Migrant rights rally, Syracuse, N.Y., June 30.Los Angeles — At a rally here on June 24, U.S. Congressperson Maxine Waters came out hard against the vicious Trump “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, and specifically against taking children — often infants — from their families.Waters also spoke in favor of making officials of the disgusting right-wing administration uncomfortable in public. She was responding to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a Virginia restaurant by the owner and workers, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen being driven out of a Mexican restaurant by protesters.Rep. Waters’ words netted her a vile, racist and threatening response from Trump himself. Over the next several days her office received hundreds of threatening email and phone messages. Among these was a death threat considered so serious that Waters’ speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama had to be canceled.Rep. Waters has served 14 consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress. Since 2013 she has represented a large portion of South Central Los Angeles, historically an African-American and more recently a Latinx area of LA.Democratic Party leaders tout it as the “party of the people.” One would think they would have taken this opportunity to support her and connect to the thousands of voters who admire Maxine Waters for her principled positions against U.S. wars, her impassioned fights for the rights of the oppressed and now her courage in standing up to the latest Trump/Sessions crimes against migrants.But the opposite happened, revealing the true character of the Democratic Party leadership. Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer and, yes, Bernie Sanders, immediately called for “unity and civility” in dealing with Trump and his right-wing coterie.Pelosi, the powerful House minority leader, whose wealth ranks her among the top one-tenth of 1% of the U.S. population, tweeted: “As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.”Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said of Maxine Waters’ having thrown down the gauntlet to Trump: “No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That’s not right; that’s not American.” Schumer formerly served on the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.Bernie Sanders, who identified himself as a socialist in the 2016 Democratic primary, climbed aboard the “let’s-be-civil” bandwagon by saying, “Our opponents have the right to go into a restaurant and have dinner.” Sanders’ remarks came just days after Rep. Waters’ speech and widespread media coverage, and left no doubt about whom he was criticizing.Not one of these “leaders” — not even “socialist” Bernie Sanders — denounced Trump for his white supremacist response or threat against Rep. Waters. And none of them have denounced the death threats against her. In contrast, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have rallied around her.The Democratic leaders are signaling to the corporate class that, though the party may try to appeal to people of color by occasionally mouthing the right words, it is really a party of and for capitalism. The Party leaders are saying they will reject any sign of genuine militancy in the workers’ struggle, the Black struggle or the struggle for migrant rights.For Pelosi and Schumer it was more important to placate the capitalist class than to call out Trump’s white supremacy. As for Sanders, he has previously taken positions that have disappointed his followers, but this is a striking cave-in. He has chosen not to close ranks with an important, leading Black congressperson who is being subjected to a racist attack. Instead, he’s asking for acceptance from a party leadership that has sabotaged and ignored him.In fact, the Democrats’ “fear of socialism” was in clear evidence when Pelosi stated there is no “ascendant socialism” in the Democratic Party after the astounding primary victory of democratic socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in the 14th Congressional District in New York City.The Democratic leadership will try to stifle the fightback that Maxine Waters expresses and that many of Sanders’ supporters aspire to as well. Their treatment of Rep. Waters and their inaction against Trump’s white supremacy reveal their true character.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
San Diego — Author Curtis Howard, an activist in All of Us or None who is a formerly incarcerated person, brought to public attention the case of the Boundary Park Four and More.Federal authorities announced indictments on May 25 against 23 men of color in San Diego. Among the defendants, four names stood out to local residents: Julius Davis, James Staton, Anthony Rhodes and Henry Hendrix. These four often frequent the local Dennis Allen Park, known colloquially as Boundary Park.These men have an average age of 57 years. The minor drug sales and possession that make up the infractions they have been accused of are insignificant compared to the 20 years in prison they could be facing. As Howard originally articulated in his public correspondence, these indictments reflect the conservative response to progressive anti-prison legislation.These indictments also unearth the limits of contemporary prison reforms, in that they fail to alter the material conditions the formerly incarcerated must live under.With nearly 130,000 people in prison and another over 80,000 in jails, California, if measured as an independent country, has an inmate population that ranks in the top 10 in the world and rivals those in Mexico, Ukraine and South Africa.In recent years, progressives in California mobilized support for and passed Proposition 47 (2014) and Proposition 57 (2016). Both referendums allowed for the reclassification of adult and juvenile sentences. At least 13,000 inmates have been released from California state prisons, and another 25,000 could be paroled.Yet, formerly incarcerated people like the Boundary Park Four and More have come home to deindustrialized cities that are unprepared, and often unwilling, to meet the needs of aging formerly incarcerated people of color. They are too old for many of the reentry programs and too young for social assistance. Drug sales have become the ultimate act of survival for many by supporting their recreational habits.Restructured economy endangered youth of colorThe fight against mass incarceration is a racial struggle and a class struggle. Recently, Larry Holmes, First Secretary of Workers World Party, has urged reanalysis of class struggle and the position of groups generally disregarded by the mainstream labor movement, such as African-American youth. Now in their 50s and 60s, the Boundary Park Four and More sit on the cusp of Baby Boomers and Generation X (known as the hip hop generation by African-American scholars.) From the 1970s through the 1980s, it was their generation that first experienced the dramatic effects of restructuring of the American economy from the mid-20th-century Keynesian policy to neoliberalism. This included eliminating industrial jobs that had been unionized.As radical professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore has shown in her works such as “Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California” (2007), Black and Brown youth were most impacted by this restructuring, and prisons became warehouses for surplus Black and Brown labor.Some have focused their criticism on the profits gained from the exploitation of prison labor in state-run and for-profit prisons. Yet the case of the Boundary Park Four and More displays how prison labor is merely a bonus. Remembering the centrality of youth to radical movements of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, we can see how the mass incarceration of three generations of Black youth has held back mass mobilization.Now, federal and state forces seem intent on completely throwing away the first generation impacted by deindustrialization.Members of the Boundary Park Four and More are among the formerly incarcerated who have been sent home from prison with no concern for their employment, housing, food or health care. Still, California State Democratic Party officials have been rewarded with electoral victories for their support of the grassroots propositions.On the other side, conservatives such as State Assemblyman Travis Allen and gubernatorial candidate John Cox have blamed these ballot measures that released prisoners for increasing crime in California and have promised to reverse propositions 47 and 57. They do this despite reports by the Public Policy Institute of California and others proving the contrary.In 2000, Californians passed Proposition 36 to send people arrested for drug offenses for treatment instead of to prison. Yet, citing his own conviction in 2006, Curtis Howard has noted that state and federal agencies have evaded this reform by charging users as if they were dealers. As they did with Howard in 2006, police agencies entice users into participating in minor sales as middlemen between a dealer and a customer and then charge them as if they were large distributors.For Howard, the sheer absurdity in charging the Boundary Park Four and More as dealers lies in the fact that none of these men have any recognizable assets: they own no cars or homes and don’t even have bank accounts. They likely have less than $100 disposable income, suggests Howard.If the Boundary Park Four and More have any chance at freedom, they need the support of the community. As members of Workers World Party-San Diego, the Committee Against Police Brutality and the Black August Planning Committee organize this August, they will remind people that all prisoners are political prisoners. For this reason, these organizations have called for a protest in solidarity with the Boundary Park Four and More at the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego on Aug. 10.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
to go further KuwaitMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en Organisation New Cyber Crimes Law restricts free expression and targets online activists Help by sharing this information KuwaitMiddle East – North Africa January 21, 2016 Find out more Lebanese police launched an investigation on 12 December into the sending of four letters bombs from Lebanon to three Kuwaiti journalists and one writer.The sender, “a brown-haired man aged about 40,” according to early results of the investigation, passed himself off as Ghassan Charbel, deputy editor of the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat. The deputy editor condemned the use of his name and that of his newspaper in this case.In addition to a letter bomb sent to Ahmad Al-Jarallah, owner of the Kuwaiti newspapers Al-Siyassah, Arab Times and Al-Hadath, which injured his personal secretary, three more letter bombs were found by the Kuwaiti Telecommunications ministry before they could be delivered.They were addressed to journalist Nasser Al-Utaybi, of the daily Al-Siyassah, and his colleague Dr Abdallah Muhammad Al-Shaykh of the daily Al-Qabas and to the general secretary of the Kuwaiti writers’ union.The Kuwaiti information minister, Mohamed Abdallah Abu Al-Hassan, told the press on 11 December that the letter sent to Ahmad Al-Jarallah could be the work of certain people seeking to provoke a crisis in the country ahead of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Kuwait on 21-22 December.—————————— 11 Decembre 2003 – Reporters Without Borders condemns letter bomb attempt against editorReporters Without Borders has strongly condemned a letter bomb attack on a newspaper editor, which left his secretary with facial injuries. Walid Dahdoub was injured when he opened the letter, addressed to the editor of the daily Al-Siyassah, Ahmad Al-Jarallah, one of the country’s best-known journalists.The international press freedom organisation urged police to instigate a fast and meticulous investigation into the 11 December attack.The letter bombing, the first ever against a media in Kuwait, has aroused strong emotions in journalistic and political circles, shocked by such a well prepared and targeted act against a figure known for his political and religious moderation and openness.Al-Jarallah said he thought the letter bomb was sent to him “as a reaction to what (he had) written about terrorists and extremists in the Arab world.” He is, in fact, known for his fierce criticism of and opposition to religious fanaticism. The journalist, owner of both Al-Siyassah and the English-language daily, Arab Times, is also close to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdallah. During the war in Iraq he expressed his backing in the newspaper for the US-led intervention. More recently, Al-Siyassah, which appears simultaneously in Kuwait and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has been very critical of Saudi religious fanatics. Courts uphold newspaper’s closure, increase blogger’s jail term News News News December 15, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Lebanese police probe sending of four letter bombs Receive email alerts Popular blogger charged with blasphemy February 23, 2015 Find out more News Follow the news on Kuwait September 5, 2014 Find out more
Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan News Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa Bas, pro-KDP newspaperThe Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), a party created in 1994 that has seven seats in the KRG parliament and three in the National Assembly in Baghdad, demanded enormous sums in damages from the pro-KDP weekly Bas and a singer in two unrelated lawsuits.The suit against Bas was prompted by an article the weekly published on 23 November that included what was purported to be a copy of a letter from the KIU’s leader, Salahaddin Muhammad, to Oussama Tikriti, the general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) requesting 350,000 dollars to help the KIU overcome its financial difficulties and embark on new projects.The KIU filed a complaint with an Erbil court the next day accusing Bas of libel and publishing false documents, and demanding 2 billion Iraqi dinars (1.3 million euros) in damages. Originally supposed to issue a ruling on 16 December, the court postponed its decision until 28 December.KIU spokesman Salahadin Babakr told Reporters Without Borders the party decided to sue Bas “because it isn’t the first time that it has published false documents smearing the party and its representatives without reason.” He added: “According to the Iraqi criminal code, when a newspaper libels or insults someone, the person concerned can sue for damages. If these newspapers aren’t afraid of publishing false documents, then we should let the courts decide.”KIU lawyer Muhammad Hawdiyani said such publications posed a danger to democracy and that it was out of a concern to defend democracy that the KIU filed its lawsuit.The KIU’s lawsuit is also nonetheless based on the more repressive provisions of the Iraqi criminal code rather than on the KRG press code. Bas editor Barham Ali meanwhile told Reporters Without Borders he was convinced of the authenticity of the disputed document: “The document we published clearly showed that the KIU requested 350,000 dollars in aid from the IIP. We are convinced of its authenticity. We got by contacting the KIU itself.”In the other KIU lawsuit, filed by the party’s satellite TV station Speda, the young singer Loka Zahir was sued for 1 billion dollars in damages for deliberate naming Speda in one of her videos although she quickly apologised for the “mistake.” Hawdiyani, the KIU’s lawyer, said the singer’s reference to Speda was insulting because of the station’s Muslim values. The head of the station, Bukhari Jamil, finally agreed to withdraw the lawsuit after initially insisting that the apology was not sufficient.Many journalists and media in Iraqi Kurdistan say they are increasingly concerned about the KIU’s restrictive view of press freedom. “They tend to imitate the KDP,” one said ironically. Darbaz Younis, the editor of Bas’ arts section, told Reporters Without Borders he had received death threats for criticizing two of the presenters on pro-KDP Channel 4 television, one of whom, Avin Aso, is also the station’s director general. “A group of individuals armed with knives came with the intention of attacking me,” he said. “They threatened me but fortunately I was not alone and they did not dare carry out their threat.” Younis filed a complaint on 13 December. December 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 IRAQI KURDISTAN: Lawsuits raining down on news media December 28, 2020 Find out more An Erbil court fined the Standard newspaper 6 million Iraqi dinars (3,900 euros) on 13 December as a result off lawsuit brought by the agriculture ministry. Massud Abdulkaliq, the newspaper’s owner and editor, said the decision made him very concerned about the KRG judicial system’s independence. News RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” to go further Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” IraqMiddle East – North Africa News Biggest ever fine for Rega magazineIn a ruling issued on 12 December, a court in Erbil fined the magazine Rega 35 million Iraqi dinars (22,660 euros) for a report suggesting that the KDP’s security force were involved in last May’s murder of journalist Sardasht Osman. Referring to Barzani, the magazine went so far as to write: “If a president cannot protect the lives of his fellow citizens, he should resign.”The ruling was the result of a lawsuit that KDP general secretary Fazil Mirani brought against the magazine on 23 September in which he had demanded 500 million Iraqi dinars (324,000 euros) in damages.“This fine is exorbitant,” Rega owner and editor Soran Omer said, referring to the 35 million dinars. “This is more about revenge than a fair and just decision. The trial lasted more than three months but everything was settled in just eight days. The magazine was prosecuted under provisions of the Iraqi civil code instead of the press code in force in Kurdistan, which provides of a maximum fine of 17 million dinars.”It is the biggest fine ever imposed on a publication in the KRG region and poses a real threat to media freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan. Why did the judge agree to the magazine’s being prosecuted on a basis other than Kurdistan’s press code? Such a large fine would result in the publication’s immediate demise. If confirmed on appeal, it will set a very dangerous precedent for freedom of expression in the autonomous Kurdish region.“The court that handled the Rega case is not independent,” Omer added. “It is clearly in the KDP’s service. The expert who determined the size of the fine is also a party member. He was one of the KDP candidates in the lawyers union elections two months ago. They can always arrest me but I won’t give them a cent. The verdict was clearly biased in favour of the KDP. The aim of such practices is to thwart the efforts of those who defend freedom of expression and independent media. They know perfectly well that we are not rich.”Anwar Hussein Bazgr, who heads the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Union of Journalists, told Reporters Without Borders he was very worried about what was happening to Rega. “We believe in the rule of law. We continue to think that that the region’s journalists and news media should be prosecuted under Kurdistan’s press code, not other Iraqi laws or KRG laws.” Receive email alerts Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) voiced clear support for media freedom during his party’s congress on 13 December but in recent months more and more lawsuits have been brought against the Kurdish media, and not just the independent ones. Newspaper editors nowadays seem to be spending their time in the corridors outside courtrooms. News February 15, 2021 Find out more Awene, non-partisan newspaperShwan Muhammad, the editor of the non-partisan weekly Awene, said he had received seven court summonses in the past week as a result of complaints filed by Naliya, a company whose owners have close ties with Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which governs Iraqi Kurdistan in coalition with the KDP. The lawsuits were prompted by a 28 September article claiming that newly-built houses in a well-to-do residential district of Sulaymaniyah called “German Village” did not comply with safety regulations issued by the authorities after a fire in the Soma Hotel on the night of 16 July that left 27 dead. Awene reported that the safety committee had publicly declared the houses to be in non-compliance with the latest regulations but the public notices that the safety committee posted on the walls of “German Village” were torn down by the company.“When we wrote this article, we interviewed the company, residents and the Sulaymaniyah governorate’s engineers,” Muhammad said. “We did not defame anyone. We just did our job as journalists. But when you write about this company you clearly risk being sued the next day.” Muhammad added that Naliya also asked the residents to sue Awene, and two of the seven summonses were as a result of complaints filed by residents. In all, Naliya has brought ten suits against Awene since April. RSF_en Follow the news on Iraq The Standard Organisation December 16, 2020 Find out more
Sri LankaAsia – Pacific to go further July 15, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists News Organisation Sri LankaAsia – Pacific January 13, 2021 Find out more October 18, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Family of journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan demands justice, four years after his murder Reporters Without Borders urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to revive an investigation into the murder of Tamil journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan as his family marked the fourth anniversary of his death with a demand for justice.The BBC World Service journalist was killed at his home in Jaffna in the north of the country on 19 October 2000. After spectacular progress in 2002, both the investigation and the legal procedures have stalled, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. More seriously still, suspects have been released on bail and another has reportedly managed to flee the country.Reporters Without Borders criticised the failure of the Sri Lankan government to reopen the murder investigation and regretted that the killers have not been tried or punished. It called on the president to ensure justice in the case, as she herself demanded at the time of the murder.In its appeal to the government, his family, now living in exile, said: “Four years after the murder of Nimalarajan, a courageous journalist who was sensitive to his community’s problems, we are sad to know that his killers have still not been tried. His memory lives on and his family is still traumatised by what happened in Jaffna. (…) Every indication we have is that the pro-government Tamil Party EPDP (Eelam People’s Democratic Party) is implicated in his murder. Why has the investigation stalled. The holding of a trial would be afford huge relief to our family,” his father told Reporters Without Borders.The Jaffna judge in charge of the investigation, R. T. Vignarajah, has received no instructions from the office of the Attorney general even though the final report from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was handed over in April 2004.Moreover the CID has never succeeded in questioning one of the suspects, Sebastianpillai Ramesh, better known as “Napoleon”. The police appeared not to have taken note for their investigation of cartridge cases from a 9-mm gun and the remains of a grenade found at the scene of the crime. Prints found on a bicycle left near the journalist’s home by the killers have never been analysed.Finally, four other suspects, all EPDP members, were freed on bail by a court in Vavuniya in the north of the country. They also succeeded in getting the right to report regularly to the police in Vavuniya rather than in Jaffna. Receive email alerts Follow the news on Sri Lanka July 29, 2020 Find out more News News News Reporters Without Borders called on Sri Lanka’s president to ensure justice for a BBC World Service correspondent, murdered at his home in Jaffna in the north on 19 October 2000. The Tamil journalist’s family has also protested over the stalled investigation that has allowed his killers to escape trial. Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial RSF_en
WhatsApp Pinterest By Odessa American – April 30, 2021 Facebook Facebook TAGSOil Prices Crude Oil: 63.58 (-1.43).Nymex MTD AVG: 61.6437.Natural Gas: 2.931 (+0.020).Gasoline: 2.0698 (-0.0301).Spreads: June/July (+.10) July/August (+.34).Plains WTI Posting: 60.06 (-1.43) DAILY OIL PRICE: April 30, 2021 Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter Local NewsIn the Pipeline Twitter Previous articleORMC gets top safety gradeNext articleBasin rig count down two as prices rise Odessa American
ColumnsAshok Desai: Pure Enlightened Soul in Paradise Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi14 April 2020 12:22 AMShare This – xRarely do men leave their imprints in the mind of many. Imprints which live long after their soul departs to live immortally. Ashok Desai was one such rare stalwart who walked the corridors and court rooms of several courts in India. He shone brilliantly as the Solicitor General and as the Attorney General of India. Important Cases argued by him can be found in the journals and have…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginRarely do men leave their imprints in the mind of many. Imprints which live long after their soul departs to live immortally. Ashok Desai was one such rare stalwart who walked the corridors and court rooms of several courts in India. He shone brilliantly as the Solicitor General and as the Attorney General of India. Important Cases argued by him can be found in the journals and have been recounted by colleagues. Journey of my knowledge about him began in 1996 when he came to Allahabad to appear for Chemical industries in a petition filed by the sugar industry of UP challenging the validity of the UP Molasses Act, 1961. After the day was over he visited the Sangam and Fort. He was kind enough to drop in for some pegs of whiskey, along with Dushyant Dave, my friend. From him I learnt about ” chaser”. Take a sip of whiskey and then sip water. Water chases the whiskey to make you spiritual. More importantly he questioned me about history of my city and it appeared he knew more than me. Such was his persona. Unsatiated thirst for knowledge of Law and beyond law. And so amiable, unassuming, modest, and friendly. Just sit next to him and you feel elevated.A benign soul who could not think of hurting anyone. I appeared in the Supreme Court In a few cases, both with and against him. It was always a learning experience seeing him navigate through the voluminous facts and string it along with legal propositions. He was not loud, yet judges could not ignore the firmness of his thoughts beneath his softness. On one occasion I slipped on facts and Ashok bhai, as we addressed him, sprung on his feet saying I was wrong. However, he never attacked me by asserting I was misleading the court. He merely said that “perhaps I was not properly instructed”. I learnt how not to be virulent in countering. A lesson valid for life. A lesson in morality. Life would be so much more peaceful minus the rage. Once Ashok bhai invited me to his home in Delhi for dinner. As I entered his office I could see the musical side of him. When he studied alone classical music was his accompaniment. It was calmness enhanced. After a small chitchat over a few pegs I was led to the dining table for a Gujarati sumptuousness beginning with jalebis. He was a good host. There are so many sides to him. Ashok bhai was a pure enlightened soul at peace with himself and radiating peace to them who swum within his planet. He has given so much to so many in the court and outside that his spirit would live long before the sands of time cover the imprints. May his soul rest in peace in Paradise. Author is a Senior Advocate at Supreme Court of IndiaSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images(PARKLAND, Fla.) — Thousands of demonstrators are expected to turn out Saturday for March for Our Lives events across the country in support of school safety, spearheaded by the survivors of last month’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting.What many of the participants may not realize is that Saturday is also, coincidentally, the 20th anniversary of one of the deadliest school shootings of its time.But for Mitch Wright, whose wife was the middle school teacher shot to death at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on March 24, 1998, the timing of the march is not so much a coincidence as an act of God, he said.The March date caught him off guard, Wright told ABC News, because “no one, really, outside our area really realizes what the 24th represents.”Back in 1998, the Jonesboro attack was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, with four students and a teacher, 32-year-old Shannon Wright, killed and 10 others injured.Now, 20 years later, the numbers have continued to rise.There have been eight deadlier school shootings in the past two decades — including those at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas — and there have been three others that have had the same number of fatalities as Jonesboro.“The history behind these in the last 20 years, it’s kind of like this — you get a lot of coverage, you get a lot of lawmakers who are typically really adamant about making changes, making promises, and they typically jump ship kind of quick, as soon as the NRA starts pulling their strings,” Wright, 52, said.Parkland comparisonsThere are stark commonalities in the aftermath of so many school shootings, including the stories of the victims who died young or the acts of selfless teachers. But another similarity between the Jonesboro and Parkland shootings stands out to former federal agent David Chipman.In the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, for instance, suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the school and then started firing his AR-15 style weapon at students in the hallway.A notably similar scene unfolded at Westside Middle School 19 years and 11 months earlier. Jonesboro shooters Andrew Golden, then-11, and Mitchell Johnson, then-13, pulled the fire alarm after lunch and stood outside the door where they knew students would be fleeing. Then they opened fire.“The way in which they did it — pulled the fire alarm and then lay in wait for kids to leave the school — it’s certainly a cautionary tale for people who are planning to improve school security today,” said Chipman, who now works as a senior policy adviser at gun violence prevention advocacy group Giffords.As for Wright, the slain Jonesboro school teacher’s husband, he said he has never watched any coverage of these school shootings. “I can’t,” he said. But that was before the Parkland shooting unfolded before his eyes on Feb. 14 when he found himself at an airport surrounded by televisions showing the breaking news.“I’m stuck watching this, so I’m seeing all this take place and I don’t really know what’s going on,” Wright said.Facing the anniversaryThe start to every year is difficult for Wright because March 24 looms.“When January comes around, it’s like ‘OK, here it comes,’” he said, adding, “March — you start feeling it.”“The shooting in Florida really opened the floodgates a whole lot quicker than they normally do. It’s been real tough this week,” Wright said.Wright is “hopeful” about the new wave of activism that the Parkland students are leading, he said, adding that he’s happy about the March for Our Lives events, especially the one set to take over Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.“I would love to go to D.C. and see those kids march. It would be nice,” he said.A trip to the nation’s capital doesn’t seem like it will be in the cards for Wright, though. He said he typically spends the day with his and Shannon’s 22-year-old son, who was 2 at the time of the shooting, doing something such as playing golf “to try and escape everything.”As for the students in Jonesboro, who happen to be on spring break this week, there is a March for Our Lives event scheduled at Jonesboro High School on Saturday, and the community last week hosted its annual memorial motorcycle ride that raises funds to maintain the garden dedicated to the victims of the 1998 shooting.“It boils down to this: You just don’t want another family to go through this. It doesn’t matter what anniversary it is,” Wright said. “They’re still gone, and it still hurts.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Offshore winds are drying air out and heating it up along the California coast as a record high temperature was broken at San Diego Brown Field Airport Tuesday at 100 degrees.Phoenix is expected to break an all-time number of days for 100 degrees in a year Wednesday as it will be the 144th day this year at 100 degrees or higher, which has never happened in recorded history in the city.Las Vegas had its 176th day in a row without a drop of rain which has also never happened. Wednesday will be day 177 without rain there.Meanwhile, dangerous fire conditions are not only in California Wednesday but all the way east into the Plains.Gusty winds and dry conditions is the biggest threat for fires to spread as Red Flag Warnings have been issued from California to Indiana.Recently hard-hit Northern California and the San Francisco Bay area are under a Red Flag Warning where winds could gust 20 to 40 mph over the next few days.In addition to the wind, temperatures are on the rise with some areas forecast to hit record highs from Northern California all the way to the southern part of the state.But as the West coast heats up and dries out, the East is now cooling off.A new cold blast is on the way for the Midwest and the East Coast by the end of the week.Some of that cold air will move into the East Coast by the weekend, with wind chills in the 20s and 30s inland and lower 40s along the I-95 corridor.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.