Okavango, Africa wildlife video

This 1 January 2019 video from Botswana says about itself:

The Okavango River Basin provides a vital source of water to about one million people and abundant and diverse wildlife populations. However, this once untouched oasis is now at risk as human activity encroaches. Come face to face with lions, hippos, wild dogs, and more in the final episode of The Okavango Experience, as the team returns from this incredible wilderness.


New York Times abuses #MeToo to smear Bernie Sanders

This 3 January 2019 video from the USA is called New York Times Smears Bernie 2020 As Sexist.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

The New York Times’ #MeToo smear against Bernie Sanders

5 January 2018

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a lengthy front-page article alleging that Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was rife with sexism and discrimination against female campaign staffers. The article, headlined “For Bernie Sanders, Claims of Sexism in 2016 Campaign Hang Over 2020 Bid”, has all the earmarks of a politically motivated fabrication.

It is an amalgam of vague and unsubstantiated accusations, none of them alleging sexual assault or any other form of criminal behavior. For the most part, the actions described are at worst boorish. The accused who are named all deny the charges, making it impossible for the reader to determine the truth of the allegations.

Timed to coincide with the opening of the campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the article represents an effort by the Times, which speaks for the dominant factions of the Democratic Party and the forces on Wall Street and in the military/intelligence establishment with which the Democrats are allied, to torpedo a potential presidential run by the Vermont senator. …

The Times article is an attack on Sanders from the right. It is motivated by fear of the growth of working-class struggles and the development of class-conscious opposition to the entire political establishment and capitalism.

In the 2016 election, Sanders won mass support by presenting himself as a socialist and basing his primary campaign on an appeal to class issues—wages, jobs and hatred of the corporate-financial oligarchy. …

Under conditions today of a convergence of economic and geopolitical crises and the greatest crisis of class rule in the US since the Civil War—and amidst a resurgence of the class struggle in the United States and internationally—the Times is determined to banish anything from the 2020 campaign that might arouse the seething anger of workers and young people.

Politico Accused Of Anti-Semitism Over Bernie Sanders ‘Money Tree’ Graphic: here.

Squirrel species in North Carolina, USA

This 6 January 2019 video from North Carolina in the USA says about itself:

Four squirrel species come to the deck each day to eat in the Great Smoky Mountains – compared to Florida which only has Grays – Chipmunk, Flying Squirrels, Gray Squirrels and Red Squirrels visit up north – and the Red Squirrel rules the daytime. Actually Groundhogs are in the yard and they are a fifth member of the squirrel family, but they don’t come up on the Deck – yet!

Religious homophobia in the Netherlands

This 30 July 2018 BBC video says about itself:

The American Preacher [Steven Anderson] Spreading Hate

Director Hannah Livingston spends six months tracking two of America’s most radical Christian hate groups – including a notorious pastor from Arizona who has been banned from the UK.

This film shows how America’s constitutional right to free speech allows these groups to spread homophobia in an increasingly polarised and divided political climate. Drawing on a literal interpretation of the Bible, the pastor opens new churches in America and influences people around the world by broadcasting his sermons over the internet. America’s Hate Preachers is shown on BBC One on 31st July.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Hundreds of orthodox Protestant pastors, preachers and politicians have signed a text that is strongly against homosexuality. The pamphlet states that “God meant marriage as a lifelong covenant relationship between one man and one woman.”

It concerns the Dutch translation of the Nashville declaration, a document that was drawn up in 2017 in the United States. …

The tone in the Dutch version, titled A joint declaration on biblical sexuality, is strongly anti-LGBTQ. Eg, article 10 of the document states: “We affirm that it is sinful to approve homosexual uncleanness or transgenderism.” …

The declaration claims faithful Christians should not disagree about the supposedly evident evilness of homosexuality.

In addition, a suggestion is made that homosexuals and transgender people can be cured of their sexual orientation. …

In addition to mainly preachers, the declaration was also signed by SGP

theocratic political party

party leader Kees van der Staaij, SGP senator Diederik van Dijk

This 8 January 2019 video is a musical parody about Kees van der Staaij’s homophobia.

and former election candidate of the Christian Union

orthodox Protestant party, slightly less theocratic than the SGP

Orlando Bottenbley. …

On social media, the pamphlet gets applause, but far more criticism. Several preachers and other prominent Protestants say they will never sign it.

This tweet, by Maaike Kardinaal, says (translated):

Hundreds of preachers who speak out against my marriage. Already married for 16 years with my beautiful and sweet wife. I just can not imagine that a loving God can be against that. Only grumpy old lonely men.

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s partial victory

This 13 May 2016 video says about itself:

10th Anniversary: Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal plus Paris May Day

Powerful report of special commemoration of naming of French street after Mumia. Betsey Piettte of IAC refers to slide show (not visible) and also report & video of Paris May Day 2016.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

Mumia Abu-Jamal wins right to reargue appeal of his 1982 conviction

5 January 2019

In a significant legal victory for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a ruling by a Pennsylvania Superior Court judge on December 27 gives the long-imprisoned activist and journalist a new chance to appeal his 1982 conviction for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther who spent nearly 30 years on death row before prosecutors agreed in 2011 to a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Justice Leon Tucker issued a 37-page opinion last week that concluded, as reported by the Associated Press, that former Justice Ronald Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should have recused himself from a 2012 appeal rejecting Abu-Jamal’s final appeal. Tucker, pointing to numerous statements made by Castille when he was Philadelphia District Attorney between 1986 and 1991, advocating the death penalty in cases of killing of police officers, cited the “appearance of bias”.

At the same time, however, Tucker rejected other arguments presented by Abu-Jamal’s attorneys—that Castille had played a “significant” role, when he was DA, in the appeal of the original conviction, before going on to rule on the appeal as a judge.

Castille had received campaign contributions from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which had loudly dismissed all claims that the defendant had not received a fair trial and had pushed for Abu-Jamal’s execution. Tucker relied on a US Supreme Court ruling in 2016 that Castille should have recused himself in a similar case. It was this decision that spurred the latest effort by Abu-Jamal’s attorneys. Tucker, in his opinion, said Abu-Jamal should be given another chance to argue his innocence in front of the state’s high court, now that Castille is no longer a sitting judge.

Abu-Jamal, now 63 years old, has spent well over half his life behind bars after his conviction and sentencing in the 37-year-old case, which Amnesty International, among numerous other advocates and observers, has charged was tainted by unfairness and racial bias.

A national and international campaign has been waged on behalf of Abu-Jamal, who became a focus of attention and opposition to the outrages that characterize the “criminal justice” system in the US, especially in the application of the death penalty. It was reinstated in 1976, part of the rapid shift to the right by the political and judicial authorities after the labor, civil rights and antiwar struggles of the 1960s and the defeat of US imperialism in Vietnam.

The original trial of Abu-Jamal took place in the early years of the Reagan administration, amid a law-and-order frenzy that would soon lead to the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world. Defense attorneys have brought forward evidence of many instances of flagrant misconduct in Abu-Jamal’s case, including an affidavit of a court stenographer that the trial judge in the case, Albert Sabo, had declared, “Yeah, I’m going to help ’em fry the nigger.” Sabo presided over a trial in which important eyewitness testimony was excluded, confessions were fabricated, and the defendant himself was excluded from most trial proceedings.

It was not until 2008 that Abu-Jamal’s original death sentence was thrown out, with an appeals court ruling that found that jury instructions in 1982 had been fundamentally flawed. Abu-Jamal remained on death row, however, after the US Supreme Court overturned the appeals court in 2010. Amidst continuing litigation, prosecutors finally agreed to reduce the penalty to the life sentence several years later.

During his long stretch of imprisonment, Abu-Jamal has continued to write as well as to speak on Prison Radio. He attracted attention with his 1995 book Live From Death Row. His latest book was published in 2017 and has a foreword by well-known journalist Chris Hedges.

Abu-Jamal has also suffered from severe health problems, exacerbated by neglect and inadequate treatment in prison. A recent “Democracy Now” radio program reported that he was diagnosed with hepatitis C and had obtained the necessary treatment only after a successful lawsuit.

The police union, prominently assisted by Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the slain officer, has kept up a vitriolic campaign against Abu-Jamal, and has received bipartisan support in this campaign from the political establishment in Pennsylvania. In 2014 the state legislature went so far as to pass a “revictimization” law, in response to a recorded commencement speech that Abu-Jamal had delivered at a Vermont college. The bill forbade prisoners, even in some cases those not yet convicted, from speaking or acting in ways that would “re-traumatize” victims of crimes. A state judge threw out the law in 2015 as “manifestly unconstitutional.”

Civil rights lawyer David Rudovsky, who worked on an early Abu-Jamal appeal, was quoted by the Associated Press on various elements of the Abu-Jamal case that point to ongoing police and prosecutorial wrongdoing and discrimination.

“The race bias, the judicial bias, the questions of identification and prosecutorial commentary or misconduct—we’re still struggling with them”, said Rudovsky, a University of Pennsylvania law professor.

Abu-Jamal’s attorneys have 30 days within which to file a notice of appeal to reargue his original conviction before the state’s highest court. At the same time, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner must make a decision on whether to appeal Judge Tucker’s decision. Krasner was elected in 2017 as a liberal, promising various criminal justice reforms. He has stopped requiring cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felony charges.