing songs that mocked African-Americans. Still, their so-called tribute was a throwback to the minstrel shows popular during the 19th century."
Black Power originator visits Detroit 4/18/04 Pan-African News Wire: "During a visit to Detroit over the weekend, a field organizer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s called for the organization of the masses to carry out a revolutionary transformation of world capitalism.
Willie Mukasa Ricks, in town to give a series of lectures, was the first person to advance the Black Power slogan during the historic “March Against Fear” in June of 1966 in Mississippi.
The slogan was later popularized by then-SNCC Chairman Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)."
Death set to ignite tinderbox in Iraq 4/18/04 Sunday Herald, UK: "The 2500 US troops massed on the outskirts of Najaf to kill or arrest al-Sadr and his followers have been warned that to cross the ‘‘red lines’’ into the holy city would spell outright war with Iraqi counter-insurgents that would quickly escalate into a religious uprising against the US occupiers.
Even moderate Shiite clerics have declared that if there is bloodshed in Najaf there will be fury across Iraq. The Iman Ali shrine in Najaf and the nearby Kufa mosque are among the holiest sites in Shiite Islam."
Revolts in Iraq Deepen Crisis In Occupation 4/18/04 Washington Post: ""When the fighting is over in Fallujah, I will sell everything I have, even my home," said a resistance fighter who gave his name as Abu Taif Mashhadani. He wept as he recalled his 8-year-old daughter, who he said was killed by a U.S. sniper in Fallujah a week ago. "I will send my brothers north to kill the Kurds, and I will go to America and target the civilians. Only the civilians. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. And the one who started it will be the one to be blamed." "
Deaths of HBCU Students Point to Troubling Trend, Experts Say 4/17/04 Black America Web: "“That freedom and safety people used to have when they were on a college campus doesn’t quite exist anymore. We have gangs on campus now. And you have people in the local community that are into some bad things. Drugs, guns and physical altercations come into play on campuses now. When it all comes together, sometimes, it can be very unfortunate,” Millette said."
Kwame Ture: An African Revolutionary 4/17/04 Global Black News
Powell Said to Have Warned Bush Before the War, a New Book Says 4/17/04 NYT: "Mr. Woodward's account quickly provoked speculation in Washington that Mr. Powell might have cooperated with Mr. Woodward as the book was being prepared in an effort to distance himself from the Iraq war."
Ky. Police Officer Fired After Shooting 4/16/04 AP: "A Louisville police officer indicted on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of a black teenager was fired Thursday.
Police Chief Robert White said McKenzie Mattingly, 31, violated the department's use of force policy when he shot Michael Newby in January.
"Specifically, I felt that Michael Newby was not an immediate threat to the officer's life or his physical well-being. Nor was any other person in the area clearly in immediate danger because of Newby's actions," White said."
Afro-Colombians: 'Invisible' People Strive to Survive War, Racism 4/16/04 NCM: "Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia Project Associate at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the “invisibility” of Colombians of African descent stems from their staying to themselves on the Pacific Coast. And, she said, the Colombian government does not want to admit that its poorest and most marginalized citizens are Black.
“The secret is out now because of so many Blacks being displaced from their farms and turning up in cities such as Bogotá, the Colombian capital. They have the worst education, and now they are at every stoplight begging and this is causing people to question why this is happening,” Ms. Vaicius explained… He and the other two activists also pointed out that U.S. foreign policy and militarization of the fight against drugs through “Plan Colombia” has displaced huge numbers of Blacks. “Plan Colombia,” started in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, was launched to stop cocaine production by supplying the Colombian government with helicopters and other aircraft to spray fields as well as military assistance. The U.S. gave $2.5 billion of aid.
Critics say the operation has clearly caused more harm than good, with the brunt of Plan Colombia borne the backs of farmers. They complain that insecticides sprayed to kill coca plants often destroy food crops. Many also suspect the U.S. wants access to Colombia’s oil reserves and natural resources, like gold, silver and copper."
Tiger Woods Ends Fort Bragg Training 4/16/04 NewsMax
Trouble for gays in black churches - Pastors say Bible prohibits homosexuality 4/16/04 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Cuba: Race Problem Cannot be Solved Until it’s Acknowledged 4/15/04 Black America Web: "EDITOR'S NOTE: When U.S. voters go to the polls in November to pick a president, Florida — and its heavy concentration of Cuban Americans — may again play a central role in determining who wins. Nowhere will this contest be more closely watched than in Cuba, whose fate may be determined by the election's outcome. More than 90 percent of Cubans in South Florida are white; over 60 percent of the people in Cuba are black. In this series, BlackAmericaWeb.com examines the role that race plays in Cuba — and in the tug-of-war between the government of Fidel Castro and Cuban exile leaders in Florida."
Woman got Boot for Speaking Truth about Black-White Dating 4/15/04 Black America Web: “My confession this hour is that I’m a racist,” Mays said according to several news reports. “I really am. I have a problem with white people. Not all white people, but a lot of white people. I can’t tell if they are being real with me or not. And then I hate when the black guy is walking down the street with the white girl. I hate both of them. C’mon, there’s a man shortage.”
Those words got Mays the boot. She has since been hired by WQHT, a rival station of WWPR."
A Curious Backdrop for the 9/11 Hearings: Richard A. Clark, Rwanda, and 'Narcissistic Compassion' 4/15/04 Black Commentator: "Clarke, Power shows, was a dark force behind U.S. rejection of an aggressive plan to save Rwandan lives put forth by Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general who commanded the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda at the time of the genocide. The empty U.S. proposal advanced by Clarke to counter Dallaire, Power shows, abandoned “the most vulnerable Rwandans, awaiting salvations deep inside Rwanda.” It falsely assuming (or pretended to assume) “that the people most in need were refugees fleeing to the border” and could actually make it to the border (p. 21). “My mission,” Dallaire told Power, “was to save Rwandans. Their [the U.S.] mission was to put on a show at no risk” (p. 22)."
Memoirs from the “architect of Black Power” 4/15/04 Progreso Weekly
For Young Cubans, a Test of Ideas is at Hand 4/14/04 Black America Web: "According to Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando, 51, that is the great challenge of these times. In 2000, Rolando made a film about the 1912 massacre of 6,000 blacks in Southern Cuba who were demanding an end to racial discrimination. Rolando, who was age 7 at the time Castro came to power in 1959, said Afro-Cuban families and communities must teach and pass down their history. She says they must continue to remember how the society treated people of color prior to the revolution.
When her grandmother was young, Rolando said, blacks were forced to walk around their local park; only whites were allowed to walk through. “When the revolution arrived, they say no more separation. There were educational opportunities not only for black people, but everybody who didn’t have a chance, like poor whites in the country.
“The young generation wants material things, ‘I want this, I want that.’ My mother is 77 and she is now inside the university for older people. I don’t have the latest fashions in clothes or shoes, but I have the example of my mother and she continues struggling and learning.” "
Ethiopians in U.S. Find Value in Traditional Economic Practices 4/13/04 Pacific News: "Among the most enduring, universal, effective, and relevant socio-economic informal institutions Ethiopians have created are Iquib and Idir.
Iquib is an association established by a small group of people in order to provide substantial rotating funding for members in order to improve their lives and living conditions, while Idir is an association established among neighbors or workers to raise funds that will be used during emergencies, such as death within these groups and their families. Iquib and Idir can be characterized as traditional financial associations. While Idir is a longterm association, Iquib can be temporary or permanent, depending on the needs of the members."
Gang leader becomes peace broker 4/12/04 Final Call: "The author of nine children's books promoting peace, a man who says he has dedicated his life to helping youth, and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee whose life has been made into a movie starring Jamie Foxx, is second in line to be executed by the State of California.
Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been on death row in San Quentin for 23 years. The co-founder of the notorious Crips street gang, Mr. Williams transformed his life during a six-year stint in solitary confinement. Mr. Williams, who admits and apologizes for his part in creating the Crips, maintains his innocence in the crimes that sent him to death row—the murders of four people during two robberies that netted $120."
To forgive and to remember 4/11/04 Haaretz: "Contrary to its name, `Love,' Toni Morrison's new novel, describes hatred in a world where women are the weakest link. A conversation with the Nobel Prize laureate on memory and reconciliation, peace and revenge, survival skills and ghosts."
Cuba's Rastas: the religious, the philosophical and those making a fashion statement 4/11/04 Jamaica Observer: "Long dreadlocks stuffed into trademark red, black, green and yellow tams (knitted caps), which sometimes carry a symbol of an Afro-Cuban religion or even a US flag, Bob Marley t-shirts and camouflage pants - that is the typical look of Cuba's young Rastafarians, a growing urban presence.
The Rastas of this socialist island nation are mainly found in Havana and tend to be young Afro-Cuban men from poor neighbourhoods, who seem to carry Reggae music in their blood.
"People don't look on us kindly," Yosvany Reyes, a 27-year-old craftsman, told IPS. "In Cuba, people don't know very much about what being a Rastafarian means. They generally think we're dirty drug addicts or bums who just wander around the streets not doing anything." "
Woman Hangs Herself in Jail - Family of LaWanda Franklin disturbed at hanging in West Monroe Jail 4/10/04 Monroe Free Press, LA
Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004 - Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US 4/10/04 Washington Post: "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." Is this Bush's Reichstag fire?
Black Bookstores’ Woes are Tragic and Ironic 4/9/04 Black America Web: "Authors, patrons and community leaders were stunned to hear that Emma Rodgers, co-owner of Black Images Book Bazaar in Dallas, and host to famous and up-and-coming black writers, announced that she would close her doors at the end of her store’s lease in 2005.
Rodgers cited high overhead and dwindling profits as the reason for her decision. Rodgers told BlackAmericaWeb.com that her rent was $3,500 per month and her electricity bill was often over $600.
In contrast, she had many days of cash receipts hovering around $800."
A-List Black Actresses May Have to Settle for Superficial Roles 4/8/04 Global Black News
Black Police Face Continued Racism in the South 4/7/04 Black America Web
Wal-Mart Downplays Loss in Calif. Bid 4/7/04 Black Enterprise: "Minority voters in Inglewood prevent retail chain from opening Supercenter, though expansion plans continue throughout the state."
Report from Baghdad - Opening the Gates of Hell by RAHUL MAHAJAN 4/7/04 Counterpunch: "Falluja, although heavily Sunni Arab, was hardly in Saddam's pocket. Its imams got into trouble for refusing to obey his orders to praise him personally during prayers. Many inhabitants were Salafists (Wahhabism is a subset of Salafism), a group singled out for political persecution by Saddam.
In fact, during the war, Falluja was not a hotbed of resistance. Its turn to resistance started on April 28, when U.S. troops opened fire on a group of 100 to 200 peaceful protesters, killing 15. They claimed they were returning gunfire, but Human Rights Watch investigated and found that the bullet holes in the area were inconsistent with that story -- and, furthermore, every Iraqi witness maintained that the crowd was unarmed. Two days later, another three protesters were killed."
Reaping the Whirlwind - Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy 4/6/04 Counterpunch: By ROBERT FISK - "The grim truth, however, is that the occupying powers are now facing insurrection of various strengths in almost every big city in Iraq.
Yet they are still not confronting that truth. For the past nine nights, for example, the main US base close to Baghdad airport--and the area around the terminals--has come under mortar fire.
But the occupying powers have kept this secret. "Things are getting very bad and they're going to get worse," a special forces officer said close to the airport yesterday. "But no one is saying that--either because they don't know or because they don't want you to know." "
Liberal Air America will displace Black talk at WLIB 4/6/04 Final Call
Black women in US 23 times as likely to get Aids virus 4/6/04 Guardian
The battle the US wants to provoke 4/5/04 Guardian: "On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on a demonstration here. As the protesters returned to their homes in the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, the US army followed with tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops, streets, even ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people were killed and many more injured. In Najaf, the day was also bloody: 20 demonstrators dead, more than 150 injured.
In Sadr City yesterday, funeral marches passed by US military tanks and the hospitals were overflowing with the injured. By afternoon, clashes had resumed… Washington has given up on its plans to hand over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, and is creating the chaos it needs to declare the handover impossible. A continued occupation will be bad news for George Bush on the campaign trail, but not as bad as if the hand-over happens and the country erupts, an increasingly likely scenario given the widespread rejection of the legitimacy of the interim constitution and the US- appointed governing council.
But by sending the new Iraqi army to fire on the people they are supposed to be protecting, Bremer has destroyed what slim hope they had of gaining credibility with an already highly mistrustful population. On Sunday, before storming the unarmed demonstrators, the soldiers could be seen pulling on ski masks, so they would not be recognised in their neighbourhoods later."
MLK's Sister Says He Foresaw Own Death 4/3/04 AP
Poll: More Now Believe Jews Killed Jesus 4/2/04 AP: "The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found 26 percent of respondents believe Jews were to blame for the Crucifixion, up from 19 percent in ABC News poll in 1997.
The greatest increase was among young people and blacks.
Thirty-four percent of those under age 30 now believe Jews were responsible, compared to 10 percent in 1997, the Pew Center said. And 42 percent of blacks hold that view, compared to 21 percent seven years ago.
The poll was conducted amid controversy over Mel Gibson's epic "The Passion of the Christ." Some say the film unfairly portrays the role of Jews in Jesus' death, while Gibson and others insisted the movie is not anti-Semitic and is faithful to Gospel accounts."
Experts: Beating of Baltimore Girl Evidence of Larger Problem 4/2/04 Black America Web
Be careful what you say on campus 4/2/04 Seattle Post Intelligence: "The most ominous threat to academic freedom in decades looms in a seemingly innocuous Senate bill expected to come up for vote shortly. A short but critical clause would rob our society of the open exchange of ideas on college campuses that is vital to our democracy. House Resolution 3077 passed last fall. It included a provision to establish an advisory board to monitor campus international studies centers in order to ensure that they advance the national interest. While the law would apply to all federally funded institutes with an international focus, the target is clearly the nation's 17 centers for Middle East studies. The driving force behind this provision is the same group of conservative ideologues who have long promoted the war on Iraq and who support the extreme right-wing politics of the Sharon government in Israel. Their aim is to defend the foreign policy of this administration by stifling critical and informed discussion on U.S. campuses." [This law also affects area studies involving Africa.]
The truth about the black health disparity
Q&A with Dr. David Satcher 4/1/04 Atlanta Tribune
Condoleezza's Crimes 4/1/04 Black Commentator
US urged to turn attention to oil-rich states in Africa 4/1/04 Financial Times: "The Centre for Strategic and International Studies' research, which was written by a committee drawn from government, the oil industry and pressure groups, says the US should make Africa a higher diplomatic priority… The CSIS research says proven oil reserves in west and central Africa doubled over the past decade to more than 60bn barrels, adding that a fifth of new world oil production between 2004 and 2010 is expected to come from the region."