Irish religious children’s mass graves scandal

This 9 June 2020 video says about itself:

Ireland’s Mother and Baby Scandal (Part 1) | People and Power

Content warning: Some viewers may find this film distressing

Six years ago, Catherine Corless, a local historian from County Galway in the Republic of Ireland, discovered that hundreds of babies and young children had died in a home for unmarried pregnant women, run by Roman Catholic nuns in her hometown of Tuam.

Further research revealed that many of the babies had died of malnutrition and other forms of neglect. Most of their bodies had been disposed of, officially unrecorded, in an old septic tank buried in the grounds of the home.

Angry survivors and relatives called for an investigation – for the remains to be exhumed, identified and properly buried, for compensation and immediate government action. Concerned families began to ask questions about other homes run by the Church in Ireland and how many other babies had died in equally mysterious circumstances.

In 2015, in response to publicity and pressure in Dail Eireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament, the government announced it was setting up an official Commission of Investigation. The body was required to provide answers by 2018. Indeed, some modest interim findings have since been released, but two years since its official publication date, the full report has still not seen the light of day.

This June, partially in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the report was again delayed until October 2020.

In its absence, the suspicion, frustration and anger of relatives have mushroomed. And the once shameful secret of a single small rural town is developing into a broader and more profound national scandal; an affair which goes to the heart of the close relationship between successive Irish governments and the Catholic Church.

In two special episodes of People and Power, from filmmakers Callum Macrae, Mark Williams and Al Jazeera correspondent Laurence Lee, we investigate deeply disturbing allegations that both the Irish state and its religious orders were responsible for a systematic decades-long regime of institutional neglect and exploitation involving the death of thousands of children.

Rape suspect becomes new French Interior Minister

This French TV video says about itself (translated):

Gérald Darmanin, first day under pressure

Barely appointed, already controversial: Gérald Darmanin is a new, already weakened Minister of the Interior. Accused of rape, still under investigation, he attracts the wrath of feminist associations which have multiplied their demonstrations throughout the day. They demand his resignation. A BFMTV document of Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

By Ben Chacko, 8 July 2020:

French Prime Minister defends appointment of Interior Minister facing rape charge

FRANCE’S new Prime Minister, Jean Castex, today defended his appointment of Gérald Darmanin as Interior Minister despite the latter facing a rape charge.

Mr Castex said the charges against Mr Darmanin weren’t relevant as everybody is innocent until proven guilty.

Feminist organisations led protests in Paris on Tuesday over his appointment and that of new Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, who attacked the #MeToo movement against rape and sexual harassment, complaining that “crazy” women were “crucifying” men on social media, and condemned France’s 2018 ban on street harassment of women as a “joke”.

Like new right-wing Prime Minister Castex, Darmanin is a former acolyte of discredited right-wing ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Jeffrey Epstein’s Ghislaine Maxwell to another jail

This 8 July 2020 video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

A look into Ghislaine Maxwell’s life behind bars l GMA

Maxwell is being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, just across the East River from the prison where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

Jeffrey Epstein’s confidante Ghislaine Maxwell relocated to federal jail in New York City

8 July 2020

Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime partner of convicted sex offender and wealthy New Yorker Jeffrey Epstein, has been relocated to a federal jail in Brooklyn where she will appear via remote video before a Manhattan judge on July 14.

Federal Bureau of Prison officials disclosed on Monday that Maxwell was transferred from Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn but did not say on what day she was relocated. Prosecutors have indicated that Maxwell is a flight risk and any request for bail will be denied.

On July 2, US Department of Justice officials announced that Maxwell had been arrested and charged on four counts of enticing minors to engage in illegal sexual activity and two counts of perjury, in connection with her role in grooming girls as young as 14 for abuse by Epstein and to be trafficked in his international sex ring during the 1990s.

Last year, Jeffrey Epstein was awaiting trial on multiple counts of sex trafficking and abuse of minors when he was found dead in his jail cell in the Manhattan Correction Center on August 10. Although the New York City medical examiner determined that Epstein committed suicide by hanging, the circumstances at the prison indicated and the opinion of other medical experts was that he had been strangled to death.

Although authorities, including Attorney General William Barr, claimed at the time that a vigorous investigation of Epstein’s sexual abuse of young girls would be continued, it took nearly eleven months for Maxwell to be arrested

One of the reasons given for the delay was that authorities were uncertain where Maxwell was or if she was even in the United States. However, more than twenty armed agents and police reportedly raided her million-dollar mansion called Tucked Away on a 156-acre property in rural Bradford, New Hampshire on July 2, breaking down the front door and bringing Maxwell out in handcuffs.

According to the unsealed indictment, between 1994 and 1997, Maxwell and Epstein, “enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residences in different states, which Maxwell knew and intended would result in their grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse. Moreover, in an effort to conceal her crimes, Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct, including in relation to some of the minors described herein, when providing testimony under oath in 2016.”

Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, is the youngest daughter of the British media baron Robert Maxwell, who owned the Mirror Group Newspapers before he drowned under suspicious circumstances near his yacht called Lady Ghislaine in the North Atlantic off the coast of the Canary Islands in 1991.

Shortly after Robert’s death, Ghislaine moved to New York City and met the investment advisor, multimillionaire and well-connected socialite Jeffrey Epstein with whom she developed a close relationship.

Over the next two decades, Maxwell and Epstein—with her connections to European royalty and wealthy elite and with his connections to US celebrities and the financial and political elite—established a social network through lavish parties and get-togethers at Epstein’s residences in Palm Beach, Manhattan, New Mexico and his private island in the US Virgin Islands that involved sex with young girls.

A measure of the connections that Epstein had was revealed on Tuesday when the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $150 million in fines to settle allegations that it “inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions,” despite knowing Epstein’s “terrible criminal history.”

According to a report in the Washington Post, “The German bank’s ties to Epstein began in 2013, years after the billionaire pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges in Florida, according to the consent decree filed by the New York regulator. Deutsche Bank knew about Epstein’s past, classifying him as a ‘high-risk’ client, but also considered the relationship potentially lucrative—$100 million to $300 million in revenue over time.”

In 2014, the report says, bank officials met with Epstein at his New York City mansion after reports emerged about his activities. “The bank ultimately decided to continue doing business with Epstein but established new safeguards, which were largely ignored, according to the consent decree.” The bank processed more than $7 million in settlement payments that Epstein made to alleged coconspirators.

Clearly, the role of Deutsche Bank is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate, financial and government participation in facilitating and covering up Epstein’s criminal activities. In 2008, after dozens of young girls had given statements to Palm Beach law enforcement officials that Epstein had both sexually abused them and also paid them to help recruit a network of teenagers for his trafficking operation, the federal government intervened and blocked the local case from going forward.

At that time, US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta, worked out a plea deal with Epstein’s legal team that included a “non-prosecution agreement” stipulating that Epstein and none of his coconspirators could be charged in the future for any crimes related to his guilt in “procuring a minor for prostitution.” Ghislaine Maxwell was named as one of his coconspirators in that agreement.

Kurd murdered for refusing fighting in Libya

This 26 December 2019 video says about itself:

Libya is in a state of chaos as rival governments compete for power, human smuggling runs rampant, and black markets thrive with everything from oil to hard currency. The international community is backing the Government of National Accord, which maintains a tenuous hold on the capital. But the government’s survival depends on warring militias, many of whom are paid to police the smuggling they themselves are involved in.

VICE News’ Isobel Yeung travels across Libya to see how the Libyan revolution is failing.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Kurdish man found hanged after refusing to fight in Libya

A YOUNG Kurdish man was found hanged from a walnut tree in front of his house in Afrin, northern Syria, on Saturday.

Local sources said that he was killed for refusing to go to Libya to fight for Turkish-backed mercenaries.

Mihemed Mistefa Yusif, who was just 18, was found dead in the village of Merkan where his family had been forced to relocate after militia from the Liwa Samarkand brigade confiscated their home in Hec Qasim.

Billionaire sexual abuser Epstein’s accomplice Maxwell arrested

This 2 July 2020 video says about itself:

Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI

Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who was accused by many women of helping procure underage sex partners for Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said.

Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein, was taken into custody at about 8:30am local time in the state of New Hampshire, said FBI spokesman Marty Feely.

Epstein killed himself

Dear Al Jazeera: it is still not certain whether Epstein committed suicide, or that he was ‘suicided’, eg, to protect the reputations of one or more of the powerful people in Epstein’s network: Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, British Prince Andrew, etc. Reputations which might have suffered if Epstein would have gone on trial.

in a federal detention centre in New York last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell has been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.

Many of these accusations did not so far, indeed. However, he was convicted in 2008, though his punishment then was basically a slap on the wrist.

FOX NEWS EDITS TRUMP OUT OF EPSTEIN PHOTO Fox News on Sunday repeatedly featured a well-known photo of convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein posing with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago — but Trump was edited out of the image. However, Trump’s then-future wife, Melania Knauss, was not cropped from the photo. The segment focused on longtime Epstein associate and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell — also in the photo — who allegedly recruited and groomed teenage sex victims for Epstein. [HuffPost]

German elite soldiers’ neo-nazi scandal continues

This 28 May 2020 video is called Germany’s KSK commando unit in turmoil over neo-Nazi infiltration.

Translated from Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS radio correspondent in Germany, 30 July 2020:

After a series of right-wing extremist incidents and whistleblower warnings, the Ministry of Defense is going to do something about the army’s German elite unit, the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK). A company [the second company] within the KSK will be immediately disbanded, international missions will be immediately cancelled. Elite soldiers who are currently abroad will be brought back to Germany.

The KSK has been in the news in recent years due to right-wing extremist incidents. Three years ago, it turned out that KSK soldiers

‘Soldiers’ may mean privates. But in this case, it was about senior officers.

do the Hitler salute at parties and listen to right-wing extremist music. In recent times, a KSK soldier was arrested, among other things, because he had built up a weapons arsenal at home and accused of having prepared an armed attack.

Culture of looking away

In early June, an officer in the unit sent an urgent letter to the Secretary of Defense in which he wrote that there was a culture of looking away. Right-wing extremist views, he wrote, are ignored and even tolerated.

One of the training officers is said to be openly neo-Nazi and nicknamed himself Y-88. 88 stands for ‘Heil Hitler’, as the eighth letter of the alphabet. The trainer was only fired after more than ten years. People like that are no exceptions, according to the officer. He called on the minister to tackle the ‘uncontrollable swamp’.

The ministry has submitted to the KSK a list of more than 60 requirements for reform. Not only is a company dissolved and international missions scrapped, all soldiers will also be questioned again about their views.

Furthermore, there will be more supervision of the training and the weapons stocks will be more strictly controlled. Inspections revealed that tens of thousands of ammunition and kilos of explosives had disappeared. Military intelligence must from now on also cooperate with the ‘ordinary’ secret service.

There are extreme rightists in the military intelligence, but there are also extreme rightists in the civilian secret service with which it must now cooperate.

Self-cleaning ability

The problem with right-wing extremism has been going on for a long time and something really needs to change now, the ministry thinks. “If the KSK does not prove that it has a self-cleaning ability, the question is whether it should continue to exist in this form,” State Secretary of Defense Tauber wrote in the letter to the Bundestag. The unit has until October to make improvements.

See also here. And here.

COVID-19 and right-wing politicians, France and Britain

This 29 June 2020 video says about itself:

France ex-PM Fillon awaits verdict over corruption case

A verdict is expected in the corruption trial of former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

He faces up to five years in jail but says the scandal is a political smear campaign.

Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler reports from Paris.

UPDATE: today, Fillon was sentenced to five years imprisonment, of which three years are on probation. His wife got three years on probation.

Now, to Fillon’s equally right-wing successor, Edouard Philippe.

Why scientists say wearing masks shouldn’t be controversial. Cloth face coverings help curb the spread of the coronavirus, studies suggest.

This French tweet is about right-wing Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at an election meeting.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who helped shape the coronavirus policy, surrounded himself in a room with supporters, without anyone wearing a mask. Then he called for ‘a party’.

Across the country, there were busy meetings where people cheered and cheered and where local winners took off their masks in sweaty rooms in front of the cameras.

When President Macron cast his vote, he was closely surrounded by crowded people. Macron‘s party, however, lost a lot of votes in the municipal elections.

Also from NOS radio:

Johnson: Now no investigation into what went wrong

British Prime Minister Johnson does not yet think it is the time for an investigation into what went wrong with tackling the coronavirus. … In the United Kingdom, after the United States and Brazil, most people died from the effects of a Covid-19 infection.

Johnson, who was in intensive care with a coronavirus infection, called the outbreak a disaster and a nightmare. Last week, he was criticized by a group of leading health care experts. They warned in an open letter that the country is insufficiently prepared for a second wave of contamination.

The call came a day after Johnson announced that from Saturday, July 4, the British will be allowed to go to restaurants, pubs and hairdressers’ again. The distance measure is also relaxed from two to one meter.

THE ONE-METRE distancing rule is to be abandoned in schools when they open in September, the Tory government announced yesterday to the alarm of teachers, pupils and parents alike. Yet, if parents refuse to send their children back to school, because they feel it is unsafe to do so, they will be fined: here.

Breonna Taylor murdered, mourner murdered, Louisville, USA

This 28 June 2020 video from Kentucky in the USA says about itself:

Kentucky Shooting! Armed Man Showers Protesters With Bullets!

Warning: this is graphic. A white man opened fire on a group of peaceful protestors in Louisville, Kentucky, today. Local reports claim there are multiple victims.

Louisville, Kentucky, USA protest against police murde of Breonna Taylor

The people attacked by that gunman are protesting against police murdering local healthcare worker Breonna Taylor, shot eight times for sleeping while black.

This 27 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

[White supremacist] ‘Armed militia’ group rumored to counter-protest in Louisville

As rumors about an armed militia group coming to downtown Louisville continue to circulate, LMPD has made plans to close some streets.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Man shot dead in Kentucky anti-racism protest

In Louisville, Kentucky, a man opened fire on protesters last night. A man was hit and died of his injuries, a second victim was taken to hospital injured.

In the park where the attack took place, a protest was in progress following the death of Breonna Taylor in March this year. The 26-year-old black woman was killed in her home by police bullets. …

The police have not yet revealed anything about the circumstances of the shooting incident last night. It is also not clear whether the gunman was arrested or identified. …

George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in late May has also sparked protests against racism and police brutality in Louisville. The case of Breonna Taylor was also put into the spotlight again.

The agents who were involved in the raid on her house in March had a so-called ‘no-knock warrant’, which allowed them to invade without notice. …

After Taylor’s death, the city council put an end to the no-knock warrants.

Juan de Oñate, ‘hero’ of 21st-century racists

This 16 June 2920 video from New Mexico in the USA says about itself:

Albuquerque Police Department identifies man arrested in connection to shooting of protester near Juan de Oñate statue in Albuquerque.

By Jacob Crosse in the USA:

New Mexico protester wounded by far-right shooter

17 June 2020

Just over three weeks after President Donald Trump gave a fascistic speech in the White House Rose Garden, proclaiming himself the president of “law and order” while calling on the military and police to “dominate the streets”, right-wing militia groups and fascist bands have taken up the president’s call and are coordinating with local officials and police departments across the country to intimidate, harass, attack, and in some cases, shoot peaceful demonstrators.

In Albuquerque, an anti-racist protester was shot by a former [pro-Trump Republican] city council candidate, Steve Baca, 31, during a protest Monday evening over the “La Jornada” sculpture at Tiguex Park in the city’s downtown. The monument features horse-mounted conquistador Juan de Oñate. Oñate is despised, particularly by Native Americans, for his role in the Acoma Massacre of 1599.

Baca, the son of a former Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy, was safely escorted from the scene of the protest by police Monday evening after shooting protester Steve Williams at least once in the torso. Baca was not formally charged and arrested until Tuesday morning according to the criminal complaint filed by the Albuquerque Police Department.

Baca ran for city council in 2019, garnering six percent of the vote. According to a campaign flyer, if elected, Baca promised to “crackdown on crime” and let “police officers do their job.”

In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal last year Baca railed against the homeless, advocating for a “criminal justice perspective-crack down on the low-level crimes that the homeless community is doing; have officers do warrant pickups, crack down on those very small crimes like drug abuse… A lot of the people [who are homeless] are addicted to drugs; you need to get those people into the court system so they can be forced to go to rehab.”

Baca is being charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The complaint, in contradiction to witness statements and copious video evidence, paints Baca, who was recorded physically assaulting multiple women as well as brandishing the firearm he would later fire against demonstrators, as simply an innocent person “protecting the statue” …

Monday’s protests turned violent once several armed men, who identified themselves to a New York Times reporter as members of the New Mexico Civil Guard of Curry County (NMCG), tried to insert themselves between protesters—mostly local youth—and the monument they were trying to dislodge. While it is unknown at this time if Baca is a member of the “Civil Guard”, video posted to social media after the shooting shows him being protected by the heavily armed militia members while waiting for a police escort.

Once police finally arrived to safely escort Baca from the scene, riot police fired tear gas into the crowd of remaining protesters and ordered them to disperse. Six NMCG members were also handcuffed and taken into custody by Albuquerque police at the same time.

A recent Facebook post from the group page declared that Baca was not a member of NMCG and that the NMCG only got in between “the man in the blue shirt” and the “angry mob” to ensure “no protesters were shot.” The NMCG is led by local painter O’Rion Petty, who according to the Eastern New Mexico News started the Facebook group to “Defend citizens and their private property.” A featured photo on the page depicts the logo from the hate group the Three Percenters.

The recently formed group first made their appearance during a June 2 vigil for George Floyd in Clovis, New Mexico. Eight members of the group showed up to the vigil, made up mostly of local youth, wearing body armor and carrying semi-automatic rifles, their faces obscured by balaclavas. Speaking to the News Petty claimed they were at the vigil “not … to intimidate the protesters or anything like that. We’re not with antifa. We’re there because of everything that’s going on [around the country] and we’re not going to watch our community be destroyed, if it comes to that.”

Petty noted that the police are “completely fine with us being around. They wanted to make sure we don’t look like law enforcement or military and so we’re staying in plain clothes for this” (emphasis added).

When questioned what would happen if the situation turned violent, Petty advised that the group “will always go [with] the non-lethal option when it’s available. We do carry things like pepper spray … but if we feel like someone’s life is in imminent danger or our lives are in imminent danger, at that point we would have to go ahead and use lethal force if necessary.”

Notably, Baca can be seen in several videos prior to Monday’s shooting carrying a silver can of pepper spray as well as the Glock pistol which was spotted by worried protesters prior to the shooting.

Meanwhile, in the small town of Bethel, Ohio, 30 miles east of Cincinnati, the Bethel Police Department is investigating roughly 10 different assault cases after more than 250 people identified by city officials as “motorcycle gangs, back the blue groups, and Second Amendment advocates,” assaulted and harassed a small group of roughly 100 protesters during a Sunday Black Lives Matter march.

Alicia Gee, 36, lifelong resident of Bethel and substitute teacher, organized the march after seeing a similar event was being held in neighboring Kentucky. Gee, who only expected about 25 people to show up, was pleasantly surprised when over 100 had arrived by 1 p.m. in the town of less than 3,000. Gee had contacted Bethel police on Tuesday to ensure the protest would be legal and that adequate arrangements could be made.

Once the protests began, however, Gee received word that the armed group of thugs was trying to interrupt the march. Gee attempted to move the group away from the far-right mob but they were soon discovered and surrounded. Bethel police stood by, refusing to call for any back up as the bikers and their police supporters crossed the street dividing the two groups and began to assault the anti-police violence protesters, including Andrea Dennis, who brought her 63-year-old mother to the protests.

“I was really scared because they were carrying guns and they were so aggressive,” Dennis told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “They were grabbing me and grabbing my mom and they just seemed to have no respect for the law.” By 3:45 p.m. multiple protesters had been physically assaulted, with social media photos showing young, mostly white youth, bruised and bloody. No arrests were made on Sunday by Bethel police who said that their investigation is “still ongoing.”

NEW MEXICO SHOOTING RAISES SPECTER OF RIGHT-WING VIOLENCE One person was shot at a demonstration on Monday demanding the removal of a statue depicting a violently repressive Spanish colonial official, Juan de Oñate, in New Mexico. The shooting occurred after agitated counterprotesters, including a small right-wing militia, crashed the protest. The removal of statues commemorating Confederate leaders, slaveholders and colonial despots has become a flashpoint for conflict and right-wing vigilantism before, most notably during the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia in August 2017. [HuffPost]

To racists, colonialist statues matter, lives don’t

This 16 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself on YouTube:

[Albuquerque] New Mexico Protester Shot Trying to Take Down Conquistador Statue | NowThis

In US news and current events today, one person is in critical but stable condition after a man believed to be part of an armed militia opened fire on a group of protesters trying to dismantle a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate in New Mexico.

According to Wikipedia:

Today Oñate is known for the 1599 Acoma Massacre. …

Oñate ordered a brutal retaliation against Acoma Pueblo. The Pueblo was destroyed.[2] Around 800–1000 Ácoma were killed.[3]. …

Of the 500 or so survivors, at a trial at Ohkay Owingeh, Oñate sentenced most to twenty years of forced “personal servitude” and additionally mandated that all men over the age of twenty-five have a foot cut off.[3] … He was convicted by the Spanish government of using “excessive force” against the Acoma people.

In London, England, the extreme right ‘defends’ memorials by urinating on them (not a slave trader or colonialist memorial in that case).

In New Mexico, the extreme right ‘defends’ statues by attempted murder. They glorify the war in which the United States conquered New Mexico from Mexico. According to 19th century United States general and Republican party President Ulysses Grant, that war was ‘one of the most unjust wars ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation.’ The far right glorifies that war by violence against Mexicans and others of Latin American ancestry, including by murdering little girls.

And they don’t just glorify the 19th century United States conquest, but the cruel 16th-century Spanish empire war against native New Mexicans as well.

The YouTube text continues:

In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brown, Breonna Taylor and so many more Black people and people of color, the Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd protests have opened the eyes of the world to the insidious reach of systemic racism.

As the United States reconciles with its racist past, by removing Confederate statues and moving to rename military bases named after treasonous Confederate soldiers, some protesters are calling for an even more sweeping statement against the historical horrors of racism. In many cities protesters are removing Christopher Columbus statues, citing his history as a genocidal colonizer, and in New Mexico, statues of Spanish Conquistadors are a testament to the brutal colonization of indigenous people.

Sadly, peaceful protests and peaceful protesters have been rocked with violence, usually from armed white supremacist militias in defense of their ugly past, and this case appears no different. The peaceful protester shot trying to take down a colonialist statue is evidence of a larger conflict brewing in America, one that will take real change from the top down to eliminate racial violence and ensure justice and equality for all.

The attempted murder in Albuquerque was by a former Republican local council candidate. He is Steven Baca, a Donald Trump supporter.

Murder attempt suspect Steven Baca