Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dead Zone II

Related: Dead Zone 

Ground zero is Baltimore:

"National Guard activated as violence shakes Baltimore; Rioting erupts after funeral; National Guard activated; curfew imposed" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg New York Times  April 28, 2015

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s governor activated the National Guard on Monday and the city of Baltimore announced a curfew for all residents as a turbulent day that began with the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the nation’s latest symbol of police brutality, ended with rioting by rock-throwing youths, arson, looting, and at least 15 police officers injured.

Well, be it contrived provocations by agents as suspected or not, the coming martial law based on racial division appears to be coming true.

The violence that shook the city broke out in the late afternoon in the Mondawmin neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore, where Gray’s funeral had taken place. Angry residents threw bottles, rocks, and chunks of concrete at officers who lined up in riot gear with shields deployed. Cars were set on fire, store windows were shattered, a CVS drugstore was looted, and the cafe inside a century-old Italian deli was destroyed.

Again, if not provoked by agents with people joining in it signals massive unhappiness all around in a society with a growing economy and all that other good stuff. 

By nighttime, the chaos seemed to be competing with a push for calm. Looters pulled junk food from convenience stores within a few blocks of police in riot gear and cars that had been set ablaze. At the same time, young men in black T-shirts from a local antiviolence group urged their neighbors to go back inside. A large fire burned in east Baltimore, consuming a partly built development project of the Southern Baptist Church that was to include housing for the elderly. Authorities did not say immediately if the fire and earlier violence were connected.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, and the Maryland State Police, who took command of the response, said they would ask for 5,000 law enforcement officials from the mid-Atlantic region to help quell the violence. Some National Guard units were to arrive Monday night, with others deploying on Tuesday in armored Humvees.

The baseball game got cancelled :-(

In Washington, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, on her first day on the job, briefed President Obama, who in turn called Hogan. The governor said Obama urged him to have law enforcement officers exercise restraint, and he assured the president they would. “But,” Hogan added, “I assured him we weren’t going to stand by and allow our city of Baltimore to be taken over by thugs.”

Unless they are the guys in the riot gear with shields or certain organi$ed crime rackets.

City officials said schools would be closed Tuesday for the safety of children.

Who will then be used as cannon fodder after being lied into more wars.

At City Hall, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, sounding exhausted and exasperated after days of appealing for calm, announced that a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would be imposed for a week beginning Tuesday. The city already has a curfew for juveniles under age 17.

“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs,” she said. “I’m at a loss for words. It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city that you’re going to make life better for anybody.” The police said that at least 27 people had been arrested.

Oh, I agree. Destroying property, you can count me out!

The police said early in the day that they had received a “credible threat” that members of various gangs had “entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.” But officers kept a low profile in the neighborhood during the Gray funeral. The police also said that a flier circulated on social media called for a period of violence Monday afternoon to begin at the Mondawmin Mall and move toward City Hall downtown.

Gee, who would want to put that out and I'm sorry, I'm not buying that paragraph.

Warned by the police of possible violence, the University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore closed early, as did the mall. The Baltimore Orioles postponed their home game against the Chicago White Sox. The Baltimore police vowed the authorities would take “appropriate measures” to keep officers and the neighborhood safe. Fifteen police officers were injured, some with broken bones, and one was unresponsive, according to the department. 

Poor cops, and see how the talk has SHIFTED from Freddie Gray with the BROKEN NECK to RIOTS! And..... WHO BENEFITS from the MA$$ MEDIA SHIFT?

Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered Gray’s eulogy, came back to the neighborhood after the burial Monday afternoon to appeal for calm. He said he would send teams of men from his church, the Empowerment Temple, to help keep the peace.

“This is not what the family asked for, today of all days,” Bryant said. “For us to come out of the burial and walk into this is absolutely inexcusable.” He said he was “asking every young person to go back home,” adding, “it’s frustration, anger and it’s disrespect for the family.”

Gray’s death on April 19, a week after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody, has opened a deep wound in this majority-black city, where Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts — both of whom are black — have struggled to reform a police department that has a history of aggressive, sometimes brutal, treatment of black men.

Gray was chased and restrained by police on bicycles at the Gilmor Homes on the morning of April 12; a cellphone video of his arrest showed him being dragged into a police transport van, seemingly limp and screaming in pain. The police have acknowledged that he should have received medical treatment immediately at the scene of the arrest and have also said that he rode in the van unbuckled.

After his arrival at the police station, medics rushed him to the hospital, where he slipped into a coma and died. His family has said that 80 percent of his spinal cord was severed, and his larynx was crushed.

Use your investigative capacities as a human being: They put the guy in a choke hold and broke him.

The death spawned a week of protests that had been largely peaceful until Saturday night, when demonstrators scuffled with officers in riot gear outside Camden Yards, the baseball park. Authorities attributed the scattered violence that night to outsiders who, Rawlings-Blake said, “were inciting,” with “ ‘Go out there and shut this city down’ kind of messaging.”

I wonder who they were.

But the violence Monday was much more devastating and profound, a blow for a city whose leaders had been hoping Gray’s funeral would show the nation its more peaceful side. At the New Shiloh Baptist Church, Gray lay in an open white coffin, in a white shirt and tie, with a pillow bearing a picture of him in a red T-shirt, against a backdrop of a blue sky and doves, with the message “Peace y’all.”

But as the day went on, the mood changed. The violence appears to have begun inside the Mondawmin Mall. Erica Ellis, 23, who works in a Game Stop store there, said the mall was shut down at 2 p.m., not long after Gray’s funeral cortège left for his burial.

She said she went outside and saw a line of police officers and hundreds of young people who started throwing rocks and bricks. But police did not respond immediately, she said. “The police officers were trying as hard as they can not to hurt the people’s children,” she said.

At the corner of North Fulton and West North avenues, looters could be seen breaking into stores and walking out with cases of food and water while hundreds of police officers in riot gear gathered about four blocks away.

My feeling is that looting is for bankers, on general principles. Don't degrade yourself.

When a pair of police cruisers tried to enter the area, young men threw bottles. Several of the men wore surgical masks. Some carried baseball bats, others carried pipes. While several people held signs that read “Stop the war,” protesting peacefully, the rising chaos surrounded them: a broken-down BMW sat empty in the middle of the street, shards of glass from convenience store windows lay on the pavement, and a young man carrying bolt cutters walked by.

Residents looked on aghast. Not far from the Gilmor Homes, Chris Malloy said he was angry at the police and the looters — all at once.

“All they had to do was march, but they did this,” he said, sounding disgusted, as the CVS store burned nearby. “You can take stuff out of the store, but why do you have to burn it down?”

Maybe they saw the size of the paycheck.

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"Somber protest held outside Baltimore wake for Freddie Gray" by Jessica Gresko Associated Press  April 27, 2015

BALTIMORE — Mourners filed for hours Sunday past the casket the man who died after sustaining serious injuries in the custody of Baltimore police, somberly paying respects after a night of violent protests.

Throughout Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of people entered the Vaughn Green East funeral home for a wake for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died a week after an encounter with police left him with grave spinal injuries.

Then he must have been a beloved man, and I can only wish we could all be so blessed in death.

Mourners also gathered outside. Some held up signs that read, ‘‘We remember Freddie’’ and ‘‘Our Hearts Are With the Gray Family.’’

A number of mourners like Tina Covington, 46, said they didn’t know the family but came to express their condolences. Covington said she has a son near Freddie Gray’s age.

‘‘It hits home. . . . It’s a reality check,’’ Covington said.

The comments came after some Baltimore protesters smashed out police car windows and storefronts on Saturday.

At a service earlier Sunday at Empowerment Temple AME Church, pastor Jamal Bryant told churchgoers, including members of Gray’s family, that ‘‘somebody is going to have to pay’’ for the young man’s death.

Oh, he's the one who incited things -- and then tried to calm them down!

Gray died April 19, one week after police officers chased him through a West Baltimore neighborhood and dragged him into a police van.

Bryant told churchgoers that if ‘‘you’re black in America, your life is always under threat.” Bryant also talked about the violence that erupted Saturday night during what began as a peaceful demonstration attended by more than a thousand people.

According to the Baltimore Police Department, 34 people were arrested and six police officers sustained minor injuries.

Representative Elijah Cummings, who represents Baltimore’s Seventh District, told CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ on Sunday that there is deep frustration over the case.

‘‘Mr. Gray died a week ago. And I think the thing that upset so many people was the fact that here’s a young man. We still don’t know exactly why he was arrested,’’ Cummings said. ‘‘We do know that he was hollering out for aid. He was not given aid after being arrested. . . . A lot of people are very, very frustrated as to trying to figure out what happened here, and it’s very upsetting.’’

Police acknowledged Friday that Gray should have received medical attention at the spot where he was arrested — before he was put inside a police transport van handcuffed and without a seat belt, a violation of the Police Department’s policy.

Authorities have not explained how or when Gray’s spine was injured.

I think I did. Seems pretty obvious.

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"Peaceful protest march dissolves into vandalism, arrests in Md." by Sheryl Gay Stolberg New York Times   April 26, 2015

BALTIMORE — A largely peaceful protest over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury in police custody, gave way to scattered scenes of chaos Saturday night as demonstrators smashed a downtown storefront window and damaged police cruisers, while officers broke up skirmishes and made arrests near Camden Yards.

Hours earlier, a racially diverse and mostly calm crowd of demonstrators marched through the streets, clogging intersections, carrying signs, and shouting, “All night, all day, we’re gonna fight for Freddie Gray!” Some had come from New York and Ferguson, Mo., and local authorities had warned against “outside agitators’’ coming to stir up trouble.

I actually agree with them. To whose advantage?

The demonstrators traveled from West Baltimore, from the squat brick public housing development where Gray was arrested April 12, through the downtown harborfront, before massing on a plaza at City Hall, where one of the speakers told the crowd he would release them in an hour, adding: “Shut it down if you want to! Shut it down!”

Daily protests have swept across the city since Gray died last Sunday, but Saturday’s turnout was among the largest.

Related:

"Until Friday, efforts to pinpoint how and when Mr. Gray was injured had focused on what happened inside the van, with a lawyer for the officers involved playing down the suggestion, based on the cellphone video, that Mr. Gray had been hurt before he was placed inside. The police have acknowledged gaps in the timeline involving three stops made by the van. According to Police Department accounts, at the first stop, officers placed leg bars on Mr. Gray, who they said had become irate; the second stop was made to pick up another arrestee. At the third, Mr. Gray had to be picked up off the floor. Mr. Gray’s family said that his spinal cord had been 80 percent severed, and that his voice box had been crushed."

As well as the part "in the video where he can be heard asking for assistance while being on the ground and screaming while being dragged to the police van," being called a “rough ride.” Whole lot of worthwhile print surrounding it but that is a much as I was going to draw. I'm going to let the update roll instead.

The trouble began when a group of protesters, as many as 100 by some accounts, split from the main group near the end of the protest and went on a rampage — throwing cans, bottles, and trash cans at police officers and breaking windows in some businesses. As the breakaway group reached Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles played the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night, they were met by police officers in riot gear.

There were reports of damage to some cars parked at the baseball stadium. As the game went into extra innings, the public address system initially warned spectators not to leave the ballpark because of the nearby violence.

As protesters blocked the corner of Pratt and Light streets, a major downtown intersection, the police urged demonstrators to remain peaceful. Its Twitter feed reported isolated pockets of people from out of town causing disturbances downtown.’’

The police said people were throwing items at officers and several of their cars had been damaged. The Associated Press reported two people were injured in the disturbance and about a dozen were arrested.

The department spokesman, Captain J. Eric Kowalczyk, told a television station the police were determined to protect the protesters’ rights to “peaceful expression,’’ adding, “Our strategy from the beginning has been to make sure that people have the opportunity to voice that frustration that they’re feeling.’’

The main protest drew a racially diverse crowd. Organizers included the New Black Panther Party, the World Socialist Party, and the Peoples Power Assemblies. There were also scores of college students among the several thousand who joined the march, along with children and seniors.

A people's protest?

“I want outside people to come in,” Carron Morgan, 18, a first cousin of Gray, said as he watched people gather Saturday afternoon at the Gilmor Homes to listen to the first of the day’s speeches. “But I want them to understand that we don’t want to harm any police officers. We just want justice.” Morgan, a student at Baltimore City Community College, said he had helped plan the protest. Asked what he expected from it, he said: “I just hope that before the funeral, the state and the federal government step up and bring these police to justice.”

I wouldn't be counting on that. We've seen this movie before.

The funeral for Gray, 25, is scheduled for Monday.

On Friday, the Baltimore police commissioner said his officers should have sought medical attention for Gray much sooner than they did, but that admission, the first from police officials, was not enough to satisfy the protesters. They continued their demands for the firing of six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and the resignation of the commissioner, Anthony W. Batts.

The six officers were suspended with pay while the Baltimore Police Department carries out a criminal investigation. The Justice Department also is reviewing the case for possible civil rights violations. Gray’s family has hired a third party to conduct an independent investigation.

In her first public comments since Gray’s death, his twin sister, Fredricka, appealed for calm as she appeared with the mayor at a conference Saturday night.

‘‘My family wants to say, can you all please, please stop the violence?’’ she said. ‘‘Freddie Gray would not want this. ... Violence does not get justice.’’

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Also seeFreddie Gray’s sister calls for peace after violent protests

What started all this?

"Police lapse cited in Baltimore death" Associated Press  April 25, 2015

BALTIMORE — Freddie Gray should have received medical attention at the spot where he was arrested — before he was put inside a police van, authorities said Friday.

Baltimore police have come under intense scrutiny after Gray was taken into custody and suffered an unexplained spinal injury that led to his death. Six officers have been suspended with pay as local police and federal authorities investigate.

Commissioner Anthony Batts said the investigation is being refined and the picture is getting ‘‘sharper and sharper.’’ He did not elaborate.

As for calls for his resignation, he said: ‘‘That’s not going to happen.’’

Then maybe he should be fired.

Deputy police commissioner Kevin Davis said Friday that Gray should have received medical attention at the spot of his arrest. Bystander video shows Gray screaming as officers carried him to a van, his legs appearing limp.

After a week of protests, people angry over the death promised their biggest march Saturday, when they would try to ‘‘shut down’’ the city.

They appear leaderless. 

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The resurrection of Occupy?

Don't worry, the authorities are investigating:

"US will investigate death of Baltimore suspect; Family hopeful more scrutiny provides answers" by Peter Hermann and Lynh Bui Washington Post  April 22, 2015

BALTIMORE — The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it will conduct a civil rights investigation into how a 25-year-old man suffered a severe spinal injury while in the custody of Baltimore city police officers and later died.

The federal probe comes one day after the city’s mayor and police commissioner promised to wrap up their own investigation into Freddie Gray’s death by May 1 and allow prosecutors to decide whether criminal charges are warranted. The two investigations can run simultaneously.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement that she welcomes the additional scrutiny to help ‘‘get answers to the questions so many of us are still asking’’ about the case. ‘‘Any effort that adds additional transparency and builds community trust in this process is welcomed,’’ she said in the statement.

Will it really do that? The cover up will work?

Dena Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said in a statement that federal officials have been ‘‘monitoring the developments in Baltimore’’ and that it ‘‘opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violations occurred.’’

Gray died in a hospital Sunday after lapsing into a coma. Police have said they are not yet sure whether Gray was injured during his arrest or while he was in the back of a police van. Officials have said the officers involved have denied using force during or after the arrest. Six city police officers have been suspended during the investigation.

Gray’s cousin, Carron Morgan, 18, said the family welcomed federal investigators. ‘‘It should get us some answers,’’ he said as friends and relatives prepared for a candlelight vigil Tuesday. ‘‘The people are highly upset because of how police treat us around here and how . . . Freddie died.’’

Residents in West Baltimore remained angry but calm Tuesday. Several hundred protesters took to the streets, but there were no violent incidents. A large group of protesters gathered at the Gilmor Homes, where Gray was arrested, and at the nearby Western District police station, confronting and shouting down officers.

Police, meanwhile, handed out fliers asking any witnesses to Gray’s April 12 arrest to come forward.

Some residents and council members have complained police have been too slow to release information and fell short at a news conference Monday, when they could not explain how Gray sustained injuries.

On Tuesday, Maryland’s two senators and three members of Congress cosigned a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to help ‘‘to restore public confidence in the Baltimore Police Department.’’

Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, Democrat of Maryland, said that ‘‘not only does Freddie Gray’s family have a right to know the facts, so does the public.’’

Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, who has lived in West Baltimore for 33 years, said the country is ‘‘at a critical moment where the public has a tremendous distrust for the police’’ and an independent probe is needed for credibility.

This is all damage control by authority.

Cummings said he is most angry with police officers who he believes are either remaining silent or not telling the truth. ‘‘Somebody in that group of policemen knows what happened,’’ he said. ‘‘I do not believe they have the right to remain silent about how this gentleman was so severely injured that he died.’’

Cummings said he backs police when they urge reluctant witnesses to help solve crimes, ‘‘and now I am asking one of these police officers to come forward and tell us what happened.”

The Justice Department also launched civil rights investigations into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. Those cases have come to symbolize growing distrust and tension between law enforcement and African-American communities.

It's not just African-American, it's all of us and I resent the racial wedge being applied.

In Brown’s case, federal authorities declined to prosecute officer Darren Wilson. They ruled the shooting justified, but offered a scathing review of the police.

And yet the media got everyone all worked up.

RelatedMichael Brown’s parents sue over son’s death

The ‘‘narrative is the same,’’ and ‘‘it’s all part of the journey.’’ Weird thing to say.

The Ferguson department, they said, exhibited bias practices aimed at arresting residents to generate revenue. The Justice Department’s report on Garner’s death has not yet been released.

The Justice Department already is conducting a review of the Baltimore Police Department’s practices after the mayor and police commissioner invited the agency in last fall. Officials were concerned with a high number of settlements in lawsuits alleging police abuse or unjustified arrests.

Baltimore police have acknowledged that Gray suffered a severe spinal injury but have said they do not know how it happened.

A cellphone video from a bystander shows officers on top of Gray and then dragging what appears to be his limp body to a van used to take detainees to holding cells.

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The suspensions are like a paid vacation:

"Volunteer deputy charged in shooting plans vacation" by Justin Juozapavicius Associated Press  April 22, 2015

TULSA, Okla. — A 73-year-old volunteer sheriff’s deputy plans to vacation in the Bahamas while facing a second-degree manslaughter charge in Oklahoma, his attorneys told a judge Tuesday, drawing immediate criticism from the family of the man he killed.

Robert Bates pleaded not guilty during the hearing in Tulsa district court. The former insurance executive has said he confused his handgun for a stun gun when he shot Eric Harris after the suspect ran during a sting investigation involving gun sales.

Bates’s lawyers told the judge that Bates, a reserve deputy with the Tulsa County sheriff’s office, and his family planned to take their previously planned vacation ahead of his next court date in July.

Harris’s family criticized the trip, saying it sends a message ‘‘of apathy with respect to the shooting and Eric’s life.’’

Bates was charged after the sheriff’s office released video of the shooting, in which he is overheard apologizing for shooting the suspect.

Harris’s family has questioned whether Bates was qualified to conduct police work. Their attorneys allege that the Tulsa County sheriff’s office violated several of its own policies by not keeping a permanent record of Bates’s certifications and allowing him to carry his personal handgun after training on another weapon.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz said Bates — his longtime insurance agent and former campaign manager — had been properly trained and passed annual firearms certifications required by the state.

And even if he had not, friend/sheriff waved 'em. 

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Going on vacation, which is where the coverage will also be going (sorry).

Ex-deputy with Lou Gehrig’s disease not guilty in killings
Arizona sheriff describes investigation into judge’s wife

"Police sent to prison for using Taser on disabled woman" Associated Press  April 28, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — One small-town South Carolina police officer was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison, and a second to a year and a day for unnecessarily shocking a mentally disabled woman with a Taser at least eight times.

Officer Franklin Brown of Marion received the longer sentence because he shocked 40-year-old Melissa Davis after she had been handcuffed in April 2013. The other Marion officer, Eric Walters, stopped Davis early one morning to see whether she had broken into a home. Neither Walters nor other officers have explained how the incident escalated so quickly.

Davis was in court but began sobbing as Walters apologized, and was escorted out by her family.

Federal judge Bryan Carwell said the two officers through one bad action ruined the good work of thousands of honest officers.

The officers shocked Davis without giving her time to follow their orders, federal prosecutors said. Walters and Brown pleaded guilty in October to deprivation of rights.

After Walters Tasered Davis, he determined she did nothing wrong and was removing the Taser probes from her back. But Brown noticed one of Davis’s hands had slipped from her improperly applied handcuffs and ordered everyone to move away and shocked Davis again, even though she was not trying to fight or escape, according to court papers.

Davis has filed a civil suit seeking a minimum of nearly $2 million.

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While down in South Carolina, it looks like disinfo is misinfo. Either that or they just made a mistake, and that is certainly possible. I'm not perfect and am sure I've been wrong in the past. Life is a never-ending process of learning, and when you think you know it all that is when you do not. You need to do your own research and decide for yourself. I can offer you my opinion, guidance, and analysis but you need to decide for yourself what you think is the truth.

Time to bring it all back home:

"Neighbors said they had seen people coming in and out of the house at all times of the night. “Over the summer, a really shady guy moved in and changed the atmosphere of the building,” said K.B., 44, who provided only her initials because of the nature of the incident. The former longtime tenant moved out of her unit in the fall. “That pushed me to run instead of walk out of the door,” she said. “The building became loud and obnoxious.” K.B. said the building was once peaceful but that changed when people began visiting the house at 3 and 4 a.m. Police have increased patrols, but across the street from the shooting scene a small sign nailed to a utility pole reads, “This is a D.A.R.E. to resist drugs and violence community.” 

When they are coming at 3 and 4 in the morning, yeah, drug house. 

Man eludes State Police after two-hour search
Man barricaded in office at Fuller mental health center
Boston police arrest 3 after chase, recover gun in Mattapan
Boston officer injured during violent struggle with suspect
Boston officer placed on desk duty after shots fired

Drunk cop didn't shoot.

Fact is you are probably better off not calling the police because it's always a wrong number.

"Forum in Roxbury looks at police, community ties" by Jeremy C. Fox Globe Correspondent  April 17, 2015

Members of Boston’s African-American community called for an end to what they described as a double standard, with one set of rules for police officers and a second set for citizens, during a meeting with law enforcement officials Thursday evening in Roxbury.

I don't think be trained by Israelis is helping. We are all Palestinians now.

Police departments should be more diverse and have more inclusive cultures, and the public should have greater oversight of police use of force, said those gathered at a town hall meeting at the Dudley Square branch library. 

SeeBoston Police oversight panel needs more independence

The event was organized by Jamarhl Crawford, an activist and publisher of the Blackstonian online community newspaper, to address longstanding concerns about policing within Boston’s communities of color.

Dorchester resident Terrance Williams said he had experienced police abuse of power as a young man living in Mission Hill during the 1989 investigation of the murder of Carol Stuart, whose husband, Charles, had claimed she was killed by a black gunman. It was later revealed that Charles Stuart had killed his wife.

“Now, where there’s a crime that’s in the neighborhood, the cops want you to testify against your brother, your sister, your uncle, or whoever it is,” Williams, 46, said. “But they [police] won’t want to testify against somebody who they’re riding along with, even though they know it’s wrong.”

Thursday’s meeting came amid heightened attention to relationships between police and communities of color, following recent high-profile killings of several unarmed black men by law enforcement officers in the United States.

**********

Louis Elisa, a former president of Boston’s NAACP, expressed frustration that little has changed despite decades of efforts. Elisa, 65, called for more black officers at the highest ranks of the Police Department and gang and narcotics units.

“It’s a big difference between being in a community where you feel like the police are there to protect you or that they’re there to occupy you,” he said....  

They are, as mentioned above.

Dianne Wilkerson, a former Massachusetts state senator, said that in the past, it has often taken judicial action, rather than just good will, to bring about change....

Why should we take the word of a crook?


Some at the forum, attended by more than 200 people, suggested that those within the community who take a combative approach to relations with police can make tense situations more difficult....

That has been noted before.

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RelatedBoston Youth Peace Conference to discuss hot issues of the day

Brookline officer pulls over driver, helps to deliver baby

N.Y. police chief says tension has eased

Ever since the assassinations!

The other side:

"James Best, 88; actor was sheriff in ‘Dukes of Hazzard’

RALEIGH, N.C. — James Best, a prolific character actor born in Kentucky and best known for playing the giggling and inept Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on ‘‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’’ died April 6 at age 88.

His wife of 29 years, Dorothy, said Mr. Best died in hospice care in Hickory from complications of pneumonia.

Mr. Best starred on the television series that ran from 1979 to 1985. He was the lawman futilely chasing the Duke cousins, often in the company of his droopy-faced basset hound Flash. Mr. Best employed a battery of catch phrases in the role, as well as memorable laugh that was comically villainous.

‘‘I acted the part as good as I could,’’ Mr. Best told The Charlotte Observer in a 2009 interview. ‘‘Rosco, let’s face it, was a charmer. It was a fun thing.’’

He also acted in movies including ‘‘The Caine Mutiny’’ and ‘‘Rolling Thunder,’’ and he appeared on ‘‘Gunsmoke’’ and ‘‘The Andy Griffith Show.’’

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Time to take the Stand:

"In 2011, after a professional lifetime of scholarly writing, Mr. Steinbruner wrote his first novel, ‘‘The Secular Monastery,’’ which was self-published. The story was about a professor who is asked by the president to investigate what appears to be a terrorist attack on a government laboratory that was using a smallpox virus in controversial experiments."

Truth is stranger than fiction:

"Irwin Schatz, 83; rare critic of Tuskegee study" by Sam Roberts New York Times  April 24, 2015

NEW YORK — Nobody knows how many people read the December 1964 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, but apparently only one, Dr. Irwin Schatz, was so appalled by one of its articles, about a syphilis experiment using uneducated black men in Tuskegee, Ala., that he wrote the study’s author to protest.

“I couldn’t believe what I had read,” Dr. Schatz, who died April 1, wrote in an e-mail in 2013 to Civil Beat, an online newsletter in Hawaii, where he had moved to teach. “But the message was unmistakable.”

“These researchers had deliberately withheld treatment for this group of poor, uneducated, black sharecroppers,” he added, “in order to document what eventually might happen to them. I became incensed. How could physicians, who were trained first and foremost to do no harm, deliberately withhold curative treatment so they could understand the natural history of syphilis?”

That would give me misgivings about getting some. At least they didn't sterilize them. Or feed them radioactive oatmeal.

*********************

No one ever responded to Dr. Schatz’s letter, written in 1965, but its discovery in 1972 helped frame a national debate over patients’ rights that generated new standards for research involving human subjects.

The Tuskegee clinical study had been conducted by the US Public Health Service since 1932 to reach underserved black rural populations. But it was not widely known outside the scientific community.

We are from the government and we are here to help.

In 1972, on the basis of information from Peter Buxtun, a health service interviewer turned whistle-blower, the study was revealed by The Washington Star. Dr. Schatz’s letter was found by The Wall Street Journal in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Of the 600 men enrolled in the study, about two-thirds had already contracted syphilis. All were told that they had “bad blood,” but none were given penicillin, even after it became a proven treatment for the disease in the 1940s.

The study raised questions not only about denial of treatment but also about racial discrimination and morality in the aftermath of medical experiments by the Nazis during World War II.

The letter was passed to a coauthor, Dr. Anne R. Yobs of the Centers for Disease Control, who wrote in a memo to her bosses: “This is the first letter of this type we have received. I do not plan to answer this letter.”

In 2009, the Mayo Clinic recognized Dr. Schatz with a Distinguished Alumni Award. A nominating letter praised his courage because “criticizing an investigation which was overseen by some of the leading figures in the American Public Health Service was an action that was, to say the very least, potentially harmful to his career.”

Irwin Jacob Schatz was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, in 1931. His parents ran a kosher-style restaurant in Winnipeg....

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Mac & Cheese For Lunch

"Mac & Cheese is shedding the dyes

NEW YORK — Starting in January, the original version of Kraft Mac & Cheese sold in the United States will be colored with paprika, annatto, and turmeric. A Change.org petition that began in March 2013 asked Kraft to remove artificial dyes; it garnered more than 365,000 signatures. The company already sells a version that has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors, Kraft Mac & Cheese Boxed Shapes. Late next year, Kraft’s other macaroni and cheese varieties, such as Shapes Cups and Easy Mac, will have no artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors.

Is it still GMO wheat though? 

I mu$t confe$$ that I never eat stuff.  I've seen what it does to people, and I don't like Kraft.

You're still hungry?

Halliburton cuts 9,000 jobs

HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. has cut 9,000 jobs, or more than 10 percent of its workforce, in about six months and is considering more cost-cutting as falling oil prices sap demand for its drilling help. The oil-field services company reported a loss of $643 million in the first quarter. Oil prices plunged starting last summer, leading to belt-tightening across the industry as oil companies move to curb production. Schlumberger Ltd. said last week that it would cut 11,000 jobs — on top of 9,000 job cuts it announced in January. Halliburton’s president, Jeff Miller, said he was not ready to say the worst has passed, but that such slumps usually last about three quarters.

But the economy is fine.

Apartment tower sells for $130m

As summer blends arrive, Gas prices jump in Mass.

Why are prices going up?

GM to compensate families for 87 deaths

DETROIT — Families of at least 87 people killed in crashes caused by defective General Motors ignition switches will get compensation from the company. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the total Monday. It was 84 last week. An additional 157 injured people also are eligible for compensation. Feinberg said 113 compensation offers have been accepted and five have been rejected. The amounts have not been disclosed. The fund received 4,342 claims by the Jan. 31 deadline; 25 percent of those are still under review. Feinberg said more than half were ineligible or deficient. GM knew about problem switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade but recalled them only last year. They can slip out of the ‘‘on’’ position, causing the cars to stall.

Related: Stalled Blog

Still revved up quite a profit though, and you can't blame them for this

Just wanted to get home:

Homeowners, lawyers get $3.2m from drywall maker

OTTAWA— A federal court has released $3.2 million to be divided among seven Virginia homeowners and their lawyers from a manufacturer of defective Chinese drywall. US District Judge Eldon Fallon’s Monday order outlines payments ranging from $67,639 to more than $363,000 to the homeowners. Attorneys’ fees range from just under $29,000 to more than $155,000. Headquartered in China’s Shandong province, Taishan Gypsum Co. made the $3.2 million payment last month. Fallon had earlier held Taishan and related companies in contempt for failing to show up for court proceedings. To get out of contempt and be allowed to participate in future damage hearings, Taishan agreed to the payment. The seven cases are a precursor to a hearing later this year to determine damages for some 4,000 homeowners in multiple states.

I was wondering why it felt like Home Sour Home.

US is urged to sue to force Walmart to rehire 2,200

NEW YORK — A union wants regulators to go to court to force Walmart to rehire 2,200 employees affected by the abrupt closing of five stores a week ago. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union filed a complaint on behalf of OUR Walmart with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing the closings were retaliation for labor activism. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it closed the stores to fix plumbing problems. One affected store, in Pico Rivera, Calif., has been a hotbed for worker protests. The others are in Midland and Livingston, Texas; Tulsa, Okla.; and Brandon, Fla. The company did not immediately respond to the new charges. It has said the stores will be closed for up to six months, that workers would be on paid leave for two months, and that it would look to transfer some to nearby stores."

Hey, they are raising the pittance so what are you complaining about?

Tuesday Morning Make-Up

"FDA may get more say over cosmetics" by Rachel Abrams New York Times   April 21, 2015

NEW YORK — For decades, the Food and Drug Administration has had fewer than a dozen pages of instructions on how to regulate the millions of lipsticks, moisturizers, and other cosmetics sold each year.

Now a bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, proposes to give the FDA broader oversight, including the authority to force recalls.

The proposal has backing from the cosmetics industry and proponents of strengthening the agency’s oversight, including the Environmental Working Group, a left-leaning advocacy group.

Regulating cosmetics has not changed much since passage of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938. The FDA can only ask companies to voluntarily recall products, and manufacturers are not legally required to disclose adverse health effects reported by consumers. (Many manufacturers say they do so anyway.)

Various efforts to get stronger legislation passed over the years have failed.

The FDA expressed dismay last year at some proposals offered by trade organizations and said it would drop negotiations with industry groups for new rules.

Under the new proposal, companies will be required to report “serious” adverse health effects they receive from consumers — reactions to products that result in death, disfigurement, or hospitalization, for example — within 15 business days. Companies must report all nonserious events — like a rash — in an annual report.

An FDA spokesman declined to comment.

--more--"

Isn't Lauder a top-selling cosmetics company?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Nepal Earthquake Buried European Migrants

In an avalanche of print and articles:

"Earthquake Devastates Nepal, Killing More Than 1,900" by ELLEN BARRY, APRIL 25, 2015

NEW DELHI — A powerful earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday near its capital, Katmandu, killing more than 1,900 people, flattening sections of the city’s historic center, and trapping dozens of sightseers in a 200-foot watchtower that came crashing down into a pile of bricks.

As officials in Nepal faced the devastation on Sunday morning, they said that most of the 1,931 deaths occurred in Katmandu and the surrounding valley, and that more than 4,700 people had been injured. But the quake touched a vast expanse of the subcontinent. It set off avalanches around Mount Everest, where at least 17 climbers died. At least 34 deaths occurred in northern India. Buildings swayed in Tibet and Bangladesh.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8, struck shortly before noon, and residents of Katmandu ran into the streets and other open spaces as buildings fell, throwing up clouds of dust. Wide cracks opened on paved streets and in the walls of city buildings. Motorcycles tipped over and slid off the edge of a highway.

By midafternoon, the United States Geological Survey had counted 12 aftershocks, one of which measured 6.6.

Seismologists have expected a major earthquake in western Nepal, where there is pent-up pressure from the grinding between tectonic plates, the northern Eurasian plate and the up-thrusting Indian plate. Still, four of the area’s seven Unesco World Heritage sites were severely damaged in the earthquake: for many, the most breathtaking architectural loss was the nine-story Dharahara Tower, which was built in 1832 on the orders of the queen. The tower had recently reopened to the public, and visitors could ascend a spiral staircase to a viewing platform around 200 feet above the city.

The walls were brick, around one and a half feet thick, and when the earthquake struck, they came crashing down.

The police said on Saturday that they had pulled about 60 bodies from the rubble of the tower. Kashish Das Shrestha, a photographer and writer, spent much of the day in the old city, but said he still had trouble grasping that the tower was gone.

“I was here yesterday, I was here the day before yesterday, and it was there,” he said. “Today it’s just gone. Last night, from my terrace, I was looking at the tower. And today I was at the tower — and there is no tower.”

Not to make light of this terrible tragedy beyond comprehension, but I think all Americans can relate to that kind of imagery -- in triplicate.

************************

For years, people have worried about an earthquake of this magnitude in western Nepal. Many feared that an immense death toll would result, in part because construction has been largely unregulated in recent years, said Ganesh K. Bhattari, a Nepalese expert on earthquakes, now living in Denmark.

He said the government had made some buildings more robust and reinforced vulnerable ones, but many larger buildings, like hospitals and old-age homes, remained extremely vulnerable. “There is a little bit of improvement,” he said. “But it is really difficult for people to implement the rules and the regulations.”

Saturday’s earthquake struck when schools were not in session, which may have reduced the death toll. But there was not yet a full picture of the damage to villages on the mountain ridges around Katmandu, where families live in houses made of mud and thatch.

Hopefully they will not be forgotten like Vanuatu.

As night fell, aftershocks were still hitting, prompting waves of screaming. Many residents sat on roads for much of the day, afraid to go back indoors, and many insisted that they would spend the night outside despite the cold. Thousands camped out at the city’s parade ground. The city’s shops were running short of bottled water, dry food and telephone charge cards.

Toward evening, hospitals were trying to accommodate a huge influx of patients, some with amputated limbs, and were running short of supplies like bandages and trauma kits, said Jamie McGoldrick, resident coordinator with the United Nations Development Program in Nepal. Water supplies, a problem under normal circumstances in this fast-growing city, will almost certainly run short, he said.

Search and rescue personnel will face the challenge of reaching villages nearer the quake’s epicenter, about 50 miles northwest of Katmandu, where damage may be catastrophic.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the American ambassador to Nepal, Peter W. Bodde, had issued a disaster declaration that would allow $1 million in humanitarian assistance to be available immediately. A disaster response team and an urban search-and-rescue team from the United States Agency for International Development will also be deployed, he said in a statement.

Why does the CIA need to get in there?

China and India, which jockey for influence in the region, have pledged disaster assistance.

Yeah, they don't provide it out of the goodness of their hearts like AmeriKa. They trying to play an angle!

I'm so0 sick of $hit journali$m.

The region has been the site of the largest earthquakes in the Himalayas, including a 2005 quake in the Kashmir region and a 1905 earthquake in Kangra, India.

Don't see much regarding Kashmir, either.

--more--"

Related:

Earthquake in Nepal kills nearly 1,400 and levels buildings ...

Link broke?

Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200; Aftershocks send people into streets; destruction, rains slow relief response" by Binaj Gurubacharya and Katy Daigle Associated Press  April 25, 2015

Web version found a live one.

Over to Mt. Everest:

"17 dead in Mount Everest avalanche triggered by quake" by Gardiner Harris New York Times  April 25, 2015

NEW DELHI — A year after a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest ended the climbing season, another avalanche, this one caused by a powerful earthquake near the Nepalese capital, slammed into part of the mountaineering base camp Saturday, killing at least 17 climbers and 61 others have been injured, Nepalese officials and a senior trekking guide said.

One of those killed at the base camp was Dan Fredinburg, a Google engineer and avid climber who had sought to take the company’s Street View project to the world’s highest mountains. “Sadly, we lost one of our own,” Google said in a statement.

Alex Gavan, a hiker at the base camp, described on Twitter a “huge earthquake then huge avalanche” that sent him “running for life from my tent.” Gavan warned that many of the injured would die if they were not evacuated soon.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association told the Associated Press early Sunday 22 of the seriously injured had been taken by helicopter to Pheriche village, which has the nearest medical facility. Bad weather and communications were hampering more helicopter rescues.

Tshering says the avalanche began Saturday on Mount Kumori, a 22,966-foot-high mountain a few miles from Everest, gathering strength as it headed toward the base camp, where climbing expeditions have been preparing to make their summit attempts.

My print copy quoted a different source: 

"Nima Namgyal Sherpa, a guide at the base camp, said the avalanche caused many injuries. Nepalese tourism officials feared hundreds of climbers may have died. “Many camps have been destroyed by the shake and wind from the avalanche,” Mr. Sherpa, the base camp manager for Asian Trekking, wrote in a post on Facebook. “All the doctors here are doing our best to treat and save lives.”

Tempting death has always been part of the treacherous Everest experience, but these past two years have been particularly deadly.

Last year, about 30 men were crossing a notorious area known by some local residents as the Golden Gate because of the shape of its ice formations when a huge chunk of ice cascaded down the mountain’s south side around 6:30 a.m. and engulfed them, killing 16.

In that accident, no foreign climbers were killed, in part because of the early hour. The climbers were Sherpas, members of an ethnic group known for their climbing acumen, and who often use Sherpa as a surname. They are paid by foreign climbers to do the dangerous tasks of fixing ropes, carrying supplies, and setting up camps for their clients.

They went on strike after that.

But Saturday’s quake struck just before noon local time, making almost anyone in the area vulnerable.

Arjun Vajpai, a professional mountaineer, was on Makalu, a mountain in the Himalayas southeast of Everest, near the Nepal-China border, when the earthquake struck.

“We’ve had a lot of disturbance here due to the earthquake,” he said in a video he posted to Facebook from his campsite.

In the video, he points to a mountain visible behind him and says there have been a few avalanches in the area as well as rockfalls. Most climbers on his team were fine, he said, but he had not yet heard from climbers who moved to other camps.

Ang Sherpa, an experienced climbing guide, said in an interview Saturday that about 800 people were staying at the Everest base camp, which is always a somewhat chaotic collection of tents, equipment, and exhausted climbers and their attendants.

"A helicopter rescue operation to the base camp was planned for Sunday morning, he said, when a full tally of the dead and injured should become available."

--more--"

Also see:

"Italian authorities on Saturday rescued 274 migrants from a vessel in the Mediterranean, while more than 300 rescued a day earlier arrived in a Sicily port. Italian Navy spokeswoman Giorgia Trecca said Saturday’s rescue took place off the Libyan coast. There were no reports of any casualties. Meanwhile, 334 migrants, who were rescued on Friday, were dropped off in the Sicilian port of Augusta (AP)."

Globe literally sunk that brief.

Related:

That Same Old Sinking Feeling
Taking Turkey to Task

Continued into Monday, too:

"Coast Guard crews searched for five people missing Sunday after recovering the bodies of two people who drowned when a powerful weekend storm capsized several sailboats competing in a regatta near Mobile Bay."

"The War between the States ended, but peace did not follow. The Indian Wars meant the continued killing and pushing of natives further north and west. It still surprises me that there has been plenty of outrage toward slavery, but general acceptance of eradicating or confining the natives. All of us here today who are not Native American benefited from the purge."

Even have a football team named Redskins (maybe it is time to change that name).

I thought that sentiment appropriate in light of talking Turkey where some may have been offended by the language; however, my point remains. I'm not trying to excuse genocide of any kind; I am merely noting the strange focus regarding the propaganda pre$$ of today.

"Protests, clashes follow nomination of Burundi’s president for third term" Associated Press  April 27, 2015

BUJUMBURA, Burundi — Hundreds of people in Burundi protested in the capital Sunday after the country’s ruling party nominated President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term.

There were clashes between protesters and armed police in Bujumbura, the nation’s capital. Police fired tear gas to break up crowds and also blocked access to some parts of the city.

Watchdog groups and observers had warned of possible unrest if Nkurunziza decided to run again. Thousands of Burundians have already fled the country ahead of presidential elections on June 26.

Burundi’s constitution stipulates that a president can serve for only two terms, but Nkurunziza's party says he is eligible for another term as popularly elected president because for his first term he was elected by lawmakers.

Critics say this is not a proper interpretation of the law and that he should not compete for a third term.

The US government has criticized the ruling party’s decision.

‘‘With this decision, Burundi is losing an historic opportunity to strengthen its democracy by establishing a tradition of peaceful democratic transition,’’ the State Department said.

And if we can't get the puppet we want that way, we'll overthrow your ass with a coup!

More than 10,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring Rwanda citing fears of election violence. Many of those in Rwanda say they left because of growing pressure to support Nkurunziza’s party.

Others alleged violence by the ruling party’s youth wing, known as Imbonerakure, according to the UN refugee agency.

--more--"

At least security concerns in France have been revived.

Back to Nepal:

"Fear and loss amid the devastation in Katmandu" by Thomas Fuller New York Times  April 27, 2015

KATMANDU, Nepal — Sitting atop a major tectonic fault, Nepal was inured to tremors. Yet the powerful earthquake that struck Saturday, destroying some of the country’s most treasured temples and killing more than 2,500 people, left behind fear and pessimism.

Why is the property first in my pre$$? Buildings can be rebuilt. Lives can not.

On Sunday afternoon, the streets were filled with people carrying bedrolls and pillows to any open space they could find, including a military parade ground that had been transformed into a giant tent city. There was a widespread belief that deadly aftershocks loomed. Very few people seemed willing to sleep indoors.

They may have to call that home like the Haitians.

In the land of Sherpas, residents carried their bedding over their shoulders through the streets of Katmandu and set up camp anywhere away from buildings, walls, or anything that could fall down.

The destruction from Saturday’s earthquake was oddly inconsistent. Engineers and scientists will no doubt offer explanations for why some buildings collapsed into splinters and piles of bricks while others next door appeared indifferent to the violence of the earthquake. The seeming randomness, the odd juxtaposition of upright and flattened, spooked people.

Many residents remain traumatized. In the heart of historic district, the country’s most prized temples are rubble. These buildings “are what made Katmandu special,” Sri Kitav Sangoala, a middle-aged truck driver, said.

By late Sunday, the aftershocks appeared to be weakening, although a magnitude 5.3 quake shook an area about 30 miles east of Katmandu.

As dusk fell, soldiers climbed through the rubble of the historic buildings — and continued to dig for bodies.

Nepal's 9/11 with first-responder heroes.

--more--"

Found another one!

Death toll and fears rising in Nepal; Supplies dwindle; aftershocks spread; destruction, rains slow relief response" by Rama Lakshmi and Annie Gowen Washington Post  April 27, 2015

"Nepal Terrorized by Aftershocks, Hampering Relief Efforts" by THOMAS FULLER and GARDINER HARRIS, APRIL 26, 2015

KATMANDU, Nepal — A growing sense of despair spread through Katmandu on Sunday as the devastated Nepali capital was convulsed by aftershocks that sent residents screaming into the streets, where they were pelted by heavy rain.

A day after an earthquake killed more than 2,400 people and injured about 5,900, residents grew frantic and the government, entirely overwhelmed by the enormousness of the challenge facing the country, struggled to provide relief, or much hope.

Streets in parts of this city of about 1.2 million were impassable, not so much from quake damage but because tens of thousands of people have taken up residence there. It was a strategy endorsed by the government.

The already difficult situation in much of the capital, where safe shelters are scarce, was made worse Sunday when rains began to pour down on huddled masses.

It is increasingly evident that authorities here were ill-equipped to rescue those trapped and would have trouble maintaining adequate supplies of water, electricity and food.

“In my neighborhood, the police are conspicuous by their absence,” said Sridhar Khatri of the South Asia Center for Policy Studies in Katmandu. “There is not even a show of force to deter vandalism, which some reports say is on the rise.”

On Mount Everest, helicopter rescue operations began Sunday morning to take wounded climbers off the mountain, where at least 18 climbers were killed and 41 others injured, making the earthquake the deadliest event in the mountain’s history. Three Americans were among those killed, according to the State Department.

Related:

"Marblehead resident David Breashears, who codirected “Everest,” the first Imax film shot on Mount Everest, was at Camp 1 when the avalanche occurred and is safe, said Ellen Golbranson, chief financial officer at GlacierWorks in Boston. Breashears was there as part of his work for GlacierWorks, a nonprofit organization he established in 2007 to bring attention to the impact of climate change on the Himalayan region, she said." 

This was an earthquake, and if you are going to claim.... sigh.

Aftershocks and small avalanches throughout the day Sunday continued to plague the nearly 800 people staying at the mountain base camp and at higher elevation camps. Susan Parker-Burns, a spokeswoman from the United States Embassy in Nepal, said Sunday in an email that a rescue and relief team from the United States Agency for International Development was sent by military transport to Nepal, and that it would arrive on Monday.

On Sunday, the government began setting up 16 relief stations across Katmandu and the rest of the country while rescue operations continued. The relief stations are expected to ease distribution of water, food and medicine, said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a spokesman at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Electricity has been intermittent at best in Katmandu, and absent entirely in other parts of Nepal, but that is not wholly unusual in a country where nighttime blackouts are routine.

Many hotels, commercial buildings and wealthy homes in the capital have their own generators. But nearly all of the country’s gas and diesel supplies are brought in from India, and with traffic reduced to a crawl along major highways, those supplies could dwindle quickly. Some gas stations in Katmandu have already run dry; others are rationing their remaining supplies.

Thousands of Katmandu’s residents squatted on streets throughout the city, either because their homes had been destroyed or because continued aftershocks, including one of magnitude 6.7, left them too afraid to go back inside. Other residents were camping out in schools, school playgrounds and government offices.

The government announced that schools would remain closed for at least five days, and it pleaded with government workers to help in local rescue efforts in place of their usual jobs.

Stephen Groves, who lives in Katmandu, said he had been inspecting a building for cracks shortly after noon on Sunday when the biggest of many aftershocks hit, leading to terrified screams from those nearby.

“The whole time I was thinking if the building next to me was going to come down on top of me,” Mr. Groves said in an email. “People here are in a panic, and every aftershock contributes to that. They are not going indoors, they are staying in the roads and in open areas. Many are searching for family members.”

Mr. Groves said he had gone to a hospital in the capital on Saturday, where hordes of people were lying on the ground outside the building, many with intravenous drips hooked up to their arms and shocked looks on their faces.

The city was awash with rumors that the worst aftershocks were yet to come and with fears of greater destruction in the countryside, large swaths of which remained unreachable by phone.

Subhash Ghimire, the editor in chief of the Nepalese newspaper República, said he managed to reach his father in his village, home to about 3,000 people, near the epicenter in the Gorkha district. “He said not a single house is left in our village, including our own house,” Mr. Ghimire said.

In a blog post Sunday, Eric Simonson of International Mountain Guides said the news from the Everest base camp “was quite bleak,” and that the company’s encampment “has been turned into a triage center, and our big dining tents are now being used as hospital tents.”

“The tons and tons of falling ice going this vertical distance created a huge aerosol avalanche and accompanying air blast,” he wrote. “It is worth noting that over many expeditions we have never seen an avalanche from this area that was even remotely of this scale.”

I would suggest a HAARP, but....

About 600 Israelis are believed to be in Nepal, a popular destination for young backpackers after their compulsory military service.  

That's where my print ended, and it lets you know exactly why this story has overtaken the migrants in my self-centered jew$paper.

Also Sunday, the Israeli military said that it was preparing to send two Boeing 747s carrying 260 aid workers and more than 90 tons of cargo to Katmandu.  Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical response organization, had already sent an advance team of 10 paramedics and two doctors to Nepal.

Nepal will most likely require significant help. The country’s existing political discord is likely to hamper rescue and rebuilding efforts. The government has been barely functional for more than a decade, with politicians of just about every stripe fighting over the scraps of the increasingly desperate economy. 

It's everywhere!

A 10-year civil war between Maoist parties and the government ended in 2006, but the resulting Constituent Assembly spent four years trying to write a constitution without success. Paralysis ensued until elections in November 2013 led to the unexpected rout of the previously dominant Maoists.

Nepal’s people had already become exhausted with the political paralysis, but those feelings could turn explosive if relief and rescue efforts fail in the coming weeks, analysts said. The fear of just such an outcome could spur an intense international relief effort, as an odd collection of countries — including China, India and the United States — were already cooperating on pushing Nepal’s politicians toward compromise.

--more--"

Back up Everest:

"Local couple in Nepal found safe" by Nestor Ramos and Melissa Hanson Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent  April 26, 2015

Watching helplessly from afar, hundreds of Nepali residents of Boston gathered at a vigil in Copley Square Sunday night to honor the thousands killed in their homeland, which brought about 1,000 people to Copley Square, were still frantically trying to learn the fate of loved ones. The vigil, organizers said, was a chance to help heal and an outlet for people powerless to help parents, siblings, and relatives on the the other side of the world.

Related: 

"In Greater Boston, churches and temples that minister to the region’s close-knit Nepali community planned special prayer services for Saturday night, and scrambled to put together plans to provide financial and other assistance to Nepal. “The community here is totally shocked,” said Ram Dhital, owner of Himalayan Indian Bistro in West Roxbury. “It’s a big disaster.” 

No argument there.

*************

Sunday’s vigil emerged from a Saturday night meeting at Himalayan Indian Bistro in West Roxbury, where members of Boston-area organizations for Nepali immigrants traded stories about relatives lost or missing in the devastation.

“Everyone is still in shock,” said Amit Dixit, executive director of the South Asian Arts Council, one of several organizations working together to coordinate response and relief efforts.

The vigil, Dixit said, is a way to begin the healing process even as the organizations grapple with how they can best help those affected through relief efforts.

Fund-raising efforts by area organizations are underway — a Nepali student association and the University of Massachusetts Boston will meet on campus Monday afternoon. Dixit said the assembled community groups are urging that donations be made through the Red Cross.

Elisha Thapa said difficulty communicating with relatives in Nepal has compounded fear with frustration.

“There was a shortage of electricity as it is,” said Thapa, who last visited Nepal in 2013.

Her parents are here — her father, Ram Thapa, is president of the Greater Boston Nepali Community — but most of her extended family remains in Nepal.

“They have been too scared to go indoors,” said Thapa, 26, of Arlington. “They have been camping outside and running low on their batteries.”

Aftershocks, she said, have been nearly as devastating as the first initial quake.

“The catastrophe hasn’t ended. That’s the scariest part,” Thapa said. “People are going to bed scared. . . . The earth hasn’t stopped trembling.”

--more--"

RelatedSnow work leaves budgets battered

A different kind of avalanche that flies in the face of, you know....

NDUs:

Study links extreme weather to global warming

Literally farting in your face (as blog editor shakes his head regarding another agenda-pushing pos from the $cienti$ts when we have all seen the cooling, sorry). 

Hey, look, I'm sure carbon credits are a good investment for those wanting to save the world, and by that I mean the good-hearted elite taking such good care of us all as they profit tremendously.

Time to link it to Nepal and take it from the top:

"Climbers describe chaos on Mount Everest after earthquake" by Chris Buckley New York Times  April 28, 2015

KATMANDU, Nepal — Even for Lakpa Rita, a revered Nepalese mountaineer who has reached the summit of Mount Everest 17 times, the roaring wall of boulders, rocks, ice, and debris that pulverized much of the mountain’s base camp during the weekend signified a new twist in the peak’s destructive powers.

“Nothing like this has happened before at Everest base camp,” Rita said by telephone Monday from the camp in eastern Nepal, three days after the earthquake set off the avalanche and geological convulsions there. “This is a huge, huge avalanche,” he said.

At least 18 people died in the area of the camp, which is 18,000 feet above sea level.

The search for victims’ bodies in and around the camp, where mountaineers gather before trying to reach Everest’s summit, is likely to be long and difficult. An unknown number of climbers are still unaccounted for, officials said.

Helicopters evacuated almost all of the 180 climbers stuck at Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Everest after the route back to the base camp was blocked by the avalanche, Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told the Associated Press.

‘‘They are all in good health,’’ Sherpa said, adding that 700 climbers are still at base camp and the route to Camp 1 is being repaired.

Eleven bodies have been retrieved, including seven Nepalis, said Jhankanath Dhakal, chief district officer of Solukhumbu District, which includes Nepal’s part of Everest.

For many tourists and adventurers, visiting Everest — even at the relatively low base camp — fulfills an intensely personal and expensive quest to test extremes. But for many ethnic Sherpas employed as local guides, who often take immense pride in their high-altitude skills, the most immediate motivation is a good income.

I'm just a might offended by the eliti$t tone there. I've linked last year's disaster as well, and the Sherpa's shut it down last season because of low pay and no benefits. A year later, and it's buried under an avalanche (pardon the pun) of feel-good propaganda here. 

Last year, an avalanche killed at least 13 Sherpa guides on Mount Everest and left three others missing, probably dead. How many Sherpas were among the fatalities at base camp this time was unclear.

Yet even the two successive seasons of tragedy appeared unlikely to deter Sherpa men from taking jobs as paid guides and load-bearers on mountain expeditions. In Nepal, where the average income is about $700 a year, Sherpas can make $3,000 to $5,000 in a season on Mount Everest, as well as bonuses if they reach the summit. 

I suppose it is not banker pay, but hooray for the $herpas! You would think the rich adventurers and such could $hell out a bit more as they contemplate altruism at the highest peak in the world, etc, etc. 

Even hardened climbers admitted to being terrified by the wave of destruction from the latest quake.

“I heard a really big thump and then I knew, OK, the avalanche is coming,” Mariusz Malkowski, a 42-year-old Polish-American engineer and an experienced climber, said Monday after finding his way out of base camp and eventually to New Delhi. But he said he was not prepared for what he saw: a wave of snow and ice, accompanied by a tremendous gust of air. “Imagine a tsunami,” he said.

“Mountains and glaciers shook all around us,” Sean Wisedale, a South African climber and expedition leader, recounted on his blog. “A massive ice slab sheared and thundered into Base Camp. It lifted rocks and boulders ahead of it, slamming into hundreds of tents in the center of the camp and spilling over onto the Khumbu glacier on the other side.”

Look, I don't want to connect the two in the face of all these deaths, but after years and years of relative safety during the season the lingering winter play a role here?

Members of his team dived into their tents and then emerged to a different world. “Base Camp was the site of post Armageddon,” he wrote.

There seems little chance, however, that successive disasters will seriously dull the luster of Mount Everest among visitors. Some foreign trekkers who had left Everest after the earthquake, or had their plans to visit stymied by the disaster, said in interviews in Katmandu that they hoped to return to the mountain. Others said they had seen enough.

“Emotionally, I felt like this trip was so much bigger than the actual physical journey,” Rob Besecker, who lives in Chicago, said in an interview.

He has muscular dystrophy and heart problems, and he said he had trekked to the Everest base camp, and other famous or forbidding parts of the world, to show people that illness should not overshadow their lives. He had already left the base camp when the earthquake struck.

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Related:

"Dan Fredinburg, 33, a Google engineer from California, also helped start Save the Ice, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about global warming ‘‘through adventurous campaigns and events around the world,’’ according to its website. Fredinburg began working at Google in 2007. He served as product manager and the head of privacy at Google X, the company’s secretive arm best known for ‘‘moonshot’’ projects such as the self-driving car. Fredinburg had returned to Mount Everest this year after his climbing trip last April was canceled because of an avalanche that killed 16 Nepali staff.....

How ironic, and I suppose the carbon footprint left by adventuring(??), blah, blah, is okay. The more conspiracy-minded of you may find it odd. I'm accepting for now that this is accident and natural.

The earthquake that devastated Nepal and set off the avalanches Saturday has killed more than 4,300 people, including at least four Americans, according to the US State Department. The American victims were Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive; Marisa Eve Girawong, a physician’s assistant from New Jersey; Tom Taplin, a documentary filmmaker from Santa Monica, Calif., and Vinh B. Truong, according to ABC News." 

And just who is Global Rescue?

"Global Rescue, a Boston security company started by Dan Richards, the former private equity investor, in 2004 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an 11-man team of former Navy SEALs and 200-member staff that is an unusually fit bunch and that conducts more than 1,000 operations a year. It has responded to coup attempts in Mali and Madagascar, terror attacks in India, and the 2011 tsunami in Japan. A few weeks ago, Global Rescue evacuated two mountain climbers via helicopter in Switzerland. After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Global Rescue spent three weeks getting people out. The company doesn’t have clients in Syria, but it is working with companies in the bordering countries of Israel, Turkey, and Lebanon in the event the conflict spreads." 

Right in the thick of it, are they?

"Many left out as aid flows to Nepal; Remote villagers struggle; death toll above 4,400" by Thomas Fuller and Ellen Barry New York Times  April 28, 2015

SAURPANI, Nepal — Three days after Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years, the official death toll had risen to more than 4,400, and humanitarian aid was starting to flow to the capital.

Katmandu’s airport had been so overloaded by aid and passenger planes that incoming flights sat for hours on the runway. Rescue workers, medical teams, and aid organizations from more than a dozen countries were helping police and army troops in Katmandu and surrounding areas. A plane with 70 US search-and-rescue workers arrived in Nepal on Monday, and a second US cargo plane carrying members of a Los Angeles urban search-and-rescue team was due to arrive Tuesday.

Conditions were still chaotic in Katmandu, where many buildings were reduced to rubble and there were shortages of food, fuel, electricity, and shelter. As bodies were recovered, relatives cremated the dead along the Bagmati River.

But the problems could be far worse in remote mountain locations. Many of the worst-hit villages in the ridges around Katmandu remain a black hole, surrounded by landslides that make them inaccessible even to the country’s armed forces.

Nepali authorities Monday began airdropping packages of tarpaulins, dry food, and medicine into mountain villages, but an attempt to land helicopters was abandoned, said Brigadier General Jagadish Chandra Pokharel, an army spokesman.

The government is only gradually getting a grasp of the destruction in these isolated places. It is nearly impossible to identify which villages are most in need, and how many may be dead or injured, said Jeffrey Shannon, director of programs for Mercy Corps in Nepal.

“Right now, what we’re hearing from everybody, including our own staff, is that we don’t know,” he said....

Then why keep reading this?

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Who is rushing there besides Global Rescue:

"Global effort to help Nepal earthquake victims intensifies" by Gregory Katz Associated Press  April 28, 2015

LONDON — Priority at the damaged international airport in the Nepalese capital, Katmandu, was given to aid flights carrying either doctors or search teams, said Captain Chezki, an Israeli air force pilot who landed an early aid flight and then returned to Israel. Under Israeli military guidelines, he was identified only by his first name.

************

The US Agency for International Development said Monday that it would make an additional $9 million available for the recovery effort.

It's not like I don't want to help the poor Nepalis; however, take a look here:

"House and Senate GOP negotiators neared agreement Monday on a budget blueprint that delivering an almost $40 billion budget boost to the Pentagon. The emerging plan relies on deep cuts to domestic agency budgets and safety net programs for the poor."

There has to be something more to all the U.S. good will, especially with the CIA flying in.

A US Air Force C-17 carrying 70 search experts and 45 tons of cargo was on the way to Nepal on Monday, with a second flight due the following day.

Two Army Special Forces teams that were in Nepal when the earthquake struck are aiding in rescue efforts, officials said. 

Say again?

Two teams of US Army Green Beret soldiers happened to be in Nepal for training when the deadly earthquake struck and are staying to help with search and relief efforts. 

Just happened to be there, huh?

The 11-person crew of a C-130 cargo plane that brought them to Nepal also is remaining in case it is needed to evacuate any American citizens.

Kipp Branch, senior medical supply officer for the MAP International charity, said the group is putting together an extensive medical supply shipment that will only be sent once it has clearance to land and distribute emergency health supplies intended to support 10,000 people for three months.

“The challenge now is getting the airport up and running,” he said from Brunswick, Ga., where he is organizing the shipment that will probably be sent from the Netherlands via a commercial cargo flight.

He said the huge amount of aid being sent means the airport will be challenged to accommodate all the flights.

“The world is trying to respond, which is a good thing, and the systems and networks tend to work a little bit slower due to the traffic volume coming in,” he said.

Not to minimize this horrendous disaster at all, but so often the "world" ignores such things. All depends where it happens. I'm think Pakistan and Afghanistan floods and earthquakes, the typhoons ripping through South Asia that get brief mention, etc, etc.

United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said the UN is releasing $15 million from its central emergency response fund to help victims. But he also acknowledged problems getting relief supplies into the country and the pressure on the airport.

He said food trucks are on their way to affected regions outside the Katmandu Valley, with distribution of the food expected to start Tuesday. The aid program will probably be needed for an extended period of time.

I'll be tracking the coverage for you.

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Also see: 

"As torrential rain and heavy winds continued to batter Alabama’s coast Monday, the Coast Guard suspended its search for four people missing after a weekend storm killed two mariners participating in a weekend regatta. The agency said the search would resume as soon as the weather allows."

Oh, yeah, the Mediterranean crisis regarding Obummer's war refugees. Down the old memory hole as the entire world and the Globe coverage rushes to Nepal. Will those mountain passes be important as WWIII progresses?

Captain of doomed ferry sentenced to life in prison

That didn't make my printed paper, but even that is getting more coverage than the migrants now.