Cardinal Pell to face trial on criminal charges in Australia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Cardinal Pell to face trial on criminal charges in Australia

Australian Cardinal George Pell arrives at the Magistrates Court in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis, arrived surrounded by police and media to learn whether he must stand trial on charges that he sexually abused multiple victims decades ago. (Joe Castro/AAP Image via AP) (Associated Press)
 April 30 at 10:27 PM
MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis, must stand trial on charges alleging he sexually abused multiple victims decades ago, a magistrate ruled Tuesday.
Magistrate Belinda Wallington dismissed around half the charges that had been heard in the four-week preliminary hearing in Melbourne but decided the prosecution’s case was strong enough for the remainder to warrant a trial by jury. The number of charges has not been made public
When she asked Pell how he pleaded, the cardinal said in a firm voice: “Not guilty.” Wallington gave him permission not to stand, which is customary.
When the magistrate left the room at the end the hearing, many people in the packed public gallery broke into applause.
Lawyers for Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic had argued all the accusations were untrue, could not be proved and should be dismissed.
Pell, Pope Francis’ former finance minister, was charged last June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the 76-year-old have yet to be released to the public, though police have described the charges as “historical” sexual assault offenses — meaning the crimes allegedly occurred decades ago.
His alleged victims testified in the first two weeks of the preliminary hearing via a video link from a remote location to a room closed to the media and public.
His lawyer Robert Richter told Wallington in his final submissions two weeks ago that the complainants might have testified against one of the church’s most powerful men to punish him for failing to act against abuse by clerics.
But prosecutor Mark Gibson told the magistrate there was no evidence to back Richter’s theory that Pell had been targeted over the church’s failings.
Since Pell returned to Australia from the Vatican in July, he has lived in Sydney and flown to Melbourne for his court hearings. His circumstances are far removed from the years he spent as the high-profile and polarizing archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney before his promotion to Rome in 2014.
The case places both the cardinal and the pope in potentially perilous territory. For Pell, the charges are a threat to his freedom, his reputation and his career. For Francis, they are a threat to his credibility, given he famously promised a “zero tolerance” policy for sex abuse in the church.
Advocates for abuse victims have long railed against Francis’ decision to appoint Pell to the high-ranking position in the first place. At the time of his promotion, Pell was already facing allegations that he had mishandled cases of clergy abuse during his time leading the church in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s largest cities.
So far, Francis has withheld judgment of Pell, saying he wants to wait for justice to run its course. And he did not force the cardinal to resign, though Pell took an immediate leave of absence so he could return to Australia to fight the charges. Pell said he intends to continue his work as a prefect of the church’s economy ministry once the case is resolved.
In recent years, Pell’s actions as archbishop came under particular scrutiny by a government-authorized investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to the sexual abuse of children.
Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — the nation’s highest form of inquiry — revealed last year that 7 percent of Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children in Australia over the past several decades.
In testimony to the commission in 2016, Pell conceded that he had made mistakes by often believing priests over people who said they had been abused. And he vowed to help end a rash of suicides that has plagued abuse victims in his hometown of Ballarat.
Pell testified to the inquiry in a video link from the Vatican about his time as a priest and bishop in Australia. He did not attend in person because of a heart condition and other medical problems.
Police said at the preliminary hearing that they had planned to arrest Pell for questioning had he returned to Australia in early 2016 to testify.
His lawyers argued in court that Pell was targeted for “special treatment” by detectives from a police task force that investigated historical sex abuse. Police witnesses denied that accusation.
The investigation of Pell began in 2013 before any complainant had come forward to police, whom Richter accused of running “a get Pell operation.”
Pell’s lawyers told the court in February that the first complainant approached police in 2015, 40 years after the alleged crimes, in response to media reports about the royal commission.
Pell was charged by summons in Rome and agreed to return to Australia to face the allegations.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jordan Constitution Concerning Tribal Justice System

(This article is courtesy of the Jordan Times of Amman)

Cabinet amends law to limit scope of ‘tribal justice system’

Cabinet amends law to limit scope of ‘tribal justice system’

By JT – Sep 01,2016 – Last updated at Sep 01,2016

AMMAN — The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft law amending the 2016 Crime Prevention Law, which targeted provisions governing controversial tribal customs like Jalwa (forced relocation), Diyeh (blood money) and administrative governors’ authorities related to these affairs.

The law will be sent to the next Lower House, which will convene after the September 20 elections, for endorsement as stipulated in the Constitution, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“Jalwa”, a term first coined by tribes, entails the forced relocation of a clan if one of its members murders someone or commits other serious crimes like rape, in a bid to avoid friction between the two tribes, both of the victim’s and the murderer’s, if they were living in the same area.

Interior Minister Salameh Hammad has recently held several meetings with tribal and religious leaders, along with jurists, from across the Kingdom.

The figures reached an understanding that regulates tribal customs and norms and limits tribal cases that fall under the Crime Prevention Law to homicide, honor and cases when members of the tribes involved in the dispute do not honour pledges made on their behalf by mediators.

Under the amending law, jalwa should be limited to the murderer, his father and sons, and for a period not exceeding one year, with the possibility of renewing it if deemed necessary by the concerned administrative governor. The proposed version of the law also stipulates that jalwa should be made from one district to another within the same governorate.

The law also tasks the chief Islamic justice with deciding the value of diyeh in murder cases that end with reconciliation, and levies on those parties in tribal disputes who dishonor pledges made by mediators to pay mediators, or guarantors of the deals made, a fine of no less than JD50,000 in compensation for the damage caused to their reputation.

The administrative governor, according to the amendments, has the power to oversee all the tribal procedures included in this law, Petra added.

The amendments aim at regulating tribal customs and norms related to conflicts and cases of jalwa, atwah (a tribal agreement that functions as a temporary conciliation between conflicting parties until the civic law decides on the case) and diyeh, according to Petra.

The law is meant to avoid exaggerated practices that may cause social problems as a result of relocating families away from their places of residence, which normally results in damage to innocent families’ members, who might lose their jobs, education opportunities or businesses.

 

Stray Bullet Kills Arkansas Police Officer In His Home

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

Stray Bullet Kills Arkansas Police Officer In His Home

An off-duty police officer was killed by a stray bullet while inside his house in east Arkansas, authorities said.

Officer Oliver Johnson was in his game room playing video games with his family when a bullet struck and killed him Saturday, said Lt. Eric Varner, a spokesman for the police department in Forrest City, Ark., where Johnson worked. The 25-year-old officer, who was with the department for three years, left behind a fiancee and two young daughters, Varner said.

“We’re at a loss for words. We’re deeply saddened by this,” he said.

The shooting occurred Saturday afternoon at an apartment complex in West Memphis, Ark., where Johnson lived, Capt. Joe Baker of the West Memphis Police Department told reporters. The Washington Post was not immediately able to reach Baker on Sunday, but Varner said a fight between several people outside the apartment escalated into a shooting. Johnson was not a target, Baker told reporters.

Neighbors told local media that they had heard as many as 40 gunshots. Photos and videos showed the windows of Johnson’s apartment riddled with bullets.

Tony Atkins

@TonyAtkinsFOX13

Officer Oliver Johnson, (25) shot and killed playing with kids inside when bullets came flying through.

I had to walk straight past those kids to get to the unit.. Seeing their faces is perhaps the most heartbreaking thing I’ve done in a while. pic.twitter.com/Ouaum2q6LY

View image on Twitter

Portia Weatherspoon, Johnson’s neighbor, told ABC affiliate WATN that she stepped outside after hearing one of Johnson’s nephews yell that his uncle had been shot.

“When I went in the house, I found him shot,” Weatherspoon said. “Me and my husband tried to do CPR.”

It’s unclear whether police have made an arrest. It’s also unclear how many other people were in the apartment, but no one else has been injured.

Johnson’s death was a blow to the small, tightknit agency of 35 officers. Varner said Johnson worked in the Forrest City Police Department’s patrol division and had always been willing to take on more tasks, whether it was helping serve a search warrant or providing security at special events.

Leslie Rutledge

@AGRutledge

My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the fallen officer, his family and the entire Forrest City police department. Arkansas lost a hero and we must all stand with our men and women in blue.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin

@LtGovTimGriffin

Heartbroken to hear about the senseless killing of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson Jr. in eastern AR. May God’s grace and comfort be with his family & loved ones. http://m.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/apr/28/police-officer-fatally-shot-inside-east-arkansas-a/ 

Police officer fatally shot inside east Arkansas apartment, authorities say

A Forrest City police officer was fatally shot inside his home Saturday afternoon, a police department spokesman said.

m.arkansasonline.com

Varner said the agency have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help the Johnson family.

Several friends, many of whom have changed their profile pictures into an image of a police badge with a band over it, have posted on Johnson’s Facebook page, on which he described himself as a “father of 2 wonderful girls and a man of God.” A picture on the page shows the uniformed officer standing in front of a patrol car next to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse mascots.

“I just talked to you the other day. Letting you know trouble don’t last always. You will always be my little brother in BLUE,” one friend wrote.

A few hours after Johnson was killed, the Forrest City Police Department announced on Facebook that the department is canceling events “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

America’s Police Problem Is Far More Than A Race Issue

America’s Police Problem Is Far More Than A Race Issue

 

I am not here today to rag America’s Police Agencies. But I’m not here to give them or us regular civilians a free ride either. I am going to try to relay my thoughts to you on this issue so that you can compare your thoughts, with mine. I know that there is a race issue in this country and by a race issue I am referring to it as a hate issue, a lack of love issue, a lack of giving a flip about others, issue. American media outlets tend to want to paint America as a black and white country when it is not. There are many races of people here in the States, not just Black Folks and White Folks. There is also the issue of multi-race races, the so-called Browning of America. There are multiple police shootings within the country each year but the media only wants to display the ones where a White Officer shoots an unarmed Black Man. Where is the media when the situation’s is reversed? Why aren’t the Police Officers and their families awarded as much ink when Officers are murdered? Hey, I’m picking on everybody today, why not the glory hound media people?

 

I drove Our Nations highways for a living for more than thirty years. From 1981 thru 2013 I put over five million miles on our Nations roadways. During this time a person tends to notice how trends are headed more and more toward a Police State, but that is a debate for another time. Back in the late 1980’s I noticed a trend where Police when they pulled someone over to the shoulder of the road that the Officers started putting their hands on their weapons as they walked up to the vehicles. I totally believe that this was/is for their own safety why they started doing this. You used to almost never see that on a simple traffic stop. Then it became more and more common to the point now that it would seem odd (and unsafe) for them not to do so.

 

When Police Officers had to honestly be worried for their lives every time they pull a vehicle over it upped the game for every Officer on every stop. To help keep Officers safe they are taught to enter a situation with overpowering force so that no sane person would dare become aggressive. They are taught to always make sure that the one they are having to deal with knows very plainly that it is they the Officer who is in charge of the current situation. This style does work, but is it necessary all of the time? Also do we civilians somehow think we need to pick this time to act like a spoiled little kid who got their brain stuck in the cookie jar? Folks is this really the best time to start having ignorance of the mouth disease with the Officers?

 

When I was a very small child you used to hear on T.V. and in grade school that if you were ever lost or in trouble to find the nearest Police Officer because they will always be helpful. Are kids still being taught this in our society today? I grew up seeing Police acting in very unfriendly and aggressive ways toward everybody, well, except for the wealthiest of the residents. Folks I am a white guy who grew up in small towns where almost all the citizens were white with only white cops who acted in very unprofessional ways a lot. Race had nothing to do with anything, it is the mentality of the Bullies and the Punks that invade their Departments that Departments themselves must remove first, then get retraining. For there to actually be a civilized society the Police and the Population must be friends with each other, not combatants.

 

The aggressive culture of Policing Agency’s needs to be backed off a notch or two when it is at all possible. I have heard Sheriffs talking on radio programs referring to themselves as “para-military organizations”, Folks, no you are not. For the most part all American police officers are only dealing with the local population, except for when they are working on the interstate. Should an Officer be super careful when he pulls a vehicle over, of course, there are idiots and A-holes who will shoot an Officer and call it entertainment. There is also the issue of the population needing to pretend they have a brain when they are in contact with an Officer. Trying to act your ignorant big and bad self should be done at some other time. Reality is that most Cops tend to be alpha-males/females and they are in a very dangerous job. Even if you are an Alpha person if you decide to show the Officer that you want to play a game of low I.Q’s, it is you who will lose that war.

 

We as a Nation must become less hate filled and angry, so often just looking for anyone else to blame for our own moral short-falling (and yes I do mean a moral issue). Hating someone because of them wearing a uniform is as ignorant as hating someone because they were born in or from a different country than what we call our own. Are they’re racist within policing agency’s? I believe the correct answer is, most likely. But unfortunately there are low-life type people woven within the fabric of every Nation, in every occupation, not just in policing agencies. If a semi tractor-trailer unit gets in an accident of any kind, we sorta of stick our heads on a neon sign, we are noticed easier. If a person wearing a uniform does something arrogant or illegal, they need to understand that sometimes they will get caught on at least one camera. As an Officer you should not have to be afraid of interaction with the public, we are not your enemy. Officers need to be more friendly when it is possible for them to do so, and to only become aggressive if the civilian becomes physically combative with them. Peace, kindness, and caring must be nurtured from both sides of this divide.

 

Here in America we have seen two cases of police officers who acted in horrible manners in the first week of July of 2016 on many of our news agencies. Two people are dead because of the actions of police that were way wrong. We have seen a man be murdered in Baton Rouge Louisiana and another murdered in Saint Paul Minnesota, both of these murders were committed by local police officers. What is even more sad is that both of these incidences happened because of a race issue and in a society for it to be civil or moral, these things must be stopped. Across America District Attorneys have for decades allowed the police officers to be bullies and thugs and this issue must stop or the police killings will not stop. In 1964 the US Supreme Court made a huge mistake, they passed a law where District Attorneys can not be held liable for their ‘mistakes’ that they may make. They did not believe that D.A.’s would be dishonest in matters like withholding evidence for the purpose of convicting people of crimes that they didn’t commit. The Supreme Court in 1964, in my opinion, was way out of touch with reality. The former Governor of the state of Illinois had to revoke all death sentences because once DNA came into existence it proved that many of the people who were on death row should not have even been in jail. Many of these people had been framed by lazy and crooked cops, most of them from Chicago and Cook County. Until Americas DA’s decide to do their ‘moral’ obligations to their communities and start charging the police officers when they commit crimes like murder with murder, nothing will ever get better.

Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

 

Safety is there really such a thing here in this world? I guess that it is true that safety just like beauty can be just in the eye of the beholder. Then again is the term safe actually dependent on the subject matter? There is the concept of physical safety, or safety for your financial wealth whether in your cash, stocks, or bonds. But tonight I am speaking mainly about the physical safety of yourself and your loved ones. For many thousands of years now millions of human beings have used different types of drugs to escape their physical reality. Sometimes people use these drugs whether God-given ones such as in plants and herbs or ones that are man-made in laboratory’s. So often people seek an inner peace or euphoria so that they can escape the living hell they face each day here on Earth. The hellish conditions we see on Earth are all man-made for the only true hell we have to fear is the one that separates us from God Himself after our deaths. Life without putting our Creator first is a life that we all should fear every second we breath for no ones next breath is guaranteed. Fear, if we are ignorant enough to not fear Hell itself then we are truly both ignorant and stupid. Earth, the place where the Devil and his tens of thousands of dark Angels roam freely is not a place where physical safety for any human exists.

 

Within the first few verses of the 5th chapter of the book of Job in the Bible you read about one of Job’s friends named Eliphaz who was trying to be wise in his speech about the torments Job was going through. Eliphaz spoke to Job in this manner when he said “for wrath kills the foolish man and envy slays the silly one. I have seen the foolish take root and I cursed his habitation. His foolish children are far from being safe and they are crushed in the gate and there is none to deliver them. For man is born unto trouble, as the flames fly upward (from Hell)”.

 

In the fourth chapter of the Book of Psalms Israel’s King David wrote, ” But know that the Lord has set apart him that is Godly for Himself: The Lord will hear when I call unto Him. Stand in awe and sin not: Commune with God in your heart upon your bed and be still. I will lay me down in peace and sleep: for you O Lord and you alone make me dwell in safety. Offer your sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.” The Apostle Paul when he was writing his letter to the Church in the third chapter of the Book of Philippians he wrote; ” My brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write these same things to you is not grievous to me, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of workers of evil, beware of the mutilations. Yes doubtless I count all things for loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all my Earthly things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ and be found in Him. Not having my own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

 

Here in this twenty-first century A.D. it would be so nice if we in our own lives could truly live in physical safety. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if no one ever did any harm to themselves or to anyone else? What if there was no such thing as hatred, jealousy, ego’s or murder? We all know in our hearts and minds that this is not the current situation that we all live in today. Friends as long as the Devil, his Angels, and those ignorant enough to follow him roam the surface of the Earth, no one is safe, everyone is under attack, even if we are unaware of it.

 

Throughout the Scriptures we are told many times to walk our lives in meekness and humility. God tells us to put others before ourselves. We are told it is better to sit in the back of a congregation and to be brought forward than to be one that puts themselves in the front just so we can be moved to the back.  Ego my friends, pride and lust, these are spiritual and physical traps laid before all of us in today’s society. In this time we are all living in we have as a culture gone beyond being a me first generation of the 1980’s. Today we have degenerated into a culture of a ‘me only’ life style. For those poor people who believe that there is no such thing as a ‘here after’, that there is no such thing as God, I feel so sad for them. To think that this life is all there is and that this life is all that matters is so sad.

 

Take a moment and look around the world today, so many people are filled with hatred and so much blood is being spilled in wars and in our own streets. There is a term used a lot in the World Court called ethnic cleansing that is truly a world-wide disgrace. Often throughout world history this has been done toward people because of race issues and culture issues yet the worse of these are ones that are dictated by a religion, this shows the pure evil that is this religion. We all live in a world of sadness where thousands of people die everyday whether by their own hand or by the hand of a murderer or even by starvation for there is no such thing as physical safety today. Friends there is no place on this planet that is truly a safe haven from evil, there is no place for anyone to hide. Even at the Vatican in Rome Italy the Pope has built high thick walls and employees many guards and has many escape tunnels. We humans try to keep ourselves and our families and our Countries safe but there is no such a place. Folks, not until Jesus the Christ returns in what is called the Second Advent when He Himself and His Angels put an end to this current evil system of things will there be true safety but even then, only for those who stayed faithful to Him unto the end.

 

I am going to close tonight with the words of the Apostle Paul that he wrote in the Book of Philippians chapter 2 verses 10, 11, 14 and 15. “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, the things in Heaven and the things on the Earth and the things under the Earth. And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. Do all things without complaining and disputing. That you may be blameless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse Nation among whom you will shine as lights in the world.” For it is a truth that safety can only be found in faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Records Show Trump Lied To FBI About Spending Nights In Moscow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Flight Records Disprove Trump’s Claim About ‘Pee Tape’ Weekend Whereabouts

The president insisted he didn’t spend a night in Moscow. Records show he did.

President Donald Trump reportedly told former FBI Director James Comey — twice — that he didn’t spend a single night in Moscow when the infamous “pee tape” was allegedly made.

But Bloomberg and Politico have obtained flight records for Trump’s jet that indicate he actually spent two nights in the Russian capital when he traveled there for the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013.

A dossier of information about Trump collected by former British agent Christopher Steele claims that Russian agents secretly filmed Trump at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton that weekend as he instructed prostitutes to urinate on a bed that then-President Barack Obama had slept in.

The New York Times reported last year that Trump traveled to Moscow on a plane owned by casino mogul Phil Ruffin. Bloomberg and Politico obtained flight records for a Bombardier Global Express jet owned by Ruffin Development Expositions that left the U.S. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 and landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport the following day. The jet left the city early Sunday at 3:58 a.m. after Trump attended the pageant.

Ruffin’s spokeswoman Michelle Knoll confirmed to Politico that Trump used the aircraft for his trip.

It’s not known which night the tape was allegedly recorded, but Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller testified last year that he turned down an offer from an unknown Russian to send five sex workers to Trump’s Moscow hotel room at some point that weekend, sources told NBC. Schiller said he kept an eye on Trump’s hotel room for a while, then went to bed himself.

Trump’s own social media accounts seem to support the argument that he was in Russia at least overnight. In one Facebook post, Trump poses in a photo outside Nobu Moscow on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The pageant was held on Saturday. On Sunday evening, Trump tweeted that he’d “just got back from Russia.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I just got back from Russia-learned lots & lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place! U.S. MUST BE VERY SMART AND VERY STRATEGIC.

 

After Trump became president, Comey said he warned him about Steele’s dossier, which had been turned over to the FBI. Trump denied spending a single night in Moscow. Comey told ABC this month that Trump responded by asking, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” (Comey added: “I assumed he was asking that rhetorically.”)

Trump also said he’d “spoken to people who had been on … the trip … and they had reminded him that he didn’t stay over night in Russia,” Comey recalled in a memo. Trump insisted again later in the Oval Office that he “hadn’t stayed overnight in Russia during the Miss Universe trip,” Comey wrote.

In addition, Trump told his FBI director that he could never go for the “golden showers thing” because “I’m … a germaphobe,” Comey wrote in his memoir A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

If Trump deliberately lied to Comey, it could indicate “consciousness of guilt” and could bolster a case against him by special counsel Robert Mueller, former federal prosecutor Pete Zeidenberg told Politico.

Trump’s Miss Universe pageant has posed multiple problems for the president. The New Yorker reported earlier this year that Trump has used the pageant to cultivate potential business partners, including in Russia, where he hoped to build a Trump tower. In 2013, he cemented an alliance with father and singer son Aras and Emin Agalarov, who hosted the pageant in Moscow.

In the summer of 2016, a publicist for Emin Agalarov emailed Donald Trump Jr. offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Donald Jr. replied: “I love it” — and later attended a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, among others.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

Canadian Man Lynched in the Amazon After Being Accused of Murdering a Shaman

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By CASEY QUACKENBUSH

5:16 AM EDT

A Canadian man was reportedly killed in the Peruvian Amazon after indigenous community members blamed him for the death of a spiritual leader.

According to Peruvian prosecutors, the body of Sebastian Woodroffe, 41, was found by police after a video of his lynching surfaced on social media Friday, Reuters reports. Video footage reportedly shows a man in a puddle before another man wraps a rope around his neck and dragged him as onlookers watched.

Woodroffe’s body was found 0.6 miles away from the home of Olivia Arévalo, the spiritual leader of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe and an indigenous rights activist. The 81-year-old died Thursday after being shot twice, and some members of the outraged community blamed her apparent murder on Woodroffe, who was believed to have been one of her clients.

Canada’s foreign affairs department offered its “deepest condolences following the reported assassination of Olivia Arévalo Lomas, an indigenous elder and human rights defender,” Reuters reports.

Arévalo’s death follows a slew of unresolved murders of indigenous activists who were threatened for opposing illegal loggers and palm oil growers, according to Reuters. There is little oversight in the Peruvian Amazon where local communities often punish suspected criminals according to local customs without official state involvement.

“We will not rest until both murders, of the indigenous woman as well as the Canadian man, are solved,” Ricardo Palma Jimenez, the head prosecutor in Ucayali, told Reuters.

Naked Gunman Still at Large: The Latest on Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Naked Gunman Still at Large: The Latest on the Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting

Updated: 11:56 AM ET | Originally published: 11:08 AM ET

Four people were killed and two others wounded in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee early Sunday.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that the gunman opened fire at 3:25 a.m. A heroic 29-year-old patron at the diner was able to stop the gunman and wrestle the gun away from him. However, the shooter – believed to be Travis Reinking, 29, of Illinois – escaped before police arrived.

Authorities say the gunman was nude as he fled the scene. Authorities were still searching for him through late morning Sunday, though murder warrants are now being drafted against Reinking, the police said via Twitter.

Police posted a photo of what appears to be an AR-15-style assault rifle that the gunman used.

Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said in a local TV interview, “If you see a nude guy walking around, call the police immediately. We believe he may be the suspect in this,” according to USA Today.

What happened?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

BREAKING: 3 persons fatally shot & 4 others wounded at the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike. Gunman opened fire @ 3:25 a.m. A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle. He was nude & fled on foot. He is a white man with short hair.

A gunman shot six people, four fatally, when he opened fire in a Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville.

A restaurant patron, whom police said is a 29-year-old man, stepped in and disarmed the gunman.

“No doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and tossing it over the counter and prompting the man to leave,” Nashville police spokesman Aaron told the Associated Press.

The gunman was wearing only a green coat when he opened fire. During the struggle over the gun, the shooter left his coat and fled the scene naked, police said.

The investigation is still on-going and the crime scene is being processed, Nashville police said.

Who is the gunman?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

BREAKING: Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, IL, is person of interest in Waffle House shooting. Vehicle the gunman arrived in is registered to him. Gunman last seen walking south on Murfreesboro Pike. He shed is coat and is nude. See Reinking? Pls call 615-862-8600 immediately.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Investigation on going at the Waffle House. Scene being processed by MNPD experts. This is the rifle used by the gunman.

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Waffle House Update: Murder warrants are now being drafted against Travis Reinking.

Police have named 29-year-old Travis Reinking, originally of Morton, Illinois, as a person of interest in the shooting after identifying his truck in the parking lot of the Waffle House.

Reinking is described as a white man with short hair. Law enforcement in Illinois and federal authorities were aware of Reinking prior to the shooting, police told Nashville’s News Channel 5.

Police also tweeted that Reinking shed his clothes and is either naked or wearing pants but no shirt, and is still at large, and Reinking “was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apartments on Mountain Springs Drive near the Waffle House.” Channel 5 also reported that “police dogs have been tracking him.”

Anyone with information about Reinking is urged to call the Nashville Police Department at (615) 862-8600.

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

A man believed to be Travis Reinking was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apts. on Mountain Springs Dr. near the Waffle House. The man was seen wearing black pants and no shirt.

What was the motive for the shooting?

Police are still trying to determine why the gunman opened fire, but at this time, they believe the shooting was random. They also do not know why the alleged suspect, Reinking, came to Nashville from his hometown in Morton, Illinois, 450 miles away, but according to The Tennessean, police believe he lives at the Mountain View Apartments near the Waffle House where the shooting took place. ”

Who are the victims?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Waffle House: 6 persons shot, 4 fatally (3 died at the scene, 1 at the hospital). The 2 others are being treated at Vanderbilt. Search continuing for Travis Reinking.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

A total of six people were shot. Three died at the scene and a fourth victim died at the hospital.

Two others were wounded and are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

What is the reaction to the shooting?

Waffle House, a 24/7 diner chain that is popular throughout the South, issued a statement after the shooting saying, “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”

Waffle House News@WaffleHouseNews

This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.

Nasvhille’s Mayor David Briley also issued a statement, saying: “It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families and friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.”

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families & friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families & friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

There’s clearly more to be said about these circumstances, but for now I ask Nashville to pray for and rally around these victims and join me in thanking @MNPDNashville as it works to find and apprehend the shooter.

Hate And Fire Everywhere These Day’s It Seems

Hate And Fire Everywhere These Day’s It Seems

Folks are we really living in a time that is more dangerous than in any time in even our own personal past histories? Or, maybe these times are no different from any others, it only seems that way because of the more and better technology we have at our fingertips today? There is a lot of hate in the world today, but hasn’t this been so since the creation of us gentiles? It does appear that most of the worlds biggest conflicts have at least some religion base to it these days. Race is not the biggest issue in most wars today but there are the instances where a race ties themselves to a certain religion like we connect Muslim people as being Islamic because it seems to be a fit in most cases. That is not Islamophobe, it is a reality issue, if you meet a person who is from Mexico or Latin America do you not assume that their religion is Catholic? Are most people you meet here in America that are from India, don’t most folks tend to assume that they are of the Hindu faith? It seems that all over the globe there are wars and simmering conflicts. People do not tend to say in their own heart about the person they are getting ready to slaughter, O how I love you! As long as we have rampant hate, race toward race or religion toward religion, the fires will burn until they consume both us and those who come after us. This is true because true hate is a consuming fire even after all is under their command. Everyone on Earth has the God-given right to protect themselves and their families but absolutely no one on Earth has the right to be the aggressor. No aggressor, no need to defend, equals no more hate caused deaths or injuries. Yet it is a truth that some people believe in their own mind that they have ‘the right’ to rob, attack and or kill whom ever they so choose. As long as this mind-set exists innocent people are going to be butchered and as long as this mind-set exists there will be the need for people to be able to protect themselves, their families and their property.

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SMITHSONIAN.COM)

 

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination Sparked Uprisings in Cities Across America

Known as the Holy Week Uprisings, the collective protests resulted in 43 deaths, thousands of arrests, and millions of dollars of property damage

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Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, cities across the U.S. erupted in protests. (Library of Congress)
SMITHSONIAN.COM

In April 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. made his way to Memphis, Tennessee, where sanitation workers were striking for a pay raise with the support of local ministers. On April 3, King delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech and made plans for a march to be held on April 5. But the evening of April 4, while at his lodgings at the Lorraine Motel, King was shot through the jaw. An hour later, he was pronounced dead at age 39.

Long before the public had any answers as to the identity of the assassin (a man named James Earl Ray, who pled guilty to the murder in March 1969 and was sentenced to life in prison, despite questions about the involvement of groups like the FBI or the Mafia), the nation was swept up in a frenzy of grief and anger. When King’s funeral was held the following Tuesday in Atlanta, tens of thousands of people gathered to watch the procession.

Despite King’s father expressing the family’s preference for nonviolence, in the 10 days following King’s death, nearly 200 cities experienced looting, arson or sniper fire, and 54 of those cities saw more than $100,000 in property damage. As Peter Levy writes in The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America During the 1960s, “During Holy Week 1968, the United States experienced its greatest wave of social unrest since the Civil War.” Around 3,500 people were injured, 43 were killed and 27,000 arrested. Local and state governments, and President Lyndon Johnson, would deploy a collective total of 58,000 National Guardsmen and Army troops to assist law enforcement officers in quelling the violence.

King’s death wasn’t the only factor at play in the massive protests. Just weeks earlier, an 11-member commission established by President Lyndon B. Johnson had released its investigation of the 1967 race riots in a document called the Kerner Report, which provided broad explanations for the deadly upheavals. “Segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans,” the report stated. “What white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

While the conditions the Kerner Report described—poverty, lack of access to housing, lack of economic opportunities and discrimination in the job market—may have come as a surprise to white Americans, the report was nothing new to the African-American community. And at the time of King’s death, all those problems remained, including the need for access to housing.

President Johnson openly acknowledged how painful King’s murder would be to African-American communities, in the context of all that they’d already suffered. In a meeting with civil rights leaders following news of King’s death, Johnson said, “If I were a kid in Harlem, I know what I’d be thinking right now. I’d be thinking that the whites have declared open season on my people, and they’re going to pick us off one by one unless I get a gun and pick them off first.” Although Johnson successfully pushed Congress to pass the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (which prohibited discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing) four days after the assassination, the legislative victory was a meager palliative in the face of the loss of Reverend King.

To better understand the days following King’s death, explore the responses of five cities across the country. While all were united in mourning the loss of a civil rights champion, the conditions in each city led to varying levels of upheaval.

Washington, D.C.

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A soldier stands guard on the corner of 7th & N Street NW in Washington D.C. on April 8, 1986, with the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Library of Congress)

Of the dozens of cities involved in uprisings and demonstrations after King’s death, the nation’s capital experienced the most damage. By the end of 12 days of unrest, the city had experienced more than 1,200 fires and $24 million in insured property damage ($174 million in today’s currency). Economic historians would later describe the Washington, D.C. riot as on par with the Watts Riot of 1965 in Los Angeles and the Detroit and Newark riots of 1967 in terms of its destructiveness.

Economic conditions largely fueled the upheaval; African-Americans made up 55 percent of the city’s population by 1961, but were crammed into only 44 percent of the housing, and paid more for less space and fewer amenities, writes historian Dana Schaffer.

Although activist Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, encouraged businesses only to remain closed until King’s funeral, he couldn’t stop the crowds from turning to looting and arson. One young man who witnessed the rioting told Schaffer, “You could see smoke and flames on Georgia Avenue. And I just remember thinking, ‘Boy it’s not just like Watts. It’s here. It is happening here.’”

It wasn’t until President Johnson called in the National Guard that the rioting was finally quelled. By that time, 13 people had died, most of them in burning buildings. Around 7,600 people were arrested for looting and arson, many of them first-time offenders. The fires that ranged across multiple neighborhoods left 2,000 people homeless and nearly 5,000 jobless. It would take decades for the neighborhoods to fully recover, and when they did, it was mostly gentrifying white professionals reaping the benefit.

Chicago

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Soldiers stand guard in front of a supermarket on 63rd Street on Chicago’s South Side on April 7, 1968. (AP Photo )

African-American communities in the Second City had a special relationship with King, who in 1966 lived in the poverty-stricken West Side while campaigning for open housing in the city. Almost immediately after news of King’s death arrived, looting and rioting began. One local of the West Side told the Chicago Defender on April 6, “I feel this is the opening of the door through which will come violence. Because of the way Dr. King died, I can guarantee it’s gonna be rough here.”

By Friday evening, the day after King’s assassination, the first of 3,000 Illinois National Guard troops began arriving in the city and were met by sniper fire in West Side neighborhoods. Mayor Richard Daley ordered police to “shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail” and to “shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting any stores in our city.” By the time the protests came to an end, 11 people had died, of which seven deaths were by gunfire, reported the Chicago Defender. Nearly 3,000 more people were arrested for looting and arson.

As in Washington, protestors saw their actions in the broader context of segregation and inequality. “Violence is not synonymous with black,” wrote a columnist in the Chicago Defender on April 20. “Who shot President Kennedy? Who shot King? The black revolt is a social protest against intolerable conditions that have been allowed to linger far too long.”

Baltimore

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One of four black men arrested by police in down Baltimore April 8, 1968 spreads his arms wide. (AP Photo)

Of all the cities that saw unrest in the wake of King’s assassination, Baltimore came second only to Washington in terms of damage. Although the crowds that gathered in East Baltimore on Saturday. April 6. began peacefully, holding a memorial service, several small incidents that evening quickly led to a curfew being set and the arrival of 6,000 National Guard troops. The protests that erupted thereafter led to nearly 1,000 businesses being set afire or ransacked; 6 people died and another 700 were injured, and property damage was estimated at $13.5 million (around $90 million in today’s currency), according to the Baltimore City Police Department.

It was a tumultuous, terrifying week for those living in the neighborhoods under siege from protestors and law enforcement. “The Holy Week Uprising engendered a great deal of fear. Fear of getting shot, of being bayonetted by the Guard, of losing one’s home, of not being able to find food or prescription medicine,” writes historian Peter Levy. Making matters worse was Maryland governor Spiro Agnew, who blamed African-American community leaders for not doing more to prevent the violence, describing them as “circuit riding, Hanoi visiting, caterwauling, riot inciting, burn America down type of leaders.” Agnew’s response to the riots, and to crime more generally, drew the attention of Richard Nixon, and led him to recruit Agnew as his vice presidential running mate later that year.

The upheaval continued until April 14, and only came to an end after more nearly 11,000 federal troops had been deployed in the city.

Kansas City

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A police officer watches for a flash from a sniper’s rifle after police officers were fired on in Kansas City, Missouri, April 11, 1968. (AP Photo/William P. Straeter)

In a city stretched across two states, on the Kansas-Missouri border, Kansas City was a telling example of what could happen when a community’s desire for peaceful demonstrations were stymied. After King’s death, the Kansas City, Kansas School District canceled classes on Tuesday, April 9, so that students could stay home and watch the funeral. In Kansas City, Missouri, however, schools remained open.

“When school authorities rejected their request, the young people [of Kansas City, Missouri] began to demand that they be permitted to march to City Hall to protest,” recalled Revered David Fly, who participated in the marches that week. Initially, it seemed as if the students might achieve their desire to demonstrate; Mayor Ilus Davis ordered police to remove barricades they had installed in front of schools. He also attempted to march with the students to show his support. But for reasons that remain unclear—perhaps because a student threw an empty bottle at the police line—law enforcement unleashed canisters of gas into the crowd.

“Students began running as the police in riot helmets and plastic masks charged into the crowd with tear gas, mace, dogs and clubs,” Fly said. Over the next four days, vandalism and fires plagued the east side of the city in Missouri (Kansas City, Kansas was largely unaffected thanks to the proactive efforts of city officials to memorialize King). More than 1,700 National Guard troops joined police officers to disrupt the rioting and arrest nearly 300 people. By the end of the protests, 6 people had been killed and city damages totaled around $4 million.

New York City

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New York City Mayor John Lindsay and civil rights leaders marched through Central Park on their way to a memorial service for the slain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in New York City on April 7, 1968. (AP Photo )

Despite President Johnson’s empathy toward the “little boy in Harlem” responding to King’s assassination, New York City proved to be one of the exceptions to the broader unrest. Although Harlem and some neighborhoods in Brooklyn experienced fires and looting, the damage was relatively minimal. This was, in part, due to the efforts of Mayor John Lindsay.

As deputy chair of the commission that wrote the Kerner Report, Lindsay was well aware of structural inequality and the problems that plagued African-American communities. He pushed the Kerner Commission to demand federal spending efforts to undo decades of segregation and racism. When Lindsay learned of King’s assassination, he ignored the advice of aides and immediately headed to Harlem, writes historian Clay Risen, author of A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination. At 8th Avenue and 125th Street, Lindsay asked police to take their barricades down and addressed the growing crowd, emphasizing his regret that the death happened. Lindsay also met with students marching from City University of New York and civil rights leaders.

Although 5,000 police officers and firemen were deployed around the area, and some arrests were made, the city emerged from the weekend relatively unscathed. “Everyone agreed that Lindsay had made a huge difference by showing up at a time when many mayors across the country were hiding out in bunker-like emergency operations centers,” Risen writes.

TAGS

African American History American History Cities Civil Rights Martin Luther King, Jr. Politics

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