NEWS BRIEF October 10th (VIDEO)

 5 Top Stories In Under 5 Minutes

  • Ferguson Protestors Uneasy —
  • “Elected Officials Shouldn’t Get To Choose Who Gets To Choose Elected Officials” —
  • California Inmate Firefighters —
  • Battered Woman Shocks A Judge
  • At The War Front —
  • President Obama Saves San Gabriel Mountains —

Ferguson Protestors Uneasy

Line Of Police Advances On Protestors Photo Credit Courtesy Of: Avanduyn Public Domain

Line Of Police Advances On Protestors
Photo Credit Courtesy Of: Avanduyn Public Domain

Two months after police shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown an off-duty St. Louis police officer shot 16 bullets into another black teen, Vonderrit Myers, Jr. The controversial shooting angered the approximately 400 protestors as rows of police stood in riot gear. This morning one of those lines of police moved toward a group of shouting protesters and pepper-sprayed any who failed to leave. Tory Russell, leader of Hands Up United said,

“We never advocate violence … But I do know that people were angry last night and they will be out this weekend. I don’t know what they are going to do.”

More than 6000 people registered online for the “weekend of resistance” vigil. The US Constitution grants citizens the “right to assemble or gather peacefully.” Let’s hope that everyone respects that right.  More…

California Prison Firefighters 

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Prison Firefighters. Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Firefighters in the fight against forest fires royalty free stock photograph

Approximately half of California’s firefighters are inmates. Right now there are 4200 inmate firefighters. They live in 40 small facilities. Being a firefighter means being very physically fit and able to carry 45-70 pounds of gear. One of the firefighter prisoners said,

“At least I get out. That counts for something. We’re interracially bunked, and that taught us to get along better.”

The rehabilitation program will not accept anyone convicted of murder or arson, and there is a high level of risk. The state teaches the men survival tactics should they be overrun by flames. Half a dozen men have been injured with burns. More...

Battered Woman Shocks A Judge

The Cycle Of Abuse Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Avanduyn Public Domain

The Cycle Of Abuse
Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Avanduyn Public Domain

Victoria Phanhtarath (24) of Oklahoma faced 35 years in jail, because she didn’t protect her three-year-old daughter from her then-boyfriend. She was charged with “murder by permitting child abuse.” Prosecutors agreed to a new hearing where Phanhtarath described her own abuse. In a rare act Oklahoma State Judge Kenneth C. Watson helped the D.A. release the woman. He said,

“I’ve never had a case that has stuck with me the way this has stuck with me.”

According to BuzzFeed News at least 28 mothers have been sentenced for 10 years on the same charge. And in all those instances, the woman had been battered, too. The act of battering can ingrain a form of emotional paralysis. More…

“Elected Officials Shouldn’t Get To Choose Who Gets To Choose Elected Officials.”

Lewis Black ACLU PSA Photo Credit: Courtesy Of BLACK Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy Public Domain

Lewis Black ACLU PSA
Photo Credit: Courtesy Of BLACK Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy Public Domain

He is the perfect person to serve as the ambassador of voting rights for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lewis Black is the outraged comedian. Outraged about “efforts to suppress voters” whether by ID laws, condensing early voting dates and changing voting locations among others.

Lewis Black worked with the ACLU to create this public service announcement. Warning: Mature language.

“Elected officials shouldn’t get to choose who gets to choose elected officials. Look, people marched and fought and died for the right to vote and they want to legislate away that sacrifice to stay in power? Not on my watch, baby!”

Both Wisconsin and Texas just struck down unfair voting laws. Black also wrote a letter “to all politicians who’ve ever tried to block access to voting,” which you can read here. More…

Massacre At The War Front 

Kurd War Front Photo Credit: PJAK fightersPublic Domain Voice of America - http://youtu.be/j5W05Ijp5Yw

Kurd War Front
Photo Credit: PJAK fightersPublic Domain
Voice of America – http://youtu.be/j5W05Ijp5Yw

United Nations’ (U.N.) representative said that “thousands of people will most likely be massacred” if ISIS takes Kobani, a city on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkey border. The representative, Staffan de Mistura estimates,

“If this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred.”

The fighting in Kobani is overwhelming an ill-armed Kurdish force against ISIS. U.S. and coalition jets increased bombing. But air strikes alone will not save the city. Someone must reinforce the Kurds. More…

President Obama Saves San Gabriel Mountains 

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Neon Tommy

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Neon Tommy

We have a new national monument! President Barack Obama will name a 540-square-mile area in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles as the monument. The US Forest Service specified a total of $4.5 million for restoration, deferred maintenance and education.  U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Cal.) said on her website,

“The San Gabriel Mountains includes some of the most diverse habitats and ecosystems found in North America. These majestic peaks provide over 70% of LA County’s open space and host over 3 million visitors a year – that’s almost as many as major national parks like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.”

Chu submitted a bill to name the area a “national recreation area,” after “legislation to protect the mountains” twice failed to pass in Congress. Let’s hear it for Chu. More…

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