Obama Is Responsible for the Protests in Ferguson—but Not in the Way You Think | The Nation

The people of Ferguson and those in solidarity with them took to the streets within a context of racial repression broader than just one horrific shooting. Between 2005 and 2012, African-Americans have been killed by white police officers at the rate of nearly twice a week. In the month preceding Brown’s slaying, police in this country killed at least four unarmed black men. And in a state like Missouri, African-American drivers are the targets of 92 percent of vehicle searches conducted by police, even though illegal items are found in less than 25 percent of these searches.

The fact that Barack Obama is the president of the United States is the most tangible daily reminder that black people are full citizens of the United States, endowed with the same inalienable rights as their fellow Americans, and capable of exerting their political will to bring forth the political and policy outcomes they prefer. President Obama is the contemporary embodiment of the astonishing possibilities of black citizenship. He can be faulted—or rather credited—with helping ignite the refusal of black citizens to be relegated to second-class status in the wake of Brown’s slaying.

via Obama Is Responsible for the Protests in Ferguson—but Not in the Way You Think | The Nation.

IDFs Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com

Yesterday, Israeli defence minister and former Israeli Defence Force IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon announced that Operation Protective Edge marks the beginning of a protracted assault on Hamas. The operation “wont end in just a few days,” he said, adding that “we are preparing to expand the operation by all means standing at our disposal so as to continue striking Hamas.”This morning, he said:”We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command… The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy.”But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Yaalons concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion. Yaalon dismissed the notion that “Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state” as “misguided.” The problem, he said, is that:”Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israels past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel…A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority [PA] will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel – or all three… It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement.”Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians 773 of whom were civilians and 9 Israelis 3 of whom were civilians.

via IDFs Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com.

Why was Teina Pora gagged? – crime – national | Stuff.co.nz

This story comes with a warning: there are authorities who would much rather we were not writing this, let alone have you read it.It traverses areas they believe threaten “the maintenance of the law” in this country. It concerns a man they have gagged. You have probably heard of him, but you have never heard from him, and the state has deemed that as far as its concerned, thats the way it should be for the rest of his life.His name is Teina Pora.In November, his case will make history at the Privy Council, where his legal team, led by Jonathan Krebs and Ingrid Squire, will argue that he has been wrongly convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett. It is likely to be the last criminal case from New Zealand that the London-based court will hear.When permission for the appeal was granted in January, Justice Minister Judith Collins said the decision showed the system was working “very well”. Really?This is a system which saw Pora spend 21 years in prison. A system in which his case lay neglected without anyone making an effort to question its myriad flaws until four years ago when private investigator Tim McKinnel took it upon himself to start digging. Its a system McKinnel, Krebs and Squire have battled, often without funding, to get to the Privy Council. A system with a lattice of secrets and stone-walling that have made their task – and the medias – frustrating, to say the least. And a system which has deemed that Pora should be denied one of the most basic human rights – freedom of speech.

via Why was Teina Pora gagged? – crime – national | Stuff.co.nz.