Skittles, I eat them! Iced tea, I drink that! Trayvon Martin, I am that!
Front Page— June 25, 2013
- SCOTUS Strikes Down Key Section of Voting Rights Act: In a decision that will have major repercussions for future elections, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which mandated which regions with a history of racial discrimination had to get federal approval for changes in election law.
- Defense: Block Zimmerman’s Calls: Prosecutors in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial sought on Monday to have the self-appointed neighborhood vigilante’s previous calls to police be admitted into evidence, while the defense has tried to block them as irrelevant to the case at hand.
- U.S. to Russia: ‘Do the Right Thing’: Hope Edward Snowden is enjoying those long June nights in Moscow—Washington doesn’t want him to stay there much longer. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged Russia to “do the right thing” and return the fugitive leaker, who is believed to still be in Moscow despite rumors Monday that he had boarded a flight to Cuba en route to Ecuador.
- Gunmen Attack Afghan Palace: Gunmen attacked the Afghan presidential palace early Tuesday morning while reporters were present for a press event with President Hamid Karzai, according to Reuters. Explosions and gunfire reportedly shook the city center and debris was visible.
- Turkish Police Arrest 20 Protesters: Turkey on Tuesday cracked down on the widespread protests that have swept the country since May, detaining 20 people in Ankara. The protests began as demonstration against a planned development on a park in Istanbul, but turned into a massive statement against Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan—and there have been daily demonstrations in the capital since then.
PHOTO: The season for pineapples (yakuza slang for hand grenades) may finally be over. Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky on the bloody, seven-year battle between the Dojin-kai and the Seido-kai. Read more here.
Frontpage— June 24, 2013
- Snowden Not on Flight to Cuba: Is he just wearing a mustache or hiding in the drink cart? NSA leaker Edward Snowden is so far a no-show on what Russian officials said would be his flight to Havana on Monday—which also happens to be packed with journalists. He may be heading to Ecuador.
- Report: Snowden Took Job to Get NSA Intel: The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that the fugitive leaker said he had taken a job as an independent contractor at Booz Allen Hamilton for one reason: to gather information about NSA’s surveillance program.
- Zimmerman Family Booted From Court: George Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder trial kicked off on Monday with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, giving a statement and the judge removing Zimmerman’s family from the courtroom since they could be potential witnesses.
- Silvio Berlusconi Guilty in Sex Case: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly been convicted of abusing his power by engaging in sex-for-hire and sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from holding political office.
- SCOTUS Punts on Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred ruling on the merits of affirmative action, instead sending the case back down to a lower court. The suit, Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, revolved around whether the university could use race as a factor in admissions decisions. The court will revisit the issue sometime next year.
PHOTO: A boy plays on a TV news stage across from Mandela’s former home. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
Frontpage: Thursday, May 24th
- Inquiry Grills Murdoch Lobbyist: News Corp. lobbyist Frédéric Michel appeared before the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press on Thursday to answer allegations that he communicated with an adviser to the British culture minister, who was overseeing News Corp.’s $12 billion bid to take over the cable company BSkyB. Michel admitted to exchanging phone calls, texts, and email messages with Adam Smith, the government aide, though he denied knowledge that Smith was feeding his communications to the culture minister.
- Egypt Votes for Second Day: Egyptians returned to the polls on Thursday for the second day of voting in the country’s first free election since ousting former President Hosni Mubarak last year. Lines at the polls were not as long as Wednesday, although Egyptian authorities proclaimed Thursday a holiday to allow public-sector employees access to vote.
- Zimmerman Criticized Cops in 2011: George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer who has been charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, apparently criticized Sanford police last year after he went on a 12-hour ride-along, according to recordings from an open city forum. “What I saw was disgusting,” Zimmerman told mayor-elect Jeff Triplett, who held the forum following a scandal that ousted former police chief Brian Tooley.
- Europe to Greece: Stay in the Euro: It’s been a tumultuous few weeks in Europe. And now that it looks like Greece might leave the euro zone, other European leaders are planning for what could be explosive markets to follow. Most countries agreed that they should issue bonds to help members in financial turmoil, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Greece would have to “uphold the commitments it has made.”
- Suspect Confesses to Strangling Etan Patz: A New Jersey man reportedly confessed to police that he strangled Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who disappeared in 1979, and hid his body in a box, officials told The New York Times on Thursday.
Photo via picturedept:
Photographer Jon Lowenstein took this wonderful photo of last weekend’s anti-NATO demonstrations in Chicago. Lowenstein, who recently received a Guggenheim fellowship, has spent a decade photographing the people and neighborhoods in the South Side of Chicago. Last month, on assignment for Newsweek/Daily Beast, he photographed South Side neighborhoods hit by a dramatic rise in crime and gang violence. View that work here. And you can see many more of Jon’s photographs here.
Frontpage: Monday, April 23rd
- Dutch Prime Minister Steps Down: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet tendered their resignations Monday as budget talks in the Netherlands fell through. Rutte and the Dutch Parliament will meet Tuesday to schedule new elections.
- Zimmerman Released on $150K Bail: George Zimmerman walked out of the Seminole County jail just after midnight Monday morning after posting $150,000 bail. Zimmerman put up $15,000 (10 percent) of the bail total to be released and was headed to an undisclosed location that could be outside of Florida.
- Walmart Shares Fall on Bribery Probe: Walmart’s stock fell 3.1 percent in premarket trading Monday after a weekend New York Times article uncovered an internal investigation into bribery at the retailer’s Mexican operations.
- Obama Embraces Executive Power: With Congress deadlocked, President Obama is increasingly resorting to executive orders and recess appointments to achieve his objectives. Last fall, after the summer’s debt-deal negotiations, Obama told aides they needed to do be more aggressive about executive power and coined the slogan “We can’t wait.”
- North Korea Promises to Turn Seoul to Ashes: North Korea’s rhetoric is becoming increasingly violent following its failed rocket launch. The country’s military threatened Monday to turn parts of Seoul to ashes using “special actions.” The actions, according to the military, “will reduce all … to ashes in three or four minutes … by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style.”
Photo: One year ago, photographer Tim Hetherington was killed by Gaddafi’s forces in Libya. These are his final images.
Frontpage: Monday, April 16th
- Lawyers: Open Zimmerman File: Media outlets including NBC and The New York Times filed Monday to have the court records unsealed in the case against George Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder after shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Court files are normally considered public records in the Sunshine State, but a judge sealed Zimmerman’s file last week.
- Obama, DNC Net $53M in March: More supporters of President Obama are preparing to let their money do the talking for them as his reelection campaign goes into gear. Obama and the Democratic National Committee scooped up $53 million in March, the two announced in a video Monday, a $9 million increase over February and a nearly $14 million jump from January.
- Breivik Claims Self-Defense: Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in Norway last summer, claimed he did so in self-defense. “I acknowledge the acts but do not plead guilty, and I claim I was doing it in self-defense.” Breivik’s trial moved forward after an expert found him sane, overruling an earlier diagnosis.
- Karzai Faults NATO for Attacks: Afghan President Hamid Karzai pointed a finger at NATO for attacks by militants in Kabul and elsewhere in the country Sunday that left 51 people dead. “The terrorists’ infiltration in Kabul and other provinces is an intelligence failure for us and especially for NATO and should be seriously investigated,” Karzai told reporters Monday.
- Scorching Temperatures at Boston Marathon: This isn’t a good sign: because of scorching weather in Boston, organizers of the city’s marathon asked participants to consider sitting it out. The 27,000 runners had low-70s temperatures as the race began, but forecasts call for temperatures to hit the mid-80s by the race’s end.
Photo: Orthodox Christians take part in the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Nir Elias / Reuters-Landov)
Frontpage: Thursday, April 12th
- Romney Struggles to Close Gender Gap: In the wake of Rick Santorum’s departure from the presidential race, Mitt Romney’s campaign contended with the former Massachusetts governor’s struggle to win female voters. On the first day of the campaign’s strategy to turn criticism of Romney back on Obama, Romney repeatedly touted the misleading claim that 92 percent of job losses under Obama affected women.
- U.N. Ceasefire Holds in Syria: A U.N.-brokered peace agreement appeared to hold Thursday after the government of Bashar al-Assad halted attacks on rebel forces ahead of the planned deadline. But the country’s defense ministry reserved the right to retaliate against “armed terrorist groups,” casting doubt on the agreement’s longer-term viability.
- Ann Romney Joins Twitter to Respond to Hilary Rosen’s Comments: Solid Storify from the Washington Post.
- Zimmerman Due in Court Thursday: A lawyer for George Zimmerman, the Florida man who killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin during a neighborhood watch patrol, said his client will plead not guilty to second degree murder charges announced Wednesday.
- Weekly Jobless Claim Up: The number of Americans filing for unemployment rose in the first week in April, bringing the total number of jobless claims up to the highest levels since January. The news came shortly after the economy showed signs of slowing March, with only 120,000 jobs added.
Photo: Orlando based attorney Mark O’Mara (left) has just stepped in a blinding public spotlight as the new lead defense attorney for the man sensationally charged with murdering 17 year old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman (right). Here’s
are our article on O’Mara. (AP Photo)
The simple truth is that what happened in Sanford, Florida, is a tragedy law cannot mend. It is a tragedy produced by our culture itself—a culture where racial divides and distrust remain as prevalent as they were when Rodney King, a black man, was beaten by white police officers in 1991, or when Abner Louima, another black man, was beaten and sodomized in 1997 by police officers in a Brooklyn police station.
Photo: Orange County Jail / Miami Herald / AP Photos