In the real war in eastern Ukraine, it is an inauspicious time to hold a high command in the separatist forces. Under relentless pounding by the Ukrainian military, their rebellion is crumbling. Government troops have advanced to the outskirts of Donetsk, and over the weekend broke into the rebels’ other remaining stronghold, Luhansk.
In the wake of these and other setbacks, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia appears to be maneuvering for a face-saving settlement, analysts say, a way to escape a losing situation without puncturing his strongman image or antagonizing the ultranationalists at home who were expecting him to follow up his annexation of Crimea with an invasion of Ukraine.
Step 1 has been a change in leadership. In recent weeks, in what separatist officials hopefully call the “Ukrainianization” of the leadership, almost all the original Russian leaders of the rebellion have resigned and gone home, replaced by Ukrainians of dubious qualifications.
The two bodies lay festering in the midday sun on Tuesday, some of the only remnants of the Sunni militant force that until Monday night controlled the strategically important Mosul Dam.
Around them was the evidence of not just a fierce battle but also a different sort of fight: buildings reduced to rubble; cars churned into twisted metal; mammoth craters gouged from the road.
All bore testament to the deadly effect US airstrikes were having on the militants of the Islamic State, who until this month were marauding over northern Iraq with little resistance and who two weeks ago seized control of the dam.
But as the rally was winding down and most of the protesters were leaving the area, someone among the dozens still in the streets hurled a plastic water bottle at police.
Helmeted officers, some with heavy weapons and dogs, suddenly emerged in force. They ordered the remaining protesters to leave and chased down those who resisted as more bottles were thrown. Police later said they arrested 47 people and seized several loaded firearms, but no gunshots were fired.
The confrontation capped an otherwise mostly peaceful night of demonstrations, the most tranquil in Ferguson since last Thursday, when state Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson was placed temporarily in command of a local police force widely criticized for heavy-handed tactics.
Sarah can’t even get people elected in her home state, which shows how much her political profile has eroded. That erosion is inescapable as long as her mouth is open.
A tea party attempt to overcome a mainstream Republican came up short in Alaska as former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan won the GOP primary to become his party’s candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall. Sullivan entered the primary the presumed front-runner, with the backing of national GOP powerbrokers and a huge cash advantage over his rivals.
On Tuesday night, Sullivan defeated tea party favorite Joe Miller, who made a late push reminiscent to his 2010 primary upset of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, meanwhile, was third. The race is important to Republicans nationally because Begich, a first-term incumbent Democrat, is seen as vulnerable and the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.
- Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas’s military leader, Mohammed Deif, in what the group said on Wednesday was an attempt to assassinate him after a ceasefire collapsed.
Accusing Israel of opening a “gateway to hell”, Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The attacks caused no casualties but demonstrated the Islamist movement could still bring the Gaza war to Israel’s heartland despite heavy Israeli bombardments in the five-week-old conflict.
Israel’s military said it had carried out 60 air strikes on the Gaza Strip since hostilities resumed on Tuesday, and that Palestinians launched more than 80 rocket salvoes, some intercepted by the Israeli anti-missile Iron Dome system.
In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley - and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say.
The White House must now weigh the risks of adopting an aggressive policy to destroy the Islamic State against resisting any action that could result in the death of another American.
It will also confront the potentially necessary step of pursuing the Islamic State in Syria, where President Barack Obama has resisted launching airstrikes or deploying significant American firepower.
A long piece, but I urge you to read it.
Especially in light of this horrendous killing and blatant example of out of control “law-enforcement” in Missouri. Racism is just as prevalent today as it always has been. We’re just better at covering it up and allowing pundits to rationalize the beliefs and subsequent consequences these days. To be less kind and more savvy as to pop-cultural references; we “gloss” over it, and pretend it’s all okay … until the next incident … and, again try desperately to find a way to blame the victim. Especially when the victim is a minority.
‘Cause that’s the far easier path than actually thinking that institutionalized racism, even when it is so obviously the case, exists, and could possibly be a factor … Even with, and especially with, something so ridiculously hallowed as the law enforcement profession.
Give me a friggin’ break!
Just cause they’re cops doesn’t mean they’re actually qualified to do the job! They’re people, complete with all the flaws and inadequacies that come with that curse — and more and more, we’re seeing much evidence that the qualifications for being given a badge and a gun and all of the responsibility that comes with such should be held to a far, far higher standard than apparently what qualifies now.
Then again, most of us live our lives with preconceived notions as to how the world “is” and how we feel it needs to be so as to simply allow us to exist in that same state of denial that is our zone of comfort. Therefore, we seek out only the information and sources of such that reinforce that comfort zone — and we thereby willing allow ourselves to deny the way the world actually works.
Obviously, we’ve learned nothing and as a “society”, and grown even less. I’d go so far as to say we’ve actually regressed.
As to the linked essay (which shows how little we’ve evolved):
It should be noted, also, and importantly, that America’s “hero” of the first world war, General John Pershing, absolutely refused to command those “nigger animals” who served so very proudly in that meat-grinder of a conflict. Instead, black Americans found solace and acceptance — and My God, equality — with their relegated French compatriots.
On a positive note, it was to become the spark for the French obsession with Jazz — and primarily the reason why so many of the Jazz-era greats (and many black American authors, like James Baldwin) found their ultimate acceptance in the land of “libertie”.
I have been involved with youth soccer as a parent, coach and referee for over 15 years. I’ve played club soccer and have seen the good the bad the dead and the indifferent. Had travel teams and indoor teams. This coach sums up all the right things about the game, and it could be any game in any sport, as well as I’ve ever heard. This is true sportsmanship and coaching. That is how young men grow up to be great men. They have folks like this in their lives. Never said better. Thanks Dave. You just made my day.
Two leaders of the racist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), who have followers in Boundary County, Idaho, and in nearby Bountiful, British Columbia, have been charged again with practicing polygamy.
Winston Kaye Blackmore, 57, and James Marion Oler, 49, were first charged in 2009, but those charges were dropped after a judge ruled a special prosecutor in the case had been hired improperly. But a judge ruled that Canada’s anti-polygamy law is valid and does not violate the group’s religious freedom, allowing the charges to be filed again last week.
The sect’s leader, Warren Jeffs, who has issued written orders to church members while serving a prison term in the United States for sexual offenses against young girls, has preached that black people are the descendants of Cain, “cursed with black skin” and selected by God to be the “servants” of white people.
Earlier this year, a jury in Phoenix returned a record $5.2 million award against the sect after concluding the twin cities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah - a combined community known as “Short Creek” — engaged in a pattern of religious discrimination and intimidation.
Now, in the newly filed indictment in Canada, Blackmore and Oler, who head different FLDS factions, are each charged with one count of polygamy. Two other members of the sect, Blackmore’s brother, Brandon Blackmore and his wife, Emily Ruth Gail Crossfield, are charged with child sex trafficking for offenses that allegedly occurred in February 2004.
A Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren.
Deputies were called to a disturbance Friday night in a rural community outside Raleigh. Craig Wilson had been shot in the stomach and was taken to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, said Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton. He was in fair condition Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said.
Investigators heard “numerous” reports from relatives about what might have started a confrontation between Wilson and 37-year-old Jeff Daniels, Crumpton said. Among other things, the sheriff said investigators were checking whether it might have been connected to people being upset about visits from Wilson’s mixed-race grandchildren. The children’s mother is white, and their father is black, the sheriff said.