A limousine was set on fire during protests in Washington on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. (Christina Pascucci/KTLA-TV)


Suit Says Cops Laughed at Newsmen’s Humiliation

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing police in Washington, DC, of violating the constitutional rights of protesters, journalists, and legal observers during mass arrests on President Trump’s Inauguration Day,” Zoe Tillman reported for BuzzFeed.

At least two of those caught up in arrests or indictments were journalists of color: Shay Horse, a freelance photographer who is part of the Chickasaw and Kiowa nations, and Aaron Cantú, a Latino journalist at the Santa Fe (N.M.) Reporter who has written about policing, propaganda, drugs and politics for the Intercept, Al Jazeera and other publications.


Jonah Engel Bromwich wrote Jan. 25 for the New York Times that “charges against the journalists — Evan Engel, Alexander Rubinstein, Jack Keller, Matthew Hopard, Shay Horse and Aaron Cantú — have been denounced by organizations dedicated to press freedom. All of those arrested have denied participating in the violence. . . .”

Tillman continued Wednesday, “The lawsuit accuses Metropolitan Police Department officers of making unlawful arrests and using excessive force, pointing to the use of pepper spray, tear gas, and restraints that were so tight they reportedly caused one of the plaintiffs’ wrists to bleed.

“ ‘In the course of the roundup and subsequent processing of demonstrators, police held detainees for hours without food, water, or access to toilets; handcuffed detainees so tightly as to cause injury or loss of feeling; and subjected some detainees to manual rectal probing,’ lawyers from the ACLU of the District of Columbia wrote in the complaint [PDF].


“The Metropolitan Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday defending the arrests, and saying that ‘all instances of use of force by officers and allegations of misconduct will be fully investigated. . . .’

Steven Nelson wrote Wednesday for U.S. News & World Report, “ ‘Defendant Officer John Doe 150, who was wearing rubber gloves, ordered Mr. Horse, Mr. [Milo] Gonzalez, and three other detainees to remove their pants,’ the lawsuit says. . . .”

Nelson also wrote that, “the number of demonstrators, journalists and legal advisers forced to remove their pants for the procedure may be much higher, says Scott Michelman, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia.


Shay Horse discusses the ACLU lawsuit Wednesday at the National Press Club. “I was just doing my job,” he said. (Zoe Tillman/Twitter)

“ ‘I think part of the reason this hasn’t come out more is that people are reluctant to talk about it,’ says Michelman, who is representing the four original plaintiffs on the lawsuit.

“ ‘It is shameful, it is traumatic and a lot of people are still dealing with it,’ he says. . . .”


“[The officer] and other officers laughed at Mr. Gonzalez while this degrading search was performed. . . . The officer ‘did not change gloves when he moved from one individual to the next,’ the lawsuit says. The suit cited “unjustified manual rectal probing and grabbing of their testicles. . . .”

Cantú, indicted on May 30, was among 215 defendants “facing charges of felony rioting, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property on the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, when they were scooped up en masse by police with a controversial crowd-control technique which corrals protesters in a ‘kettle’,” Baynard Woods, editor-at-large of Baltimore City Paper, wrote Wednesday for the Santa Fe Reporter.

Woods also wrote, “At the advice of his lawyers, Cantú isn’t talking to the press. I ask Julie Ann Grimm, his editor at the Santa Fe Reporter, which hired him in April, if the impending charges [make] her more reluctant to assign him to certain stories.


“ ‘His arrest was scary, the threat of being imprisoned for the rest of your life for just doing your job and observing a protest is … I don’t even know how to finish that sentence,’ she says over the phone. ‘I think Aaron is nervous about covering protests. I’m slightly nervous about sending him out to them. But we’re really not going to let this action by the federal government or by the prosecutors in Washington, DC, slow him down or to put a muzzle on his voice as a journalist.’ . . . ”

In an appearance Friday on WAMU-FM’s “Kojo Nnamdi Show,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said he could not discuss specific lawsuits, but acknowledged that in a 2015 settlement, the city was forced to pay $2.2 million to nearly 400 protesters.

The city handled more than 1,000 “First Amendment protests” in 2016 and has had 600 already this year, Newsham said. While most Inauguration Day protesters were law-abiding, some came to deliberately break the law, he added.


The chief urged citizens to report any police officer who acted improperly.

Writing in the conservative Washington Times, columnist Deborah Simmons, who is African American, argued that “Mr. Horse and his co-plaintiffs might have a considerable legal gripe, and we’ll have to see what a judge and jury have to say about that.

“Still, we must not be distracted. Law enforcers have a sworn duty to serve and to protect — and that duty includes protecting themselves from unchecked contraband, as well as protecting the arrested and the suspected.”


‘Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia’

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried ‘eyes only’ instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides,” Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous reported Friday for the Washington Post.


“Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. . . .”

Over a five-month interval, “the Obama administration secretly debated dozens of options for deterring or punishing Russia, including cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin and sanctions that officials said could ‘crater’ the Russian economy.

“But in the end, in late December, Obama approved a modest package combining measures that had been drawn up to punish Russia for other issues — expulsions of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds — with economic sanctions so narrowly targeted that even those who helped design them describe their impact as largely symbolic. . . .”


The story also said, “In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy. It was a case that took almost no time to solve, traced to the Kremlin through cyber-forensics and intelligence on Putin’s involvement. And yet, because of the divergent ways Obama and [President] Trump have handled the matter, Moscow appears unlikely to face proportionate consequences. . . .”

Editorial, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Congress should pass new sanctions on Russia as meddling evidence grows

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire: This, Right Here. This Is Where Obama Choked.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez at the Ramsey County, Minn., courthouse in St. Paul on May 30. (Star Tribune)


Anti-Black Racism Elevated as Topic Among Latinos

The fatal shooting of Philando Castile, who was African American, by Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is Hispanic, has prompted a conversation “about anti-black sentiment in the Latino community,” Maria Hinojosa, anchor and executive producer of NPR’s “Latino USA,” said Friday.

Hinojosa, appearing on NPR’s “1A,” said the discussion should include “not having to be white to participate in white supremacy.”


In a discussion June 17 on Latino Rebels under the headline, “Latinx Anti-Blackness Killed Philando Castile,” Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, executive director of Navigate MN, an immigrant-led organization based in Minneapolis, said:

“We call for Latinxs to protest this verdict because we will not let Officer Yanez be the face of our community. Instead he is the poster child for the real life consequences of when we let anti-Black racism go unchallenged. We want to live in a city where Black lives matter and Latinxs must be participants in making that slogan a reality.”

Marisa Feranco, co-founder and director of Mijente, a national organization of Latino activists, said on the same site, “The fear that Officer Yanez had of Philando Castile in his passenger seat is one that is taught to us and one that is prevalent in our communities. We cannot denounce him without also actively confronting Latinx anti-Blackness. It must be undone. . . .”


The Washington Post editorialized Thursday that unanswered questions in the Castile case “point to the need for an independent review by federal law enforcement to determine if his civil rights were violated and if there are systemic problems in the police force. Can the Trump administration acknowledge that need? . . .”

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz declared a mistrial in the case of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who fatally shot Sam DuBose, during a 2015 traffic stop.

Just the other day, a woman refused to take her assigned seat on an airplane between two African-American men (one of them me),” Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Byron McCauley wrote Friday. “Instead, she elected to be seated at the windowless rear of the plane. I wondered then what type of juror she would make in a case such as Tensing’s. . . .”


Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer: Urban League, Partnering Center forum to look beyond Tensing trial

Jarvis DeBerry, nola.com | Times-Picayune: Use your anger at Otto Warmbier’s death to understand anger at Philando Castile’s

Matt DeLong, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Read the transcript of officer Jeronimo Yanez’s BCA interview after the Philando Castile shooting


David French, National Review: The Unwritten Law That Helps Bad Cops Go Free

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Until these two Supreme Court cases are successfully challenged, police brutality will continue

Rubén Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Yanez’s lawyer: ‘Would you let (Castile) pull a gun on you? I wouldn’t.’


Tad Vezner, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Will federal officials further intervene after Castile? Civil rights observers think not.

Female Wall St. Journal Reporters Press Diversity

The Wall Street Journal’s staff is about as diverse as the business world the paper covers: It’s essentially run by white men,” Emily Peck reported Thursday for HuffPost. “A few star women have risen and departed over the years. And people of color are essentially missing from the top ranks.


“The situation is growing increasingly intolerable for Journal staffers, who say journalism at the paper that media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns is suffering from the overwhelming homogeneity of the newsroom.

“Earlier this month, a half-dozen female reporters at the outlet emailed Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker and his deputy Matt Murray on behalf of nearly 200 staffers, expressing their growing frustration. The email, obtained by HuffPost, pointedly notes that the leadership hasn’t meaningfully addressed two related issues: the significant pay gap between men and women, and the lack of racial diversity. . . .”

Peck also wrote, “Baker put off the reporters in an emailed response to their note.


“ ‘I will take some time to respond in greater length seriatim to your various points, many of which have great validity,’ he wrote back four days later. . . .”

Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, The Newspaper Guild, Communications Workers of America: Your Union, Your Data: More About Inequity at Dow Jones (June 13)

Critic’s Take on Chicago Violence Causes Backlash

In the last week, a petition calling on theaters to stop inviting longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss to productions “in the wake of her June 13 review of ‘Pass Over’ at Steppenwolf Theatre has garnered more than 3,500 signatures, Rick Kogan and Tracy Swartz reported Friday for the Chicago Tribune.


Hedy Weiss (WTTW-TV)

“The petition at Change.org was created by a group of local artists calling itself the Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition, which claims 70 of the city’s 200-some theaters have agreed not to offer Weiss complimentary tickets to review a show (part of a longstanding and common arrangement between theaters and arts presenters and members of the media covering their work, including the Tribune). . . .”

The Sun-Times rose Friday to Weiss’ defense in an editorial:

“To catch you up, Hedy wrote a review on June 13 of a new Steppenwolf Theatre play, ‘Pass Over,’ that has caused quite a stir in Chicago’s theater community. She described the play, a provocative reworking of ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Antoinette Nwandu, as ‘brilliantly acted’ and ‘unquestionably inspired.’


“But she also wrote this, offending more than a few members of Chicago’s theater community:

“ ‘To be sure, no one can argue with the fact that this city (and many others throughout the country) has a problem with the use of deadly police force against African-Americans. But, for all the many and varied causes we know so well, much of the lion’s share of the violence is perpetrated within the community itself.

“Nwandu’s simplistic, wholly generic characterization of a racist white cop (clearly meant to indict all white cops) is wrong-headed and self-defeating. Just look at news reports about recent shootings (on the lakefront, on the new River Walk, in Woodlawn) and you will see the look of relief when the police arrive on the scene.


“And the playwright’s final scenes — including a speech by the clueless white aristocrat who appears earlier in the story — and who could not be more condescending to Steppenwolf’s largely white ‘liberal’ audience — further rob the play of its potential impact. . . .’’

Consensus: Senate Health Bill Would Be a Setback

If there was any hope that Senate Republicans could bring some sanity into the national discussion around the future of our health care system, such hope completely vanished on Thursday,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Stanley Brezenoff wrote Friday for the Daily News in New York, reflecting commentary on opinion pages across the country.


“Like the House’s health care bill, the Senate’s proposal is nothing less than an all-out attack on public health and our public hospital system, and its consequences will be devastating for New York City and the country.

“As the Senate prepares to vote on the bill next week, it’s imperative to understand what is at stake if the federal government guts funding for public health insurance — as it is poised to do.

“The Senate is proposing to save money by slashing Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor established in 1965. Under its bill, cuts to Medicaid would be even harsher than those proposed by the House — which axes $880 billion to Medicaid over 10 years. Even worse, these efforts would push millions of Americans to the uninsured rolls. . . .”


Christy Ford Chapin, New York Times: How Did Health Care Get to Be Such a Mess?

Editorial, Boston Globe: To no one’s surprise, Senate health care bill only makes matters worse

Editorial, Dallas Morning News: GOP’s secret fast-tracking of health care is irresponsible and hypocritical


Editorial, Des Moines Register: The trickle-down economics of cutting food assistance

Editorial, Kansas City Star: Medicaid cuts would be a devastating blow for rural America

Editorial, New York Times: The Senate’s Unaffordable Care Act

Editorial, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Senate GOP health care bill fails America


Vivek Murthy, Commercial Appeal, Memphis: GOP Health bill is a disaster for opioid crisis

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Senate Republicans ready themselves for a massive theft from the poor

Mark Trahant, trahantreports.com: Don’t plan on getting sick if you’re from Indian Country


Kathy Wood-Dobbins, the Tennessean, Nashville: Funding cuts will devastate community health centers

Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Who Speaks for Muslims? Non-Muslim Journalists

In an analysis of the major newscasts of CBS, Fox and NBC, Meighan Stone, a fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy has found that “during a two-year period from 2015-2017, there was not a single month where positive stories about Muslims outnumbered negative stories,” she reported on Thursday.


“War and terrorist activities were the major focus of news reports, with ISIS serving as protagonist 75 percent of the time, while positive coverage, such as human interest stories or those depicting Muslims as productive members of society, were overlooked.

“In reports where Muslims were the focus, only 3 percent of the voices heard were those of Muslims, while [President] Trump spoke on their behalf 21 percent of the time. [Journalists had the largest say. Their sound bites accounted for 68 percent of the words.] Stories about refugees were also negative in tone; more than half of the global refugee population is Muslim. . . .”

Siddique Malik, Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.: The missing media frenzy

Who Illegally Shot Video Inside Cosby Courtroom?

State court officials said Friday they had launched an investigation after a video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to have been recorded from inside a courtroom during closing arguments at Bill Cosby’s sexual-assault trial,” Jeremy Roebuck reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer.


“The nearly two-hour film — posted under the title ‘MUST SEE — The Cosby Case Defense Closing Arguments’ — featured audio of Cosby lawyer Brian J. McMonagle’s June 12 final pitch to the jury. It’s not clear who produced it but the recording itself appears to be a violation of Pennsylvania law prohibiting transmission, photography or video recording in state courts, investigators said. . . .”

Roebuck also wrote, “The video had earned more than 140 views before it was taken off the social sharing site Thursday. It also contained photos that appeared to have been taken inside an annex courtroom with a screen where Cosby’s trial was broadcast live for an overflow crowd that didn’t have courtroom seats. That room was mostly occupied by journalists who had been credentialed to cover the trial. . . .”

blavity.com: Bill Cosby Is Planning To Teach Youth How To Avoid Sexual Assault Accusations


Alberto Luperon, lawnewz.com: Juror Thought Alleged Cosby Victim’s Bare Midriff Made Her Unbelievable

Joe Mandak and Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press: Juror says Cosby panel was concerned about ‘politics’ of case

Statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. (Wikipedia)


Richmond, Va., Mayor Wants Context With Statues

The young African American mayor of the onetime capital of the Confederacy vowed Thursday to confront his city’s towering tributes to Southern Civil War figures with words instead of wrecking balls,” Laura Vozzella reported Thursday for the Washington Post.

“Mayor Levar Stoney said he would not seek to remove the monuments lining the city’s most famous boulevard. Instead, he announced the formation of a commission to find other ways — new signage and perhaps additional monuments — to correct the ‘false narrative’ conveyed by the statues that give Monument Avenue its name. . . .”


The editorial board of the Richmond Times-Dispatch approved.

The mayoral announcement was noteworthy for what it did not advocate as well,” it said Thursday. “Stoney did not call for the destruction or the relocation of the statues. He stressed context. Removal could result from the process but probably only if opponents of reconciliation massively resist propriety. A heritage that does not address its own entirety becomes an insignia of hate. Let freedom ring!

“Mayor Stoney has given Richmond an opportunity to become a monument to civility. We hope the citizenry will rise to the occasion.”


However, columnist Michael Paul Williams, who like Stoney is African American, was not as pleased.

Stoney argued that removing monuments ‘doesn’t change race relations in our city,” Williams wrote Friday.

“I’m not so sure.

“The mayor, in his speech, delivered a powerful history on how the erection of those monuments coincided with the re-subjugation of black people in Virginia. In 1867, about 106,000 African-American men were registered to vote, he said. That number increased to 147,000 by 1902, the year Virginia held a constitutional convention that actively set out to turn back the clock on black progress.


“By 1905, there were fewer than 10,000 registered black voters in Virginia. And from the turn of the century until 1968, there would be no black legislators in the Virginia General Assembly, Stoney said.

“You can’t acknowledge that history and not concede the corrosive effect of those monuments. . . .”

David Waters, USA Today Network – Tennessee: Removing Confederate statues right and righteous


Michael Paul Williams, Richmond Times-Dispatch: Richmond could use a Loving monument (June 15)

Leavell Returns to Leadership at Black-Press Group

Dorothy Leavell (Chicago Crusader)


Dorothy Leavell, publisher of the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader newspapers, defeated incumbent Chairwoman Denise Rolark Barnes Friday to become chairperson of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the trade association for black-press publishers.

The NNPA Newswire story, posted Saturday, did not include the vote total. Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer, prevailed over Leavell by only six votes in the last election two years ago.

Both women are NNPA veterans with stellar reputations of commitment to the Black press,” Hazel Trice Edney wrote Tuesday for her Trice Edney Wire. “But Barnes and Leavell are also known for their distinctly different personalities.


“Leavell, known for her fiery speeches and fighting spirit, is a National Association of Black [Journalists] Hall of Fame inductee, who has held a number of NNPA leadership positions, including president during the late 1990s. In her campaign, she promises to fight for government and corporate advertising and to strengthen the NNPA News Wire, which in recent years has been moved from under the NNPA Foundation, a [501(c)(3) non-profit, to the association, which is a [501(c)(6)] tax-paying trade organization. . . .”

Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire: Jackie Hampton Wins Publisher of the Year, 2017 St. Louis American Dominates NNPA Merit Awards

Short Takes


— At the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference

White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason said they are ‘not satisfied’ with the White House putting a halt on their daily, on-camera briefings,” Hadas Gold reported Friday for Politico. “In an email to members of the association, Mason said he met with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. . . .”

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll finds that a majority (60%) of respondents support net-neutrality rules that would prevent ISPs from blocking, throttling and ‘prioritizing certain content,’ “ John Eggerton reported Thursday for Multichannel News. “Those are the rules the FCC is reconsidering under chair Ajit Pai. . . .”


This week, Commercial Appeal president Mike Jung announced what many of us had anticipated for months — that the building is being put up for sale and newspaper operations will move to a new location,” Otis Sanford wrote Friday for the Memphis newspaper. “. . . But rather than lament the massive changes happening there, as many loyal readers are doing, this column is my look back at five memorable moments in the history of the building. . . .”

Lester Holt has won the Radio Television Digital News Association’s 2017 Paul White Award, “which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of electronic journalism,” RTDNA announced Thursday. “At a time when journalism has faced unprecedented challenges, Lester Holt remains a trusted and steady voice,” said Vincent Duffy, chairman of RTDNA.

There is no way to sanitize what happened to 16-year-old Desiree Robinson,” Mary Mitchell wrote Friday for the Chicago Sun-Times. “Authorities say a man twice Robinson’s age pimped her out to a man who sexually abused her, beat her, then slit her throat and left her on the floor of a garage in Markham.” Mitchell wrote that because suspect Joseph Hazley, 33, allegedly used Backpage.com to get customers, the dead girl’s mother, Yvonne Ambrose, is suing Hazley, a second suspect, Backpage.com and nine other entities.


Journalist Patrice Gaines and freed inmate Christopher Turner on June 11 at the Journalists Roundtable in Washington. (Jason Miccolo Johnson)

The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 2 Thursday that the men convicted of the notorious D.C. gang murder of Catherine Fuller do not deserve a new trial because prosecutors withheld some evidence in the case,” Robert Barnes reported for the Washington Post. “It is hard to convey, more than 16 years later, the impact Catherine Fuller’s murder had on Washington,” journalist Patrice Gaines wrote in a 2001 Post article that first raised questions about the convictions,” a Post editorial noted last December. Shawn Armbrust of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which represents one of the innocent men, said in a statement, “We will continue to not only fight for these innocent men but also work to reform the woefully inadequate criminal discovery practices that allow injustices like this to continue. . . .”

A stench emerged this week from the archives of HuffPost,” Erik Wemple wrote Friday for the Washington Post. “Following the death of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who had spent 17 months in a North Korean prison before being sent home in a coma, critics alighted on a [March 2016] piece at HuffPost titled ‘North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal.’ In the story, writer La Sha lamented that Warmbier, who had gone to North Korea as part of a tour group, had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster, but provided an explanation as to how this turn of events had come about. . . .” Wemple added that various outlets “pounded HuffPost — as well as Salon and Comedy Central — for turning this story into one about white privilege, as opposed to the privilege of a North Korean tyrant. . . .”


Please join us in welcoming award-winning pollster @cornellbelcher as @NBCNews and @MSNBC political contributor,” MSNBC tweeted on Thursday, referring to Cornell Belcher, former pollster for Barack Obama.

“Flint, Mich., site of the most serious drinking water crisis in modern U.S. history, will draw hundreds of working reporters from across North America when the University of Michigan-Flint hosts the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in 2018,” the society announced on Thursday.

Apply now for the ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute hosted by NABJ Executive Suite Aug. 8-9 at the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans,” the American Society of News Editors urged on Friday, referring to the National Association of Black Journalists. “The goal of this institute is to train up-and-coming news leaders with diverse backgrounds and help them develop core strategic leadership skills. . . .”


After the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the government can’t pick and choose which trademarks it registers based on whether they offend certain people or groups, the New York Times editorial page said it is reconsidering its 2014 support for the position of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”At the time, this page supported the Trademark Office’s decision, and we still regard the Redskins name as offensive. Based on this case, however, we’ve since reconsidered our underlying position. . . .”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorialized Friday about the crisis in the Kasai area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Roman Catholic Church said Tuesday that more than 3,000 people had been killed since October. “The reluctance of international forces to interpose themselves between warring tribal groups in the DRC and South Sudan is fully understandable, even though they are well armed and well paid. At the same time, why should the international community put them there if they are not willing to play the role they are sent there to perform? The price is dead, terrorized, displaced, hungry people in the thousands.”

Cuban authorities should immediately release independent journalist Manuel Alejandro León Velázquez and return his equipment,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. “State security forces and Interior Ministry officials detained León Velázquez around 4 p.m. yesterday in the eastern province of Guantánamo,” according to his news website Diario de Cuba and the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Press.


Saudi Arabia and its allies have issued a threatening 13-point ultimatum to Qatar as the price for lifting a two-week trade and diplomatic embargo of the country, in a marked escalation of the Gulf’s worst diplomatic dispute in decades. The onerous list of demands includes stipulations that Doha close the broadcaster al-Jazeera . . .,” Patrick Wintour reported Friday for the Guardian. However, Abid Ali reported for CNBC,” ‘The State of Qatar recognizes that a decision to close Al-Jazeera will infringe on their sovereignty,’ Wadah Khanfar, the former director general of Al-Jazeera, told CNBC in a phone interview. ‘The independence of the state is at risk. If they move against Al-Jazeera what next? They will stand firm.’ . . .”

The Office of the Attorney General in Angola indicted award-winning investigative journalist Rafael Marques de Morais for ‘outrage to a body of sovereignty and injury against public authority,’ under the Law on Crimes against the State Security,” the National Endowment for Democracy reported Wednesday. “. . . Mr. Marques was indicted upon his return from Washington, DC, where he was honored, along with four other anti-corruption activists, with the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2017 Democracy Award. . . .”

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