Manic Monday Markup 8/18/14…

The Feds:

We begin today in Missouri, where the unrest in Ferguson over the fatal shooting of an 18 year-old black teen by police has prompted Gov. Jay Nixon to call in the National Guard. While demonstrations were largely peaceful, a few instigators apparently moved on the police command center last night. The New York Times reported last night on a second autopsy conducted on the slain teen, Michael Brown, showing he was hit six times, although there is still not enough information to assign blame. The federal government will conduct a third autopsy. The results of the first by St. Louis County officials have not been released and locals and some officials have grown frustrated with the pace of St. Louis prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch’s pace of investigation, namely the arrest of the officer involved Darren Wilson.

Supporters of Wilson, all but one of whom were white, many family of police, held a rally in St. Louis proper yesterday. Meanwhile, the story has been capturing an increasing amount of international attention, at one point leading the bulletins for the BBC World Service. Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday. President Obama also spoke today decrying looting and violence while saying excessive force and infringements on free speech by police are unacceptable.

…And the World:

Kurdish and the Baghdad-based Iraqi government claim that they have taken back the Mosul dam (or are close to taking), which provides water and electricity for huge swaths of the country. President Barack Obama today praised the retaking of the dam and the new government formed in Baghdad. Under the control of ISIS, the radical Islamic group, there were fears the dam might be breached and pose a danger to hundreds of thousands, including US embassy staff in Baghdad. The US provided critical air cover to degrade ISIS equipment. Yet Britain, which is now involved in more than humanitarian assistance, says the overall operation could take “weeks and months.”

Rebels in Ukraine are accused of attacking fleeing refugees, but the pro-Russian separatists deny any attack happened. Meanwhile, amidst heavy fighting in Luhansk, Ukrainian forces have claimed to raise their flag over a police station. Luhansk had been a rebel stronghold.

A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has expired, although no new attacks on either side have happened yet, although word of a new deal has hit the Internet. Israel has said it will hold its fire unless attacked. The government is also claiming it uncovered a Hamas plot to instigate a third intifada and overtake the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. I a related vein, the man who killed an Arab teen in retaliation for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens, the Washington Post reports, is the son of a rabbi.

Pope Francis in South Korea urges peace and dialogue with the North.

The death of a Brazilian presidential candidate in a plane crash roils an election, but his popularity soars. In other South American news, Julian Assange has said he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London soon and submit himself to British authorities.

The Feds (cont’d):

In non-Ferguson news, Rhode Island’s primary is just as close as Massachusetts’ and in Providence that will primary will all, but decide the mayoral contest. A briefing on that race from Rhode Island Public Radio.

A profile of Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan, most prominently) and the battles he’s waged so far. Next on the list, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Los Angeles may turn to prizes to encourage voters to show up and participate in the city’s elections.

The legal wrangling has flared up before Detroit’s historic bankruptcy trial commences late this month. The beginning of the trial has already been pushed back twice.

Vermont’s former Senator Jim Jeffords, who swung control of the US Senate briefly to the Democrats thirteen years ago, has died.

The State of Things:

The Boston Globe compares “Mahty” to de Blasio. A study in contrasts between the first few months of both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenures.

Also, the Globe‘s take on the Treasurer’s race. Oh, you didn’t know? We have that on the ballot, too. Elsewhere in statewide races, the Green Party has candidate, but not for governor this year.

West Springfield mayor Edward Sullivan has announced a golf tournament to fight hunger.

The campaign to preserve or repeal the state’s expanded gaming law has begun per the Associate Press.

Candidates for everything under the sun face off…well sorta…in 16 Acres at the Fortress of Clodotude. Ward 5 Councilor Clodo Concepcion and emperor president of the 16 Acres Civic Association moderated. Not stated in the article, but it was about what you would expect from our buddy Clo.

City Slickers:

Springfield’s two legislative contests in the House have events and articles! Masslive has details from the interview a couple of weeks back for the 9th Hampden Candidates (East Springfield, Pine Point and 16 Acres). Meanwhile, this Thursday, the Amoury-Quadrangle Civic Association will host the 10th Hampden candidates (North End, Downtown, South End and Forest Park) candidates.

Per a release from City Hall, Mayor Sarno has a new aide, Minnie Marrero. She replaced Jose Delgado, who we reported a couple of weeks ago, left the mayor’s office for a job at UMass’s Springfield center.

Okay, we’ll bite. At-large Councilor Tim Rooke is looking at the new raises that Domenic Sarno approved for city workers.

Twitter Chatter:

Today in obvious, Ferguson is the focus of this week’s Twitter Chatter and the well of candidates is quite deep. There are so many dimensions to this story and indeed Twitter may be part of the reason why it is a story (and one that must be covered). But we will focus on sentiment and contrast this week. Dozens of reporters from news agencies from around the world have descended on the St. Louis suburb, but one tweet from Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times caught our eye, showing the Florissant Avenue, the epicenter of the unrest.

The other tweet is the sentiment of Antonio French, the St. Louis alderman, who has been integral to trying to keep the peace. Quoting President Obama, he agreed that both sides must work to heal, rather than wound each other. For hitting such poignant notes, we award the tweet prize to Pearce and French. Both and the many handles they retweet are worth a read beyond what we’ve highlighted.


Manic Monday Markup 8/11/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Iraq, where political factions have settled on a new Prime Minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki. Maliki’s sectarian governance has been partly blamed for the rise of the Sunni insurgency that has swarmed across Northern Iraq. However, The New York Times says the premier may not be going quietly. Fouad Moussam, the country’s Kurdish president, has appointed Haider al-Abadi, a member of Maliki’s own Shia party, to become Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Kurds retake two towns from ISIS.

These events follow President Barack Obama’s decision to order aid drops and airstrikes on ISIS to prevent the fundamentalist group’s advance on Kurdish territory in Iraq, and, more broadly, to stop a genocide. Relatedly, British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing calls to join the military air operations in Iraq and not just drop humanitarian assistance.

Not far away in Israel and Gaza, a new 72 hour truce appears to be holding. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accused of leaving ministers in the dark on truces, while other argue Israel’s actions have forced it into doing something it opposes: negotiating with Hamas.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will apparently become his country’s first elected President, which has historically been a symbolic role. Erdogan won with a little over 50% of the vote narrowly avoiding a runoff. Under his party’s rules, he could not remain leader and thus prime minister for another term, but Erdogan’s election was seen as an attempt to stay in the spotlight and possibly change the position (altering Turkey’s government structure) into one of greater influence and power even as critics pan his heavy-handed style and bullying of the opposition and independent media.

As the tide turns against them, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine called for a cease-fire. However, a planned “humanitarian” convoy from Russia has drawn a strong rebuke from the government in Kiev and the US and Britain.

Uganda LGBT activists staged a parade after a court invalidated a law that harshly criminalized homosexuality.

The Feds:

The FBI is investigating the shooting death of a black teen in a St. Louis suburb that has touched a nerve in the region. A police officer in Ferguson, Mo. fatally shot Michael Brown in what police originally described as a struggle for the officer’s gun. That explanation was met with derision and anger, but degenerated into looting. The incident has bled into the debate over whether or not the St. Louis county and city, which are entirely different entities, should reunite. The FBI probe will be concurrent with the local police investigation.

While Hillary Clinton is getting press for criticizing President’s Obama’s foreign policy, on Iraq at least, Democrats back him including leading progressives Elizabeth Warren and Keith Ellison…for now.

Connecticut votes in its primary tomorrow. Dan Malloy is the only Democrat on the ballot, but State Senator John McKinney and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley are battling to the last vote. Meanwhile a spat erupted between New Haven US Rep Rosa DeLauro and Jonathan Pelto, an independent in the governor’s race running to Malloy’s left.

Despite some bad press in July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo still looks primed to win reelection on a walk.

Detroit asks a federal judge to end federal oversight of the once-troubled Police Department.

The State of Things:

Steve Wynn, the casino mogul angling for one of the Boston area’s casino licenses is under the microscope for playing a role in the effort to elect Charlie Baker governor.

Following its own tornado, Revere will receive federal loans to deal with the aftermath.

Holyoke Ward 2 Councilor Anthony Soto wants the Hampden County District Attorney’s office to investigate the exit agreement between the city and former City Solicitor Heather Egan. The Council referred the request to committee, but even if passed, the DA is highly unlikely to do anything until the Supervisor of Records responds to media outlets’ public records appeal. Soto is said to be planning a challenge to Mayor Alex Morse.

The Fourth Estatements:

The Guardian is under fire for carrying an ad from Nobel Laureate Ellie Weisel, which criticized Hamas and urged the British and their political leaders to stand with Israel. Similar ads appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. However, the Journal‘s sister paper in Britain, The Times, both owned by Rupert Murdoch, declined to print the ad.

City Slickers:

A new group home in the city has prompted opposition from neighbors.

Springfield City Council Finance Committee Chair Timothy Rooke is asking for more information about the raises Mayor Domenic Sarno gave to non-union employees.

Springfield held its Jazz and Roots festival over the weekend amid Enshrinement Weekend at the Hall of Fame.

Twitter Chatter:

This week’s winner might have been disposed of with the related article in under one of the above headings. However, the effort itself runs more deeply than just the story. The Springfield City Library will be holding a campaign meet and greet at the Central Branch on State Street from 5:30 to 7:30PM or a little more than an hour after posting time. With so many elections on tap this cycle, particularly locally, typical candidate stumps can get a little unwieldy. The Library took a different path with a meet and greet. Today we award the Tweet Prize to the Springfield Library for its civic engagement, particularly via social media like Twitter. By their own count, 39 campaigns for state and local office are expected to attend. That’s quite a bit. They even have their own hashtag for the event: #opebookmapoli.