Manic Monday Markup 8/18/14…
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.
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.
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.
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.
For those curious, what W. Florissant looks like during the day: It's just a road. pic.twitter.com/Gi7XoLn5af
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) August 18, 2014
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.
— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 18, 2014