Women without high heels banned at Cannes film festival


This video, recorded in France, says about itself:

EMILY BLUNT Shocked at Cannes High Heel Rule

19 May 2015

The director of the Cannes Film Festival may have put his foot in his mouth! During the film event of the year, women were reportedly being turned away for not wearing high heels and one A-list celebrity isn’t happy. Emily Blunt was shocked to hear the report saying it is very disappointing. The actress added women shouldn’t be wearing high heels anyway in her point of view. Check out the video to see what else Emily Blunt had to say about the rule.

After banning women from wearing miniskirts, and banning women from wearing maxiskirts, and banning women from wearing any type of skirts, and banning women from wearing trousers … now banning women women from wearing shoes without high heels.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance ‘Carol‘ for not wearing high heels

Women, some with medical conditions, ‘turned away for wearing flats

Adam Whitnall

Tuesday 19 May 2015

The Cannes Film Festival is facing an angry backlash after it was accused of turning away women from a red-carpet screening for not wearing high heels.

A number of women in their 50s, some reportedly with medical conditions, were denied access to the showing of Todd Haynes’ entry Carol on Sunday night, according to Screen magazine.

It claimed the women were wearing rhinestone flats at the time – and said that the subject matter of the film itself – a lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett about fighting against societal norms – added to the outrage of those turned away.

The festival declined to comment on the matter but, Screen reported, did confirm that it was obligatory for all women to wear high heels to red-carpet showings.

The Cannes festival bosses apparently had never heard about women’s health issues with high heels. Nor did they seem to understand that high heels do a lot more damage to their red carpets than other types of shoes :)

On Twitter, the report sparked outrage among users who called Cannes “an outdated embarrassing piece of s*** festival”.

The festival organisers were yet to respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

Vicci Ho, a Cannes regular and former festival programmer, wrote on Twitter that she was “almost turned away” for wearing leather flats, despite doing so because she was suffering ankle problems. She later wrote on the site that the enforcement of the dress code had been “ridiculous this year”: here.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, don’t let him die


This video from the USA says about itself:

Mumia Abu-Jamal Moved from Prison to Intensive Care, Supporters Seek Access & Answers

31 March 2015

Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has been taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, after he was removed from prison for a medical emergency without any notification to his family, friends or lawyers.

Prison officials told his supporters he is in diabetic shock. We get an update from Abu-Jamal‘s longtime friend, Johanna Fernández who first discovered he was in the hospital Monday morning when she went to visit him in prison and was told he had been taken to the intensive care unit. Fernández is a history professor at Baruch College-CUNY, and one of the coordinators of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Listen to all Democracy Now! interviews with Mumia Abu-Jamal over the years in our online archive.

From the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal in the USA:

Mumia’s life is STILL in danger! Act NOW!

URGENT! EMERGENCY RESPONSE NEEDED!

Mumia once again taken to hospital outside SCI Mahanoy; held incommunicado from family, attorneys and doctor. We need to act now!

Political prisoner and internationally renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has once again been taken from the prison infirmary at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, Pa.; this time to Geisinger Medical Center in Dansville, Pa. about three hours from Philadelphia.

Having received no phone calls from Mumia, including on Mother’s Day when he always calls, Mumia’s spouse, Wadiya Jamal, called the prison infirmary on Tues., May 12 and learned of the transfer. Since then Mumia has been out of communication with his immediate family and doctor, despite the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ obligation and agreement to keep Mrs. Jamal informed of his medical condition.

State regulations also prohibit prison officials from blocking attorney’s access to their clients; however, visits by his attorneys have also been denied.

On Wed., May 13 Wadiya was told that immediate family visitation was approved by Superintendent John Kerestes and the DOC. This was confirmed by Laura Neal of the DOC Legal Counsel’s office.

Wadiya prepared to visit Mumia at the hospital on May 13; however she was then told by Neal that Geisinger Hospital would not permit the visit because Mumia was not in critical condition and the hospital has a policy of not allowing visits to prisoners.

Mumia’s family and attorneys have been given conflicting reports that updates on his medical condition were released to authorities at SCI Mahanoy. Wadiya was told repeatedly by medical officials at SCI Mahanoy that no medical updates were given to them. However Donald Zaycosky, Litigation Counsel at Geisinger told Rachel Wolkenstein, an attorney representing Wadiya Jamal, that a medical update had been provided to infirmary doctors on Thurs., May 14.

Wolkenstein reported that on Fri., May 15, Zaycosky stated that under the circumstances an exception could be made to the hospital’s “no visitors” policy. He explicitly stated that Geisinger did not object to phone calls or family or legal visitation, but wanted to make sure it was okay with the DOC.

On May 15 at 9:30 a.m., Wolkenstein forwarded Zaycosky her correspondence with Laura Neal that stated the DOC approved family visitation. Since then, despite phone calls and emails, there has been no communication from either the prison infirmary or the hospital regarding either medical updates on Mumia’s condition or to confirm or deny family visitations.

Mumia’s family, attorneys and supporters are extremely worried about his current medical condition and alarmed that he is being held incommunicado while his spouse, legal counsel and his private doctor are being denied any access to him.

When Mumia was first rushed to the emergency room this March in diabetic shock, a global network of supporters sprang into action to inundate phone lines of prison and hospital officials demanding that they allow visitation from his family and attorneys. ONCE AGAIN IT’S TIME TO ACTIVATE THAT SUPPORT.

Just last week supporters delivered a letter to Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, calling on him to release Mumia’s from prison in order to get the proper medical care he needs. It was signed by numerous world dignitaries, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Minister Louis Farrakhan; New York Congressperson Charles Rangel; Executive Vice President of Local 1199 SEIU, Estela Vasquez; actor Danny Glover; writer Alice Walker and many more. (See attached letter) A significant press conference was also held in Harlem on April 30.

Please call the officials below to demand:

Unrestricted hospital visitations by Mumia’s family
Demand access for his attorneys
Let Mumia call family, supporters and doctors
Stop state’s attempt to murder Mumia by medical mistreatment
Release Mumia from prison to be able to obtain needed health care.

DOC Secretary John Wetzel – 717-728-2573; ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov

PA Gov. Tom Wolf –717-787-2500; fax: 717-772-8284; governor@pa.gov

Geisinger Medical Center – 570-271-6211

Note: The hospital has Mumia on a “confidential” list so the operators will say they have no one named Mumia Abu-Jamal or Wesley Cook at the hospital. People should tell the operator that their call should be reported to the hospital administration.

April 29, 2015
Contact: Dr. Suzanne Ross, suzannewross@aol.com, 917 584 2135

Open letter to Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Wolf and Department of Corrections
Secretary John Wetzel

Re: Urgent need for independent medical treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal and for his release from prison so that he can receive that treatment

Internationally renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is seriously ill. He is currently suffering from life threatening diabetes, full body skin disease, weight loss — 80 pounds in the last two to three months — extreme dehydration, multiple neurological symptoms — uncontrollable shaking, slurred speech, loss of memory with fugue states — and is wheelchair bound. He was initially placed in the prison infirmary for the severe skin problem, released back into general population only to become sicker, very possibly as a result of inappropriate treatment for the skin problem.

Most serious, despite three blood tests during his stay in the infirmary, he was not diagnosed for the diabetes he had developed which only weeks later led to his going into diabetic shock. He was rushed to the ICU at the closest hospital and had his sugar level somewhat stabilized only to be returned to the prison two days later while still very sick, causing more medical crises. All developments since the above description have only been more frightening: more weight loss, inability to walk other than in baby steps, sporadic incoherence, excruciating pain, massive skin peeling, and blood in his urine. And still no diagnosis of this shocking skin disease. Mr. Abu-Jamal is in immediate need of medical help from outside the prison system as the neglect and malpractice of the Department of Corrections is directly responsible for the inadequately addressed and alarming deterioration of his health. Only if he is released will Mr. Abu-Jamal be able to get the proper medical care to give him a chance at recovery.

We, the undersigned, call on Governor Thomas Wolf and Secretary John Wetzel to promptly authorize the independent doctors Mr. Abu-Jamal has chosen to coordinate his diagnosis and treatment plan, and to involve the specialists needed to address his many medical challenges. This would require allowing those doctors (1) to have regular phone access with Mr. Abu-Jamal while he is in the infirmary, (2) to be able to communicate freely and regularly with the prison infirmary physicians who are overseeing Mr. Abu-Jamal’s care, and (3) to schedule an immediate independent medical examination.

The horrific medical care Mr. Abu-Jamal has received at SCI Mahanoy with life threatening consequences is by no means unique to him. The epidemic level of diabetes throughout Pennsylvania’s prisons and the skin problems and hepatitis infections many of the prisoners experience speak volumes about the vulnerability to serious disease that simply entering the prison system causes. We, therefore, call for an independent investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections medical system. In particular, this investigation must focus on profit-making organizations hired by the Department of Corrections that place priority on cost cutting rather than the quality of care provided to prisoners, resulting in fewer referrals to hospitals when needed and more deaths.

Finally, given the extensive evidence of Mr. Abu-Jamal’s innocence, long prevented from being addressed fairly in the courts, and now the evidence that Mr. Abu-Jamal’s very life is in danger while in the prison system, we call for his immediate release from prison.

SIGNERS (List in formation)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Minister Louis Farrakhan
Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former President of the UN General Assembly
Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States
Cornel West, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University; Professor, Union Theological Seminary
Charles Rangel, Congressman, New York
George Gresham, President, Local 1199 SEIU
Estela Vasquez, Executive Vice President, Local 1199 SEIU
Alice Walker, writer and poet
Danny Glover, actor
Cynthia McKinney, former Congresswoman, Georgia
V Charles Barron, State Assemblyman, East New York
Bill Perkins, State Senator, Harlem, NY
Chris Hedges, author, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist
Michael Parenti, political scientist, historian, cultural critic, has taught at many US and international universities
James H. Cone, Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary; founder of Black Liberation Theology
Mark Lewis Taylor, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary
H. Yamamoto, General Secretary, Doro-Chiba International Labor Solidarity Committee, Japan
Imam Al-Hajj Talib ’Abdur-Rashid, Vice President, The Muslim Alliance in North America
Sister Fredrica Bey, Executive Director, Women in Support of the Million Man March
Gregory Muhammad, Nation of Islam Student Regional Reform Minister
Sister Catherine Muhammad, Administrative Assistant to Gregory Muhammad
Lynne Stewart, former attorney and political prisoner
William P. Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Azadeh N. Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild
Michael Tarif Warren, Esq.
Natsu Taylor Saito, attorney and law professor
Paul Wright, Director, Human Rights Defense Center; Editor, Prison Legal News
Judith L. Bourne, attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands; former National Co-Chair, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL)
Kenosha Ferrell, Esq., LL.M., National Conference of Black Lawyers member and concerned citizen
Michael Coard, Esq., attorney, university professor, radio show host, magazine journalist
Erika Kreider, Esq., attorney
J. Kathleen Marcus, J.D., Marcus Law
Joan P. Gibbs, Esq., National Conference of Black Lawyers
Kerry McLean, Esq., Board Member, National Lawyers Guild; NCBL member
Bina Ahmad, National Vice President, National Lawyers Guild; criminal defense attorney
Sally Frank, Professor of Law, Drake University
Rosie Hinnebusch, attorney-at-law, Sarasota, Florida
Bill Montross, National Lawyers Guild, Bethesda, Maryland
Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies, Trinity College
Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA
Martin Espada, poet; Professor of English, University of Massachusetts
Jamal Joseph, Professor of Film, Columbia University
Ann Garrison, print and radio journalist, Pacifica Radio, San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News
Michael Albert, Z Magazine
Katha Pollitt, writer
Norman Solomon, author; co-founder and coordinator, RootsAction.org
Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African-American Studies, Columbia University
Joy James, Professor of Humanities and Political Science, Williams College
Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Lisa Guenther, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
Thomas Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Organization, an immigrant justice advocacy university
Rosemari Mealy, human rights advocate; Adjunct Assistant Professor, City University of New York (CUNY)
Terry Bisson, science fiction writer
Patrick Le Hyaric, French Deputy at the European Parliament; Director, L’Humanité, France
Catherine Margaté, Mayor, Malakoff, France
Didier Paillard, Mayor, Saint-Denis, France
Ian Brossat, Deputy Mayor of Paris, France
Nathalie Appéré, Mayor, Rennes, France
Pierre Laurent, Senator and National Secretary of the French Communist Party, France
Jacky Hortaut, Coordinator, Collectif Mumia, France
Claude Guillaumaud-Pujol, Professor of American Studies, Clermont Ferrand University, France
Hans-Christoph Graf von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary-General (ret.)
Sabine Lösing, member of the European Parliament, member and Coordinator of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Vice-Chair and Coordinator of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), Germany
Katja Keul, member, German parliament
Wolfgang Bittner, Dr.jur., Schriftsteller, Germany
Sabine Kebir, author; Co-Director of the German PEN, Germany
Bernd Schirmer, German PEN
Annette Groth, member of the German Parliament; member of the Human Rights Committee of the German Parliament, Germany
Dr. Michael Schiffmann, English Department of the University of Heidelberg, translator, editor, and author, Germany
Vu The Dung, Vietnamese writer and poet; member of the German PEN, Germany
Hans Till, poet and translator; member of the German PEN, Germany
Heike Hänsel, member of the German parliament, Germany
Annette Schiffmann, public relations counselor; Chair, German Network Against the Death Penalty, Germany
Charlotte Wiedemann, journalist, Berlin, Germany
Political Activists’ Alliance Network to Stop the G7, Elmau, Germany
Elfriede Jelinek, novelist and playwright; member of the International PEN; laureate of the Nobel Prize in literature, Austria
Dr. Jan Oberg, Director of TFF—Transnational Peace and Future Research, sociologist, Sweden
Dr. Farhang Jahanpour, Tutor at the Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, England
Akiko Hoshino, Representative of the Hoshino Defense Committee, Japan
Nina Triffleman, member, Compassionate Seattle
Malaika H. Kambon, People’s Eye Photography
Jackson Browne, singer

Sponsors of this Letter:
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, MOVE, Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Prison Radio Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, International Action Center, The Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal,
NY Friends of MOVE, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal/Northern California, Existence is Resistance, The Justice and Accountability Campaign, German Network Against the Death Penalty, Free Mumia Committee Berlin, Colectif Francais Liberons Mumia, Mumia Committee Saint-Denis, Amigos de Mumia de Mexico, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration

Update: here.

Saudi Arabian monarchy continues killing Yemeni civilians


This video says about itself:

Yemen: Injured children arrive in hospital amid Saudi-led carnage

26 March 2015

Patients including young children at Al mo’ayed hospital in Sana’a were forced to share hospital beds or lie on the floor after a Saudi-led air attack struck the Yemeni capital on Thursday morning.

By Thomas Gaist:

Yemen war rages on through first day of humanitarian “cease-fire”

14 May 2015

Despite declarations of a temporary cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into the country, the Saudi-led Arab coalition continued heavy strikes against Yemen’s southwestern city of Abyan and the northern capital of Sanaa Wednesday, killing at least 70.

The strikes have continued despite Saudi promises of a truce aimed at allowing UN agencies to distribute humanitarian aid to Yemeni cities, where hundreds of thousands of Yemenis face desperate shortages of food, drinkable water, electricity and other basic necessities. At least 700,000 Yemenis are in need of food assistance, according to UN estimates.

For weeks, the Saudi blockade, reinforced by the US Navy, has prevented essential supplies from reaching port, leaving millions without reliable access to water and crippling Yemeni medical centers, which are already battling dire supply shortages.

Estimates place the total number of dead as a result of the Saudi-led assault at around 1,500, with the vast majority believed to be civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have been driven from their homes and become refugees since the war began in late March.

US drones also attacked targets inside Yemen this week, including government buildings in the port city of Al Mukalla Wednesday. …

Officials in Tehran announced Wednesday that an Iranian cargo ship has sailed for Yemen loaded with humanitarian supplies. The announcement marks a further escalation of tensions between the US, Saudi and Iranian naval forces now massing around the strategically critical choke-points on either side of the Arabian Peninsula, the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

Recent weeks have seen the strategic waterways transformed into “a tinder box,” according to a commercial risk assessment expert who spoke with Reuters.

US officials immediately denounced the Iranian move as a “political stunt” intended to provoke Washington and Riyadh. Pentagon officials insisted that the Iranian vessel reroute to Djibouti and hand over its cargo for inspection by US and UN officials.

Some 2,000 US Marines are standing by to intervene against any attempt to break the Saudi blockade of Yemen, a US Navy officer told Fox News.

Saudi warships have already begun imposing forced inspections of all ships seeking to dock at Yemeni ports. Saudi officials have insisted publicly that no Iranian vessels will be allowed to reach Yemen without being boarded and thoroughly searched.

Continued reports of intense fighting on the ground have underscored the fact that, official truces notwithstanding, the conflict is escalating. Major clashes continued in Yemen’s southern capital of Aden, where weeks of fighting between the Houthis and militants aligned with the deposed US- and Saudi-backed government have devastated large areas of the city.

Saudi coalition warships joined the action Wednesday, shelling targets including fuel tanks near the historic port city. …

From the beginning, the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has been backed by the United States, which is determined to retain control over the geostrategically critical country. In remarks Wednesday while meeting with officials from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE in Paris, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Obama administration is prepared to reach a “clearer defense arrangement between the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and other friendly countries and the United States.”

The US is prepared to offer the Gulf elites “a series of new commitments that will create between the US and GCC a new security understanding, a new set of security initiatives that will take us beyond anything we have had before,” Kerry said.

Kerry’s comment came in response to requests from US imperialism’s regional allies that the US formally recognize them as strategic allies on the same level as the NATO powers and Japan.

To discuss the matter, US President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold private meetings with six leading representatives of the Saudi and Gulf dynasties, including several kings, emirs and sultans, at Camp David this week. The meetings aim to assuage fears on the part of the US-allied regimes that the administration’s negotiations with Iran will undercut their own regional interests, which conflict with those of Tehran.

Saudi skittishness over a possible US-Iranian rapprochement likely explains the sudden cancellation of Saudi King Salman’s plans to attend the Camp David meetings.

Nonetheless, in comments to a recent conference at the Atlantic Council, UAE ambassador Yousef Otaiba made clear that the Gulf regimes are prepared to make compromises and “work together” with the Obama administration to secure whatever forms of strategic support Washington remains prepared to offer.

The Saudis and their Gulf partners ultimately “do not have a viable alternative strategic partnership in Moscow or Beijing,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace researcher Karim Sadjadpour told the New York Times this week.

Saudi and Gulf state demands for recognition as full strategic partners of US imperialism represent a grave warning to the Middle Eastern and international working class. National and sectarian-based conflicts, long incited and manipulated by Washington in the service of US domination of the Middle East, are threatening to ignite all-out war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The imminent possibility of such a conflict is increasingly acknowledged in the bourgeois press. “Middle East giants Saudi Arabia and Iran are squaring up on opposing sides in the Yemen war,” Reuters noted in the opening lines of its report Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia vows to set off new Middle East arms race: here.

Why Saudi Arabia is poised to behead a dissident cleric and publicly display his corpse: here.

More Iraq war, more badger killing, British Prince Charles urged Tony Blair


Tony Blair's bloody Iraq war, cartoon

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Prince Charles ‘black spider’ memos reveal lobbying of Tony Blair

Publication of royal’s letters following freedom of information battle reveals correspondence with PM on helicopters, farming and complementary medicine

Read the letters in full

A cache of secret memos sent by Prince Charles to senior UK ministers has finally been published, following a 10-year freedom of information battle between the Guardian and the government. The letters reveal that Charles lobbied ministers, including the former prime minister Tony Blair, on a wide range of issues, including agriculture, the armed forces, architecture and homeopathy. …

The letters, published at 4pm on Wednesday, reveal how Charles lobbied Tony Blair when he was prime minister to replace Lynx military helicopters. Charles complained: “I fear this one more example of our armed forces being asked to do an extremely challenging job [the Iraq war] without the necessary resources.” …

The relationship between Charles and the prime minister was so close that Blair even asked Charles directly what he wanted him to do about encouraging the use of herbal medicines in the UK, which some scientists believe do not work. Charles complained that an EU directive was having a “deleterious effect on the complementary medicine sector by effectively outlawing the use of certain herbal extracts”.

He wrote: “You rightly asked me what could be done about it,” and said he would ask an aide at his complementary health charity to produce “a detailed briefing … so that your advisers can look at it”. Blair replied: “We can do quite a lot here … we will be consulting with your contacts and others on the best way to do this – we simply cannot have burdensome regulation here.”

This video says about itself:

Counting young badgers in province Drenthe (Holland)

June 4 2013: there are ten badgers on this sett: female with three youngsters, female with four youngsters and a very big male.

The Guardian article continues:

In another letter to Blair, Charles attacked the government’s proposed programme for tackling bovine tuberculosis, warning: “There is no evidence that this will include a commitment to deal with the badger problem in the immediate future.” …

In one stridently expressed and explicit policy demand, he said: “I urge you to look again at introducing a proper cull of badgers where it is necessary. I for one cannot understand how the ‘badger lobby’ seem to mind not at all about the slaughter of thousands of expensive cattle, and yet object to a managed cull of an overpopulation of badgers. To me this is intellectually dishonest.”