by Kevin McCoy

NEW YORK — The white New York City police officer whose choke hold led to the death of an unarmed black man has been sued three times for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of other blacks he and fellow cops arrested.

A grand jury decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo on Wednesday in the death of Eric Garner, 43, the man he wrestled to the ground during an attempted arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk in July, sparked waves of angry though largely peaceful demonstrations in several cities.

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by Che Lank

This video captures images worthy of investigation. The video seems to show military-clad police setting fire to a car outside of auto parts store. The store and the one next to it burned down. In other videos where fires were started or stores had windows broken you can hear protesters saying ‘leave that store alone’ or ‘don’t start a fire’.  We know organizers in Ferguson trained 600 people in nonviolent resistance tactics. Burning cars and looting building is not part of that training, indeed typically people are taught that the idea is to grow the movement into a larger movement and that looting and rioting is counterproductive. We are not saying that all the fires were started by police, but this one raises questions that deserve investigation — were fires started by police?

This is what Che Lank says: “Para-military Police CAUGHT ON FILM methodically setting fire to a vehicle in front of Advance Auto Parts in St. Louis MO. This happens on W Florissant Ave., the same street where nearly every fire occurred. Despite having this building locked down, Advance Auto Parts burnt down to the ground!

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Daily Kos Special Coverage
As the outrage continues, this is a list of our most in-demand content on #Ferguson:

 

by Deirdre Fulton

Close to $1 billion in funds meant to finance global climate-mitigation projects is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal—the biggest human source of carbon pollution—according to an Associated Press investigation.

The findings underscore the lack of rules designed to steer the United Nations’ ‘climate finance’ initiative, through which rich countries funnel money to poor countries to help tackle global warming, Karl Ritter and Margie Mason wrote for the AP.

“The money for coal highlights one of the biggest problems in the UN-led effort to fight climate change: A lack of accountability,” they pointed out. “Climate finance is critical to any global climate deal, and rich countries have pledged billions of dollars toward it in UN climate talks, which resume Monday in Lima, Peru. Yet there is no watchdog agency that ensures the money is spent in the most effective way. There’s not even a common definition on what climate finance is.” 

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by Julian Coppens

November 7, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – About 8000 members of the new organisation Podemos packed the Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid on October 18 and 19, 2014, for the final stages of the Citizens’ Assembly “Si se puede” (Yes we can). The assembly, with 150,000 taking part online, discussed draft documents for the foundation of the Spanish state’s newest and fastest growing political force.

In the two weeks since the assembly membership has grown from 150,000 to 215,000. The latest opinion polls shows Podemos rising from third in direct voting intention to first, displacing both the governing right-wing People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) ― Spain’s main social-democratic party with more than 100 years of history.

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by  Steven Rosenfeld

The hard truths about American racism exposed by Ferguson aren’t going away. That’s the case, even as the first African-American president, Barack Obama, responding to Monday’s renewed rioting, said, “Nothing of significance, nothing of benefit, results from destructive acts.” Racism is real, Obama said, and he urged Americans to “mobilize,” “organize,” find the “best policies,” and “vote.”

Yet on the ground in Ferguson, where the white policeman who shot an unarmed black man was exonerated by a local grand jury and went on national television and said he would do the same thing again, Obama’s words stung. There are specific and surprising reasons why the rage over Ferguson isn’t going away. In the St. Louis suburb and across America, blacks and other people of color still face embedded racism and second-class treatment. Political leaders have not brought change; they have failed to curb excessive policing and incarceration rates or create economic opportunities and hope people can believe in.

“The uprising in Ferguson was an inevitable reaction to the institutional racism coursing through the area for decades,” wrote HandsUpDontShoot.comciting [3] the example of police padding municipal budgets by going overboard with issuing traffic tickets to the poor, followed by even more punitive arrest warrants if people have not paid their fines.

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by Patrick Donahue

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is alarmed by President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to hold a referendum on Ukraine joining NATO, seeing it as a dead end that would only inflame tensions with Russia.

Ukrainian membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not on the table for Merkel, according to one German official, who said that a referendum wouldn’t bring Ukraine closer to NATO since decisions on membership are made by Alliance countries and not voters. Any bid to join NATO can only end badly, a second official said. Both asked not to be named discussing German government strategy.

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by Miranda Blue

The Texas State Board of Education approved several dozen social studies textbooks [3] after a contentious battle over their treatment of subjects including climate change, the role of slavery in the Civil War, Islam, and biblical influence in America’s founding [4]. One major publisher, however, withdrew a book from consideration [5], saying that it was unable to meet all the standards set by the school board.

The Texas Freedom Network, which live-blogged today’s vote [6], said that some problematic material had been removed from the proposed textbooks, including climate denial and “offensive cartoons comparing beneficiaries of affirmative action to space aliens,” but that references to Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy remained. But TFN notes that publishers posted a number of last-minute changes to the textbooks yesterday, leaving board members and observers without time to figure out exactly what was in the approved texts [6]:

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by Barton Kunstler

St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s statement explaining the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s death was a manipulative, carefully crafted deception that is consistent with the dishonesty and callous disregard for justice that has marked his career.

We have no reason to doubt that the grand jury was totally sincere in their vote not to indict Wilson on any charges. I trust that they did, as McCulloch stated, examine every shred of evidence, deliberate with integrity, and work hard to keep their emotions in check. But there are other ways the process can be manipulated and I believe McCulloch’s statement indicates that this is exactly what was done.

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by Joseph L. Flatley

The defense witnesses in the Boston Bombing trial certainly have reason to be afraid to testify, given the long official intimidation campaign against them.

Yet, ironically, it is now the government that is claiming its witnesses are scared and even unwilling to testify. Unsurprisingly, the judge overseeing the trial against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has agreed with the prosecutors.

Since the Boston Marathon bombing last year, WhoWhatWhy has reported on a pattern of intimidation towards people associated with the accused bombers, Dzhokhar and his late elder brother, Tamerlan. Those connected to the case have been intimidated, deported, jailed, and even killed.

It got so bad that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense asked U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. for permission to conceal the names of individual witnesses until the day before they’re due to testify. That’s because, the defense argues, they fear the witnesses will be subject to further FBI harassment.

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