Syrian refugees drown, washing up on beaches in public view. Central American refugees, deported back to the countries they fled, die out of sight, out of mind. The Guardian highlighted three cases of young Honduran men who were murdered shortly after being deported. They are three among many, says The Guardian, referring to a study by a San Diego State University social scientist who has identified 83 such cases in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala since January 2014. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Mexico
Free on “unconditional bail,” Minnesota attorney Peter Erlinder is now out of Rwanda and on his way home. Supporters say he will hold a news conference in Kenya on Sunday afternoon.
A fleet of battleships including at least 11 U.S. and one Israeli vessels, crossed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea on Friday, according to Arabic, Israeli, German and Norwegian news media reports. (Strangely, neither BBC nor the mainstream U.S. media are carrying the story, though Firedoglake has a connect-the-dots blog post.) Egyptian authorities lined the canal with thousands of security forces to protect the passage and stopped all non-military traffic and all fishing in the area. According to Ha’Aretz: Continue reading
News Day: Gang Strike Force head leaves /Feeding the beast /Baby ducks, attack hawks, naked biking /MN budget blues / more
Omodt escapes from Gang Strike Force Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek has called a news conference for this morning to explain why Hennepin County Captain Chris Omodt is leaving his post at the head of the Gang Strike Force. Omodt, who was brought in to clean up a bad situation, could just be giving it up as an impossible job. The latest revelations and accusations from the Strib:
News Day: Going up – domestic violence, tick populations / Going down: Auto dealers, Gang Strike Force / “Stagecoach from hell” / Tweet trouble / more
Domestic violence increase “off the charts” Looking at domestic violence, St. Paul police see an “an uptick off the charts,” and Dakota County’s Community Action Council reported a 37 percent increase in women seeking services for domestic abuse from 2007 to 2008, reports the PiPress. The increase in domestic violence is attributed, at least in part, to the economic recession.
News Day: Cops, guns, unanswered questions / Tough talk on the hill / Urban chickens / Media misinformation, more
Cops, guns, unanswered questions Why won’t Chief Dolan talk to the Pioneer Press? Why has Mpls police officer refused to sign an affidavit prepared by the Mpls city attorney and retained a private attorney? How can the Police Community Relations Council –dissolved by the City of Minneapolis months ago — petition the Justice Department now? These are just a few of the questions in the continuing saga of the Minneapolis police shooting of teenage Fong Lee in 2006. No answers to any of these questions, but you can read about more twists and turns in the gun saga from the PiPress, the report of the PCRC complaint from Fox 9, and the exclusive interviews Dolan gave to the Strib, MPR, and KSTP. Did anyone say “softball” interviews?
Earlier this week, Dolan sat for interviews with the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio, and on Thursday, he was interviewed by KSTP. It does not appear that he was asked about Adams’ refusal to give an affidavit for the city or his hiring of a lawyer.
News Day: All flood, all the time / Justice system stumbling / Post office bomb threats echo past / more
All flood, all the time As the level of the Red River slowly recedes, MPR continues to be an excellent source for flood-related news, if little else at the moment. Fifteen of the last 20 stories posted on-line (as of 7:30 a.m. today) focused on the Fargo/Red River Flood story, and one of the remaining five was the forecast of a storm that “could dump 12 inches of snow” in the region. Luckily for Fargo, most of that snow is going to fall farther south. For the Twin Cities, WCCO confirms that there’s nastiness heading our way, too, but probably not until tonight, and probably 2-6 inches of snow with freezing rain and sleet.
March 4: Back to school / MN Job Watch / TCF and TARP / TOP SECRET no longer / Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico and more
Budget deficit: Day 2 In the aftermath of the revelation that the economic stimulus will keep the red ink from rising higher, lawmakers and the governor are back to sparring over how to make up the $4.6 billion deficit. A trio of MPR reports gives context: State Finance Commissioner Tom Hanson warned that the long-term problem will get worse, with a $5.1 billion deficit forecast for 2012-13, and that the economic stimulus is a one-time rescue that does not solve the structural problem.
Minneapolis to Somalia Leaders in the Somali and Muslim community denied that a Minneapolis mosque had anything to do with recent disappearances of young Somali men from the Twin Cities, blaming unnamed people within the local Somali community for stirring up rumors, reports Nelima Kerré in the Twin Cities Daily Planet. While the press statement, and leaders at the press conference, did not name individuals, a commenter on MPR’s website pointed the finger at Omar Jamal. Differences within the MN Somali community reflect political and clan differences in Somalia. Jamal is related to the recently-resigned Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, while the young men have allegedly gone to fight with Al-Shabab, the youth and military wing of the Union of Islamic Courts, which opposed the Ethiopian-backed government of Abdullahi Yusuf. A former leader of the UIC, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was elected president in January.
Around the world in 60 seconds Taking a quick look at BBC this morning:
Drug war battles in the farming town of Villa Ahumada and in a prison in Torreon (all in northern Mexico) killed 21 people on Monday, including at least six police officers executed in Villa Ahumada before the army arrived on the scene. Yesterday Mexican army troops arrested the police chief and 36 officers in Cancun, on suspicion that they were connected to the torture and execution last week of an ex-army general who had just taken charge of a crime-fighting squad targeting drug traffickers in Cancun.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has agreed to serve as Zimbabwe’s prime minister, eleven months after the presidential elections were stolen by discredited, corrupt, but still-President Robert Mugabe. Millions of Zimbabweans remain in desperate need of food and health care, and the country has been swept by a cholera epidemic.
The commander of Azerbaijan’s air force was assassinated yesterday, shot to death outside his home. Lt-Gen Rail Rzayev had headed the country’s air force since about the time of independence in the 1990s, and was deeply involved in large-scale military acquisitions in recent years. BBC: “In October 2008, the International Crisis Group described Azerbaijan’s armed forces as “fragmented, divided, accountable-to-no-one-but-the-president, un-transparent, corrupt and internally feuding”.
Tamils in diaspora are uniting in protest over government indifference to the suffering of civilians, as Sri Lanka troops continue a major offensive aimed at wiping out the rebel Tamil Tigers.
Face of People’s Bailout Joli Stokes could lose their Richfield home this year, victims of predatorylending practices. The People’s Bailout legislation proposed by MN DFL legislators is targeted at helping Minnesotans who, like Joli, face foreclosure, as well as others facing unemployment and welfare cuts, reports Madeleine Baran in the TC Daily Planet.
The legislation proposes a two-year suspension of the current five-year limit on welfare benefits for low-income families. Currently, families are cut off welfare benefits after five years. This plan would allow families an additional two years of financial support. Low-income housing advocates say that although the welfare grants are already low, an extension would prevent homelessness for many Minnesotan families. An unemployed adult with two children receives $532 in cash assistance and $413 in food support each month.
The legislation also includes a thirteen-week extension of unemployment benefits, a moratorium on foreclosures, initiatives to secure federal funds for job-creation programs, and recommendations against state worker layoffs.
Housing starts down January building permits hit a new low, reports Jim Buchta in the Strib:
The decline in construction spending has been accelerating over the past several months, evidence of just how much money is evaporating from the local economy. It affects everyone from the crews who dig foundations to the corner-store retailer that sells grass seed.
MN Job Watch MTS Systems Corp (Eden Prairie) will cut 150 jobs, writes Liz Fedor in the Strib. The cuts represent about six percent of the MTS work force. In New Hope, 70 workers at HD Bath and Remodeling will be out of work on April 1, writes Jackie Crosby in the Strib in a ripple effect from Home Depot’s decision to shut down smaller home improvement brands.
On the national front, General Motors announced Monday that it will cut 10,000 salaried workers. The NYT reports that the cuts come a month after buyout offers to the hourly workforce and three months after 5,100 jobs were cut. GM sales fell 11 percent in 2008. And, while Wal-Mart has generally profited during the recession, the Strib publishes an AP report that the retail giant is cutting 700-800 jobs at its Arkansas HQ.
Just what we need A huge high-voltage power line is marching toward MN, reports the Strib, at least if ITC Holdings Corp gets its way. The company wants to build a 3,000-mile, 765,000-volt, $12 billion “Green Power Express” line to take wind-generated electricity from the west to population centers like Chicago.
The bailout plan Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced a bailout that most commentators found confusing, and that investors found depressing, judging by the dive in the Dow Jones and Nasdaq, reported in the Washington Post and similar downturns in European markets, attributed to the bailout announcement by BBC. In a nutshell, the $1.5 trillion plan would “would more closely scrutinize the risks banks are facing and offer public and private capital to those that need it; create a fund, with a starting value of $500 billion, to buy up toxic real estate loans; and commit up to $1 trillion to reopen lending markets for consumer, student, small business, auto and commercial loans,” according to WaPo.
Paul Krugman quips that he was going to call the plan TANF 2 —” temporary assistance to needy financial institutions, without, you know, any of the means-testing or work requirements involved when poor people get help.” He says it’s hard to tell what the plan means at this point.
Salting 10,000 lakes A U of M study finds that hundreds of thousands of tons of road salt goes into area wetlands, ground water and lakes, reports the Strib. Well, where did you think it was going?
Schools slash spending St. Paul schools will cut 265 positions for 2009-2010, but board member John Brodrick warned that “this is not the end,” reports Doug Belden in the PiPress. The budget will be finalized in June, and school board members will meet the public at a “listening session” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hubbs Center at 1030 W. University Ave.
The Anoka-Hennepin school board decided to “lay off scores of teachers, reduce its textbook purchases, cut one day off the school calendar and scale back bus services to climb out of a $15.8 million budget hole,” reports Norman Draper in the Strib.
Recount – maybe some movement? The court told the Coleman and Franken lawyers to “streamline proceedings,” reports Chris Steller in MnIndy.