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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

  • NAACP Leads Push for Federal Civil Rights Charges Against Zimmerman After Race Kept Out of Trial

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    As protests against the acquittal of George Zimmerman continue in Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities, the NAACP is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder described the killing of Martin as "tragic" and "unnecessary," but he did not indicate whether he intended to bring a federal case. "The reality is that it’s not clear that Trayvon Martin had any peers on that jury," says NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. "And it does appear that there may have been a racial dynamic, and that some of the racial dynamics in the community — which is a very racially divided community historically — have come into play." Jealous also criticized the judge for inhibited discussion about racial profiling. "We went through this kind of surreal trial where the judge blocked all discussion of racism of racial profiling," Jealous says. Nearly one million people have signed an online NAACP petition asking for the DOJ to pursue a case.

  • "The Jailers Should Be Jailed": Sharif Abdel Kouddous on the Embrace of Egypt’s Military Post-Morsi

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    After a week of relative quiet, new clashes have erupted in Egypt in the ongoing conflict over the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. At least seven people were killed and more than 260 wounded in overnight violence after supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood blocked traffic and marched on a key square. The unrest came just as the Obama administration resumed efforts to engage in Egypt’s political divide. In the first visit by a U.S. official since Morsi’s ouster, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns held talks with military leaders and the interim government. We go to Cairo to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. "We’re seeing a resurgence of nationalism and national amnesia, almost, that is applauding the army and the security forces to crack down with impunity and to lead the country’s transition," Sharif says. "We have to remember this is the same army that really mismanaged the first transition, helped lead us to this political crisis in the first place, that is guilty of many crimes itself. The jailers themselves should be jailed."

  • Kevin Gosztola: Behind the Scenes of the Bradley Manning Trial Ignored by Corporate Media

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    The judge in the Bradley Manning case says she will decide Thursday on his lawyers’ request to dismiss seven of the charges he faces, including allegations that he aided the enemy when he provided hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The defense says the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence that Manning had actual knowledge that the information he leaked would end up with the enemy. Lawyers for the government have said that, based on his training, Private Manning knew that al-Qaeda and other groups could have access to the documents. For an inside look of the Manning trial, we speak to Kevin Gosztola, a civil liberties blogger at Firedoglake who is one of only a handful of journalists covering the Manning trial on a daily basis. "It really is only being covered when the outlets in the U.S. media feel they have an obligation to cover something," Gosztola says.