New Peace and Justice group to launch African Liberation Day May 25

 

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M. Lamin Saidykha

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – The former head of Greenpeace Africa took the opportunity of the climate march in Washington last weekend to announce that “Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity”- a new Africa-wide social movement focused on climate change – will be officially launched on African Liberation Day – May 25.
“It’s a terrible injustice that even though we the people of Africa collectively contributed the least to emissions, we are the ones that are paying the first and most brutal price,” said Kumi Naidoo, adding “we’ve got climate refugees, land that’s drying up, water sources that are disappearing and so on, which is already creating a quite a catastrophic situation.”
“We feel extremely hurt that the countries that carry the biggest responsibility continue to deny their responsibility, but also deny the very fact that the science is absolutely clear that we have to get off dirty energy,” he said in an interview with the news show Democracy Now.
Some 200,000 took part in the DC event, which included spontaneous music and informal speeches. The new group lists “Actions & Events” on their webpage for May 25.
“We chose that day so that we can remind ourselves, our leaders and the world that we are tired of waiting for that liberation to be delivered. And to show them that we are prepared to take action and hold political and business leaders accountable and reinvigorate the journey to that better life for all.”
It continues: “We are one of the youngest continents in terms of our demographic profile but we have some of the oldest leaders. If political leaders were honest with themselves many would acknowledge that they’ve been in power for far too long. They’ve run out of fresh ideas. We need to make way for younger people who have new perspectives on the problems facing the world.
Africans Rising is about deepening solidarity across the continent. We must step up and be the first to speak out against human rights violations.
The group’s coordinator is Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, a 32-year-old Gambian human rights activist who organized widespread protests leading to the resignation of former Gambian head of state Yahya Jammeh..
The Kilimanjaro Declaration, the movement’s founding charter, the Kilimanjaro Declaration, reads: “Africa is a rich continent. That wealth belongs to all our People, not to a narrow political and economic elite. We need to fight for economic development that is just and embraces social inclusion and environmental care. We have a right to the ‘better life’ our governments have promised.”
For more information, visit the webpage at http://www.africans-rising.org/
GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK creates and distributes news and feature articles on current affairs in Africa to media outlets, scholars, students and activists in the U.S. and Canada. Our goal is to introduce important new voices on topics relevant to Americans, to increase the perspectives available to readers in North America and to bring into their view information about global issues that are overlooked or under-reported by mainstream media.


 

Farmers reap ‘bitter chocolate’as unrest rocks Ivory Coast in Africa


Cocao producerin Ivory Coast
Producer displays cocao harvested in Ivory Coast

May 15, 2017 (GIN) – Troubles in the Ivory Coast have pushed the price of cocoa to its highest level in five years.

Don’t blame the farmer. In the world’s largest producer of cocoa, farmers have been going hungry since government slashed the price it guarantees for farmers by 36 percent, then withheld payments due since October – even while the nation’s economy grew by close to 9 percent for each of the past four years.

Visitors to the capital, Abidjan, may see signs of new wealth and a surge in construction transforming the city. Investors have poured in from Mauritius to Morocco. But many ordinary Ivorians have yet to see the benefits of growth.

Daily broadcasts on state TV celebrate the nation’s so-called economic miracle, but an outburst of social unrest this year – the worst since 2011 – is a sign that people are running out of patience.

“There’s a colossal development gap between Abidjan and the interior,’’ Youssouf Carius, an economist with Pulsar Partners, a private investment fund, told Bloomberg News. “Even though some areas have a lot of potential, private investment won’t arrive as long as public services remain largely non-existent.’’

“People feel that inequality is growing, and it’s a feeling that’s fanned by symbols: in Abidjan, you won’t go a day without seeing a Porsche Cayenne,” Ranie Kone, an economist, told a reporter. “We’re in a culture where showing off is very important and people tend to live above their means.”

While farmers, rough diamond miners, and former rebel soldiers struggle to get a living wage, the number of dollar millionaires in Ivory Coast climbed 45 percent in the past decade to 2,500, more than the African growth average of 19 percent, AfrAsia Bank Ltd. said in a report. It’s likely to jump another 80 percent in the coming decade, according to the bank.

Meanwhile, over 8,000 former rebel soldiers who were promised bonuses for helping to bring President Alassane Ouattara to power in 2010 are taking up arms over the promise broken by the administration. Military violence has been reported in the nation’s two largest cities and witnesses on the ground describe empty streets, closed schools, banks and offices in the upscale Plateau district.

“The situation is dangerous in terms of what will happen if a full-blown confrontation erupts between loyal forces and mutineers, Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris reported. “The civilian population will be caught in the crossfire.”

Elsewhere on the continent, Madagascar, the world’s largest grower of vanilla beans is predicting steep price hikes after a tropical cyclone in March destroyed over 30% of the crop.

NC NAACP President Barber leaves in June to join National Poor People’s Campaign


 

By Cash Michaels, Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Wilmington Journal
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Rev. William J. Barber II

Though he insists that he’s “really not leaving,” Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the nationally renown president of the State Conference of the North Carolina NAACP, says he will be “transitioning” from the state presidency next month to join a national “poor people’s” campaign to address issues of poverty and social inequality.
“I’m not going to run for another term [as president] of the North Carolina NAACP, and I will step down in June,” the civil rights leader said Wednesday during a teleconference.
Maintaining that the NC NAACP is “…strong in our legal victories; strong in our organizational structure; strong financially and strong in the clarity of agenda…,” the civil rights leader expressed confidence that the next state president, coming from among the organization’s four vice presidents, will be up to the task.
Barber has been president of the North Carolina chapter, the largest in the South, since 2005. He led the once troubled conference into national prominence with weekly Moral Monday demonstrations at the North Carolina state legislature since 2013, and challenging the state on controversial cases of alleged racial injustice.
The key to Barber’s success was his ability to lead diverse racial and religious coalitions to demand change on issues ranging from equal education to affordable health care. Subsequently the Christian leader was invited to twenty-three states last year to do “moral revival” training, sparking Moral Monday demonstrations as far away as Chicago.
In recent years, Rev. Barber has been recognized as a key voice in the progressive movement nationally, garnering him numerous appearances on MSNBC and CNN, and stories in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; an address during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia; and the keynote sermon at Riverside Church in Harlem last month commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” address.
His numerous appearances across the country gradually fueled speculation that Rev. Barber was steadily ascending to national leadership. He has confirmed that he will be “following a deep calling” and “transitioning to an expansion of the work around the country.”
“We found that there is a deep hunger for a shift in our moral narrative in the nation, and I’ve been asked by a number of moral leaders and impacted persons and advocates to join with them in helping to bring some leadership, energy and unity to helping to build the Poor People’s campaign, and a national call for a moral revival. “
Rev. Barber said the campaign will focus on 25 states and the District of Columbia, with at least half of them in South, including North Carolina, culminating with the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.
“In the times in which we live, our country still needs to address the issues of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, and our national morality,” Rev. Barber said. “We need a moral narrative.”
Though Barber is leaving the North Carolina NAACP presidency, he is not leaving the civil rights organization. He says he’ll still be a member of the state conference, and still sit on the national NAACP board.
The Christian pastor will not be leaving his Goldsboro church either, Greenleaf Christian Church, saying that doing so keeps him in close touch with the needs of the people.
He will join the national effort under the banner of his own social justice group known as “Repairers of the Breach,” which, in partnership with the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and other social justice and theologian activists, will sponsor “The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 years after the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Militarism, Poverty and Our National Morality” leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“In 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others knew the nation needed a Poor People’s Campaign to challenge extremism,” said Rev. Barber. “Today, we recognize that in order to challenge the extremist policies that are being proposed at the highest levels of government, which hurt the most vulnerable, we need a Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign. We must advance a moral movement in America, that can move beyond the limited language of left versus right politics.”

President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Republicans and Democrats call for special investigation of Russia collusion

By Frederick H. Lowe

comeyandobama

 FBI Director James Comey and now former President Barack Obama who appointed him to head the agency in September 2013.
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey, Jr., on the recommendations of U.S. Attorney General James Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the White House announced this afternoon.
“The FBI is one of the our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” President Trump said in a statement.
President Trump fired Comey over the telephone while he was traveling on FBI business in Los Angeles, according to ABC World News.
The FBI has found itself in the middle of a number of high-profile investigations recently, including Russian interference in the presidential election and the circumstances surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump has been critical of Comey’s actions and comments on both matters, ABC reported.
Earlier in the day, Comey came under fire as it was revealed that Comey made inaccurate statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails by an aide.
Comey, an attorney, served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation beginning in 2013. Former President Barack Obama appointed Comey FBI Director.
The following is the full text of Trump’s letter firing Comey:
Dear Director Comey,
I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.
It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.
I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors,
Donald J. Trump
The sudden firing of Comey, who Trump – as candidate – had praised for the resurrection of the Hillary Clinton investigation, has been met with deep questions and speculation. Many are alleging a cover up by the White House as Comey was leading an investigation concerning a possible collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
“The out-of-the-blue ouster of FBI Director James Comey is more proof that we need an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate any and all ties between the Trump Administration and Russia,” said Congressional Black Caucus chairman, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), in a statement sent to the Trice Edney News Wire.
“When the Attorney General, who supposedly recused himself from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he lied under oath about conversations with Russians, recommends firing the only person at the Department of Justice leading that investigation, then there is no one at the Department who can be trusted to investigate. As Ranking Member Cummings has said, there is now a ‘crisis of confidence’ at the Department of Justice. This Administration can’t be trusted to investigate itself. The American people deserve to know the truth. I call on Republicans to put patriotism before party and join Democrats in creating an independent, bipartisan commission so we can get to the truth. If they don’t, then they’ll be aiding and abetting collusion and coverup.”
Alabama’s 7th District Congresswomen Terri Sewell expressed similar concerns in a press release to the Greene County Democrat. She stated, “The independence of our law enforcement agencies from the reach of the White House is a fundamental feature of the rule of law in our country. If true, James Comey’s reported allegations suggest that our President may have tried to obstruct the FBI’s investigation into a matter of national security.”
Republican Sen. John McCain expressed disappointment in the firing and said Trump’s action has underscored the need for a special prosecutor.
“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President’s decision to remove James Comey from office,” McCain said in a statement released by The Hill newspaper. “I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”

Morton settles case against ABC Agents for false arrest

Morton.jpgEUTAW, AL – Alphonso “Duke” Morton, a manager at Edgar’s Grocery, settled his case against three Alabama Beverage Control Board agents just prior to a trial that was set on March 27, 2017. G. Coe Baxter and Josh Hayes of the Tuscaloosa firm Prince, Glover & Hayes and Senator Hank Sanders of the Selma law firm Chestnut, Sanders & Sanders represented Morton during the litigation.
On April 16, 2009, the ABC Board conducted a minor sting operation where a minor was sent into Edgar’s Grocery in Eutaw to attempt to purchase alcohol underage. After the employees refused the sale to the minor, Morton, as instructed by Dan and Gavin Edgar, store owners, and as he was trained to do, attempted to call the police to report the underage minor. Subsequently, three ABC Board agents went inside Edgar’s grocery and, as Morton was making a phone call, snatched the phone out of his hand and violently threw him onto the floor.
The agents subdued Morton on the floor by putting their knees and feet on his neck and back even though Morton showed no resistance. The agents then booked Morton and placed him in jail on charges of Obstructing Governmental Operations and Resisting Arrest. Video surveillance footage of the incident clearly showed Morton did not commit any crime and the charges against him were eventually dropped.
On Thursday, July 16, 2009, District Attorney Greg Griggers, dropped all charges against Alphonzo Morton, Jr. This was the first time this incident had been to court, and before any action was taken, Griggers announced that all charges had been dropped.

At that time, Attorney Hank Sanders stated: “First, Mr. Morton’s record needs to be cleared and second, we need to help the ABC agents learn how to treat people.” Morton subsequently filed a suit against the ABC agents.
In response to his case settlement, Morton stated that he is happy it is finally resolved. “My attorneys worked hard and now I can say justice was done,” he said.
Coe Baxter, lead counsel for Morton, said, “I am very happy for Mr. Alphonzo Morton that we were able to successfully litigate this case to a settlement. It was a privilege to represent such a hardworking, gracious, and downright good man and this settlement clearly vindicates him.” Hank Sanders added, “The actions of the ABC agents were egregious and wrong. Mr. Morton did not deserve to be treated in such a manner and we are happy with this result which now vindicates him.”
Mr. Morton served one term of the Eutaw City Council since this incident. He also serves as a deacon at St. Paul United Methodist Church of Eutaw.

Escapee from Greene County jail captured and returned after 19 years

Sheriff Jonathan Benison, embraces victim’s family member, Peggy Carpenter, at press conference led by Chief Deputy Jeremy Rancher on arrest of fugitive Donovan Johnson. Ollie “Nuke” Carpenter (Victim) and  Donovan Johnson

 
Donovan Johnson who escaped from the Greene County jail in June of 1998 was recaptured in Chicago, Il and brought back to Eutaw, AL on Tuesday May 16, 2017. Johnson was arrested in 1996 and charged with murder and 3 counts of attempted murder and possession of stolen property. At a press conference held at the county jail immediately after Johnson was returned, booked and secured, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison stated: “This is a great day in Greene County. We can begin to put a close to a case of over 19 years. That means a lot to the family of the victim.” Johnson is charged in the shooting death of Ollie ‘Nuke” Carpenter.
According to Chief Deputy Jeremy Rancher, approximately one week ago, the Greene County Sheriff’s office received an anonymous tip in reference to an individual, Donovan Johnson, who escaped from the Greene County jail (the old facility) two years after his arrest in 1996, while charged with murder, 3 counts of attempted murder, and receiving stolen property 1ST degree.

“Based on the information from this tip, we were able to determine that there was a high probability that this tip was credible,” Rancher stated. Deputy Rancher further explained that during the course of the investigation, the sheriff’s office learned that Donovan Johnson was using an alias name (Philip Thomas) and that he was residing in the Chicago, IL area.
On Friday, May 12 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Donovan Johnson was recaptured in Chicago without incident by members of the United States Marshals – Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force. On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, agents from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Chief Deputy Jeremy Rancher (Greene County Sheriff Department) transported Johnson from Illinois back to Alabama. “This is a prime example of what can be achieved when we all work together as a team. We would like to thank all of the local, state and federal agencies that assisted us with this very important matter,” Rancher said.
Members of the Carpenter family were also present at the press conference on Tuesday. Mrs. Ola Carpenter Ford, sister of Ollie Carpenter, expressed sadness and relief. “ This day re-opens an old wound, but we may be able to feel closure now. My brother, Ollie, was just 29 years old when he was killed. Maybe now he can rest in peace,” she said. Mrs. Peggy Carpenter, sister-in-law of the victim, Ollie Carpenter, and her daughter Katrina Gayles, were also present at the press conference. According to Mrs. Peggy Carpenter, “We waited a very long time for this day. We prayed for this day to come.”
On August 9. 1996, Eric Edwards, Donovan Johnson and Jim Pelt, all of Boligee, AL, were arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of Ollie “Nuke” Carpenter. Carpenter was killed, Friday, June 28 outside of Johnson Store in the Mt. Hebron community. Three men in the car with him Ernest Daniels, Robert Hood, and Raymond Dancy were injured in the shooting. Allegedly Johnson and Edwards approached the vehicle in which Carpenter and three friends were sitting and opened fire with automatic gun shots and hand gun.
In October, 1996, the Greene County Grand Jury returned indictments for murder and attempted murder against Edwards and Johnson. Edwards was also indicted for carrying a concealed weapon, a 9MM pistol. Johnson was also indicted for receiving stolen property, a 1991 Chevrolet Lumina. Both were held in the county jail under bonds of $450,000 each.
Edwards pleaded guilty to the charge in 1997 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Johnson escaped from the Greene County jail in 1998, two years after his arrest.

82 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls are reunited with their families, after trade for 5 Boko Haram fighters

By PADDY DINHAM FOR MAILONLINE

 boko82

Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls Abducted by Boko Haram

82 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram have been released after more than three years in captivity.
They are the largest group yet to be released after years of tense negotiations between the government and the terrorist group, a Nigerian government spokesman said. Later government statements indicated that the girls were released in exchange for the government release of five Boko Haram fighters.
The girls were among about 220 students abducted from a secondary school in the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014, sparking a global campaign #bringbackourgirls supported by then-U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, and a host of other celebrities.
· Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor whose two daughters were among those kidnapped, said he was told of the release by the Bring Back Our Girls pressure group and an official in Maiduguri. He added: ‘This is good news to us. We have been waiting for this day. We hope the remaining girls will soon be released.’
·
Bring Back Our Girls said it was awaiting an official statement but added: ‘Our hopes and expectations are high as we look forward to this news being true and confirmed.’
Boko Haram fighters stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok on the evening of April 14, 2014 and kidnapped 276 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape in the hours that followed but the remaining 219 were held by the group.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed in a video message that they had converted to Islam. The kidnapping brought the insurgency to world attention, triggering global outrage that galvanized support across the globe.
21 Chibok girls were released in October in a deal brokered by Switzerland and the International Red Cross, while a handful of others have escaped or been rescued. However, a large number of the girls are still missing.
Last month President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that the government was ‘in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed’.
The girls were taken from a school in Chibok in the remote northeastern Borno state where Boko Haram has waged an insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state that has killed thousands and displaced more than 2 million people.