The funeral for Tyre Nichols is taking place in Memphis, Tennessee, today. Over 2,500 people are expected to pay tribute to the slain 29-year-old father, who died last month after being severely beaten by five police officers. Tyre Nichols’s family were joined by community and religious leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, Tuesday evening at the Mason Temple for a press conference. This is Nichols’s brother, Jamal Dupree.
Jamal Dupree: “My brother was the most peaceful person you ever met in your life. The most. He’s never lifted a finger to nobody, never raised his voice to nobody. If my brother was here today and if he had to say something, he would tell us to do this peacefully.”
Memphis’s Mason Temple is where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Mountaintop” speech on April 3, 1968, the eve of his assassination.
On Tuesday, Memphis authorities said they will release more of the video and audio of Tyre’s fatal beating after it completes its investigation, sometime in the “coming weeks.” We’ll have more on the police killing of Tyre Nichols after headlines.
In California, activists and family members of Anthony Lowe Jr., a 36-year-old Black man who used a wheelchair and was fatally shot by Huntington Park police last week, are demanding the officers involved in his death be brought to justice. Lowe’s mother spoke at a press conference Monday outside the Huntington Park Police Department, where she said, “They murdered my son.” Lowe had both of his legs amputated at the knee, and his family says he was suffering from a mental health crisis when he was shot by police after officers responded to a reported stabbing in the area.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced Tuesday the highly contested $90 million police training facility known as “Cop City” is moving forward, despite growing opposition and the police killing of a forest defender last month. Activists have been camping out in Weelaunee Forest for months to prevent its destruction. Demonstrators at Atlanta’s City Hall yesterday chanted, “Cop City will never be built!” while members of the press were locked out of Mayor Dickens’s news conference. This is community organizer Micah Herskind responding to the city’s plans.
Micah Herskind: “How dare they stand in front of people and say, 'Oh, this plan, where we're tearing down trees, is actually good for people, and it’s good for the economy, and it’s — you know, it’s actually going to protect people’? It’s obviously false, and I hope that it’s reported as such, because it’s such classic, blatant spin, that they’re taking us for fools if they think anyone would believe that tearing down trees and putting cement over it is protecting the environment. That’s outrageous.”
A group of 20 Democratic lawmakers is urging the Biden administration to temporarily suspend security aid to Peru over a “pattern of repression” against anti-government protesters that have taken to the streets since December after the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo. The Democrats’ letter comes as Peruvian forces killed their first protester in the capital Lima on Saturday. Fifty-five-year-old Víctor Santisteban’s killing brings the nationwide death toll to 58 people. This is Santisteban’s sister.
Elizabeth Santisteban: “Today was not only one person who died. A whole family died. The heartfelt condolences from the president, from Congress, from the police will not bring my brother back. My 74-year-old father is dying because of the pain.”
Four key suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have been extradited to the United States to face prosecution. The Justice Department said Tuesday three Haitian Americans and a Colombian national face charges that include conspiracy to commit murder and providing material support and resources resulting in death. This comes 18 months after Moïse was fatally shot at his home near the capital Port-au-Prince on July 7, 2021. Dozens of suspects have been arrested, but the case has been at a standstill as Haiti faces a political and humanitarian crisis. Haitian authorities say other suspects still remain at large.
In Afghanistan, officials say at least 166 people have died since the start of the year as the country faces a wave of freezing winter weather with widespread snowfall. Authorities said the recent deaths were caused by floods, fires and gas leaks from home heaters used by Afghan families to cope with the cold. Tens of thousands of livestock have also died due to extreme winter weather, as more than half of Afghanistan’s population, including millions of children, is facing hunger and malnutrition due to a worsening humanitarian crisis that’s been exacerbated by international economic sanctions on the Taliban government. Two grieving parents shared the harrowing loss of their infant to the brutal cold.
Nek Mohammad: “The weather was extremely cold, and all the windows were frozen. It was Friday night. Because of the cold, we wrapped ourselves in all the blankets we had. It was 12:00 midnight when the child died from extreme cold. We had no choice but to wait until the morning, and then we buried him.”
Shamila: “When I saw that my son had died, I thought for a moment that my heart might stop beating.”
This comes as the United Nations and Taliban officials are negotiating exceptions to the ban on women aid workers, including guidelines that would allow some Afghan women to work in certain humanitarian operations.
The U.S. is accusing Russia of violating the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty — or New START — the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries. The State Department said Tuesday Moscow was refusing to allow inspections on its territory. Russia said it was complying with most terms of the treaty but that it could not allow U.S. inspections at its strategic facilities given the nations are on opposing sides of the ongoing Ukraine war. Antiwar activists have warned the threat of nuclear war is at its highest point in history due to the Russian invasion.
Embattled New York Republican George Santos says he won’t serve on the two House committees he was assigned to, pending investigations into the many lies and unanswered questions around his life and finances. Santos shared the news after a private meeting Monday with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. It comes as McCarthy is pushing to remove influential Democrat Ilhan Omar from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, Santos’s treasurer has resigned amid intense scrutiny over his campaign funding, including the source of at least $625,000 that Santos had previously claimed were personal loans. Last week, Mother Jones reported many people listed as top donors to Santos’s campaign don’t appear to exist.
Six western states that rely on the Colorado River for their water supply have agreed to drastically cut water use in response to the federal government’s call for a concerted plan to conserve water amid looming, and possibly catastrophic, critical shortages. A seventh state, California, remains at odds with the plan reached by Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, suggesting major cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas should be cut off from the water supply in order to protect California’s agriculture. Two decades of climate change-fueled drought have brought reservoirs at Lake Powell and Lake Mead dangerously close to what’s known as “dead pool,” when water level becomes so low it no longer flows through the dams. This is David Hayes, a Stanford professor and former climate adviser to President Biden.
David Hayes: “The crisis is incredibly severe. In fact, the Interior Department is faced with the potential for not being able to make deliveries of water out of the Hoover Dam to the city of Las Vegas or to the state of California, period. The water levels behind the dams have become so low that they may not be able to make deliveries. And that’s the worst of all possible worlds.”
The Environmental Protection Agency announced federal protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed under the Clean Water Act, in a major victory for environmentalists and Indigenous groups, which have fought against the development of Pebble Mine for over two decades. The move will bar a proposed gold and copper mine that would have destroyed the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Alannah Hurley, executive director of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, said, “The EPA has not only restored its commitment to science and law but truly listened to the original stewards and first peoples’ of this land.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is expected to greenlight a scaled-down oil and gas development project in northern Alaska led by ConocoPhillips known as the Willow project. Environmental and Indigenous groups have long warned it would disrupt fragile wildlife and contribute to the climate crisis.
ExxonMobil announced a record-smashing $59 billion in profits last year, up by over 150% from the previous year. This comes after Chevron recently announced $35.5 billion in 2022 profits, also a new record. Climate groups say the massive earnings underscore the need for a windfall profits tax. The group Stop the Oil Profiteering said, “We’re paying more for gas and electricity because Big Oil companies are gouging Americans and benefiting from a rigged system that keeps prices high in times of war and crisis.”
Climate activists with Greenpeace scaled a massive Shell vessel in the Atlantic Ocean as it headed to the British North Sea, displaying a banner that read “Stop Drilling. Start Paying.” Activists used ropes to climb onto the 51,000-tonne platform, and the four that made it aboard say they have enough supplies to occupy the ship for days.
Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia and former chief climate negotiator for the Philippines, was among the group of activists but was not able to make it on board. Greenpeace’s Victorine Che Thoener, a Cameroonian German activist who did successfully mount the ship, says the group took the drastic action to compel fossil fuel companies to stop drilling and pay for the loss and damage they have caused.
A new report by the World Inequality Lab shows the difference in carbon emissions between rich and poor people within the same country is now greater than the difference in emissions between countries. The report backs windfall taxes and progressive taxation to help fund low-carbon initiatives.