Newswire : South African War on Corruption moves into high gear

africa-southafricansprotestcorruption

Protest in South Africa

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – A shakeup in the African National Party has boosted hopes that new party officials will make a clean sweep of the backroom dealings that have made millionaires out of a small South African elite and punished the majority with high unemployment and a national credit rating downgraded to “junk status.”
Business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa, newly elected president of the African National Congress, has raised hopes that he will stamp out corruption, expedite job creation, improve the lackluster economy and speed up the transfer of land to black people.
“Corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Ramaphosa declared in his maiden speech after his election. “We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks.”
“We must investigate without fear or favor the so-called ‘accounting irregularities’ that caused turmoil in the markets and wiped billions off the investments of ordinary South Africans,” he said.
Ramaphosa was echoing the frustration of South African citizens who turned out in the thousands this fall to march in anti-corruption protests in major cities around the country with blame often laid at the feet of the President.
“Things are just going down under President (Jacob) Zuma,” textile worker Florence Titus told Reuters. “He needs to play a president’s role not just be there to fill his pockets and his family’s pockets. He must step down.”
Efforts to recover several billion rands diverted “into the hands of unproductive and corrupt elites” are not, however, waiting for the new administration. Last month, a 151 page application with thousands of attachments was submitted to the North Gauteng High Court suing the President, his son, and 71 others, demanding a criminal investigation and the recovery of billions of dollars within 20 days of the order.
The foundation of Helen Suzman, an anti-apartheid activist who died in 2009, was one of the filers of the suit.
In a related development, South Africa’s top court ruled last week that Parliament failed to hold President Zuma accountable over his use of state funds to upgrade his private home. The court’s ruling could trigger impeachment proceedings.

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.

Kwanzaa celebration honors family and community values

The Greene County community held its annual Kwanzaa celebration on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at the Eutaw Activity Center. The key sponsor of the program was the Harambe Chapter of 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, assisted by the Greene County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Kwanzaa is an end of year thanksgiving event which brings the community together to lift the blessings of the ending year and to pledge and dedicate themselves toward working together to build a better community for everyone.
Kwanzaa is a harvest celebration honoring the culture and heritage of African Americans. The seven day observance begins December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga at the time of the Watts Riots in California in the 1960’s. Dr. Karenga was seeking a positive approach for rebuilding communities and celebrating African American history and culture. He took the name for the holiday from the Swahili word Kwanzaa meaning first fruits of the harvest. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa also lift the values to strive for in our lives and communities: Umoja – Unity; Kujichagulia – Self Determination; Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa – Cooperatives; Nia – Purpose; Kuumba – Creativity; and Imani – Faith.
The program participants included youth members of the sponsoring organization and the 2018 Debutant Class. Mr. Alphonzo Morton, III served as Master of Ceremony with musical selections provided by the Greene County Community Choir. Rev. Joe N. Webb led the devotions and blessing of the Harvest Feast.
The community shared the Talking Stick for expressions of the Kwanzaa Principles.

 

 

 

Realizing the Dream celebration activities set

Danny-Glover_Mary-Mary-800x450The annual Realizing the Dream celebration at the University of Alabama will feature award-winner gospel duo Mary Mary and actor and community activist Danny Glover.
The celebration will be from Jan. 12-15 and include a concert, banquet, speakers and a unity day. This year’s theme is Realizing the Dream Through Service to Others. The event, which celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., is hosted by UA, Stillman College, Shelton State Community College and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Glover will be the Legacy Awards Banquet speaker. The banquet will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Bryant Conference Center’s Sellers Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for individuals or $200 for a table of 10. Dress is semiformal.

Among Glover’s film credits are “The Color Purple,” the “Lethal Weapon” and “Dreamgirls.” Glover’s wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts focus on economic justice, access to healthcare and education programs.During the banquet, the Rev. Frank Dukes will receive the Mountaintop Award, a lifetime achievement award, for his work during the civil rights movement and as an educator in Alabama. UA associate professor Ellen Griffith Spears, author of “Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town,” will receive the Call to Conscience Award recognizing leadership and courage that helps to establish social justice, equality and peace. UA junior Marissa Navarro, who founded the Hispanic-Latino Association as a freshman, will receive the Horizon Award recognizing a young adult demonstrating outstanding vision and hope that promotes social justice, equality and peace.
Mary Mary, featuring the Grammy Award-winning sisters Erica and Tina Campbell, will perform during the 2018 Realizing the Dream Concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at UA’s Moody Music Concert Hall. Tickets are $15.
The events will continue Jan. 15, with Unity Day. The events, sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference begin at 7 a.m. with the Unity Breakfast at Beulah Baptist Church featuring speaker Joseph Scrivner, pastor at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. The Unity Day march begins at noon at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and will travel to Beulah Baptist Church. The Rev. Tyshawn Gardner, SCLC president and pastor of Plum Grove Baptist Church, will be the speaker. The annual rally begins at 6 p.m. at First African Baptist Church and will feature speaker Bishop L. Spenser Smith, pastor of Impact Nation.
Tickets for both events will go on sale through the Moody Music Building Music Services Office Jan. 3. Office hours are 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

 Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Birthday
Commemoration schedule for
Greene County

 

47th Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Birthday Celebration
January 12-15, 2018

January 12,10:00 a.m – Student
Educational Seminar
at New Peace Baptist Church
Keynote Speaker,
Mrs. Katie Jones Powell
Former School Superintendent, Sumter County

January 14, 4:00 p.m. – Freedom Gospel Concert
New Generation Church

January 15, 8:30 a.m –
Unity Freedom Breakfast
Eutaw Activity Center
Keynote Speaker,
Rev. Joe Webb Pastor
New Generation Church

January 15,10:15 – Freedom March to
William M. Branch Courthouse

January 15,10:30 a.m. – Godly Women of West Alabama Religious Rally 
William M. Branch Courthouse
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Cynthia Warrick,
President, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL.

 

Sponsored by
Alabama Civil Right Freedom Museum Inc.
Greene County ANSC
Greene County Supportive
Elected Officials
Greene County Brotherhood, Inc.

 

For more information please contact
Spiver W. Gordon 205-372-3446

 

Senator Doug Jones chooses Dana Gresham, an African-American with legislative experience, as Chief of Staff

 

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Sen.-elect Doug Jones (AL) announced on Tuesday that he has hired Dana Gresham as his chief of staff, which will make him the only Democratic senator to have an African-American in that position.
Gresham, a Birmingham native, has served in leadership roles in presidential administrations and for members of Congress. He led the Legislative Affairs Office at the Department of Transportation during all eight years of the Obama administration and has also worked on Capitol Hill for 14 years. He previously served as chief of staff for Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama. He also worked in the congressional offices of Bud Cramer of Alabama and Eva Clayton of North Carolina.
The two other Black chiefs of staff in the U.S. Senate both work for Republicans—Jennifer DeCasper in the office of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Brennan Britton in the office of Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS).
Although African Americans account for 23% of Democratic voters, before this announcement they accounted for just 1% of top Democratic Senate staff, both of whom are legislative directors (Clint Odom in Senator Harris’s office and Roscoe Jones in Senator Feinstein’s office).  According to a 2016 report from Roll Call, only 5 percent of nearly 3,600 Senate staffers are Black.

Jones also announced three other senior staff hires Tuesday, including Mark Libell as legislative director, Ann Berry as transition adviser and Katie Campbell as deputy legislative director. All three are Alabama natives and have extensive experience working for Senators and House members.
“Today I’m proud to announce that we have recruited four outstanding individuals to join our team,” Jones said in a statement. “Each of them possesses long and impressive careers in public service, and as Alabama natives, share my commitment to the people of our state.”
The Joint Center for Political And Economic Studies, a Washington D. C. think-tank, which last week had urged Senator-elect Jones to employ a diverse staff was quick to commend his actions. Don Bell, Director of the Black Talent Initiative for the Joint Center said, “ We commend Senator-elect Jones for his leadership and commitment to diversity. This is an important moment in the movement to make the Senate truly representative of all Americans. The Joint Center looks forward to continuing to work with Senator-elect Jones as he makes diversity a priority in building the rest of his staff.”
Senator-elect Doug Jones will be filling other positions in his Washington D. C. office and district offices in the state and welcomes applicants to submit their resumes to: senatordougjonestransition.com.

Newswire: Republicans are planning an assault on programs for the poor

Written By Nigel Roberts, Newsone

House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to cut holes in the social safety net during the 2018 legislative session, taking aim at programs poor people depend on to survive, Fox News reported.
“We’re going to get back at reforming these entitlements. And we’re going to take on welfare reform, which is another big entitlement program, where we’re basically paying people, able-bodied people, not to work and depriving them with all these disincentives from going to the workforce,” he said.
Fresh off passing tax reform legislation in December, the GOP wants to roll that momentum in 2018. The tax overhaul, which mainly benefits corporations and wealthy individuals, adds $1.4 trillion to the deficit. Now, the Republicans are looking for ways slash the debt they created. The solution to them is axing government health care programs and social services spending. “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking,” Ryan said on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show.

Here’s what to expect:
1. Medicare
Yes, Medicare is on the table, even though the GOP has long feared a backlash from seniors. Ryan has been talking with President Donald Trump about the need to cut the program. “I think the president is understanding that choice and competition works everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare,” the House Speaker said.
their totally unnecessary $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich the GOP will spend the next ten years saying we must cut Medicare, Medicaid, & Social Security because the deficit is too damn high. Never let the American people forget their tax cuts caused that deficit.

2. Medicaid
In addition to funding cuts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the Department of Health, has already signaled that changes are coming to the health care program for poor people. The agency, in a departure from President Barack Obama’s approach, is recommending that states establish a work requirement for certain Medicaid beneficiaries.

3. Food stamps
Reigning in the food stamp program is a perennial goal for Republicans. They see an opportunity through the pretext of reducing the budget deficit explosion they created. On top of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the GOP plans to give states more flexibility in how they administer the program. As with Medicaid, they also want to add a work requirement for receiving food stamps and direct cash assistance to the poor.

 

Newswire : Activist Erica Garner remembered for her relentless campaign for justice

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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Erica Garner
Erica Garner, who became an activist for all who were wronged by the American justice system, died on Saturday, December 30. She was 27.
Twitter account associated with Erica Garner spoke of her compassion for humanity. CNN reported that her family is controlling the account. “When you report this you remember she was human: mother, daughter, sister, Garner’s account tweeted. “Her heart was bigger than the world. It really, really was. She cared when most people wouldn’t have. She was good. She only pursued right, no matter what. No one gave her justice.”
Garner famously and fiercely sought justice for her father, Eric Garner, who died from a police chokehold in Staten Island, New York on July 17, 2014.
She led marches and demonstrations in New York City and other places, and even appeared on national television imploring the Department of Justice to review the circumstances that led up to her father’s death.
Erica Garner’s mother, Esaw Snipes, said, “She was a fighter, she was a warrior and she lost the battle. She never recovered from when her father died,” according to CNN. Snipes said that Garner suffered from the effects of an enlarged heart after giving birth to her son three months ago, CNN reported.
“I warned her everyday, you have to slow down, you have to relax and slow down,” Snipes said.
According to Erica Garner’s Twitter account, the activist went into cardiac arrest and suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen.

In a statement about Erica Garner’s work as an advocate for criminal justice reform, Rev. Al Sharpton called her a warrior. Sharpton famously joined the Garner family in their push for justice against the New York City Police Department.
“Many will say that Erica died of a heart attack, but that’s only partially true because her heart was already broken when she couldn’t get justice for her father,” Sharpton said. “Her heart was attacked by a system that would choke her dad and not hold accountable those that did it.”
On a summer day in July 2014, officers approached Eric Garner whom they said was selling loose cigarettes near a store in Staten Island.
A video released showed Officer Daniel Pantaleo grabbing Garner from behind and applying a chokehold while other officers helped tackle Garner, whom family members said had asthma. On the video, in a plea that has resonated around the world, Garner is heard saying, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” repeatedly. He died shortly after the incident. A grand jury failed to indict Pantaleo and, in 2015, the city settled a civil claim by Garner’s family against New York for nearly $6 million.

Before and despite the settlement, Erica Garner pushed for justice and, with a national platform, her voice became as big as any in the fight for freedom, justice and equality.
“I had the honor of getting to know Erica and I was inspired by the commitment she made working towards a more just world for her children and future generations,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted. “She was a fighter for justice and will not be forgotten.” Erica Garner supported Sanders’ 2016 campaign for president, even appearing in an ad for his campaign.
“Though Erica didn’t ask to be an activist, she responded to the personal tragedy of seeing her father die while being arrested in New York City by becoming a leading proponent for criminal justice reform and for an end to police brutality,” Sanders said.
The police “killed her unarmed, nonviolent father with an illegal chokehold and got off with nary a word,” activist Brittany Packnett wrote in a Twitter post. “Erica had to fight for justice. Then for her own life…she didn’t deserve this, her father didn’t deserve this. Her family doesn’t deserve this. All this for being Black in America. I can’t.”
In a March 2015 interview on NBC News, Erica Garner spoke passionately about the Black Lives Matter movement and other protests that sought justice. She recalled the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and how it wasn’t until months later, when the video of her father’s death was released, that the Eric Garner incident received national attention.
Garner described seeing her father die via a cellphone video “a thousand-million times,” and when a grand jury failed to indict police officers, she said it was time to take her fight for justice to the streets. “To me, it was just saying, ‘you know what? I’m just going to march,” she told NBC News.
Even when there weren’t television news cameras, Garner said she was determined to keep marching, to keep fighting. “That’s the most annoying question I get. People ask, ‘when will you stop marching? What do you want from marching?’ He was my father,” Erica Garner said during the interview. “I will always march.”

Newswire : Dr. Barber ‘surprised’ by Moral Monday fame in Rome

 

By Cash Michaels. Wilmington Journal
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 Bishop William J. Barber II poses with the Vatican guards in Rome during his visit.

 

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Rome, Italy is over 4,600 miles away from Raleigh, NC. But when it came to “Moral Mondays,” the massive yet peaceful demonstrations held in North Carolina’s capital city, and led by the former president of the NCNAACP, no distance was too far as far as admirers attending a recent international conference on labor at the Vatican were concerned.
“I was …surprised by how many leaders from around the world had been inspired by Moral Monday, the moral revival last year, and the Poor People’s Campaign plans,” Bishop Dr. William Barber, leader of the social justice group, “Repairers of the Breach,” said by text from the Vatican shortly after the visit.
Dr. Barber was one of 300 participants from around the world attending the conference which addressed the conditions of working people, and the working poor on Thanksgiving. Representing the upcoming Poor People’s Campaign in the United States, Dr. Barber’s social justice reputation from the 12 years he led the NCNAACP preceded him, with an invitation already given him to attend and preach at another world gathering about labor rights and the poor in Liverpool, England next June. He has also been invited to Brazil next year.
As a birthday present, Dr. Barber took his mother, who had turned 84 the week before, along with his wife and one of his son, all part of an eight-person delegation.
In an exclusive telephone interview from Washington, DC, Dr. Barber recalled two “long, intense eight-hour days” of deeply committed religious and labor leaders working together. From countries like France, Sudan, England and others, Dr. Barber said he was greeted warmly by all.
Even the Vatican guards saluted him because of his title of “Bishop.”
During his presentation at the conference, Dr. Barber said, “Rightfully, the Pope has noted at the start of the twenty-first century that religious leaders must play a leading role in the struggle for justice in dialogue with all social and political actors. We must articulate a way of thinking that brings together the complexity of the current situation and proposes an action strategy for the construction of a just society. Not only is democracy at stake, but the wellbeing of world itself.”
Later in his remarks, Bishop Barber continued, “I believe Pope Francis’ call for a moral vision of the common good connected to a call for solidarity within the labor union economy and ethos is most important. I join you today as President of Repairers of the Breach and Co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival in the United States. We have identified five areas–five moral diseases that must be addressed if we are to be a people able to address the common good, promote the general welfare, and ensure the common defense, with liberty and justice for all. We must address systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, and the immoral narrative of extreme religionism.”
Before he left, Dr. Barber was satisfied with how his presentation was accepted by other religious and labor leaders. “Many of the points that we raised were in the final document produced by the conference as a guide to the way forward,” he texted.
And what about that much anticipated Thanksgiving Day meeting between Dr. Barber and Pope Francis that was scheduled during the two-day gathering? It got cancelled at the last minute,” Barber says.
“Up until 4 p.m. yesterday the Pope was scheduled to come and be with us,” Bishop Barber texted last Friday. “[But] we were informed around 4:15 p.m. that due to challenges around his trip to Malaysia, and other world events (like the mosque [terrorist] shootings in Egypt), he had to change [his plans].”
“[The Pope] sent a personal note to us and a papal letter,” Dr. Barber added. Indeed, Pope Francis walked a fine, and some say diplomatically peril less line during his visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh. Myanmar has cracked down on Rohingya Muslims in what some are calling an “ethnic cleansing.” Reports say villages are being burned and women and children are being raped, as over 600,000 refugees have fled to Bangladesh.
But before he left Italy, Pope Francis issued a letter at the conclusion of the international conference. In that papal letter, the Pope warned of “the money god” that leads to the exploitation of the working poor globally.
“Work must serve the human person,” Pope Francis said, not the other way around.” He added that “…every worker is the hand of Christ who continues to create and do good.”
Even though Dr. Barber wasn’t able to personally meet the Pope as he had hoped, he was able to present one of the Pope’s cardinals with gifts for His Eminence from the United States – a small stone from the home of North Carolina civil rights leader Ella Baker, and sand from the Rio Grande [River] where Barber walked with families traveling to see relatives from Mexico they had not seen in years.
Beyond the conference, if there was one consolation, Dr. Barber wrote, it was that one of the cardinals [from Ghana] he exchanged personal information with promised to visit with the bishop in North Carolina upon his next visit to the United States.
Editor’s Note – you can red Dr. Barber’s Vatican presentation at https://thecashjournal.blogspot.com/p/bishop-william-j-barbers.html