Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018





Next general planning meeting for this action:
Monday, February 26, 2018, 7:00-9:00 P.M.
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
6501 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
1-510-595-7417

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Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Join us for a 
planning meeting 
to decide on
Action(s) for March 24-25
Days of Offensive to Free Mumia!
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The Planning Meeting for March actions in Oakland Is:
Monday, 26 February 2018 at 4 PM
At the Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland. 
We hope to see you there!
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Now is the time to act!
Mumia’s freedom is at stake in the case before a Philadelphia court, in which Mumia is demanding release of all possible evidence (files, documents, reports etc.) showing the complicity of Ronald Castille in his frame-up for a murder he did not commit, and the subsequent conviction.
Castille, who was in the DA’s office as Assistant District Attorney at the time of Mumia’s frame-up and trial, later sat in judgement over Mumia’s appeals against this very same conviction as a judge on the PA Supreme Court! This action, of a prosecutor involved in a conviction who later sits in judgement over the same person’s appeals against that conviction, has been ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, in its Williams decision. The Williams decision involved the very same actor, Ronald Castille of Pennsylvania, as in Mumia’s case!
A success in this case could invalidate all of Mumia’s negative state appeals decisions, which would pave the way for overturning his conviction, and thus freeing Mumia!
Mumia’s next court hearing on this “discovery” demand
is on Tuesday, March 27th in Philadelphia.
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The Planning Meeting for March actions in Oakland Is:
Monday, 26 February 2018 at 4 PM
At the Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland. 
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A Real Black Panther Needs Your Help!
Black Panther the movie is selling out around the Bay Area, 
and Former Panthers are saying this film opens a chance for dialog about
 the real Black Panthers.
Checking out this movie?
Download and print out the flyer attached and distribute it!

- This message is from the 
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal   
February 2018


PACK THE COURT FOR MUMIA


Monday, February 26, 8:00 A.M.
Status Report
and
Tuesday, March 27, 8:00 A.M.
Court Hearing

Room 1108, Criminal Justice Center
1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia

In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney's office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille. A Status Hearing will take place Feb.26 followed by a court hearing on March 27.

Castille is a former PA Supreme Court

judge who refused to disqualify
Himself when Mumia's case came before the court despite having been the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia's prior appeals. The US Supreme Court has ruled such conduct unconstitutional.


The people's movement forced the courts to take Abu-Jamal off death row in 2011 but his freedom was not won. Despite his innocence he was re-sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

As an innocent man, Mumia must be freed! It is even more urgent that he gain his freedom because he is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, severe itching and other ailments.

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, International Action Center, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (NYC), Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, Educators for Mumia; Food Not Bombs Solidarity


What you can do:
 Call DA Larry Krasner at (215)686-8000.
Tell him to release all DA and police files on Mumia to the public.
Tell the DA to release Mumia because he's factually innocent.
 Pack the court on 2/26 and 3/27.
Mobilization4Mumia@gmail.com;
215-724-1618;
Donate: 
https://mobilization4mumia.com/donate-1/ 



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International Letter in Support of Mumia Abu-Jamal

http://www.prisonradio.org/sites/default/files/ABBREVIATED%20INTL%20LETTER%20DEC%2031%2C%202017.pdf


December 9, 2017
To:
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner From:
Concerned Members of International Community

A CALL TO RELEASE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND POLICE FILES RELEVANT TO MUMIA ABU-JAMAL'S CASEAND TO FREE ABU-JAMAL NOW
We, the undersigned individual and organizational members of the international community concerned with issues of human rights, call your attention to an egregious example of human rights violations in your respective jurisdictions: the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, we call on you both, key officials with the power to determine Abu-Jamal's fate, to:
  1. Assure that all the District Attorney and police files relevant to Abu-Jamal's case, be released publicly as the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is reviewing the potential involvement of retired Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille in a conflict of interest when he reviewed Abu Jamal's case as a PA Supreme Court Justice.
  2. Release Abu-Jamal now from his incarceration. That given the mounds of evidence of Abu-Jamal's innocence and even more evidence of police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct, his unjust incarceration, including almost 30 years on death row, his twice near-executions, his prison-induced illness which brought him to the brink of death, and the lack of timely treatment for his hepatitis-C which has left him with a condition, cirrhosis of the liver, which poses a potential threat to his life ... we call for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal now.
Now, Abu-Jamal has a new legal challenge in the Pennsylvania courts on the grounds that PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille had a conflict of interest when he denied Abu-Jamal's appeals from 1998-2014. The new action is based on a precedent setting U.S. Supreme Court decision, Williams v. Pennsylvania, that a judge who had been personally involved in a critical prosecutorial decision violates the defendant's right to an impartial judicial review if he then gets to rule on the case as a State Supreme Court Justice. Castille was the Philadelphia elected District Attorney during Abu-Jamal's first appeal process, after his conviction and death sentence, from 1986-1991. He was a PA Supreme Court Justice from 1994 to 2014, during which time Abu-Jamal's case came before him multiple times.
We demand: Public disclosure of the police and DA files! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Now!!
To sign onto this letter please email infomumia@gmail.com with the subject line "International Letter for Mumia." Submit your full name as you want it listed and your organizational or professional identification.This identification is critical in a letter of this sort, as names alone carry little leverage.
page1image2213076912 page1image2213077200 page1image2213077488 page1image2213077840 page1image2213078128 page1image2213078416 page1image2213078704 page1image2213079056 page1image2213079344 page1image2213079632 page1image2213079920 page1image2213080208 page1image2213080496 page1image2213080848 page1image2213081136 page1image2213081680 page1image2213081904 page1image2213082128 page1image2213082416 page1image2213082704 page1image2213082992 page1image2213083280
frantzfanonfoundation@amail.com - 58. rue Daquerre, 75014 Paris. +336 86 78 39 20. frantzfanonfoundation-fondationfrantzfanon.com 


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Major George Tillery
A Case of Gross Prosecutorial Misconduct and Police Corruption
Sexual Favors and Hotel Rooms Provided by Police to Prosecution Fact Witness for Fabricated Testimony During Trial
By Nancy Lockhart, M.J.
August 24, 2016

Corruption in The State of Pennsylvania is being exposed with a multitude of public officials indicted by the US Attorney's office in 2015 and 2016.  A lengthy list of extortion, theft, and corruption in public service includes a former Solicitor, Treasurer and Veteran Police Officer  U.S. Department of Justice Corruption Prosecutions.  On Monday August 15, 2016 Pennsylvania State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane was found guilty of all nine counts in a perjury and obstruction case related to a grand jury leak.  Pennsylvania's Attorney General Convicted On All Counts - New York Times
Although this is a small sampling of decades long corruption throughout the state of Pennsylvania, Major George Tillery has languished in prison over 31 years because of prosecutorial misconduct and police corruption. Tillery was tried and convicted in 1985 in a trial where prosecutors and police created a textbook criminal story for bogus convictions. William Franklin was charged as a co-conspirator in the shootings, he was tried and convicted in December of 1980, because he refused to lie on Tillery.  Franklin is 69 years old according to the PADOC website and has been in prison 36 years. 

Major Tillery Is Not Represented by an Attorney and Needs Your Assistance to Retain One. Donate to Major Tillery's Legal Defense FundMajor Tillery, PA DOC# AM9786, will turn 66-years-old on September 9, 2016 and has spent over three decades in prison for crimes he did not commit. Twenty of those 31 plus years were spent in solitary confinement. Tillery has endured many very serious medical issues and medical neglect.  Currently, he is plagued with serious illnesses that include hepatitis C, stubborn skin rashes, dangerous intestinal disorders and a degenerative hip. His orthopedic shoes were taken by prison administrators and never returned.

Tillery, was convicted of homicide, assault, weapons and conspiracy charges in 1985, for the poolroom shootings which left one man dead and another wounded. William Franklin was the pool room operator at the time. The shooting occurred on October 22, 1976.  
Falsified testimony was the only evidence presented during trial. No other evidence linked Tillery to the 1976 shootings, except for the testimony of two jailhouse informants. Both men swore that they had received no promises, agreements, or deals in exchange for their testimony. Barbra Christie, the trial prosecutor, insisted to the Court and Jury that these witnesses were not given any plea agreements or sentencing promises. That was untrue.

Newly discovered evidence is the sole basis for Tillery's latest Pro Se filing. According to the  Post Conviction Relief Petition Filed June 15, 2016, evidence proves that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania committed fraud on the Court and Jury which undermined the fundamentals of due process. The newly discovered evidence in sworn declarations is from two prosecution fact witnesses. Those two witnesses provided the entirety of trial evidence against Major Tillery. The declarations explain false testimonies manufactured by the prosecution with the assistance of police detectives/investigators. On August 19, 2016 Judge Leon Tucker filed a Notice of Intent to Dismiss Major's PCRA petition.  Notice to Dismiss

Emanuel Claitt Has Come Forth to Declare His Testimony as Manufactured and Fabricated by Police and Prosecutors. Claitt states that his testimony during trial was fabricated and coerced by Assistant District Attorney Barbara Christie, Detectives John Cimino and James McNeshy.  Claitt swore that he was promised a very favorable plea agreement and treatment in his pending criminal cases.  Claitt was granted sexual favors in exchange for his false testimony. Claitt states that he was allowed to have sex with four different women in the homicide interview rooms and in hotel rooms in exchange for his cooperation. 

Prosecution fact witness Emanuel Claitt states in his  Declaration of Emanuel Claitt, and Emanuel Claitt Supplemental Declaration that testimony against Major Tillery was fabricated, coerced and coached by Assistant District Attorney's Leonard Ross, Barbara Christie, and Roger King with the assistance of Detectives Larry Gerrad, Ernest Gilbert, and Lt. Bill Shelton.  Claitt was threatened with false murder charges as well as, given promises and agreements of favorable plea deals and sentencing. In exchange for his false testimony, many of Claitt's cases were not prosecuted. He received probation. Additionally, he was sentenced to a mere 18 months for fire bombing and was protected after his arrest between the time of Franklin's and Tillery's trials.  

Trial Lawyer Operated Under Actual Conflict of Interest. Tillery discovered that his trial lawyer, Joseph Santaguida, also represented the victim. In other words, the victim in this case was represented by trial lawyer Santaguida and Santaguida also represented Major Tillery.  The Commonwealth has concealed newly discovered evidence as well as, evidence which would have been favorable to Major Tillery in the criminal trial. That evidence would have exonerated him. In light of the new Declarations which prove manufactured testimony by prosecutors and police, Major Tillery needs legal representation. He is not currently represented by an attorney. 
Donate: Major Tillery's Legal Defense FundClick Here & Donate

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Art by Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier!

On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

By Leonard Peltier

I am overwhelmed that today, February 6, is the start of my 43rd year in prison. I have had such high hopes over the years that I might be getting out and returning to my family in North Dakota. And yet here I am in 2018 still struggling for my FREEDOM at 73.
I don't want to sound ungrateful to all my supporters who have stood by me through all these years. I dearly love and respect you and thank you for the love and respect you have given me.
But the truth is I am tired, and often my ailments cause me pain with little relief for days at a time. I just had heart surgery and I have other medical issues that need to be addressed: my aortic aneurysm that could burst at any time, my prostate, and arthritis in my hip and knees.
I do not think I have another ten years, and what I do have I would like to spend with my family. Nothing would bring me more happiness than being able to hug my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I did not come to prison to become a political prisoner. I've been part of Native resistance since I was nine years of age. My sister, cousin and I were kidnapped and taken to boarding school. This incident and how it affected my cousin Pauline, had an enormous effect on me.
This same feeling haunts me as I reflect upon my past 42 years of false imprisonment. This false imprisonment has the same feeling as when I heard the false affidavit the FBI manufactured about Myrtle Poor Bear being at Oglala on the day of the fire-fight—a fabricated document used to extradite me illegally from Canada in 1976.
I know you know that the FBI files are full of information that proves my innocence. Yet many of those files are still withheld from my legal team. During my appeal before the 8th Circuit, former Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Crooks said to Judge Heaney: "Your honor, we do not know who killed those agents. Further, we don't know what participation, if any, Mr. Peltier had in it."
That statement exonerates me, and I should have been released. But here I sit, 43 years later still struggling for my freedom. I have pleaded my innocence for so long now, in so many courts of law, in so many public statements issued through the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, that I will not argue it here. But I will say again, I DID NOT KILL THOSE AGENTS!
Right now, I need my supporters here in the U.S. and throughout the world helping me. We need donations large or small to help pay my legal team to do the research that will get me back into court or get me moved closer to home or a compassionate release based on my poor health and age. Please help me to go home, help me win my freedom!
There is a new petition my Canadian brothers and sisters are circulating internationally that will be attached to my letter. Please sign it and download it so you can take it to your work, school or place of worship. Get as many signatures as you can, a MILLION would be great!
I have been a warrior since age nine. At 73, I remain a warrior. I have been here too long. The beginning of my 43rd year plus over 20 years of good time credit, that makes 60-plus years behind bars.
I need your help. I need your help today! A day in prison for me is a lifetime for those outside because I am isolated from the world.
I remain strong only because of your support, prayers, activism and your donations that keep my legal hope alive.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Doksha,
Leonard Peltier
If you would like a paper petition, please email contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info.
—San Francisco Bay View, February 6, 2018
http://sfbayview.com/2018/02/free-innocent-leonard-peltier-on-his-43rd-year-in-prison-he-yearns-to-hug-his-grandchildren/?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email&iid=50e882c501eb45ed857b582d357f4385&uid=95102586&nid=244+272699400  
Write to:
Leonard Peltier 89637-132 
USP Coleman I 
P.O. Box 1033 
Coleman, FL 33521
Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123.




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More Artwork by Kevin Cooper




http://savekevincooper.org/pages/gallery.html


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Dog-Eat-Dog System
#PoorPeoplesCampaign kicks off 40 days of "Moral Action"
By Jessica Corbett
"We are witnessing an assault on the poor, on immigrants, on black and brown people, and on the Earth, and we can't let it happen any longer."
In Washington, D.C. and more than two dozen states across the country on Monday, February 5, 2018, supporters of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival gathered to kick off 40 days of "moral action" to highlight "the human impact of policies which promote systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental devastation."
Led by co-chairs Reverend Dr. William J. Barber and Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis—and inspired by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s original Poor People's Campaign in the late 1960s—the campaign, which was announced last year, livestreamed a press conference from D.C. and delivered to lawmakers a letter outlining their demands for policy changes.
Barber, in a series of tweets, denounced rampant voter suppression, systemic poverty, a lack of living wages, ecological devastation, and "Christian nationalism," emphasizing an urgent need for sweeping changes in public policy on a national scale.
"We are tired of a dog-eat-dog system of life," declared Reverend Saeed Richardson, director of policy for the Chicago Renewal Society.
"We are witnessing an assault on the poor, on immigrants, on Black and Brown people, and on the Earth," said Reverend Joan Javier-Duval in Vermont, "and we can't let it happen any longer."
"This is about fighting injustice anywhere so that we don't let ourselves lose the vision of what America can be," noted Diana Martinez of the pro-immigrant Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance. "Because when racism and nativism become the rule of law it hurts all of us."
Participants from events across the U.S. shared on social media messages, photos, and videos depicting the goals of the #PoorPeoplesCampaign.
Common Dreams, February 5, 2018
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/05/decrying-dog-eat-dog-system-poorpeoplescampaign-kicks-40-days-moral-action

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SOLIDARITY with SERVERS — PLEASE CIRCULATE!
From Clifford Conner

Dear friends and relatives

Every day the scoundrels who have latched onto Trump to push through their rightwing soak-the-poor agenda inflict a new indignity on the human race.  Today they are conspiring to steal the tips we give servers in restaurants.  The New York Times editorial appended below explains what they're trying to get away with now.

People like you and me cannot compete with the Koch brothers' donors network when it comes to money power.  But at least we can try to avoid putting our pittance directly into their hands.  Here is a modest proposal:  Whenever you are in a restaurant where servers depend on tips for their livelihoods, let's try to make sure they get what we give them.

Instead of doing the easy thing and adding the tip into your credit card payment, GIVE CASH TIPS and HAND THEM DIRECTLY TO YOUR SERVER. If you want to add a creative flourish such as including a preprinted note that explains why you are doing this, by all means do so.  You could reproduce the editorial below for their edification.

If you want to do this, be sure to check your wallet before entering a restaurant to make sure you have cash in appropriate denominations.

This is a small act of solidarity with some of the most exploited members of the workforce in America.  Perhaps its symbolic value could outweigh its material impact.  But to paraphrase the familiar song: What the world needs now is solidarity, sweet solidarity.

If this idea should catch on, be prepared for news stories about restaurant owners demanding that servers empty their pockets before leaving the premises at the end of their shifts.  The fight never ends!

Yours in struggle and solidarity,

Cliff

The Trump Administration to Restaurants: Take the Tips!
The New York Times editorial board, December 21, 2017
Most Americans assume that when they leave a tip for waiters and bartenders, those workers pocket the money. That could become wishful thinking under a Trump administration proposal that would give restaurants and other businesses complete control over the tips earned by their employees.
The Department of Labor recently proposed allowing employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit as long as all of their workers are paid at least the minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour nationally and higher in some states and cities. Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips. Using tips to compensate all employees sounds like a worthy cause, but a simple reading of the government's proposal makes clear that business owners would have no obligation to use the money in this way. They would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that's what makes this proposal so disturbing.
The 3.2 million Americans who work as waiters, waitresses and bartenders include some of the lowest-compensated working people in the country. The median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses was $9.61 an hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, there is a sordid history of restaurant owners who steal tips, and of settlements in which they have agreed to repay workers millions of dollars.
Not to worry, says the Labor Department, which argues, oddly and unconvincingly, that workers will be better off no matter how owners spend the money. Enlarging dining rooms, reducing menu prices or offering paid time off should be seen as "potential benefits to employees and the economy over all." The department also assures us that owners will funnel tip money to employees because workers would quit otherwise.
t is hard to know how much time President Trump's appointees have spent with single mothers raising two children on a salary from a workaday restaurant in suburban America, seeing how hard it is to make ends meet without tips. What we do know is that the administration has produced no empirical cost-benefit analysis to support its proposal, which is customary when the government seeks to make an important change to federal regulations.
The Trump administration appears to be rushing this rule through — it has offered the public just 30 days to comment on it — in part to pre-empt the Supreme Court from ruling on a 2011 Obama-era tipping rule. The department's new proposal would do away with the 2011 rule. The restaurant industry has filed several legal challenges to that regulation, which prohibits businesses from pooling tips and sharing them with dishwashers and other back-of-the-house workers. Different federal circuit appeals courts have issued contradictory rulings on those cases, so the industry has asked the Supreme Court to resolve those differences; the top court has not decided whether to take that case.
Mr. Trump, of course, owns restaurants as part of his hospitality empire and stands to benefit from this rule change, as do many of his friends and campaign donors. But what the restaurant business might not fully appreciate is that their stealth attempt to gain control over tips could alienate and antagonize customers. Diners who are no longer certain that their tips will end up in the hands of the server they intended to reward might leave no tip whatsoever. Others might seek to covertly slip cash to their server. More high-minded restaurateurs would be tempted to follow the lead of the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and get rid of tipping by raising prices and bumping up salaries.
By changing the fundamental underpinnings of tipping, the government might well end up destroying this practice. But in doing so it would hurt many working-class Americans, including people who believed that Mr. Trump would fight for them.

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Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
Charity for the Wealthy!

GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 of America's Largest Corporations a $236B Tax Cut: Report

By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/18/gop-tax-plan-would-give-15-americas-largest-corporations-236b-tax-cut-report



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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/




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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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Save the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper

From: SF Bay View <editor@sfbayview.com>
Date: December 19, 2017 at 6:42:58 PM PST
To: SF Bay View <sfbayview@lists.riseup.net>
Subject: [sfbayview] Bay View faces loss and challenge
Reply-To: SF Bay View <editor@sfbayview.com>
Bay View faces loss and challenge

With profound sadness, we bid farewell to Troy Williams, who we'd hoped would lead the Bay View's regeneration and build it into the New York Times of the Prison Abolition Movement he envisioned. Our challenge today is survival; we must face the fact that the fate of the Bay View is in your hands. To grow the number of hands willing to help, please share this message far and wide.

Please keep reading. There may not be a January paper without your help.

The problem: Advertising revenue is down for all newspapers still in print including the Bay View. Each monthly Bay View paper used to carry its own weight, with ads sufficient to pay the basic expenses of printing, distribution and mailing – and then some. Not any more. In 2017, total income from all sources – ads, subscriptions and donations – averaged only $8,000 per month. Those three basic expenses total almost $7,000 a month, and the Ratcliffs' social security barely covers the rent and a bit of the utilities.

People always ask, "Why not go web-only, like Black Agenda Report," an excellent and very influential source of news and analysis. The Bay View's role is different. The Bay View is the only publication in the country widely distributed both inside prison and out. Of the 20,000 papers we print every month, 3,000 are mailed to subscribers in prisons around the country (who pass them around to thousands more) and the other 17,000 are distributed in hoods around the Bay. 

Therein lies the solution:  The millions of people in prison and the hoods are our FREEDOM FIGHTERS. From the most intense oppression, like diamonds from coal, comes an unquenchable thirst for liberation – and the Bay View gives that force a voice and an organizing network. As a result, the Prison Abolition Movement is burgeoning everywhere and, to its leaders, the Bay View is essential. Similar energy in the hoods is making the Bay View fly off the stands faster than ever. 

Subscription revenue is way up, but at just $24 for a year, that income is a big help but it's not sufficient to pay the big bills. For that, we need more advertising and donations. 

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SF Bay View
(415) 671-0789
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We are extremely disappointed to share yesterday's ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals which has upheld the indefinite imprisonment of Reality Leigh Winner. Ms. Winner has been jailed without bail since June 6, 2017 for helping expose Russian hacking that targeted US election systems.
"I am beyond heartbroken" shared Winner's mother, Billie Davis-Winner. "The trial, originally scheduled in October 2017 and then reset to March 2018, will once again be reset to a much later date, but as of now we do not have a new setting. There is so much going on with the evidence and discovery and there are a few active appeals not yet ruled on. It's gonna be a long journey."
Winner, a decorated Air Force veteran with no criminal record, who has already served eight months in jail despite being convicted of no crime, and displaying every intention to face the single charge against her in court, will now be jailed for another year, regardless of the jury's eventual verdict.

SUPPORTERS RESPOND

Government transparency advocate Rainey Reitman adds that "Reality Winner is facing an unjust and unconstitutional prosecution under the Espionage Act. This 100 year old law, created to prosecute spies during World War I, isn't designed to be used on whistleblowers. Under this law, the judge won't consider her motives or the public benefits of her actions as a whistleblower. It makes it impossible for her to receive a fair trial."

Jeff Paterson, who managed the successful campaign to free Chelsea Manning, notes that, "By the time Reality's trial starts, she'll have spent a full year and half behind bars. Meanwhile the actual Russiagate indicted criminals, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn, haven't spent a day in jail."
"Winner's case has precedent setting implications for whistleblowers trying to do the right thing, press freedom, election suppression, and the government's escalating war on dissent. Reality took a risk to share something that Americans had a right to know," Paterson added.

TIMELINE

January 2017 - After serving six years in the Air Force, Winner takes a job as an NSA intelligence contractor.

May 9, 2017 - President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. Winner allegedly finds and prints a classified report entitled, "Russia/Cybersecurity: Main Intelligence Directorate Cyber Actors."

May 10, 2017 - Trump celebrates with Russian officials in the White House, bragging that he had fired "nut job" Comey in order to end any "Russiagate" investigation.

May 11, 2017 - Winner allegedly sends NSA report to the media outlet "The Intercept."

May 17, 2017 - Special counsel Robert Mueller appointed to investigate "Russiagate."

June 5, 2017 - Winner arrested. During interrogation, she allegedly states, "Why do I have this job if I'm just going to sit back and be helpless … I just thought that was the final straw … I felt really hopeless seeing that information contested … Why isn't this out there? Why can't this be public?"

US v. WINNER INSIGHT

Contrary to a focus on citizens' right to know of attacks against election infrastructure, Winner's Espionage Act charge actually requires the government to prove that the leak itself caused harm rather than exposed it. Joe Whitley, attorney for Reality Winner, recently explained.
     "This is not a simple case. 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) -- the charged offense here -- is a notoriously complicated statute that has numerous elements the Government must prove, including ... that the classified intelligence reporting referenced ... constitutes "national defense information" (meaning the Document could actually threaten the national security of the US if disclosed, and that the information in the classified intelligence reporting was "closely held") and that the Defendant knew the Document contained this type of information." (Case document #203)
Winner has a top notch defense team determined to prove her innocence in court, despite the prosecution's ongoing campaign to deny her the right to a fair and open trial.
And we are the primary source of fundraising for Winner's legal defense team as well as leading public education efforts regarding this precedent setting First Amendment vs. Espionage Act case.

SOLIDARITY STEP: Make a donation today in honor of Reality's courage to do the right thing and to support her legal defense.
And tell others. BOOST THE SIGNAL!

Can you donate a few hours this month to help? We have a small list of a few well-defined volunteer tasks which we can send you to consider if they match with your interest and skills. Please email us at connect@standwithreality.org
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For complete campaign information and case documents:


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B) ARTICLES IN FULL


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1) Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant Is Again Upheld by U.K. Judge
 FEB. 13, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/world/europe/julian-assange-uk-warrant.html?rref=
collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=
stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appearing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last May.CreditMatt Dunham/Associated Press

LONDON — A British judge upheld an arrest warrant for Julian Assange for the second time in a week on Tuesday, a significant setback for him after five and a half years of evading the authorities by living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
Before a packed London courtroom, Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected the arguments made by Mr. Assange's lawyer, stating that he was not a prisoner, that his living conditions were nothing like those of a prison, and that he could have as many visitors as he liked. In fact, she said, he can — and should — walk free at any time to meet his legal fate.
"He is a man who wants to impose his terms on the course of justice," Judge Arbuthnot said. "He wants justice only when it's in his favor."
If the judge had nullified the warrant, Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, might have left the embassy, but that was far from certain. The United States and British governments have never publicly ruled out the existence of a secret request to extradite him to the United States, where he could face prosecution for publishing classified documents.

On Feb. 6, Judge Arbuthnot rebuffed a claim by Mr. Assange's lawyer, Mark Summers, that the warrant was void because it stemmed from a Swedish extradition request that has since been withdrawn.
On Tuesday, she rejected the argument that the warrant was contrary to the public interest, saying that Mr. Assange's "failure to surrender has impeded the court of justice."
Mr. Summers gave no immediate public response to the judge's decision.
In the courtroom's public gallery, which held a large contingent of Mr. Assange's supporters, many of the judge's comments met with gasps and murmurs of disapproval. Afterward, several of his allies cited a 2016 ruling by a United Nations human rights panel, stating that Mr. Assange was the victim of arbitrary detention.
"I think it was appalling that the judge was disrespecting the decision of the U.N. working group," said Susan Gianstefani, 50, referring to the panel. "Julian Assange is being harassed because of WikiLeaks."
Emily Butlin, 47, said the judge "spoke as a representative of the U.K. government, assisting government in their work instead of representing justice."
Judge Arbuthnot dismissed the United Nations group's finding as ill informed. The British authorities have said in the past that Mr. Assange is in self-imposed isolation, not detention.
WikiLeaks released in 2010 a trove of government documents provided by Chelsea Manning, a United States Army analyst, which American officials said harmed national security.
In 2016, it published emails, hacked by Russian intelligence, that were damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, has said that WikiLeaks acts "like a hostile intelligence service."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that arresting Mr. Assange was a priority for the Justice Department. But no charges against him have been made public, and it is not clear whether the department has prepared an indictment but kept it under seal.
Ecuador recently granted citizenship to Mr. Assange, 46, a native of Australia, but Britain rejected an Ecuadorean request to give him diplomatic immunity so that he could leave the embassy without fear of arrest.
Mr. Assange's legal hurdles began in 2011, when Sweden requested that he be extradited there to face accusations that he had sexually assaulted two women. He said that the charges were politically motivated, that he would not get a fair trial there, and that Sweden might turn him over to the United States.
After the British courts rejected his bid to quash the extradition request, Ecuador granted him asylum and he took refuge in the embassy. In doing so, he jumped bail, which resulted in the British arrest warrant.
Mr. Summers argued that Mr. Assange's fear that Sweden would hand him to the American authorities was reasonable justification for violating his bail conditions. Judge Arbuthnot said there was no evidence to think that would happen.
This week, news organizations reported that years ago, Swedish prosecutors considered giving up the sexual assault case, but their British counterparts urged them not to.
Last year, Swedish authorities did drop their investigation of Mr. Assange, along with the request to extradite him, and the arrest warrant is the only remaining legal issue that is publicly known.
In the latest bid to quash the warrant, Mr. Summers said that Mr. Assange's health had suffered from being unable to leave the embassy, and that he lacked exposure to sunlight. Judge Arbuthnot responded that Mr. Assange's health was adequate — she accepted that he had depression and a bad tooth — and she rejected the claim about sun deprivation, noting that he had spoken to reporters from a sunny balcony at the embassy.

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2)  There Have Already Been 18 School Shootings in the US This Year
By ABC News, February 15, 2018
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/48466-there-have-already-been-18-school-shootings-in-the-us-this-year

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (photo: Joel Auerbach/AP)

here have been 18 school shootings in the first 45 days of 2018, according to a nonprofit group. 
Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, had recorded 17 school shootings on their website prior to this afternoon's shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Everytown defines a school shooting as "any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press and, when necessary, confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement or school officials," according to its website.
Today's shooting marks the first of the year in Florida. There were three shootings at different schools in Texas, two in different California schools and two in different Michigan schools, according to Everytown's data. There are 10 other states that had at least one shooting.
In eight of the 17 school shootings recorded by Everytown prior to today, a gun was fired but no one was injured. 
Two of the shootings were classified as being attempted or completed suicides with no intent to injure another person.
The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks reports of mass shootings -- defined as incidents where four or more people are shot, not including the shooter -- reports there have been 30 mass shooting incidents so far in 2018, including today's in Florida.
Schools have been some of the deadliest sites for shootings in the past.
The third deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history was at Virginia Tech University in 2007, when 32 people were killed, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which is tied for the fourth-highest casualty shooting, led to 26 deaths.
Broward County Public Schools superintendent Robert Runcie said that there were "numerous" fatalities in today's shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
According to Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and current ABC News consultant, most school shootings last for about five minutes or less.
It takes much longer to clear the scene, however, since responding law enforcement officers need to methodically go through, room by room, to both secure and de-arm the shooter and to help students and faculty at the school, Garrett explained. 
Former New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly said that bullying could be a possible factor in today's shooting, though the motive has not been confirmed.
"We've seen it in so many cases," said Kelly, who is now an ABC News consultant.
"We don't know for sure but I'm pretty sure there's an element of that here," he said, noting that the bullying could be "real or perceived."




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3) Urging Peace Talks, Open Letter From Taliban Asks American People to Recognize Total Failure of 16-Year War
"Make your president and the war-mongering congressmen and Pentagon officials ... adopt a rational policy towards Afghanistan," the letter states.
by
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/14/urging-peace-talks-open-letter-taliban-asks-american-people-recognize-total-failure?
Children play inside the remains of an old Soviet hotel where they have been living for the past two years, on July 15, 2017 in Rodat District, Afghanistan. (Photo: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Two and half weeks after President Donald Trump rejected the idea of peace talks with Taliban, the militant group published an open letter to the American people urging them to pressure their government to end the occupation of Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, and engage in peace talks.

The letter, published on the group's website, denounces the Bush administration's justification for launching the invasion, as well as the Trump administration, which "again ordered the perpetuation of the same illegitimate occupation and war against the Afghan people."

"No matter what title or justification is presented by your undiscerning authorities for the war in Afghanistan, the reality is that tens of thousands of helpless Afghans including women and children were martyred by your forces, hundreds of thousands were injured and thousands more were incarcerated in Guantanamo, Bagram, and various other secret jails and treated in such a humiliating way that has not only brought shame upon humanity but is also a violation of all claims of American culture and civilization," the letter states.

It goes on to illustrate in numerous ways how the occupation has failed. For example, "3546 American and foreign soldiers have been killed," it states, and "this war has cost you trillions of dollars thus making it one of the bloodiest, longest and costliest war in the contemporary history of your country."

It also references United Nations statistics finding that there was an 87 percent increase in drug production in Afghanistan in 2017 and, despite the uptick in airstrikes, the U.S. watchdog the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) acknowledged that the Taliban is gaining, not losing territory.
Further, "tens of billions of dollars" in taxpayer money have been spent on various reconstruction projects, but the money "has been distributed among thieves and murderers," the letter states. Through the occupation, "the Americans have merely paved the way for anarchy in the country," referring to the rise in other militant groups.

"If you want peaceful dialogue with the Afghans specifically, and with the world generally, then make your president and the war-mongering congressmen and Pentagon officials understand this reality and compel them to adopt a rational policy towards Afghanistan," the letter states.

Ongoing failure for U.S. troops is ensured, the group argues. "If the policy of using force is exercised for a hundred more years and a hundred new strategies are adopted, the outcome of all of these will be the same as you have observed over the last six months following the initiation of Trump's new strategy."

"Our preference is to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogues. America must end her occupation and must accept all our legitimate rights including the right to form a government consistent with the beliefs of our people," the group says.
The thrust of the message echoes what many peace groups have said—Trump is continuing the failed strategies of his predecessors, and there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. 

The letter comes a day after U.S. intelligence agencies predicted (pdf) that the "overall situation in Afghanistan probably will deteriorate modestly this year in the face of persistent political instability, sustained attacks by the Taliban-led insurgency, unsteady Afghan Nationa l Security Forces (ANSF) performance, and chronic financial shortfalls."



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4) Russia Isn't the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too.
 FEB. 17, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/sunday-review/russia-isnt-the-only-one-meddling-in-elections-we-do-it-too.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


Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.
The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States' history of intervention in foreign elections.
On Tuesday, American intelligence chiefs warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia appears to be preparing to repeat in the 2018 midterm elections the same full-on chicanery it unleashed in 2016: hacking, leaking, social media manipulation and possibly more. Then on Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, run by a businessman with close Kremlin ties, laying out in astonishing detail a three-year scheme to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, boost Donald Trump and sow discord.
Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system. But intelligence veterans, and scholars who have studied covert operations, have a different, and quite revealing, view.
"If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all," said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States "absolutely" has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, "and I hope we keep doing it."
Loch K. Johnson, the dean of American intelligence scholars, who began his career in the 1970s investigating the C.I.A. as a staff member of the Senate's Church Committee, says Russia's 2016 operation was simply the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote.
"We've been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947," said Mr. Johnson, now at the University of Georgia. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George's cavalry': suitcases of cash."
The United States' departure from democratic ideals sometimes went much further. The C.I.A. helped overthrow elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
But in recent decades, both Mr. Hall and Mr. Johnson argued, Russian and American interferences in elections have not been morally equivalent. American interventions have generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates challenge dictators or otherwise promoting democracy. Russia has more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule, they said.
Equating the two, Mr. Hall says, "is like saying cops and bad guys are the same because they both have guns — the motivation matters."
This broader history of election meddling has largely been missing from the flood of reporting on the Russian intervention and the investigation of whether the Trump campaign was involved. It is a reminder that the Russian campaign in 2016 was fundamentally old-school espionage, even if it exploited new technologies. And it illuminates the larger currents of history that drove American electoral interventions during the Cold War and motivate Russia's actions today.
A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, has scoured the historical record for both overt and covert election influence operations. He found 81 by the United States and 36 by the Soviet Union or Russia between 1946 and 2000, though the Russian count is undoubtedly incomplete.
"I'm not in any way justifying what the Russians did in 2016," Mr. Levin said. "It was completely wrong of Vladimir Putin to intervene in this way. That said, the methods they used in this election were the digital version of methods used both by the United States and Russia for decades: breaking into party headquarters, recruiting secretaries, placing informants in a party, giving information or disinformation to newspapers."
His findings underscore how routine election meddling by the United States — sometimes covert and sometimes quite open — has been.
The precedent was established in Italy with assistance to non-Communist candidates from the late 1940s to the 1960s. "We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses," said F. Mark Wyatt, a former C.I.A. officer, in a 1996 interview.
Covert propaganda has also been a mainstay. Richard M. Bissell Jr., who ran the agency's operations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote casually in his autobiography of "exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the desired outcome in an election." A self-congratulatory declassified report on the C.I.A.'s work in Chile's 1964 election boasts of the "hard work" the agency did supplying "large sums" to its favored candidate and portraying him as a "wise, sincere and high-minded statesman" while painting his leftist opponent as a "calculating schemer."
C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day. In the 1990 election in Nicaragua, the C.I.A. planted stories about corruption in the leftist Sandinista government, Mr. Levin said. The opposition won.
Over time, more American influence operations have been mounted not secretly by the C.I.A. but openly by the State Department and its affiliates. For the 2000 election in Serbia, the United States funded a successful effortto defeat Slobodan Milosevic, the nationalist leader, providing political consultants and millions of stickers with the opposition's clenched-fist symbol and "He's finished" in Serbian, printed on 80 tons of adhesive paper and delivered by a Washington contractor.
Vince Houghton, who served in the military in the Balkans at the time and worked closely with the intelligence agencies, said he saw American efforts everywhere. "We made it very clear that we had no intention of letting Milosevic stay in power," said Mr. Houghton, now the historian at the International Spy Museum.
Similar efforts were undertaken in elections in wartime Iraq and Afghanistan, not always with success. After Hamid Karzai was re-elected president of Afghanistan in 2009, he complained to Robert Gates, then the secretary of defense, about the United States' blatant attempt to defeat him, which Mr. Gates calls in his memoir "our clumsy and failed putsch."
At least once the hand of the United States reached boldly into a Russian election. American fears that Boris Yeltsin would be defeated for re-election as president in 1996 by an old-fashioned Communist led to an overt and covert effort to help him, urged on by President Bill Clinton. It included an American push for a $10 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Russia four months before the voting and a team of American political consultants (though some Russians scoffed when they took credit for the Yeltsin win).
That heavy-handed intervention made some Americans uneasy. Thomas Carothers, a scholar at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, recalls arguing with a State Department official who told him at the time, "Yeltsin is democracy in Russia," to which Mr. Carothers said he replied, "That's not what democracy means."
But what does democracy mean? Can it include secretly undermining an authoritarian ruler or helping challengers who embrace democratic values? How about financing civic organizations?
In recent decades, the most visible American presence in foreign politics has been taxpayer-funded groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which do not support candidates but teach basic campaign skills, build democratic institutions and train election monitors.
Most Americans view such efforts as benign — indeed, charitable. But Mr. Putin sees them as hostile. The National Endowment for Democracy gave grants years ago to Aleksei Navalny, now Mr. Putin's main political nemesis. In 2016, the endowment gave 108 grants totaling $6.8 million to organizations in Russia for such purposes as "engaging activists" and "fostering civic engagement." The endowment no longer names Russian recipients, who, under Russian laws cracking down on foreign funding, can face harassment or arrest.
It is easy to understand why Mr. Putin sees such American cash as a threat to his rule, which tolerates no real opposition. But American veterans of democracy promotion find abhorrent Mr. Putin's insinuations that their work is equivalent to what the Russian government is accused of doing in the United States today.
"It's not just apples and oranges," said Kenneth Wollack, president of the National Democratic Institute. "It's comparing someone who delivers lifesaving medicine to someone who brings deadly poison."
What the C.I.A. may have done in recent years to steer foreign elections is still secret and may not be known for decades. It may be modest by comparison with the agency's Cold War manipulation. But some old-timers aren't so sure.
"I assume they're doing a lot of the old stuff, because, you know, it never changes," said William J. Daugherty, who worked for the C.I.A. from 1979 to 1996 and at one time had the job of reviewing covert operations. "The technology may change, but the objectives don't."


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5)  Animals Are Losing Their Vagility, or Ability to Roam Freely
 FEB. 19, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/science/migration-animals-west.html?rref=
collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=
stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=sectionfront

Pronghorn antelope along a fence northwest of Casper, Wyo. A study has found that wildlife move far less in regions where humans are present, ultimately threatening the viability of a species.CreditAlan Rogers/Casper Star-Tribune, via Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Snow comes early to the Teton mountain range, and when it does the white-bottomed pronghorn that live here get the urge to move.
Following an ancient rhythm, they migrate more than 200 miles to the south, where the elevation is lower, winter is milder and grass is easier to find. Come the spring green-up, they make the second half of the round trip, returning to the Grand Teton National Park.
After thousands of years, biologists are concerned about the future of this migration pattern. While there have been efforts to protect the journey, such as highway overpasses and antelope-friendly fences, some new barriers are looming. Most immediate is the prospect of 3,500 new gas wells planned on federal land at the southern end of the pronghorn's migratory path. And then there's the nearby Jonah Natural Gas Field, which is already intensively developed.
"The challenge is understanding how many holes you can punch in the landscape," said Matthew Kauffman, a professor of wildlife biology at the University of Wyoming, "before a migration is lost."

Room to move is critical for a wide range of species, but it has long been difficult for researchers to capture where and when they travel.
But a new and growing field called "movement ecology" is casting light on the secretive movements of wildlife and how those habits are changing.
global study of 57 species of mammals, published in the journal Science, has found that wildlife move far less in landscapes that have been altered by humans, a finding that could have implications for a range of issues, from how well natural systems function to finding ways to protect migratory species.
The large study brought together 114 researchers from across the globe who had gathered information from 803 individual animals. They ranged from the smallest animals that can be collared — pocket mice — to the largest, elephants. Using the GPS collars that updated an animal's location regularly and other data, the project found that vagility — the ability of an organism to move — declines in areas with human footprints by as much as half to two-thirds the distance than in places where there is little or no human activity.
"It is important that animals move, because in moving they carry out important ecological functions like transporting nutrients and seeds between different areas," said Marlee Tucker, a biologist at Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center and Goethe University, Frankfurt and the study's lead author. The ability to move and find food helps keep some imperiled species viable.
There has been exponential growth in data on wildlife movement as technology has evolved, opening new windows into the secret lives of animals. "We used to have one dot on a map twice a day," said Roland Kays, a biologist at North Carolina State University who participated in the study. "Now we have a point as much as every second and know exactly where they are going, how they are avoiding people, how they are crossing the road and catching prey. It's big for determining how animals die or where they die and how that affects populations."
In fact the science has advanced so much, it's clear that the protection of these critical corridors is lagging. Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, just announced a new effort to account for long-distance migrations that cross federal lands.
"We all know that animals go where animals want to go, and more often than not that's dependent upon natural features like watersheds," Mr. Zinke said, rather than whether the land is publicly or privately owned. He signed an order to foster cooperation on migrations, "working with ranchers to modify their fences, working with states to collaborate on sage brush restoration, or working with scientists to better understand migration routes," he said.
The new migration study was made possible by Movebank, a global repository of scientific research on animal movement that has cast much new light on vagility. Records of where animals move can be shared with other researchers, and combined with data on vegetative cover, elevations and temperature, anywhere on the globe, from NASA and other sources.
"It's an example of open data and data sharing that allows you to answer new questions and give data a second life," said Dr. Kays, who is also a director of Movebank.
More research is needed to determine the reasons for the decline in vagility and what that means to a species.
Development threats led to the creation of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, which seeks to identify, study and protect pronghorn, mule deer and other animals' migrations, which are increasingly at risk on the high plains because of new housing tracts, oil and gas development, roads and other barriers.
Blocked or hampered migrations can mean animals can't access food sources they need. In 2011, researchers discovered that mule deer in Wyoming make a 150-mile long, twice yearly journey following a wave of green, nutritious grasses from the Red Desert to Hoback.
"It's like a spring salad mix," said Dr. Kauffman, founder and director of the migration initiative and an author on the new paper. "They go to the first patch of green-up, but as those plants dry up they move to the next spot and keep doing that."
In the West, the acceleration of oil and gas and other development on public landsunder the Trump administration could increase the loss of migration.
Many wildlife routes have disappeared. Development in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Pierre's Hole in Idaho, has deprived a bighorn sheep herd of their traditional winter range, and now they live solely in the Teton mountains, where they have less food in the winter and are threatened by avalanches.
Less movement among an animal population may also be caused by new food sources created by humans that animals can take advantage of. A study of fishers, a member of the weasel family, looked at movement of the animals in a variety of habitat scenarios near Albany, N.Y., from fragmented to intact areas. "The animals in suburban Albany have tiny home ranges, while the animals in state parks and forests had larger home ranges," Dr. Kays said. "Animals in cities were more likely to get hit by cars, but also seemed to have a lot more food in terms of the rabbits and squirrels in suburbia."
Predators may suffer more than other animals from restricted movement because they range over wider areas and encounter more development as they roam. "Wolves are caught in a pinball game, stuck between fences and highways and they can't get around as much as wolves in wilder situations," said Mark Hebblewhite, a wildlife biologist at the University of Montana who has a long running study on wolves and elk in British Columbia and contributed data to the new paper.
Understanding the movement of species is especially important as climate change drives species to seek more habitable terrain. Parks and preserves may offer less protection as animals migrate, and increase the need for protection of corridors so some animals can move elsewhere.
"Wild animals on an intact landscape move in sync with their needs," Dr. Kauffman said. "When you develop the landscape, that leads to less movement and they are less in tune with the naturally occurring pulse of the landscape."




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6)  Israel Fires at Gaza, Kills 2 Palestinian Teenagers
By teleSUR, February 20, 2018
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/48556-israel-fires-at-gaza-kills-2-palestinian-teenagers

A relative reacts outside a hospital morgue after two Palestinians were killed in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, February 18, 2018. (photo: Reuters)

sraeli military officers have fired at 18 targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least two Palestinian teenagers in retaliation for a bomb attack that wounded four Israeli soldiers.
The two 17-year-old Palestinian victims were killed this morning in Rafah by tank fire as Israeli troops claimed they were trying to cross the border into Israel, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.
Two other Palestinians were wounded and are currently being treated in Rafah, one of whom is in critical condition.
Authorities claim the air strikes and tank fire were directed at weapon-making facilities, training camps and observation posts from Hamas, the most prominent political party and militant group in Gaza, and Islamic Jihad, even though no group has claimed responsibility for the original attack.
Instead, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared the Popular Resistance Committees, PRC, as responsible for the bomb attack. The PRC is a smaller militant group and has usually been at odds with Hamas, the dominant political faction.
Lieberman held Hamas responsible for what happened in Gaza anyway, even if they were not directly responsible. “We will hunt down those responsible for yesterday’s incident,” he told Israel Radio on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they would “respond appropriately” to the attack.
The army carried out six large-scale attacks on Hamas positions in Beit Hanoun, Rafa, Deir el-Balah and Khan Younis, allegedly including a tunnel that leads into Israel.
Several homes were damaged by a F-16 aircraft attack, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed Israel for the violence. “Hamas holds the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the consequences of its continued escalation against our people,” said Barhoum.
In 2014, Israel launched a military offensive against the Gaza strip, called “Operation Protective Edge.” The seven-week-long attack killed more than 2,250 people, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Israeli Defense Forces claimed they were targeting Hamas military positions.
Israeli authorities are keeping Gaza under siege, with the collaboration of Egypt, controlling its air space, territorial waters and borders.
During an annual security conference in Munich Sunday, Netanyahu warned they could soon start a military operation against Iran, which they called "a threat to world peace."





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7) Under Trump, Border Patrol Steps Up Searches Far From the Border





In an image from a recording, a Border Patrol officer checking the identification last month of travelers on a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The officers escorted a woman off the bus.CreditRaquel Quezada, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Border Patrol officers are working without permission on private property and setting up checkpoints up to 100 miles away from the border under a little-known federal law that is being used more widely in the Trump administration’s aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration.
In Texas, a rancher has accused the Border Patrol of trespassing after he said he found a surveillance camera the agency placed on his property.
In New Hampshire, border officers working with state officials conducted what the American Civil Liberties Union described as illegal drug searches after residents were arrested at immigration checkpoints set up on a major interstate highway. One of the checkpoints was set up just before a local marijuana festival.
And recently in Florida, New York and Washington State, Border Patrol officers have been criticized for boarding buses and trains to question riders — mostly American citizens — about their immigration status.

Trump administration officials defend the government’s decades-old authority to search people and property, even without a warrant, far from the border. They call it a vital part of preventing weapons, terrorists and other people from illegally entering the United States.
But officials conceded that some of the searches — particularly those aboard Greyhound buses or Amtrak trains on domestic routes — had increased since the Obama administration. And under President Trump, field supervisors have regained the authority to order the searches, instead of officials at Border Patrol headquarters in Washington.
“The U.S. Border Patrol conducts transportation checks in accordance with the law,” said Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol. “Transportation checks are performed when and where there is an operational benefit.”
The agency is an arm of the Homeland Security Department, which would not provide statistics on how often, or where, it checks domestic travel passengers or patrols on private property. But agency data shows that less than 3 percent of foreigners entering the country illegally were caught at immigration checkpoints nowhere near the border.
Many of the searches turned up marijuana and other illegal drugs, according to the data. But the most drugs were seized in small quantities — about an ounce or less — and were taken from American citizens in 40 percent of the cases.
The department said in a statement that the checkpoints were “strategically placed where illegal cross-border smuggling is most likely to converge.”
Stephen I. Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said the department had occasionally pushed the limits of its authority to conduct searches without a warrant far from the border.
“Inevitably, one of these cases is going to get to the Supreme Court, which will have to revisit the seemingly limitless government authority the department claims it has,” Mr. Vladeck said. “It cannot be the case that anyone who lives or travels within 100 miles of the border has no Fourth Amendment rights.”
The Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Current federal immigration law does not require the government to obtain a warrant before searching people and their property at ports of entry. Once away from a land or maritime border, but still within what the Justice Department has defined as a “reasonable distance” of 100 miles, officers can search people who are suspected of immigration violations and smuggling drugs.
But many border residents and travelers say that authority amounts to an invasion of privacy.
An estimated 200 million Americans live within 100 miles of the border, according to the A.C.L.U. At least 11 states — mostly in the Northeast and Florida — are either entirely or almost entirely in the 100-mile radius.
A measure to limit that distance to 25 miles passed the Senate in 2013 but was rejected by the House; it was proposed after Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, was stopped by the Border Patrol at an immigration checkpoint.
The legal dispute in Texas challenges the Border Patrol’s authority to search private property without permission. By law, officers can go onto private property within 25 miles of the border without permission from the owner.
Ricardo D. Palacios, the owner of the Juan Salinas Ranch, said in court filings that Border Patrol officers had been “roaming freely about” for years on his property near the small town of Encinal, Tex. He said that the searches were conducted with neither a warrant nor a good reason to be there, and that officers also had stopped his family members at checkpoints.
The last straw, Mr. Palacios said in court documents, came in November, when he found a surveillance camera hidden in a tree near his house.
Mr. Palacios removed the camera and kept it as evidence of federal officers trespassing on his property. Both the Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety claimed ownership of the camera and have asked Mr. Palacios to return it. State officials have threatened to arrest him on theft charges. Mr. Palacios sued both agencies.
Raul Casso, a lawyer for Mr. Palacios, said the ranch is more than 30 miles from the Rio Grande, which divides the United States and Mexico. He said that put Mr. Palacios’s property beyond the distance that Border Patrol officers can legally patrol without his permission.
“They either acted on purpose or incompetently,” said Mr. Casso, a former lawyer for the city of Laredo. “Either way, they are outside the scope of their authority.” Customs and Border Protection officials declined to comment on the case.
In New Hampshire, the A.C.L.U. is defending 18 people who were arrested at immigration checkpoints on a major interstate where Border Patrol officers stopped hundreds of cars about 90 miles from the Canadian border over the summer. Checkpoints on Interstate 93 were common after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but had abated by July 2012, Border Patrol officials said.
Border Patrol officers detained about 33 people on suspicion of immigration-related offenses at checkpoints in northern New Hampshire in August and September; the local police charged an additional 44 with drug possession. In all, the authorities seized about two pounds of marijuana and smaller amounts of cocaine and other drugs, court records show.
Gilles Bissonnette, the legal director for New Hampshire’s A.C.L.U. chapter, said the Border Patrol violated state law by conducting the drug searches. He said that New Hampshire courts have held that without a warrant, the authorities cannot deploy drug-sniffing dogs in searches — as they were at the checkpoints — without a reasonable suspicion of a crime.
“They were supposed to be conducting immigration checks,” Mr. Bissonnette said. The checkpoints must be brief and limited to confirming resident status, he said, not primarily used for drug searches or general law enforcement efforts.
New Hampshire officials maintain that the Border Patrol officers were in their jurisdiction since the checkpoints were under 100 miles from the Canadian border.
“These are federal agents working for a federal agency performing a federal function within the federation of states,” said Gabriel Nizetic, a lawyer in the state who represented a local police department that participated in the checkpoints. Officials at Customs and Border Protection declined to comment.
But perhaps no Border Patrol searches have generated as much controversy as the immigration inspections of passengers boarding Greyhound buses or Amtrak trains.
In January, officers arrested a Jamaican woman traveling on a bus from Orlando to Miami who had overstayed a tourist visa. That same month, officers in Spokane, Wash., arrested an undocumented immigrant traveling with his son on a Greyhound bus from Seattle to Montana. The man’s son, who was released, is living in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era initiative that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. But the father was charged with being in the country illegally.
Both episodes have prompted widespread outrage. Videos taken by other bus passengers were widely distributed on social media.
“We are talking about purely domestic routes that happen to be within 100 miles of the border,” said Matt Adams, the legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle. He said the government was using the law “to justify racial profiling. There was no reason to think these men were sneaking across the border.”
Homeland security officials deny the charges of racial profiling and maintain their authority to conduct the searches. In a statement, Greyhound said it is required by law to “cooperate with the relevant enforcement agencies if they ask to board our buses or enter stations.”



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Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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