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 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.
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.
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.
Looks like we have LOTS of candidates coming for tonight's Meet & Greet at the Central Library, 5:30 pm. Join us! http://t.co/0m9SYnJc8O
— Springfield Library (@SpfldMassLib) August 11, 2014