Biden administration opens civil rights probe of Louisiana police | Police News

America Justice Division has opened a civil rights investigation into the practices of state police in Louisiana, after a number of current instances of police violence primarily concentrating on Black males drew condemnation and requires accountability.

In a information convention on Thursday, Kristen Clarke, assistant legal professional basic for the division’s civil rights division, mentioned the probe will search to “decide whether or not the Louisiana State Police engages in a sample or follow of violations of the Structure or federal regulation”.

It should deal with two primary points, Clarke informed reporters.

“First, whether or not the Louisiana State Police has a sample or follow of utilizing extreme drive. And second, whether or not the Louisiana State Police engages in racially discriminatory policing practices towards Black folks and different folks of color,” she mentioned.

The announcement comes as the USA continues to grapple with police violence towards Black and different folks of color, an issue that has set off mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations since 2020.

In Louisiana, the lethal 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, particularly, has spurred requires justice from residents and civil rights teams.

An investigation by The Related Press (AP) discovered that Greene’s arrest was amongst no less than a dozen instances over the previous decade wherein Louisiana state police troopers or their bosses ignored or hid proof of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.

Dozens of present and former troopers mentioned the beatings have been countenanced by a tradition of impunity, nepotism and, in some instances, outright racism.

By its personal tally, 67 % of state police makes use of of drive lately have been towards Black folks, who make up 33 % of the state’s inhabitants.

Physique-camera footage obtained by AP and launched in Might of final yr confirmed Louisiana state troopers gorgeous, punching and dragging Greene as he apologised for main them on a high-speed chase in the course of the lethal arrest.

“I’m your brother! I’m scared!” Greene may be heard telling the troopers as he’s jolted repeatedly with a stun gun earlier than he even will get out of his automobile alongside a darkish, rural highway.

AP’s reporting additionally discovered that Louisiana police troopers have made a behavior of turning off or muting physique cameras throughout pursuits. When footage is recorded, the company has routinely refused to launch it.

A just lately retired supervisor who oversaw a very violent clique of troopers informed inner investigators final yr that it was his “widespread follow” to rubber-stamp officers’ use-of-force stories with out ever reviewing body-camera video.

In some instances, troopers omitted makes use of of drive, akin to blows to the pinnacle from official stories, and in others, troopers sought to justify their actions by claiming suspects have been violent, resisting or escaping — all of which have been contradicted by video footage.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana, which had known as on the Justice Division to launch an investigation into state police, welcomed the division’s announcement.

Govt Director Alanah Odoms mentioned in an announcement that ACLU-Louisiana had documented greater than a dozen instances of “extreme drive and constitutional rights violations towards Black and Brown Louisiana residents within the final 5 years alone”.

“We additionally documented discriminatory coaching practices, a tradition of racism throughout the company, racial violence directed on the group, and a harmful cone of silence that inhibits clear and lawful disclosure of proof. This systemic misconduct was blessed by prime brass on the Louisiana State Police,” Odoms mentioned.

“This dedication by AAG Clarke and the DOJ to establish and treatment systemic misconduct symbolizes way over a small step, it’s a enormous leap in furtherance of justice for Louisianans whose rights have been violated by this merciless and corrupt company.”

Clarke on the Justice Division mentioned the civil “pattern-or-practice” probe is aimed toward driving wanted reforms, if obligatory by suing to implement a federal consent decree.

She added that Governor John Bel Edwards and the pinnacle of the Louisiana State Police, Lamar Davis, have pledged their cooperation. The state police didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Thursday from AP.

UN calls for accountability after WHO worker killed in Myanmar | Conflict News

The WHO says Myo Min Htut was shot useless in Mawlamyine in Mon State in unclear circumstances on Wednesday.

The United Nations has condemned the deadly taking pictures of a World Well being Group (WHO) worker in japanese Myanmar, the most recent dying in a collection of killings for the reason that army authorities took over final 12 months.

The UN and the WHO mentioned Myo Min Htut, a WHO driver for 5 years, was shot useless on Wednesday whereas driving his bike in Mawlamyine in Mon State, near Thailand, in unclear circumstances.

The taking pictures follows what rights teams say is a sample of violence, retribution and vigilantism in military-ruled Myanmar, the place native directors and suspected informants have been killed on a near-daily foundation.

The army overthrew an elected authorities final 12 months and has used lethal power and mass arrests to suppress demonstrations. Some civilians have since taken up arms to struggle police and troopers, answering the decision of a shadow Nationwide Unity Authorities (NUG) for a individuals’s revolt.

Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN resident coordinator, mentioned the UN was “saddened” by the killing of Myo Min Htut and that it “sends heartfelt condolences to his household”.

“The United Nations appeals to all events and stakeholders to respect the neutrality of the United Nations and Humanitarians and additional requires all events to guard the rights and security of civilians and strongly condemns acts of violence towards civilians,” he added.

The WHO Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the dying.

“We condemn all types of violence, & count on an neutral investigation & the perpertrators to be held accountable,” he wrote on Twitter.

In December, two workers members of worldwide assist group Save the Youngsters have been amongst dozens of individuals killed in a Christmas Eve bloodbath that was blamed on Myanmar army authorities troops.

Their burnt our bodies have been discovered on a freeway within the japanese state of Kayah.

Armed group claims accountability

The anti-military individuals’s defence power in Mawlamyine, which has pledged its assist for the NUG, claimed accountability for Myo Min Htut’s killing, accusing him of being an informant to the army authorities and of harassing individuals who joined strikes and protests towards final 12 months’s coup.

“We let him retire from this human world,” the Mawlamyine militia group mentioned in a press release, describing Myo Min Htut as an “informer”, including it had performed its personal investigation.

The WHO’s Myanmar workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the allegations made by the Mawlamyine militia, Reuters information company mentioned.

The NUG, which the army authorities has outlawed as a “terrorist” organisation, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, Reuters mentioned.

Photos: In Nigeria’s forests, loggers outnumber trees | Gallery News

Deep in a forest in Ebute Ipare village, Egbontoluwa Marigi sized up a tall mahogany tree, methodically minimize it down together with his axe and machete, and because it fell with a crackling sound, he surveyed the forest for the following tree.

Round him, the stumps dotting the swampy forest are a reminder of timber that after stood tall however are quick disappearing to unlawful logging in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

“We may minimize down over 15 timber in a single location, however now if we handle to see two timber, it can seem like a blessing to us,” the 61-year-old father of two stated.

From 2001 to 2021, Nigeria misplaced 1.14 million hectares (2.82 million acres) of tree cowl, equal to an 11% lower in tree cowl and equal to 587 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, in line with World Forest Watch, a platform that gives information and displays forests.

After felling the timber, Marigi put markers on them, a message to different loggers that he’s the proprietor. The logs could be transported by way of creeks and rivers all the best way to Nigeria’s industrial capital Lagos.

“Throughout the time of our forefathers, we had massive timber however sadly what we’ve got now are simply small timber and we don’t even permit them to mature earlier than we minimize them,” Marigi stated.

Reducing down timber for logging, opening up farmland or to feed vitality demand for a rising inhabitants is placing strain on Nigeria’s pure forests.

On Could 9, President Muhammadu Buhari informed a COP15 assembly in Abidjan, Ivory Coast that Nigeria had established a nationwide forestry belief fund to assist regenerate the nation’s forests.

However that is probably not sufficient because the nation loses forests at a quicker tempo.

“Defending the forest means defending ourselves,” stated Femi Obadun, director of forest administration for Ondo state’s agriculture ministry. “After we destroy the forest, we destroy humanity.”

It’s one thing Marigi is aware of all too effectively, however his precedence is to eke out a dwelling.

Months after reducing the timber, Marigi returns to the forest to drag the logs collectively and fasten them into rafts. He has a group of greater than 40 logs.

With different loggers, they’ve put collectively cash to rent a tugboat to drag the rafts by way of creeks and rivers from Ondo State to Lagos.

Makeshift shelters on the rafts are constituted of wooden and assist defend the lads from the climate. Meals is shared whereas they belt out native people songs to raise spirits.

“We don’t sleep at night time throughout the journey,” Marigi informed Reuters. “We monitor the logs and make it possible for (they don’t) detach from the tugboat.”

The boat stops at a number of places to select up extra loggers and their rafts. A single boat can carry as much as 1,000 rafts, every containing as many as 30 logs.

Marigi’s journey ends at a lagoon in Lagos, the place rafts from Ondo State and different components of the nation converge and the logs are processed at sawmills and offered to completely different customers.

Ryanair to keep ‘racist’ Afrikaans test for S African passengers | Aviation News

Afrikaans is spoken by solely 12 % of the nation’s estimated 60 million individuals, primarily the white minority, and was used within the oppression of Black residents throughout apartheid.

Low-cost service Ryanair will proceed requiring South African passengers to take an Afrikaans take a look at to enter the UK, regardless of receiving criticism of “backward profiling”, the corporate has mentioned in a press release to the BBC.

Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers doesn’t function flights to and from South Africa. So it requires any South African passport holder flying to Britain from elsewhere in Europe on the service, to show their nationality.

Nevertheless, its “easy questionnaire” is in Afrikaans, one among 11 official South African languages. Afrikaans is spoken by solely 12 % of the nation’s estimated 60 million individuals, primarily the white minority, and was used within the oppression of Black residents throughout apartheid.

The airline cited a excessive prevalence of fraudulent South African passports behind the requirement to fill out the take a look at.

“For this reason Ryanair should be sure that all passengers (particularly South African residents) journey on a sound SA passport/visa as required by UK Immigration,” the BBC reported the airline as saying.

The UK Excessive Fee in South Africa mentioned on Twitter that the Ryanair take a look at was not a British authorities requirement to enter the UK.

Ryanair’s spokesperson mentioned that fliers who did not reply the questions could be “refused journey and issued with a full refund”.

In a press release, South Africa’s Division of Dwelling Affairs mentioned: “We’re stunned by the choice of this airline as a result of the Division commonly communicates with all airways to replace them on how one can validate South African passports, together with the feel and appear.”

Zinhle Novazi, a South African lawyer, confronted the take a look at, which included naming the very best mountain, its largest metropolis and one nationwide vacation, when travelling by Ryanair from Ibiza, Spain, to London on Could 29.

“I used to be in a position to reply the questions,” mentioned Novazi, who discovered Afrikaans in class however isn’t a local speaker of the language. She was then allowed to board the airplane.

The take a look at triggered a backlash from South Africans in Johannesburg.

“They’re utilizing this (take a look at) in a way that’s totally absurd,” Conrad Steenkamp, the chief govt officer of the Afrikaans Language Council, mentioned.

Leader of Mexican megachurch sentenced in US for child sex abuse | Sexual Assault News

Naason Joaquin Garcia, head of a church with 5 million followers, has been sentenced to almost 17 years in jail.

The pinnacle of a Mexico-based megachurch has been sentenced to almost 17 years in jail in america for sexually abusing three women.

Naason Joaquin Garcia, the chief of the Guadalajara-based evangelical church La Luz del Mundo, had pleaded responsible final week as a part of a plea deal to costs of forcible oral copulation and performing a lewd act on minors.

The plea got here three days earlier than Garcia was set to face trial on 23 felony counts of intercourse crimes in opposition to youngsters, together with a number of costs of rape, conspiracy to interact in human trafficking and little one pornography, with prosecutors accusing him of utilizing his place of religious authority to control his victims.

Garcia, together with a gaggle of church members, groomed women and younger ladies, telling them they might face everlasting damnation if they didn’t adjust to the sexual requests or in the event that they reported the abuse, prosecutors have alleged.

The plea deal, which included prosecutors dropping 16 costs, together with counts of raping women and girls, was condemned by the victims, who mentioned in courtroom on Wednesday that they’d been robbed of their probability to totally confront Garcia, who is taken into account an “apostle” by the about 5 million members of his church.

“We seemed as much as you, you had been our god, and also you betrayed us. You might be not more than a predator and an abuser,” an accuser recognized as Jane Doe Quantity 3 informed Garcia, who sat together with his again to those that spoke.

An accuser recognized as Jane Doe 4 mentioned Garcia used her “over and over like a sacrificial lamb taken to slaughter”.

Mexico church
Garcia’s image is displayed on the aspect of the East Los Angeles temple in 2019 [File: Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo]

All the survivors mentioned they’d discovered concerning the plea deal on the final minute solely and weren’t consulted on the negotiations.

One other survivor mentioned Garcia had no regret for his crimes, alleging he had not too long ago despatched a message to church members professing his innocence and proclaiming that he accepted the cope with prosecutors solely as a result of he believed he couldn’t get a good trial.

“Your honour, this abuser thinks your courtroom is a joke. Even after he accepted the plea deal, he’s sending messages to the church that he’s harmless,” the accuser mentioned.

For his half, Choose Ronald Coen mentioned his arms had been tied by the deal as he handed down the sentence really helpful by prosecutors.

“I by no means stop to be amazed at what folks do within the identify of faith and what number of lives are ruined within the guise of a supreme being,” Coen mentioned.

The conviction caps an investigation that started in 2018.

The next yr, authorities arrested Garcia at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport together with a co-defendant, Susana Medina Oaxaca. She pleaded responsible final Friday to a cost of assault more likely to trigger nice bodily hurt.

A second co-defendant, Alondra Ocampo, additionally arrested in 2019, pleaded responsible in 2020 to 3 felony counts of contact with a minor for functions of committing a sexual offence and one depend of forcible sexual penetration. She had beforehand confronted a number of counts of human trafficking and different costs.

A fourth individual charged within the investigation, Azalea Rangel Melendez, remained at massive.

When a Los Angeles choose ordered Garcia to face trial in August 2020, the church issued an announcement defending their chief as wrongly accused and saying the fees in opposition to him stemmed from “unsubstantiated nameless allegations” and “blatant rumour”.

The church has not since responded to the allegations.

Will anyone be held accountable for Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder? | TV Shows

On June 9, at 19:30GMT:
June eleventh marks one month for the reason that assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces. Regardless of worldwide outrage and condemnation, there has nonetheless been no formal investigation into her killing.

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, was overlaying Israeli military raids within the Jenin refugee camp within the occupied West Financial institution when a sniper’s bullet struck her within the head. She was carrying a press vest and helmet and was standing with different journalists when the group got here below hearth. Fellow Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, was additionally hit however survived. The Israeli navy has mentioned it won’t conduct a legal probe into her demise. In the meantime, the requires a global investigation are mounting.

Final week a gaggle of Israeli NGO’s formally requested that the United Nations assemble particular rapporteurs to probe the killing. A gaggle of bipartisan US congress members have known as on the White Home to strain the Palestinian Authority to launch the bullet that struck Akleh in order that ballistic evaluation can decide who fired the shot. The Palestinian Authority has refused on the grounds it doesn’t belief Israel to conduct a good investigation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has vowed america would comply with the info and pursue accountability for these accountable.

On this episode of The Stream we focus on how individuals proceed to honour Abu Akleh’s reminiscence, as we ask “Will anybody be held accountable?”.

On this episode of The Stream, we communicate with:
Nida Ibrahim, @nida_journo 
Al Jazeera English Correspondent

Saleh Hijazi, @S_jazi
Palestinian Human Rights Advocate

Yasmeen Serhan, @YasmeenSerhan
Workers Author, The Atlantic


China, Russia defend N Korea vetoes at UN General Assembly | News

China blames ‘flip-flop’ of US insurance policies for renewed tensions, whereas Washington asks if Beijing and Moscow favour their ties over international safety.

China and Russia have accused america of stoking tensions on the Korean Peninsula throughout a landmark assembly held to elucidate their choices to veto new international sanctions over Pyongyang’s renewed ballistic missile launches.

Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations, instructed the Common Meeting on Wednesday that rigidity on the peninsula has “developed to what it’s at present, primarily as a result of flip flop of US insurance policies”.

He pushed Washington to take motion and made a plea for the sanctions to be lifted.

“There are lots of issues that the US can do, similar to easing sanctions on [North Korea] in sure areas, and ending joint army workout routines [with South Korea]. The secret’s to take actions, not simply speak about its readiness for dialogue with no preconditions,” mentioned Zhang.

Moscow’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Anna Evstigneeva, additionally known as for sanctions to be lifted.

North Korea wants extra humanitarian support and the West ought to cease blaming Pyongyang for tensions, she mentioned.

The Wednesday session of the 193-member UN Common Meeting was the primary at which everlasting members of the Safety Council needed to clarify their use of the veto, a step required below a decision adopted by the worldwide physique on April 26.

China and Russia’s vetoes on North Korea final month publicly cut up the UN Safety Council for the primary time because it began punishing Pyongyang with sanctions in 2006.

Talking for the US, Deputy Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis dismissed China and Russia’s accusations and questioned whether or not Beijing and Moscow had elevated their “no limits” strategic partnership above international safety by vetoing North Korea sanctions.

“We hope these vetoes usually are not a mirrored image of that partnership,” mentioned DeLaurentis, addressing the meeting after China and Russia.

“Their explanations for exercising the veto had been inadequate, not credible and never convincing. The vetoes weren’t deployed to serve our collective security and safety.”

He added that the present sanctions and proposals for brand spanking new measures are in direct response to North Korea’s actions and mentioned the US repeatedly tried to restart talks, sending private and non-private messages, however had not obtained a response.

Throughout a proper of reply in a while Wednesday, Chinese language diplomat Wu Jianjian mentioned Beijing categorically rejected “presumptuous feedback and accusations towards China’s voting place”.

“China’s vote towards the US-tabled draft decision was completely affordable and justified,” Wu mentioned. “Persevering with to extend the sanctions towards DPRK would solely make the probability of political resolution much more distant,” he mentioned, referring to North Korea by an acronym of its official identify.

North Korea has carried out dozens of ballistic missile launches this 12 months, together with intercontinental missiles generally often called ICBMs, after breaking a moratorium on assessments that it self-imposed in 2018 after chief Kim Jong Un first met then-US President Donald Trump.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took workplace on Could 10, has agreed with US President Joe Biden at a summit final month to extend their joint army drills to discourage North Korea. The South Korean and US militaries have since matched each North Korean check with exhibits of power they are saying are aimed toward displaying their means and readiness to answer any North Korean provocations.

The 2 nations have additionally warned that North Korea is getting ready to conduct a seventh nuclear check, with the US saying it should once more push for UN sanctions if it takes place.

North Korea defended its growth of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as safety towards “direct threats” from the US – a declare that Washington denies.

Pyongyang’s ambassador, Kim Track, confused that articles of the UN Constitution “clearly stipulate that each state has inherent rights of particular person or collective self-defence”.

“The measures that the DPRK is taking for bolstering nationwide defence capabilities are an inevitable selection to deal with the hostile threats of the US throughout the scope of self-defence rights,” he mentioned.


EU lawmakers back ban on new fossil-fuel cars from 2035 | Climate Crisis News

Transport produces 25 p.c of Europe’s planet-heating emissions, and greenhouse gases from the sector have elevated lately, threatening efforts to avert harmful ranges of local weather change.

The European Parliament accredited a draft legislation that prohibits the sale of recent carbon dioxide-emitting automobiles and is ready to take impact in 2035.

The vote upholds a key pillar of the European Union’s plans to chop web planet-warming emissions 55 p.c by 2030, from 1990 ranges – a goal that requires quicker emissions reductions from business, power and transport.

Lawmakers supported a proposal, made by the European Fee final 12 months, to require a 100% discount in CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 2035, which might make it unimaginable to promote fossil fuel-powered automobiles within the EU from that date onward.

“Fifteen p.c of the EU’s whole greenhouse gasoline emissions come from highway transport. Reducing these emissions is important if we’re going to succeed in our local weather objectives,” a bunch of Inexperienced Social gathering EU lawmakers tweeted after the vote on Wednesday.

The purpose is to hurry Europe’s shift to electrical automobiles and embolden carmakers to take a position closely in electrification, aided by one other EU legislation that may require nations to put in thousands and thousands of car chargers.

“Buying and driving zero-emission vehicles will turn out to be cheaper for customers,” mentioned Jan Huitema, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the coverage.

Amendments tabled by conservative lawmakers aiming to keep away from a full ban on automobiles with combustion engines did not obtain backing from a majority.

“The EU is steering its future transport coverage on a one-way avenue in the direction of e-mobility, to the detriment of technological openness, jobs and Germany as an industrial location,” Markus Ferber, a German EU lawmaker for the centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU), mentioned in a press launch.

Automotive business views

Carmakers together with Ford and Volvo have publicly supported the EU plan to cease combustion engine automotive gross sales by 2035, whereas others, together with Volkswagen, purpose to cease promoting combustion engine vehicles in Europe by that date.

However emails seen by Reuters information company present business teams, together with German auto affiliation VDA, lobbied lawmakers to reject the 2035 goal, which they mentioned penalised various low-carbon fuels and was too early to decide to, given the unsure roll-out of charging infrastructure.

“Our positions are clear. It’s our mission to develop the very best options with everybody concerned,” a VDA spokesperson mentioned.

Electrical vehicles and plug-in hybrid automobiles made up 18 p.c of recent passenger vehicles offered within the EU final 12 months, though total automotive gross sales dropped within the 12 months amid semiconductor shortages, in line with the European Car Producers’ Affiliation.

Transport produces one-quarter of Europe’s planet-heating emissions, and greenhouse gases from the sector have elevated lately, threatening efforts to avert harmful ranges of local weather change.