Monday, November 20, 2017

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2017




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Addicted to War:


And this does not include "…spending $1.25 trillion dollars to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and $566 billion to build the Navy a 308-ship fleet…"    
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/18/funding-for-war-vs-natural-disasters/





Dear Comrades, attached is some new art, where Xinachtli really outdid himself some.














Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:




Love this guy!






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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:


A) EVENTS, ACTIONS 
AND ONGOING STRUGGLES

B) ARTICLES IN FULL


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A) EVENTS, ACTIONS AND ONGOING STRUGGLES


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Standing Rock raised the stakes for the global environmental and indigenous rights movements. Now, another victory. A North Dakota judge has ruled that my legal team is entitled to substantially more evidence from the North Dakota State Prosecutor's office than has been forthcoming in other water protector cases. We will be able to take sworn testimony and demand documents from Energy Transfer Partners and their private, militarized security firm, TigerSwan.
The timing on this ruling is important for all environmental protectors. 84 members of Congress—nearly all Republicans—recently sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraging him to invoke the domestic terrorism statute to prosecute fossil fuel protesters. These attacks on our fundamental constitutional rights, spearheaded by Donald Trump and parroted by congressional shills of Big Oil, should deeply concern all citizens who value our right to speak freely and demonstrate.
Our team has produced a new video that explains how I was singled out and targeted—and the justification for our bold legal strategy to expose the illegal and immoral wedding of the fossil fuel industry, law enforcement, and militarized private security forces. You'll see why I took action on behalf of my people, millions of others downstream, and Unci Maka—Grandmother Earth. Please watch it, and share it widely.
Share on Facebook
Don't lose sight of what Standing Rock means. My tribe—one of the poorest communities in the nation—won't stop leading the struggles to protect the earth and freedom of expression. Continue to stand with me, my courageous fellow defendant HolyElk Lafferty, and hundreds of others being represented by our ally organization, the Water Protector Legal Collective. Our fight is your fight—and it is nothing less than the movement to protect freedom and the earth for future generations.
Wopila—I thank you.
Chase Iron Eyes
Lakota People's Law Project Lead Counsel
Lakota People's Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859
United States

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Labor Studies and Radical History

4444 Geary Blvd., Suite 207, San Francisco, CA 94118

415.387.5700

http://www.holtlaborlibrary.org/mayday.html

Hours

(call 415.387.5700 to be sure the library is open for the hours you are interested in. We close the library sometimes to go on errands or have close early) suggested)

7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on all major holidays and May Day 
We can arrange, by request, to keep the library open longer during the day or open it on weekends. Just ask.

Services

  • Reference Librarian On-site
  • Email and Telephone Reference
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Online Public Access Catalog 
  • Microfilm Reader/Printer
  • DVD and VCR players
  • Photocopier
  • Quiet well-lighted place for study and research 
For an appointment or further information, please email: david [at] holtlaborlibrary.org 

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Prison Radio UPDATE:

Please sign this petition:


Release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case!
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/release-mumia-abu-jamal-case-record
A ruling to implement Judge Leon Tucker's recent order to release Mumia's court documents could be made as soon as May 30, 2017. Please call or e-mail the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office now to pressure them to follow the court's order to release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case.
Phone: 215-686-8000

Judge Orders DA to Produce Complete File for Mumia's Case

Dear Friend,

This just in! Judge Leon Tucker of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia has ordered the District Attorney of Philadelphia to produce the entire case file for Cook v. the Commonwealth- the case file in Mumia Abu-Jamal's criminal conviction, by September 21st.

The DA's office has to produce the entire file for "in camera" review in Judge Tucker's chambers. This mean Judge Tucker thinks that a thorough review of all the relevant files is in order! Or in other words, what has been produced under court order from the DA'a office has been woefully deficient.

Judge Tucker worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the late 90's, so he knows what is in -and not in- files. Cook v. the Commonwealth comprises at least 31 boxes of material held by the DA. Will they turn over "all information and the complete file" for Mumia's case, as Judge Tucker has ordered?

This in camera review by Judge Tucker himself means that an independent jurist will personally inspect the documents the DA produces. See the order here.  Stay tuned for more information following September 21. This is just one step in a long walk to freedom. It is a step that has never been taken before.

OPEN the files. Justice Now!

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Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?


Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media)
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
A Book Review by Robert Fantina

With the recent acquittal of two more police officers in the deaths of unarmed Black men, the question posed by the title of this book is as relevant as it ever was. Through a series of concise, clear essays, Mumia Abu-Jamal details the racism against Blacks, comparing today's behaviors with the lynchings that were common in the south prior to the decade of the sixties. He points out the obvious: The passage of Civil Rights legislation hasn't changed much; it simply changed the way racism operates.

The ways in which the white establishment has worked to oppress Blacks is astounding. After the Civil War, when slavery was no longer legal, "whites realized that the combination of trumped-up legal charges and forced labor as punishment created both a desirable business proposition and an incredibly effective tool for intimidating rank-and-file emancipated African Americans and doing away with their most effective leaders."

Abu-Jamal states that, today, "where once whites killed and terrorized from beneath a KKK hood, now they now did so openly from behind a little badge." He details the killing of Black men and women in the U.S. with almost complete impunity.

There are two related issues Abu-Jamal discusses. The first is the rampant racism that enables the police to kill unarmed Blacks, as young as 12 years old, for no reason, and the second is the "justice" system that allows them to get away with it.

One shocking crime, amid countless others, occurred in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2012; a police officer was acquitted in the deaths of two, unarmed Blacks, after leaping onto the hood of their car and firing 15 rounds from his semi-automatic rifle into the car's occupants. That is 137 shots, at point blank range, into the bodies of two unarmed people.

If this were an anomaly, it would be barbaric, but it is not: it is common practice for the police to kill unarmed Blacks, and, on the rare occasions that they are charged with a crime, for the judges and juries to acquit them.

In the U.S., Black citizens are disproportionally imprisoned. With for-profit prisons on the rise, this injustice will only increase.

Abu-Jamal relates story after story with the same plot, and only the names are different. An unarmed Black man is stopped by the police for any of a variety of reasons ranging from trivial (broken tail light), to more significant (suspect in a robbery). But too often, the outcome is the same: the Black man is dead and the police officer who killed him, more often than not white, is either not charged, or acquitted after being charged.

The Black Lives Matter movement formed to combat this blatant injustice, but it will be an uphill battle. As Abu-Jamal says, "Police serve the ownership and wealth classes of their societies, not the middling or impoverished people. For the latter, it is quite the reverse." As a result, people of color suffer disproportionately, too often winding up on the wrong side of a gun.

What is to be done? Abu-Jamal refers to the writings of Dr. Huey P. Newton, who calls not for community policing, but for community control of the police. Abu-Jamal argues forcefully for a new movement, "driven by commitment, ethics, intelligence, solidarity, and passions; for without passion, the embers may dim and die."

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? is powerful, disturbing, well-written, and an important book for our day.

Robert Fantina is the author of Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy. His articles on foreign policy, most frequently concerning Israel and Palestine, have appeared in such venues as Counterpunch and WarIsaCrime.org.
New York Journal of Books, July 2017

http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/Black-lives

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FREE OUR BROTHERS
Campaign to Stop Modern Day Slavery in Colorado, Demanding Equal Rights to the Under Represented

http://freeourbrothers.com

Petitioning Denver FBI & US Department of Justice

Stop Slavery in Colorado




On May 29, 2008 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Omar Gent was driving in his car headed to the gas station; however was pulled over by local police for what was stated to be a "traffic violation". Omar was then arrested on scene and taken to be identified as the suspect of a local robbery. The victim was shown a photo of Omar Gent (which is illegal) and then was taken to the traffic stop where Omar was already handcuffed in the back of the police car and a one-on-one show up was held at a distance of approximately 20-30 feet; the victim  was unable to identify Omar as the suspect during the first show up.  After given a second show up the victim believed he was 90% sure Omar was the suspect.
Coworkers #1 and #2  were not present at the time of the robbery but were used as witnesses to help identify the suspect. Coworker #1 was also taken to the one-on-one show up and was asked to identify Omar as the suspect and he could not as he stated "I have astigmatism" and was not 100% sure Omar was the man.  Coworker #2 positively identified Omar Gent as the suspect because he stated, "there aren't that many black men in Parker Colorado." At the pretrial suppression of ID/photo line up the victim picked three other black men all with different builds and heights; although prior the victim was "90% sure" he had identified the right man. In addition, Coworker #1 stated during the trial that he was angry when he made the ID because he was ready to go home and coworker #2  told him that it was Omar.
Omar's car was illegally searched without consent or warrant. After his arrest and enduring many hours of integration, Omar asked for an attorney, yet all he received were more questions and did not receive the legal representation requested.  During interrogation, the police tried to coerce Omar to confess to the robbery or else they would throw his family out of their home.  Omar maintained his innocence and did not confess to the crime and as a result the police kept their word. Four Colorado Police Officers forcefully entered Omar's home  and began to search his home without a warrant or consent; Omar's family was present and told police that they were not given permission to enter. The police forced Omar's family out of their home into the Colorado winter night. The police took what they wanted during the illegal search of Omar's home. Omar's family filed a complaint against the city because of the illegal search of their home.  In efforts to conceal the police officers' wrongdoing, the presiding Judge sealed the legit complaint. In addition, the video interrogation showing Omar requesting to have legal representation and police threats to throw his family out of their home unless he confessed was deemed inadmissible in court.
Omar has written proof that he requested a preliminary hearing to challenge the charges of probable cause but he was illegally denied the right--without Omar's knowledge and approval the public defender waived his rights to a preliminary hearing.  Omar was then charged with an infamous felony yet never received a grand jury indictment (which is required by Colorado Bill of Rights for felony charges). Due to the fact that Omar was never indicted, he was subsequently denied his sixth Amendment right (to confront and cross examine witnesses). Omar has been fighting his case by seeking justice for the violation of his civil rights. Help us stop illegal imprisonment in Colorado.
  • This petition will be delivered to:
    • Denver FBI & US Department of Justice 

"Please help us by stopping the mass incarceration in Colorado! Basic civil rights are being violated and we need your help to shed light on this issue." 

Sign then share this petition at: 
https://www.change.org/p/u-s-department-of-justice-and-denver-fbi-stop-slavery-in-colorado

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Support:




CONTRIBUTE 
Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director
Facebook
Twitter
Website
To give by check: 
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA
94141

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan
(415) 706 - 5222

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MEDIA ADVISORYMedia contact: Morgan McLeod, (202) 628-0871
mmcleod@sentencingproject.org
NEW REPORT FINDS RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE SERVING
LIFE SENTENCES IN U.S. PRISONS
Washington, D.C.— Despite recent political support for criminal justice reform in most states, the number of people serving life sentences has nearly quintupled since 1984. 

A new report by The Sentencing Project finds a record number of people serving life with parole, life without parole, and virtual life sentences of 50 years or more, equaling one of every seven people behind bars. 


Eight states  Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Utah  have at least one of every five prisoners serving a life or de facto life sentence in prison. 
The Sentencing Project will host an online press conference to discuss its report Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, on Wednesday, May 3rd at 11:00 a.m. EDT.   
Press Conference Details
WHAT: Online press conference hosted by The Sentencing Project regarding the release of its new report examining life and long-term sentences in the United States. REGISTER HERE to participate. The call-in information and conference link will be sent via email.  
WHEN: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT 
WHO: 
  • Ashley Nellis, The Sentencing Project's senior research analyst and author of Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences
  • Evans Ray, whose life without parole sentence was commuted in 2016 by President Obama
  • Steve Zeidman, City University of New York law professor and counsel for Judith Clark—a New York prisoner who received a 75 year to life sentence in 1983
The full report will be available to press on Wednesday morning via email.

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

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stand with reality winner
legal_update
Since our last legal update, there have been two important developments in Reality's case, giving us some insight into the arguments both sides intend to use in the trial.
The defense continues to build a case against the government's abuse of the Espionage Act, a strategy Reality's lawyers started laying out in their recent bail appeal. Taking that strategy further in a court brief on October 26th, they laid out a strong First Amendment challenge to the government's interpretation of the Espionage Act in cases involving whistleblowers.
If the defense's challenge succeeds, it would strengthen whistleblower protections significantly, and deny the government one of the main tools it uses to silence dissent.
Meanwhile, the government is doubling down on its strategy to put Reality's personality and politics on trial. A court filing, also on October 26th, repeated the same handful of sentence fragments obtained from eavesdropping on Reality's private conversations which the government claims is proof that she "hates America."They go on to make absurd claims about Reality's ability to flee the country while under total surveillance and without a passport, in their ongoing attempt to force her to serve time before she's been convicted of any crime.
Read the rest of the article at Stand With Reality.
STAND WITH REALITY WINNER ~ PATRIOT & ALLEGED WHISTLEBLOWERc/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
standwithreality.org ~ facebook.com/standwithreality

STAND WITH REALITY WINNER ~ PATRIOT & ALLEGED WHISTLEBLOWERc/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
standwithreality.org ~ facebook.com/standwithreality

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When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression

BAY AREA ANTI-REPRESSION COMMITTEE

When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression
 BY 

Mothers Message to the NY/NJ Activist Community 

In order to effectively combat the existing opportunism, hidden agendas and to better provide ALL genuinely good willed social justice organizations and individuals who work inside of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas... with more concrete guidelines; 

The following "10 Point Platform and Justice Wish List" was adopted on Saturday, May 13, 2017    during the "Motherhood: Standing Strong 4 Justice" pre-mothers day gathering which was held     at Hostos Community College - Bronx, New York.......

"What We Want, What We Need" 

May, 2017 - NY/NJ Parents 10 Point Justice Platform and Wish List 

Point #1 - Lawyers and Legal Assistance:  Due to both the overwhelming case loads and impersonal nature of most public defenders, the Mothers believe that their families are receiving limited options, inadequate legal advise and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in gaining access to experienced "pro-bono" and/or activist attorneys as well as the free resources provided by non-profit social justice and legal advocacy groups.

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Point #2 - First Response Teams: The Mothers felt that when their loved ones were either killed or captured by the police that they were left in the hands of the enemy and without any support, information or direction on how to best move forward and therefore; WE WANT and NEED community activists to help us develop independently community controlled & trained first response teams in every borough or county that can confirm and be on the ground within 24 hours of any future incident.

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Point #3 - Security and Support At Court Appearances: The Mothers all feel that because community activist support eventually becomes selective and minimal, that they are disrespected by both the courthouse authorities, mainstream media and therefore;   WE WANT and NEED community activists to collectively promote and make a strong presence felt at all court appearances and; To always provide trained security & legal observers... when the families are traveling to, inside and from the court house.

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Point #4 - Emotional/Spiritual Healing and Grief and Loss Counseling: After the protest rallies, demonstrations, justice marches and television cameras are gone the Mothers all feel alone and abandoned and therefore;                                                                             WE WANT and NEED for community activists to refer/help provide the families with clergy, professional therapy & cultural outlets needed in order to gain strength to move forward. 

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Point #5 -  Parents Internal Communication Network: The Mothers agreed as actual victims, that they are the very best qualified in regards to providing the needed empathy and trust for an independent hotline & contact resource for all of the parents and families who want to reach out to someone they can mutually trust that is able understand what they are going through and therefore;           WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in providing a Parents Internal Communication Network to reach that objective.

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Point #6 -  Community Offices and Meeting Spaces: The Mothers agreed that there is an extreme need for safe office spaces where community members and family victims are able to go to for both confidential crisis intervention and holding organizing meetings and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                                 WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in securing those safe spaces inside of our own neighborhoods.   

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Point #7 - Political Education Classes and Workshop Training: The Mothers agreed in implementing the "each one, teach one"   strategy and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                         WE WANT and NEEDfor community activists to help us in being trained as educators and organizers in Know Your Rights, Cop Watch, First Response, Emergency Preparedness & Community Control over all areas of public safety & the police in their respective neighborhoods.

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Point #8 - Support From Politicians and Elected Officials: The Mothers believe that most political candidates and incumbent elected officials selectively & unfairly represent only those cases which they think to be politically advantageous to their own selfish personal success on election day and therefore;                                                                                                                                WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in either publicly exposing or endorsing these aforementioned political candidates and/or elected officials to their constituents solely based upon the uncompromising principles of serving the people.

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Point #9 - Research and Documentation: The Mothers believe that research/case studies, surveys, petitions, historical archives, investigative news reporting and events should be documented and made readily available in order to counter the self-serving  police misinformation promoted by the system and therefore;                                                                                                                          WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us by securing college/university students, law firms, film makers, authors, journalists and professional research firms to find, document & tell the people the truth about police terror & the pipeline to prison.

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Point #10 - Grassroots Community Outreach and Information: The Mothers believe that far too much attention is being geared towards TV camera sensationalism with the constant organizing of marches & rallies "downtown"  and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to provide a fair balance by helping us to build in the schools, projects, churches and inside of the subway trains and stations of our Black, brown and oppressed communities where the majority of the police terror is actually taking place. 



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Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition

by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz(Introduction)

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MAJOR TILLERY: Still Rumbling!

October 22—Major Tillery's challenge to his 1985 conviction for a 1976 murder and assault goes to a Pennsylvania Superior Court appeals panel on October 31. Tillery's case is about actual innocence. It highlights Philadelphia's infamous culture of police and prosecutorial misconduct. The only so-called evidence against him was from lying jailhouse informants who were threatened with false murder prosecutions, and plea and bail deals on pending cases. A favorite inducement for jailhouse informants in the early 1980's was "sex for lies." Homicide detectives brought the informants and their girlfriends to police headquarters for private time in interview rooms for sex.

This is Major Tillery's 34th year in prison on a sentence of life without parole. Over twenty of those years were spent in solitary confinement in some of the harshest federal and state "control units."

"Major Tillery, for many years known as the jailhouse lawyer who led the 1990 Tillery v. Owens prisoners' rights civil case, spawned from unconstitutional conditions at the state prison in Pittsburg, is still rumbling these days, this time for his life as well as his freedom."    —Mumia Abu-Jamal, Major: Battling On 2 Fronts, 9/17/17

This past year the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledged that Major Tillery has hepatitis C, which has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver. The DOC nonetheless refused to provide treatment, ignoring the federal court ruling in Abu-Jamal v. Wetzel that the DOC's hep-C protocols violate the constitutional requirement to provide prisoners adequate medical care. With the help of the Abolitionist Law Center, Major Tillery is now receiving the anti-viral treatment.
Tillery has been doubly punished in prison for his activism in support of fellow prisoners. His 1990 lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens resulted in federal court orders to the PA Department of Corrections to provide medical and mental health treatment and end double-celling. He challenged the extreme conditions of solitary confinement in the NJ State prison in Trenton, Tillery v. Hayman (2007). His advocacy for Mumia Abu-Jamal in February 2015 helped save Mumia's life. Major Tillery filed grievances for himself and other prisoners suffering from painful and debilitating skin rashes. For these acts of solitary with other prisoners, just months after he re-entered general population from a decade in solitary confinement, Tillery was set up with false prison misconduct charges and given four months back in "the hole." Major Tillery filed a federal retaliation lawsuit against the DOC. Recently, Major succeeded in getting a program for elderly prisoners established at SCI Frackville.

For his appeals and continuing investigation, Major Tillery now has the pro bono representation of Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio:

"I took on Major Tillery's defense, which exposes prosecutorial misconduct in convicting Major Tillery of a nine-year old murder based solely on the testimony of jailhouse informants. This testimony was recanted in the informants' sworn statements that detail the coercion and favors by homicide detectives and prosecutors to manufacture false trial testimony.

"Now the DA's office wants to uphold the unconstitutional application of 'timeliness' restrictions applied to post-conviction petitions to dismiss Major Tillery's petition, arguing he is too late in uncovering that the DA's office knowingly put a lying witness on the stand."

Major Tillery's appeal is to win his "day in court" on his petition based on his innocence and misconduct by the police and prosecution. At the same time, the investigation continues to further uncover the evidence of this misconduct.

Although Major Tillery has pro bono legal representation there are still substantial costs to appeal and to conduct additional investigation..  Please help with a donation.


How You Can Help

Financial Support—Major Tillery needs funds for a lawyer in his appeal to overturn his conviction.

Go to PayPal

Go to JPay.com;
code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC
Or send a check/money order to: Major Tillery or Kamilah Iddeen, U.S. Post Office,
2347 N. 7th St., PO Box 13205, Harrisburg, PA 17110-6501

Have a fund-raising event! Thanks to Dr. Suzanne Ross, International Spokesperson for the International Concerned Family and Friends for Mumia Abu-Jamal for $1000 gifted during her 80th Birthday celebration.


Tell Philadelphia District Attorney:
Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.
Call: 215-686-8711 or  Email: DA_Central@phila.gov

Write to:
Major Tillery AM 9786, SCI Frackville, 1111 Altamont Blvd., Frackville, PA 17931

For More Information, To read the new appeal, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery
Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com


www.JusticeForMajorTillery.org





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Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence

Sign the Petition:
http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/petition.php


Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence. Cooper has always maintained his innocence of the 1983 quadruple murder of which he was convicted. In 2009, five federal judges signed a dissenting opinion warning that the State of California "may be about to execute an innocent man." Having exhausted his appeals in the US courts, Kevin Cooper's lawyers have turned to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to seek remedy for what they maintain is his wrongful conviction, and the inadequate trial representation, prosecutorial misconduct and racial discrimination which have marked the case. Amnesty International opposes all executions, unconditionally.


"The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." - Judge William A. Fletcher, 2009 dissenting opinion on Kevin Cooper's case



Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.

In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their house guest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing.

Take action to see that Kevin Cooper's death sentence is commuted immediately.

Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence.

Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."

Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.

Tell California authorities: The death penalty carries the risk of irrevocable error. Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted.

In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.

In solidarity,

James Clark
Senior Death Penalty Campaigner
Amnesty International USA

    Kevin Cooper: An Innocent Victim of Racist Frame-Up - from the Fact Sheet at: www.freekevincooper.org

    Kevin Cooper is an African-American man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the gruesome murders of a white family in Chino Hills, California: Doug and Peggy Ryen and their daughter Jessica and their house- guest Christopher Hughes. The Ryens' 8 year old son Josh, also attacked, was left for dead but survived.

    Convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred in San Bernardino County CA, Kevin Cooper remains under a threat of imminent execution in San Quentin.  He has never received a fair hearing on his claim of innocence.  In a dissenting opinion in 2009, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed a 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 565 F.3d 581.

    There is significant evidence that exonerates Mr. Cooper and points toward other suspects:

      The coroner who investigated the Ryen murders concluded that the murders took four minutes at most and that the murder weapons were a hatchet, a long knife, an ice pick and perhaps a second knife. How could a single person, in four or fewer minutes, wield three or four weapons, and inflict over 140 wounds on five people, two of whom were adults (including a 200 pound ex-marine) who had loaded weapons near their bedsides?

      The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryen, told police and hospital staff within hours of the murders that the culprits were "three white men." Josh Ryen repeated this statement in the days following the crimes. When he twice saw Mr. Cooper's picture on TV as the suspected attacker, Josh Ryen said "that's not the man who did it."

      Josh Ryen's description of the killers was corroborated by two witnesses who were driving near the Ryens' home the night of the murders. They reported seeing three white men in a station wagon matching the description of the Ryens' car speeding away from the direction of the Ryens' home.

      These descriptions were corroborated by testimony of several employees and patrons of a bar close to the Ryens' home, who saw three white men enter the bar around midnight the night of the murders, two of whom were covered in blood, and one of whom was wearing coveralls.

      The identity of the real killers was further corroborated by a woman who, shortly after the murders were discovered, alerted the sheriff's department that her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, left blood-spattered coveralls at her home the night of the murders. She also reported that her boyfriend had been wearing a tan t-shirt matching a tan t-shirt with Doug Ryen's blood on it recovered near the bar. She also reported that her boyfriend owned a hatchet matching the one recovered near the scene of the crime, which she noted was missing in the days following the murders; it never reappeared; further, her sister saw that boyfriend and two other white men in a vehicle that could have been the Ryens' car on the night of the murders.

    Lacking a motive to ascribe to Mr. Cooper for the crimes, the prosecution claimed that Mr. Cooper, who had earlier walked away from custody at a minimum security prison, stole the Ryens' car to escape to Mexico. But the Ryens had left the keys in both their cars (which were parked in the driveway), so there was no need to kill them to steal their car. The prosecution also claimed that Mr. Cooper needed money, but money and credit cards were found untouched and in plain sight at the murder scene.

    The jury in 1985 deliberated for seven days before finding Mr. Cooper guilty. One juror later said that if there had been one less piece of evidence, the jury would not have voted to convict.

    The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited…         (Continue reading this document at: http://www.savekevincooper.org/_new_freekevincooperdotorg/TEST/Scripts/DataLibraries/upload/KC_FactSheet_2014.pdf)

         This message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. July 2015


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    B. ARTICLES IN FULL


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    1) Why Do So Many Indian Children Go Missing?





    Children play on makeshift swings, on the outskirts of New Delhi, in May.
    CreditPrakash Singh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    BAREILLY, Uttar Pradesh — One day in April last year, 13-year-old Savitri was walking down a road with her mother in Dataganj district, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, carrying a flask of tea to her father, a laborer at a brick kiln, when five men pulled her into a moving jeep. One of them was from their village.
    After Savitri’s father was told of her abduction, he hitchhiked to the police station; he couldn’t afford to take the bus. The officers set out to look for the man who had been recognized. They couldn’t find him, but they demolished his hut. Then they put the matter aside. They didn’t file a First Information Report, which is required to open an investigation.
    One of the officers present that day told me in October this year that he didn’t think they could have done anything more. “Girls run away,” he said, with a shrug.
    Just like that, Savitri became another statistic — actually, she didn’t even become a statistic. Missing from home and then absent on paper, the teenager is a phantom. And she is just one among very many.

    It is remarkably difficult to get reliable figures about how many Indian children go missing, but the scale of the problem appears to be staggering. According to the country’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, 242,938 children disappeared between 2012 and 2017. But according to TrackChild, a government database, nearly that many children — 237,040 — went missing between 2012 and 2014 alone.
    Activists for children’s rights, who say that under-registration — as well as underreporting — of missing children is a chronic problem, estimate that the real numbers are much higher. According to Bhuwan Ribhu, a lawyer with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood), an anti-trafficking organization, the figure may reach 500,000 a year.
    Several factors account for the disappearances, but perhaps none more so than destitution. At least half of India’s minors are said to live in acute poverty. Looking for a missing child requires time, manpower and resources, and the police force in India is short on all of those.
    Some police stations have no telephone, or have to provide their own car fuel. Since their performance is evaluated based on the number of cases they solve, officers have an incentive to open only those with a chance of success.
    And then many missing children’s cases aren’t even reported to the police.
    Abhijit Banerjee, a director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told me recently that “parents may be reluctant to report children who ran away as a result of abuse, sexual and otherwise — which I think is rampant.” Some parents sell their children or, deliberately allow unwanted daughters to stray in busy market places.
    Just one bad monsoon season can devastate farmers, pushing them toward starvation. Some poor children voluntarily approach people they think are labor contractors, offering their services in exchange for an advance, and fall prey to trafficking networks.
    According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 3,490 cases of child trafficking registered in 2015, the most recent year for which the bureau disclosed figures. But the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, which the United States State Department releases annually, says that, “Experts estimate millions of women and children are victims of sex trafficking in India.” According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, India had the largest number of slaves of any country in the world. Again, the lack of hard data about the issue is an issue in itself.
    Last year the High Court in New Delhi, where the problem of missing children is especially acute, declared the subject to be of “extreme importance,” calling it “as bad as terrorism.” The court upbraided the local police for failing to recover more of the children who disappear. Of the 26,761 children who have gone missing in the city during the last five years, only 37 percent have been traced so far.
    State governments, the police and charities have access to TrackChild, a government database with searchable photos of children who were formally reported as missing. But between 2012 and 2014, the police filed First Information Reports in only 40 percent of cases.
    Why are they so lifeless, so disinterested?” the Delhi court asked.
    As of earlier this month, Savitri’s parents had no news about her.
    In recent years, public opinion has mobilized against rape, the murder of journalists and suicide among farmers, demanding government action. But not for missing children. To many Indians, Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, a social advocacy group, told me by phone from Delhi last month, it is as if these children “are not our own.”
    One of the stated goals of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is to “inculcate values amongst children.” It would do better instead to inculcate the value of children among Indians.



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    2)  This Is a Man Problem
    By Charles M. Blow, Nov. 19, 2017
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/opinion/sexual-harassment-men-.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

    Participants in the #MeToo March against sexual harassment and assault, held in Los Angeles on Nov. 12. CreditDamian Dovarganes/Associated Press

    It is impossible to say too often or loudly how important a moment this is, when many women feel brave and empowered enough to speak up about being sexually assaulted or harassed by powerful men.
    It feels like a watershed, like something is fundamentally shifting.
    But the greatest measure of fundamental change will be when everyday offenses by everyday people are also named and shamed, the trickle down of speaking up.
    For most women, the perpetrator is not a Hollywood executive, or a sitting senator or an esteemed journalist. For most, there will be no press conferences if they come forward. There will be no celebrity attorney to sit at their sides and stroke their hands. There will be no morning news shows to praise their courage.
    For most, the decision to speak up will still feel fraught and without sufficient benefit to outweigh the possibility of negative repercussions.

    That is where the majority of this battle must be waged, among the ordinary, the powerless, the invisible. These women (and some men as well, it must always be noted) are the true Silent Majority of victims.
    Speaking up, and even pressing charges when the law allows, will send a powerful message and will definitely have a chilling effect on this kind of behavior. Loss of livelihood and liberty after bad behavior is a strong deterrent.
    But I believe that something far more fundamental has to take place. We have to re-examine our toxic, privileged, encroaching masculinity itself. And yes, that also means on some level reimagining the rules of attraction.
    First, let’s state the obvious.
    I’m a big believer in sexual liberty. Consenting adults should feel free to express their attractions as they please without shame or guilt. Just play safe.
    But, there is no “sex” without consent. To believe that is a twisting of terminology.
    Rape is not sex; it’s rape. Unwanted touching is not sexy; it’s assault. Sexual advances in a professional environment, particularly from a position of power, are highly inappropriate and could be illegal.
    Also in business environments, rubbing your penis against people — known as Frotteurism, in case you’re wondering — masturbating in front of them, or even showing your penis is wrong and humiliating and possibly illegal. In fact, doing these things in almost all environments is wrong and possibly illegal.
    Also, if you make sexual advances on, or become involved sexually with, a minor, that is not a relationship. That is not dating. That is not even sex if it progresses to intimacy. That is a morally despicable sexual exploitation of a minor at least, and statutory rape at worst.
    Now that we have established that, we can move to the finer points.
    We have to focus on recognizing an imbalance of power during sexual dynamics so that men better understand the implicit “no” even when women don’t feel empowered to articulate a “no.”
    We have to focus on that space after attraction is sparked but before we are sure that it is mutual and reciprocal: the unrequited advance, the unwanted touch, the stolen kiss.
    We have to focus on the fact that jokes that objectify women are not funny.
    And we have to focus on the fact that society itself has incubated and nourished a dangerous idea that almost unbridled male aggression is not only a component of male sexuality, it is the most prized part of it.
    We say to boys, be aggressive. We say to our girls, be cautious. Boys will be boys and girls will be victims.
    We say, almost without saying it at all, that women are the guardians of virtue because an aroused man is simply an unthinking mass of hormones, raging and dangerous. We say that men in that condition are not really responsible for their actions, so it is up to women to do nothing to put them in that position.
    Dress more modestly. Don’t smile or laugh to the degree that it could be taken as flirtation. Avoid “this one” or “that one.” Don’t walk home alone. Don’t go out to drinks or dinner with the co-worker or classmate. Don’t meet in rooms with closed doors.
    This is the list of oppressions that women are read with religious rigor. These are the rules of the road. This is the outrage.
    Women are not responsible for men’s bad behavior. The idea that horny men can’t control themselves is a lie!
    Men have been so conditioned against emotional intelligence — that’s for women, we are told — that they are blithering idiots at reading the subtleties of allure or aversion.
    Guys become gamblers. They simply play the numbers. What nine women may find revolting the tenth may reward.
    They don’t even recognize what offense the nine may have experienced. They are blind to it. In the male mind, any peccadillo is excusable in the pursuit of compatibility.
    This kind of bulldozer, pelvis-first mentality is the foundation of the more aggressive, more intrusive behavior, and until we recognize that, we will count on the courts to correct something that our culture should correct.

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    3)  Sale of Migrants as Slaves in Libya Causes Outrage in Africa and Paris


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    Demonstrators held a rally against slavery in Libya on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Saturday.CreditZakaria Abdelkafi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    CAIRO — A CNN report about the sale of African migrants as slaves in the North African nation of Libya has incited outrage in recent days, prompting a protest in central Paris, condemnation by the African Union and an official investigation.
    Hundreds of protesters, mostly young black people, demonstrated in front of the Libyan Embassy in central Paris on Saturday — with some carrying a sign that said, “Put an end to the slavery and concentration camps in Libya,” and chanting, “Free our brothers!” — three days after CNN aired footage of migrants being auctioned off in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
    “We have to mobilize — we can’t let this kind of thing happen,” one of the protesters told the television station France 24. “Did we really need to see such shocking pictures before taking a stand? I don’t think so.”
    French police officers fired tear gas to disperse the rally, which had turned violent.
    Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commissionand the foreign minister of Chad, issued a statement after the rally, calling the auctions “despicable.” He urged the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to assist the Libyan authorities with the investigation that they opened in response to CNN’s report.

    The Guardian reported in April that West African migrants were being sold in modern-day slave markets in Libya, based on information from the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency. And Reuters reported on the issue in May.
    The International Organization for Migration estimates that there are 700,000 to one million migrants in Libya, and more than 2,000 have died at sea this year.
    Most of the migrants in Libya are fleeing armed conflict, persecution or severe economic hardship in sub-Saharan Africa. Their journey usually begins with a deadly trek through vast deserts to Libya and then involves either braving the Mediterranean Sea on rickety boats headed to Europe or struggling to survive in one of the overcrowded detention centers run by smugglers on the Libyan coastline.
    Forced labor, sexual abuse and torture are widespread in these camps, according to the United Nations.
    Since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011 ended the brutal rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya’s coast has became a hub for human trafficking and smuggling. That has fueled the illegal migration crisis that Europe has been scrambling to contain since 2014.
    Libya, which slid into chaos and civil war after the revolt, is now divided among three main factions: a feeble but internationally backed government in Tripoli; an ultraconservative Islamist government, also in Tripoli; and an anti-Islamist government in the east.
    The reactions on Saturday highlight one of the many challenges facing the internationally recognized authorities in Libya, which are still struggling to restore order, win popular support and restore basic services like water and electricity.
    The CNN report, published on Wednesday, detailed the horrors that African migrants experience while trying to reach Europe in search of a better life. It included video footage of a slave auction last month outside Tripoli, where about a dozen migrants were sold as slaves in a matter of minutes. That auction was one of many, CNN said.
    The network attributed the recent emergence of slave markets in Libya to the sharp fall in migrant arrivals in Europe over the summer. The Italian government reportedly began paying the warlords controlling Libya’s coast to curb the flow of migrants earlier this year. In August alone, the arrivals of migrants in Italy fell 85 percent.
    This drop, CNN said, appears to have created a backlog of customers for Libya’s smugglers, who have responded by auctioning off migrants for as little as $400.
    In his statement, Mr. Mahamat, of the African Union Commission, announced that the union would hold talks with Libya and other stakeholders in the region to find “practical steps” that would “address the plight of the African migrants in Libya.”
    He vowed that the union would “spare no effort to help bring these acts to an end.”

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    4)  Morocco Food Stampede Leaves 15 Dead and a Country Shaken




    MARRAKESH, Morocco — At least 15 women died and five were wounded in a stampede during a food distribution operation on Sunday morning in rural Morocco, government officials said.
    The victims were crushed as hundreds of people, mostly women, gathered to collect baskets of food at the market of a small town, Sidi Boulaalam, according to news accounts. The town is about 40 miles from the coastal city of Essaouira.
    In the aftermath of the stampede, clothes and other personal items were left scattered across the ground.
    It is unclear what led to the stampede. The Moroccan Interior Ministry, which reported the death toll, said it had opened an investigation. The donor who organized the food distribution has not been publicly identified.

    Morocco, with a population of 35 million, is generally regarded as much healthier economically than neighboring countries. According to the World Bank, its poverty rate fell to 4.2 percent in 2014, and tourism remains a robust part of the economy.
    But that can mask the conditions in rural areas like Sidi Boulaalam, where things are far more dire. Nearly 19 percent of the rural population lives in poverty, and about 15.5 percent of Moroccans live on about $3 a day.
    And there are troubling signs nationwide. The government expects the economy to grow by 3.2 percent in 2018, down from 4.8 percent this year.
    During the Arab Spring, the government spent billions to calm protests, and amid pressure from international lenders in recent years it has cut spending on subsidies and public sector hiring. Unemployment is high — over 10 percent, according to the High Commission for Planning, a Moroccan state-run agency.
    The Moroccan economy has gone through major changes in the last couple of decades with large-scale infrastructure projects like highways and Tanger Med, a giant container port. But critics say these projects did little to benefit the daily lives of most Moroccans. A United Nations ranking puts Morocco 123rd globally in terms of human development.
    Still, photos that emerged from the stampede left many taken aback on Sunday.
    “The image speaks loudly about the precariousness people live in,” said Mehdi Lahlou, an economist and professor at the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Rabat.
    “Many initiatives have failed because of the way projects were handled. Spending is not monitored,” Mr. Lahlou said. “In this particular case, it seems that the event was badly organized and the local authorities did not take the necessary measures to prevent this from happening.”
    In a speech in October, Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, assailed the governing elites, saying that the socioeconomic development projects had failed and that a sizable part of the population still lived at risk. “Today, Moroccans need a balanced and equitable development that guarantees dignity for all, a development that generates income and jobs and that especially benefits young people,” the king said.
    The Essaouira region, a popular tourism hub, is also known for producing argan oil, which is used in beauty products. In the last decades, many cooperatives have been created to help local women benefit from the production of the oil.
    Asma Chaabi, a member of Parliament from Essaouira, said the task of improving people’s lives was daunting.
    “This is an area that is very rich in terms of natural resources,” she said. “But there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to advance human development, especially when it concerns the youth and women.”
    At the market on Sunday, many who were injured were taken to hospitals in Essaouira and Marrakesh. A witness cited by local news reports said the donor had been distributing flour, cooking oil and sugar when the stampede broke out.
    “There was a big crowd,” the witness said. “One woman started falling on the other, and they died.”
    King Mohammed has ordered the local authorities to take all necessary measures to provide support and assistance to the families of the dead and injured, the statement from the interior ministry said. The king also pledged to pay the burial and hospitalization expenses for all of the victims.
    Omar Arbib, a Marrakesh member of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, said the Essaouira hospital was poorly equipped.
    “It’s a shame that people are dying for a little bit of food,” he said.
    “Many parts of Morocco are going through some crisis,” he said, pointing to recent protests in the south of the country over water shortages.
    “A huge amount of people died today, and the government is responsible for it,” Mr. Arbib said. “We aren’t even talking about human rights anymore but about the basic needs of the Moroccan people.”

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    5) Skin Cancers Rise — Along With Questionable Treatments





    John Dalman was told he would need surgery on at least a half-dozen nonlethal cancerous lesions, as well as radiation for several weeks. CreditJosh Ritchie for The New York Times

    John Dalman had been in the waiting room at a Loxahatchee, Fla., dermatology clinic for less than 15 minutes when he turned to his wife and told her they needed to leave. Now.
    “It was like a fight or flight impulse,” he said.
    His face numbed for skin-cancer surgery, Mr. Dalman, 69, sat surrounded by a half-dozen other patients with bandages on their faces, scalps, necks, arms and legs. At a previous visit, a young physician assistant had taken 10 skin biopsies, which showed slow growing, nonlethal cancerous lesions. Expecting to have the lesions simply scraped off at the next visit, he had instead been told he needed surgery on many of them, as well as a full course of radiation lasting many weeks.
    The once sleepy field of dermatology is bustling these days, as baby boomers, who spent their youth largely unaware of the sun’s risk, hit old age. The number of skin cancer diagnoses in people over 65, along with corresponding biopsies and treatment, is soaring. But some in the specialty, as well as other medical experts, are beginning to question the necessity of aggressive screening and treatment, especially in frail, elderly patients, given that the majority of skin cancers are unlikely to be fatal.
    “You can always do things,” said Dr. Charles A. Crecelius, a St. Louis geriatrician who has studied care of medically complex seniors. “But just because you can do it, does that mean you should do it?”

    Mr. Dalman’s instinct to question his treatment plan was validated when he went to see a dermatologist in a different practice. The doctor dismissed radiation as unnecessary, removed many of the lesions with a scrape, applied small Band-Aids, and was finished in 30 minutes.
    Dermatology — a specialty built not on flashy, leading edge medicine but on thousands of small, often banal procedures — has become increasingly lucrative in recent years. The annual dermatology services market in the United States, excluding cosmetic procedures, is nearly $11 billion and growing, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. The business potential has attracted private equity firms, which are buying up dermatology practices around the country, and installing crews of lesser-trained practitioners — like the physician assistants who saw Mr. Dalman — to perform exams and procedures in even greater volume.
    The vast majority of dermatologists care for patients with integrity and professionalism, and their work has played an essential role in the diagnosis of complex skin-related diseases, including melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which is increasingly caught early.
    But while melanoma is on the rise, it remains relatively uncommon. The incidence of basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin, which are rarely life-threatening, is 18—20 times higher than that of melanoma. Each year in the U.S. more than 5.4 million such cases are treated in more than 3.3 million people, a 250 percent rise since 1994.
    The New York Times analyzed Medicare billing data for dermatology from 2012 through 2015, as well as a national database of medical services maintained by the American Medical Association that goes back more than a decade. Nearly all dermatologic procedures are performed on an outpatient, fee-for service basis.
    The Times analysis found a marked increase in the number of skin biopsies per Medicare beneficiary in the past decade; a sharp rise in the number of physician assistants, mostly unsupervised, performing dermatologic procedures; and large numbers of invasive dermatologic procedures performed on elderly patients near the end of life.
    In 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, the number of skin biopsies performed on patients in the traditional Medicare Part B program had risen 55 percent from a decade earlier — despite a slight decrease in the program’s enrollment overall.
    Skin cancers are more common in older people, which means Medicare pays for much of the treatment. In 2015, 5.9 million skin biopsies on Medicare recipients were performed.
    More than 15 percent of the biopsies billed to Medicare that year were performed by physician assistants or nurse practitioners working independently. In 2005, almost none were, said Dr. Brett Coldiron, a former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, who has studied the use of clinicians who are not physicians in medical practices.
    Dr. Coldiron, a dermatologist in Cincinnati, said he was skeptical of the growing use of such clinicians in the specialty. “Ads will say ‘See our dermatology providers,’” he said. “But what’s really going on is these practices, with all this private equity money behind them, hire a bunch of PA’s and nurses and stick them out in clinics on their own. And they’re acting like doctors.”

    Dermatology on Wheels

    Bedside Dermatology, a mobile practice in Michigan, sends clinicians to 72 nursing homes throughout the state for skin checks and treatment.
    Dr. Steven K. Grekin, a dermatologist, said that when he founded Bedside, many of the nursing home patients had not been examined by a dermatologist for several years.
    “We were seeing a real unmet need,” he said.
    In 2015, Bedside Dermatology’s traveling crews performed thousands of cryosurgeries — spraying liquid nitrogen on precancerous lesions with an instrument that resembles a blowtorch. Other spots on the nursing home patients’ skin were injected with steroids, or removed with minor surgery.
    Examining the 2015 Medicare billing codes of three physician assistants and one nurse practitioner employed by Bedside Dermatology, The Times found that 75 percent of the patients they treated for various skin problems had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Most of the lesions on these patients, were very unlikely to be dangerous, experts said, and the patients might not even have been aware of them.
    “Patients with a high level of disease burden still deserve and require treatment,” Dr. Grekin said. “If they are in pain, it should be treated. If they itch, they deserve relief.”
    Dr. Eleni Linos, a dermatologist and epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who has argued against aggressive treatmentof skin cancers other than melanomas in the frail elderly, said that if a lesion was bothering a patient, “of course we would recommend treatment.” However, she added, many such lesions are asymptomatic.
    Dr. Linos added that physicians underestimate the side effects of skin cancer procedures. Complications such as poor wound healing, bleeding, and infection are common in the months following treatment, especially among older patients with multiple other problems. About 27 percent report problems, her research has found.
    “A procedure that is simple for a young healthy person may be a lot harder for someone who is very frail,” she said.
    The work of Bedside Dermatology reflects a wider tendency to diagnose and treat patients for skin issues near the end of life. Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, a health analytics firm, analyzed dermatologic procedures done on 17,820 patients over age 65 in the last year of life, and found that skin biopsies and the freezing of precancerous lesions were performed frequently, often weeks before death.
    Arcadia found that the same was true for Mohs surgery, a sophisticated procedure for basal and squamous cell skin cancers that involves slicing off a skin cancer in layers, with microscopic pathology performed each time a layer is excised until the growth has been entirely removed. Each layer taken is reimbursed separately.
    In 2015, one out of every five Mohs procedures reimbursed by Medicare was performed on a patient 85 or older, the Times found.

    Rise of Physician Assistants

    Bedside Dermatology is owned by Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, the largest dermatology practice in the country, with a database of four million active or recently established patients. Last year, Harvest Partners, a private equity firm, invested a reported $600 million in the practice, known as ADCS.
    ADCS has its headquarters in Maitland, Fla., in a sleek suite of offices and cubicles the size of a football field. One morning early this year, the buzz of corporate expansion was everywhere. A delivery crew wheeled in a stack of cubicle partitions. Employees at a large phone bank scheduled appointments around the country. A transition team was preparing to visit a newly acquired practice in Pennsylvania, and Dr. Matt Leavitt, ADCS’s founder and chief executive, was congratulating his director of business development on snagging a sought-after recruit.
    In an email last week, Dr. Leavitt said the company currently has 192 physicians, but declined to confirm other numbers because ADCS is privately held. The company’s website advertises “180+ locations.” The website also lists 124 physician assistants. That is a 400 percent increase from 2008, according to web pages preserved by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. ADCS offers a six-month fellowship program for physician assistants to provide additional training in dermatology.
    “My number one goal would be to have people take skin cancer much more seriously than they have, especially baby boomers,” said Dr. Leavitt, a dermatologist. “And we’ve got to continue to work at getting better access for patients.”
    While health care experts agree that access to care is of growing importance, there is an ongoing debate over whether practitioners who are not physicians are qualified to make diagnoses, identify skin cancers and decide when to perform biopsies — skills dermatologists acquire through extensive training — particularly among the elderly.
    The frequency with which physician assistants and nurse practitioners take skin biopsies — compared with M.D.’s — was the subject of a 2015study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Based on 1,102 biopsies from 743 patients, researchers found that physician assistants and nurse practitioners performed nearly six biopsies for every skin cancer found — more than twice the number performed by physicians.
    Riley Wood, age 82, arrived one morning last February at an ADCS clinic in Heathrow, Florida, for a skin check with David Fitzmaurice, a physician assistant.
    For Mr. Fitzmaurice, the exam was routine; Mr. Wood was one of a few dozen patients he sees each day. On the day a reporter observed him, Mr. Fitzmaurice moved quickly through the visits, many of which entailed procedures like biopsies and cryosurgery.
    Mr. Wood had already had two other cancers — kidney and throat. Mr. Fitzmaurice decided Mr. Wood needed two biopsies — one on his scalp, for a suspected squamous cell carcinoma, and a second on his neck, for a spot that might be a melanoma.
    The bleeding from the biopsy wound to Mr. Wood’s neck persisted for several minutes, leaving the patient worried and depleted.
    “I don’t like needles,” said Mr. Wood, in a voice close to a whisper, adding that the word cancer frightened him. Still, Mr. Wood said, he usually goes with the recommendations of Mr. Fitzmaurice, whom he called “Dr. David.” “I like him. He’s very thorough and cordial.”
    With Mr. Wood’s permission, a reporter photographed the area Mr. Fitzmaurice biopsied for a suspected melanoma, and sent the image to nine physician-dermatologists. A few dismissed the biopsied lesion as nothing, while others said it was hard to tell from the photograph. None said the spot had the telltale signs of melanoma.
    Yet all nine dermatologists, with no prompting, pointed to an adjacent lesion that had gone unremarked by Mr. Fitzmaurice, saying it looked like a skin cancer that was not melanoma.
    Two months later in a telephone interview, the reporter asked Dr. Leavitt about Mr. Fitzmaurice’s apparent oversight. Dr. Leavitt defended his employee, saying Mr. Fitzmaurice had probably seen the spot but his higher priority was the suspected melanoma.
    The morning after the interview, Mr. Wood received a call from ADCS, telling him to come in for a second look. The spot Mr. Fitzmaurice biopsied for melanoma turned out to be benign. The one next to it, which Mr. Fitzmaurice did not flag, was in fact a squamous cell carcinoma in situ, Dr. Leavitt said in a follow-up email.
    While Dr. Leavitt pointed out that “routine skin checks are a great way to catch potential problems early,” Dr. Coldiron said he was wary of clinicians who are not physicians doing basic skin checks, given the evidence that those often lead to unnecessary biopsies.
    Arielle Rought, a physician assistant with ADCS who is in her late 20s, called skin checks “our bread and butter.” On the day a reporter visited, Ms. Rought biopsied a spot on a patient’s hand to rule out melanoma. Her supervising physician was standing out in the hall, yet she did not ask him to take a look. Asked why she had not called him into the room, she said she did not consider it necessary. The biopsy was negative.
    In an emailed statement, the president of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Henry W. Lim, said: “The AAD believes the optimum degree of dermatologic care is delivered when a board-certified physician dermatologist provides direct, on-site supervision to all non-dermatologist personnel.”
    Ms. Rought said it was not unusual for a skin check to lead her to to freeze as many as 30 precancerous lesions called actinic keratoses on a patient during a single visit. Actinic keratoses are called precancerous because they can sometimes turn into squamous cell carcinoma. Ms. Rought said her “rule of thumb” was that 20 percent of actinic keratoses progress to cancer.
    While that might once have been the popular understanding, research now suggests otherwise. Dr. Martin A. Weinstock, a professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University, reported in a 2009 study of men with a history of two or more skin cancers that were not melanomas that the risk of an actinic keratosis progressing to skin cancer was about 1 percent after a year, and 4 percent after four years. More than 50 percent of the lesions went away on their own.
    Dr. Lim said the dermatology academy’s position is that actinic keratoses should be treated, as it is impossible to know which ones will turn into cancer, but some specialists are questioning whether that’s necessary.

    The Doctor Is Not In

    The experience of Mr. Dalman, the patient who fled the waiting room, began in January, when he made an appointment as a new patient at the clinic of Dr. Joseph Masessa, believing he would be seen by the dermatologist. Instead, he was seen by a young woman in a lab coat, whom he assumed was a physician, though she did not identify herself as one. She biopsied 10 different lesions.
    At his next visit in February, he was seen by another young woman, whom he also took to be a physician. As it turned out, both women were physician assistants.
    The second physician assistant told Mr. Dalman that he would need radiation on basal cell carcinomas on his temple, shoulder, and ear. He said he tried to argue with her, explaining that he’d had many similar lesions in the past that were removed with a simple scrape.
    He said she countered that if she attempted to remove the lesion above his right eye, he might end up unable to blink that eye. And without superficial radiation on his ear, he was in danger of losing the entire ear. She said he would also need Mohs surgery on several of the basal cell carcinomas. She did not respond to requests from The New York Times to speak about the case.
    Although Dr. Masessa signed Mr. Dalman’s chart, Mr. Dalman never met him. This could be because the clinic he went to, northwest of West Palm Beach, Fla., is one of more than a dozen clinics scattered across three states associated with Dr. Masessa, who is based in New Jersey but licensed in Florida. Supervision of physician assistants is required by state law. The Florida Department of Health website lists Dr. Masessa as supervising four physician assistants in the state.
    Dr. Masessa did not respond to repeated requests for comment. An associate, who identified himself as Jeff Masessa, returned a call and asked for questions by email. Neither he nor Dr. Masessa responded to a detailed list of questions, despite repeated follow-up emails from the Times.
    On the day of Mr. Dalman’s surgery, the same physician assistant injected a local anesthetic, then instructed Mr. Dalman to return to the waiting room, Mr. Dalman said.
    Then something dawned on him. Since he had not laid eyes on a physician in several visits, he worried that the physician assistant would be doing the procedure. The prospect made him nervous and he decided to make a swift exit.
    Mr. Dalman later went to see Dr. Joseph Francis, a dermatologist near West Palm Beach. Dr. Francis said there was no indication for superficial radiation, a treatment of which the American Academy of Dermatology has voiced skepticism. Moreover, Dr. Francis decided, many of the basal cell carcinomas could be scraped off.
    Dr. Francis said he was shocked not only by the number of biopsies that had been taken at once, but by the aggressive treatment proposed.
    Moreover, when he reviewed Mr. Dalman’s records from Dr. Masessa’s clinic, he saw four skin exams documented over the four-month period. But when he examined the patient, Dr. Francis noticed a pigmented, asymmetrical spot slightly bigger than a pencil eraser on Mr. Dalman’s shoulder.
    It turned out to be a malignant melanoma, not documented by the physician assistant. Dr. Francis removed it before it had a chance to spread.

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    6) Serving Extra Years in Prison, and the Courthouse Doors Are Closed
    By Adam Liptak, Nov. 20, 2017
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/us/politics/trump-justice-department-prison-sentences.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront


    The Justice Department reversed its longstanding position, essentially endorsing an opinion Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote when he was an appeals court judge. CreditSait Serkan Gurbuz/Associated Press 



    WASHINGTON — It is one thing for a new administration to switch sides in a legal dispute. That is merely unusual. It is another to urge the Supreme Court to deny review in a case that would test whether the government’s new position is correct.
    In a Supreme Court brief filed last month, the Justice Department tried to have it both ways. It told the justices that it no longer believed that some federal prisoners serving longer prison terms than the law allowed were entitled to challenge their sentences in court.
    For the last 16 years, the Justice Department had taken the opposite view. It said so in at least 11 Supreme Court briefs. You might think the Supreme Court should settle things.
    But the department urged the justices to refuse to hear an appeal from Dan C. McCarthan, a Florida man who said he was sentenced to seven more years than the law allowed. It did so even as it acknowledged that the legal question was significant and that the department’s new position could lead to harsh results, condemning inmates to serve out unlawful sentences.
    The administration’s request that the Supreme Court deny review in Mr. McCarthan’s case was “incredibly unseemly” and “not a good look for the Department of Justice,” said Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, and an authority on the complicated web of statutes that govern post-conviction challenges from federal prisoners.
    The Justice Department’s litigation two-step also drew a sharp response from Mr. McCarthan’s lawyers, who include Kannon K. Shanmugam, a partner at Williams & Connolly.
    “There is nothing inherently wrong with a new administration’s changing position on a question before this court — although it is rare on a question involving the administration of the criminal justice system,” Mr. Shanmugam wrote in a brief filed last week. “But when the government changes position on a concededly important question that has divided the circuits, it should at least have the courage of its convictions and be willing to defend its new position on the merits in this court.”
    Nine federal appeals courts allow the challenges, while two do not.
    The new case, McCarthan v. Collins, No. 17-85, started in 2003, when Mr. McCarthan pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge. That conviction would ordinarily have subjected him to a maximum sentence of 10 years. But the judge sentenced him to more than 17 years under a federal law that requires longer terms for career criminals.
    A career criminal, the law says, is one who has been convicted of at least three serious drug offenses or violent felonies.
    One of the convictions that justified Mr. McCarthan’s extra seven years was for escape. In 1988, he walked away from the Tampa Community Corrections Center without permission. The center was unsecured, and Mr. McCarthan was allowed to leave it to go to work.
    Leaving the center without permission was a felony. But was it a violent felony?
    When Mr. McCarthan was sentenced, courts treated all escapes as violent. As the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, put it in 2001, an escape “does present the potential risk of violence, even when it involves a ‘walkaway’ from unsecured correctional facilities.”
    The Justice Department’s litigation two-step also drew a sharp response from Mr. McCarthan’s lawyers, who include Kannon K. Shanmugam, a partner at Williams & Connolly.
    “There is nothing inherently wrong with a new administration’s changing position on a question before this court — although it is rare on a question involving the administration of the criminal justice system,” Mr. Shanmugam wrote in a brief filed last week. “But when the government changes position on a concededly important question that has divided the circuits, it should at least have the courage of its convictions and be willing to defend its new position on the merits in this court.”
    Nine federal appeals courts allow the challenges, while two do not.
    The new case, McCarthan v. Collins, No. 17-85, started in 2003, when Mr. McCarthan pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge. That conviction would ordinarily have subjected him to a maximum sentence of 10 years. But the judge sentenced him to more than 17 years under a federal law that requires longer terms for career criminals.
    A career criminal, the law says, is one who has been convicted of at least three serious drug offenses or violent felonies.
    One of the convictions that justified Mr. McCarthan’s extra seven years was for escape. In 1988, he walked away from the Tampa Community Corrections Center without permission. The center was unsecured, and Mr. McCarthan was allowed to leave it to go to work.
    Leaving the center without permission was a felony. But was it a violent felony?
    When Mr. McCarthan was sentenced, courts treated all escapes as violent. As the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, put it in 2001, an escape “does present the potential risk of violence, even when it involves a ‘walkaway’ from unsecured correctional facilities.”
    The Supreme Court rejected that position in 2009, and the 11th Circuit naturally followed suit. “A ‘walkaway’ escape is not a ‘violent felony,’” the court ruled in 2009, six years after Mr. McCarthan was sentenced to extra time based on just such an escape. He then asked the courts to take another look at his sentence.
    In March, the 11th Circuit rejected Mr. McCarthan’s challenge. The vote was 7 to 4, with the majority saying that Mr. McCarthan had filed his challenge too late under a federal law that places strict limits on habeas corpus petitions.
    But the law has an exception, enacted in 1948, for cases in which the ordinary procedure “is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality” of a prisoner’s detention.
    The Justice Department had long agreed that the exception applied in cases like Mr. McCarthan’s. It said so in Mr. McCarthan’s own case before the 11th Circuit.
    Since the government and Mr. McCarthan agreed that he should at least be allowed the present his challenge, the 11th Circuit appointed a lawyer to argue the opposite position. Then it accepted the appointed lawyer’s argument, which was based on a technical analysis of various statutory provisions.
    Only one other federal appeals court has interpreted the 1948 law to bar challenges like Mr. McCarthan’s. In 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, ruled that a prisoner who had pleaded guilty to money laundering in 1999 could not challenge his conviction after the Supreme Court, in a decision issued nearly a decade later, undermined the prosecution’s theory.
    The 10th Circuit’s majority opinion was written by Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the Supreme Court this year. His 2011 opinion, Professor Litman wrote in January, before his nomination, “makes one wonder what a Justice Gorsuch would mean for criminal justice at the Supreme Court.”
    In 2011, the Justice Department criticized Judge Gorsuch’s opinion. Last month, it endorsed it.
    Mr. McCarthan, the department’s brief said, should have argued from the start that his escape was not a violent felony, even though the law at the time was squarely against him. He should have asked “to have the adverse precedent overturned,” the brief said. It was now too late to raise the question, the brief said.
    The department said it was “working on a legislative proposal” to address the gap in the law. It added that Mr. McCarthan could ask President Trump for clemency.

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    7)  The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid
    By Benjamin Y. Fong, Nov. 20, 2017
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/opinion/climate-capitalism-crisis.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

    CreditNick Cote for The New York Times

    Even casual readers of the news know that the earth is probably going to look very different in 2100, and not in a good way.
    recent Times opinion piece included this quotation from the paleoclimatologist Lee Kump: “The rate at which we’re injecting CO2into the atmosphere today, according to our best estimates, is 10 times faster than it was during the End-Permian.”
    The End-Permian is a pre-dinosaurs era of mass extinction that killed 90 percent of the life in the ocean and 75 percent of it on land. It is also called the Great Dying. Although those who write about environmental change like to add notes of false personalization around this point — “My children will be x years old when catastrophe y happens” — there is really no good way of acclimating the mind to facts of this magnitude.
    However, the cause of the disaster that, by all indications, we are already living through should be clearer. It is not the result of the failure of individuals to adopt the moralizing strictures of “green” consciousness, and it is a sign of just how far we have to go that some still believe reusable shopping bags and composting (perfectly fine in their own right) are ways out of this mess.
    It is also not the deceit of specific immoral companies that is to blame: We like to pick out Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, but it is only one of many carmakers that “deliberately exploit lax emissions tests.” Nor does the onus fall on the foundering of Social Democratic reforms and international cooperation: Even before the United States backed out of the Paris Accord, we were well on our way to a 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit temperature rise by 2100, “a temperature that at times in the past has meant no ice at either pole.”
    The real culprit of the climate crisis is not any particular form of consumption, production or regulation but rather the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability. So long as this order is in place, the crisis will continue and, given its progressive nature, worsen. This is a hard fact to confront. But averting our eyes from a seemingly intractable problem does not make it any less a problem. It should be stated plainly: It’s capitalism that is at fault.
    As an increasing number of environmental groups are emphasizing, it’s systemic change or bust. From a political standpoint, something interesting has occurred here: Climate change has made anticapitalist struggle, for the first time in history, a non-class-based issue.
    There are many reasons we do not typically talk about climate change in this way. The wealthy are holding fast to theirs. Bought politicians and state violence are on their side. Eco-apartheid is not yet seen as full-on apartheid. Everyday people have plenty to keep up with, and they don’t want to devote their precious time off work to often tedious political meetings. The inertia, it is sad to say, makes enough sense.
    Perhaps the most common belief about this problem is that it is caused by widespread ignorance — even outright “stupidity” — and that its solution lies in its opposite, intelligence. This belief is neatly expressed in progressive opposition to Donald Trump and his administration. Trump voters are often criticized for being unintelligent, for voting against their objective interests. Trump himself is regularly portrayed as unintelligent.
    The basic idea is that if voters were intelligent, they would vote for an intelligent person who listened to intelligent people and all would be well. It is a staple of the liberal imaginary. Reflected here is the obtuse belief that the populist tide is simply mistaken, that it has gotten something wrong, which has the effect of veiling the real and justified dissatisfaction with the past 40 years of neoliberalism. Also reflected is the common view, which is not confined to one end of the political spectrum, that our biggest problems are essentially technical ones, and that the solution to them lies in the empowerment of intelligent people. The aura around Elon Musk is an extreme example of this kind of thinking.
    The problem with the general view that intelligence will save us is that it involves pinning the failures of capitalist society on supposedly dumb people (them), who, so the logic goes, need to be replaced with supposedly smart ones (us). This is a spectacular delusion.
    When a company makes a decision that is destructive to the environment, for instance, it is not because there are bad or unintelligent people in charge: Directors typically have a fiduciary responsibility that makes the bottom line their only priority. They serve a function, and if they don’t, others can take their place. If something goes wrong — which is to say, if something endangers profit making — they can serve as convenient scapegoats, but any stupid or dangerous decisions they make result from being personifications of capital.
    The claim here is not that unintelligent people do not do unintelligent things, but rather that the overwhelming unintelligence involved in keeping the engines of production roaring when they are making the planet increasingly uninhabitable cannot be pinned on specific people. It is the system as a whole that is at issue, and every time we pick out bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity to see plainly the necessity of structural change.
    Put differently, the hope that we can empower intelligent people to positions where they can design the perfect set of regulations, or that we can rely on scientists to take the carbon out of the atmosphere and engineer sources of renewable energy, serves to cover over the simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical. We have a much better chance of making it past the 22nd century if environmental regulations are designed by a team of people with no formal education in a democratic socialist society than we do if they are made by a team of the most esteemed scientific luminaries in a capitalist society. The intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism.
    On the defensive for centuries, socialists have become quite adept at responding to objections from people for whom the basic functions of life seem difficult to reproduce without the motive power of capital. There are real issues here, issues that point to the opacity of sociability, as Bini Adamczak’s recent book, “Communism for Kids,” playfully explores. But the burden of justification should not fall on the shoulders of those putting forward an alternative. For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification. And don’t be surprised, or fooled, when its defenders point to the tireless work of intelligent people.


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    8) Yemen: More than 50,000 children are expected to die of starvation and disease by the end of the year
    Blockade on rebel-held parts of country by Saudi Arabia-led coalition has restricted access to food and aid

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-war-saudi-arabia-children-deaths-famine-disease-latest-figures-a8057441.html


    More than 50,000 children in Yemen are expected to die by the end of the year as a result of disease and starvation caused by the stalemated war in the country, Save the Children has warned.
    Seven million people are on the brink of famine in the country, which is in the grips of the largest cholera outbreak in modern history.
    An estimated 130 Yemeni children are dying every day and an estimated 400,000 children will need treatment for acute malnutrition this year, the charity said.
    “These deaths are as senseless as they are preventable,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s country director for Yemen.
    “They mean more than a hundred mothers grieving for the death of a child, day after day.”
    Eighteen-month-old Nadhira from the Bani Qais district of Hajja, northern Yemen, is suffering from severe acute malnutrition and respiratory diseases.
    Her mother saved the family’s income for three days to afford to take her to Hajja city for treatment, but her condition deteriorated once again after they were left unable to afford the medicine.
    “I worry about my family’s food and medicine when they get sick. I want my daughter to live: she’s my biggest concern now. I wish my daughter recovers from her sickness soon,” her mother Shaika said.
    The charity has warned the death toll as a result of starvation and disease could be even higher, as the calculations were made before Saudi Arabia tightened a blockade on rebel-held parts of the country in response to a missile fired from rebel territory towards Riyadh international airport this month.
    The blockade has closed the major entry ports of Hodeidah and Saleef, as well as the airport in the capital Sanaa, which has severely hindered the access of food and aid.
    Already soaring prices of food and fuel have spiralled in just a few days, further eroding the limited capability of humanitarian organisations to deliver aid.
    “Our staff cannot reach communities to provide life-saving care and much-needed supplies and relief workers cannot enter the country,” Mr Kirolos said.
    “Essential medicines, fuel and food stocks could start running out in a matter of weeks. It’s utterly unacceptable to let children die of neglect and a lack of political will.
    “Unless the blockade is lifted immediately more children will die.”

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    9)  Huge Human Inequality Study Hints Revolution is in Store for U.S.
    Every society has a tipping point
    By Yasmin Tayag, November 15, 2017
    https://www.inverse.com/article/38457-inequality-study-nature-revolution


    There’s a common thread tying together the most disruptive revolutions of human history, and it has some scientists worried about the United States. In those revolutions, conflict largely boiled down to pervasive economic inequality. On Wednesday, a study in Nature, showing how and when those first divisions between rich and poor began, suggests not only that history has always repeated itself but also that it’s bound to do so again — and perhaps sooner than we think.
    In the largest study of its kind, a team of scientists from Washington State University and 13 other institutions examined the factors leading to economic inequality throughout all of human history and noticed some worrying trends. Using a well-established score of inequality called the Gini coefficient, which gives perfect, egalitarian societies a score of 0 and high-inequality societies a 1, they showed that civilization tends to move toward inequality as some people gain the means to make others relatively poor — and employ it. Coupled with what researchers already know about inequality leading to social instability, the study does not bode well for the state of the world today.
    “We could be concerned in the United States, that if Ginis get too high, we could be inviting revolution, or we could be inviting state collapse. There’s only a few things that are going to decrease our Ginis dramatically,” said Tim Kohler, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and a professor of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology in a statement.
    Currently, the United States Gini score is around .81, one of the highest in the world, according to the 2016 Allianz Global Wealth Report.
    A recent Credit Suisse report shows that the richest 1 percent of humanity owns half the world's wealth.
    Kohler and his team had their work cut out for them, as studying inequality before the age of global wealth reports is not a straightforward task. It’s one thing to measure modern day economic inequality using measures of individual net worth, but those kind of metrics aren’t available for, say, hunter-gatherers chasing buffalo during the Paleolithic. To surmount this obstacle, the researchers decided to use house size as a catch-all proxy for wealth, then examined the makeup of societies from prehistoric times to modern day using data from 63 archaeological digs.
    Overall, they found that human societies started off fairly equal, with the hunter-gatherer societies consistently getting Gini scores around .17. The divide between rich and poor really began once humans started to domesticate plants and animals and switch to farming-based societies. Learning to till the land meant introducing the concept of land ownership, and inevitably, some people ended up as landless peasants. Furthermore, because these societies no longer lived as nomads, it became easier to accumulate wealth (like land) and pass it down from generation to generation.
    The Gini scores got higher as farming societies got bigger. The small scale “horticultural” farmers had a median Gini of .27, and larger-scale “agricultural” societies moved up to .35. This pattern continued until, oddly, humans moved into the New World — the Americas. Then, over time, the researchers saw that Gini scores kept rising in Old World Eurasia but actually hit a plateau in the Americas. The researchers think this plateau happened because there were fewer draft animals, like horse and water buffalo, in the New World, making it harder for new agricultural societies to expand and cultivate more land.
    Overall, the highest-ever historical Gini the researchers found was that of the ancient Old World (think Patrician Rome), which got a score of .59. While the degrees of inequality experienced by historical societies are quite high, the researchers note, they’re nowhere near as high as the Gini scores we’re seeing now.
    “Even given the possibility that the Ginis constructed here may somewhat underestimate true household wealth disparities, it is safe to say that the degree of wealth inequality experienced by many households today is considerably higher than has been the norm over the last ten millennia,” the researchers write in their paper.
    On Monday, a global report from Credit Suisse showed that modern humans are continuing the trends set by our predecessors: Now, the report showed, half of the world’s wealth really does belong to a super-rich one percent, and the gap is only growing. Historically, Kohler says in his statement, there’s only so much inequality a society can sustain before it reaches a tipping point. Among the many known effects of inequality on a society are social unrest, a decrease in health, increased violence, and decreased solidarity. Unfortunately, Kohler points out, humans have never been especially good at decreasing inequality peacefully — historically, the only effective methods for doing so are plague, massive warfare, or revolution.

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