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Michael Christopher Morton, 29, spit in the eyes and face of a Middletown police officer, according to arrest papers. Morton is facing five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and harassment. It took two borough police officers and two State Police troopers – one who was off-duty – to subdue Morton
Morton told police he had taken a large amount of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, and said he was HIV-positive. He was taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for treatment. Morton is in Dauphin County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Source: Live Leak

”Robust” and ”challenging” were the words being banded about as President Donald Trump attended his first G7 summit in Sicily on Friday.

Kicking off with a group photo in the picturesque clifftop town of Toarmina, the US leader was expected to face tough opposition from other world leaders, notably in the areas of trade and climate change.

Trump has threatened to initiate protectionist policies and pull the US out of the Paris climate change deal signed in 2015.

Leaders had hoped he might soften his position on those issues, but his confrontational remarks in Brussels a day earlier, particularly his criticism of NATO partners, did little to instill confidence.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn other administration officials have said Trump will wait until after the summit to decide whether he will stay inside the Paris climate change deal.

Along with Trump, four of the group’s leaders, including the UK’s Theresa May will be attending their first G7.
Source: Live Leak

Ahead of holy month of Ramadan , hundreds of Muslims gathered to pray on Boulevard Jean Jaur`es in the northern Paris suburb of Clichy on Friday, May 26, in protest over their expulsion from a premises where prayers and courses were carried out.

Since March , Muslims have gathered to pray on streets in the vicinity of Clichy town hall, arguing to authorities that the lack of a communal space increases the likelihood of Muslims being radicalized online.

With the closure of the building where they had prayed, around 300 children in Clichy were left without Arabic and Islamic history classes, while Mayor R’emi Muzeau was planning to install a multimedia library on the site, according to “20 Minutes:http://www.20minutes.fr/paris/2040387-20170331-hauts-seine-nouvelle-priere-rue-vendredi-comment-avancent-negociations-entre-musulmans-mairie-clichy. Credit: Cl’ement Lanot (CLNews) via Storyful
Source: Live Leak

Hillary Clinton returned to Wellesley College Friday to deliver her alma mater’s 2017 commencement speech, encouraging graduates not to sit on the sidelines during a political climate she described as a “full-fledged assault on truth and reason.” Her remarks, which frequently sparked loud applause from the audience, included a number of veiled slights at President Donald Trump, including an implicit comparison with Richard Nixon.

“By the way, we were furious about the past presidential election, of a man whose presidency would end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice,” Clinton said. “After firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.”

“But here’s what I want you to know,” she continued. “We got through that tumultuous time.”

The sharp quip was just one of the few times on Friday Clinton appeared to offer a side some have claimed she rarely exhibits: funny, warm, and self-deprecating. The former Democratic presidential candidate set the tone by humorously crediting the role a bit of wine played in helping her get back on her feet after November.

“You may have heard that things didn’t go exactly as I planned,” Clinton said. “But you know what—I’m doing okay.”

“Long walks in the woods, organizing my closets, right? I won’t lie—Chardonnay helped a little too.”

But she also sharply criticized the Trump administration’s policies, specifically calling the new budget proposal “an attack of unimaginable cruelty.”

While the speech was largely praised on social media, conservative networks could not resist focusing on Clinton’s cough at the beginning of her remarks:

Source: Mother Jones

More than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, the progress made toward dismantling segregated schools in the South, once the most integrated region in the country, seems to be steadily falling apart.

A report released this week by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project and Penn State University’s Center for Education and Civil Rights finds that in 2014, more than one in three black students attended a school in the South that was intensely racially segregated, meaning a school where 90 percent of students were racial minorities—a 56 percent rise from 1980. The report also finds that the number of Latino students enrolled in public schools in the South surpassed black enrollment for the first time ever, making up 27 percent of the student body. That’s significant, as the percentage of Latino students in the South attending an intensely racially segregated school is also on the rise—42 percent in 2014, up from 37 percent in 1980.

The result, the report notes, is that the typical student faces decreasing exposure to a race other than his or her own. The average black public-school student in the South in the 2014-2015 school year went to a school that was 27 percent white, while the average white public-school student attended a school where black students made up 15 percent of those enrolled. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, segregation doesn’t get any better when poverty is taken into account: Black, Latino, and low-income students saw a rapid increase in exposure to poverty in the last decade as compared to their white and Asian peers.

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While the problem is getting much worse in the South, it’s far from confined to the region. Last year, a US Government Accountability Office report concluded that nationally the number of high-poverty public schools—or those where at least 75 percent of students were black or Hispanic and at least 75 percent of students were eligible for free or reduced-lunch—more than doubled between 2001 and 2014. The GAO report also found that the country saw a nationwide rise in the percentage of schools separated by race and class, from 9 percent to 16 percent, in the past decade and a half. These stats are further supported by a new report released on Thursday by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, which finds that black and Latino students in the 2014-2015 school year disproportionately attended high-poverty schools; while 8 percent of white students attended high-poverty schools across the country, nearly half of black and Hispanic students did so.

This is a massive problem as research has shown that students who attend integrated schools score higher on tests and are more likely to enroll in college. Moreover, as the GAO report notes, high-poverty schools have tended to provide fewer resources and opportunities to minority students.

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Erica Frankenberg, co-director of Penn State’s Center for Education and Civil Rights and the co-author of the report, says that as court oversight of school districts has diminished, some have returned to relying on neighborhood schools, an act that could perpetuate segregation if housing around the neighborhood is also divided. Consider a place like Charlotte, North Carolina, where a 1971 Supreme Court decision resulted in the implementation of a mandatory busing program for kids in Mecklenburg County in an attempt to make schools there more racially balanced. Over three decades, the district became a model for integration across the country. That lasted until 2001, when a legal challenge resulted in the program’s end. The district turned to a student-assignment plan that let students attend schools in their neighborhoods, confining them to institutions in areas long shaped by housing segregation.

Making matters worse are recent efforts from communities to break away from larger metropolitan school districts. The break-away communities tend to be whiter and wealthier than the larger district, and when they leave, they take funding gained from property taxes, in turn negatively impacting the students left behind. Most recently, for instance, a federal judge in Alabama allowed members of the city of Gardendale to establish its own school district, beginning with two elementary schools, despite concluding that race motivated the community’s actions. A forthcoming report by the non-profit EdBuild finds that of the 45 successful attempts to split from larger school districts since 2000, 17 occurred in the South.

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What sticks out most to Frankenberg, however, is the rapid growth of charter schools in the South. She noted that growth of enrollment in charters in the region outpaced that of the rest of the country. The number of charter schools in the region has actually quadrupled to more than 700,000 in the past decade, enrolling 4.4 percent of all students in the South in 2014. While black and Latino students make up most of the students enrolled in charters in the region, the percentage of charters’ white students has fallen over the past decade. Mirroring what’s happening in traditional public schools, black and Latino students in charters are, on average, less exposed to white peers. The average black student in a charter school, for instance, attends a school with 16 percent white student enrollment.

That lack of exposure, coupled with the pace of charter-enrollment growth, Frankenberg says, has helped drive the overall pattern of segregation in the region. In the 2007-2008 school year, just Florida and Louisiana had more than 3 percent of students enrolled in charters in the region. Now, they are joined by North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina. And though private school enrollment in the South and nationally has been declining since 2001, 1.2 million kids in 2011, the most recent year of available data, were still enrolled in private schools in the South—70 percent of whom were white.

So, as the Trump administration doubles down on an investment in promoting school choice nationally—at the expense of after-school programs, subsidized loans, and other deep proposed cuts—the report recommends state officials not let communities break away from school districts and suggests policymakers ensure school-choice programs are implemented in such ways that encourage integration. Unfettered choice without careful design could lead to further segregation, just like it did in the South decades ago and, more recently, in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ home state of Michigan.

“Our lost progress on segregation for southern black students, and our failure to ever confront segregation for Southern Latino students, has to be a wakeup call for the region’s leaders,” Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and a co-author of the report, said in a statement.

Source: Mother Jones

(MEE) Gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians as they were driving to a monastery south of Cairo on Friday, killing 26 and wounding a further 26, medical sources and witnesses said.

The group was traveling in two buses and a truck through the province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority, he said.

An interior ministry spokesman said the attack was carried out by unidentified gunmen in three four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, called a meeting of security officials following the attack, the state news agency said.

The attack in Minya province came after church bombings in December and April claimed by the Islamic State group that killed dozens of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack, but IS had threatened more attacks against the Coptic population, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million.

About 70 have been killed in bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta since December.

The attacks prompted Sisi to declare a three-month state of emergency.

Muslim leaders condemned the killings. The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, said the attack, which came on the eve of Ramadan, was intended to destabilize the country.

“I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,” Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, condemned the perpetrators as traitors.

Egypt’s Copts are vocal supporters of Sisi, who has vowed to crush Islamist extremism and protect Christians.

But many Christians feel the state either does not take their plight seriously enough or cannot protect them against determined fanatics.

The government is fighting insurgents affiliated to Islamic State who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.

By MEE and agencies / Republished with permission / Middle East Eye / Report a typo

Source: Anti Media Feed

It is hard to keep track of all the Michael Flynn scandals. The former national security adviser for President Donald Trump—who lasted only 22 days in the job—is at the center of various investigations. He has drawn scrutiny for his contacts with the Russian government (and for lying about those contacts), for his pocketing of $45,000 from Kremlin-backed RT (and his failure to disclose the payment), for his lobbying for Turkish interests (and his failure to disclose that as well), and for attending a meeting with Turkish officials during which a plan reportedly was discussed for abducting a US-based foe of that country’s president. But one Flynn mystery has received little attention: What was the original source of the $530,000 he was paid last summer and fall—when he was Trump’s top national security aide—to be an agent for Turkish interests?

In March, Flynn, who weeks earlier had been fired from the White House job for lying about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, retroactively filed with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. (It’s illegal to lobby for foreign interests and not register with the Justice Department, and Flynn is reportedly under investigation for not registering at the time he did this work.) Flynn’s retroactive disclosure noted that he had been hired in August 2016 by Inovo BV, a Dutch consulting company run by Ekim Alptekin, the chairman of the Turkey-US Business Council.

The paperwork Flynn filed with the government is confusing. Some of the records note that his company, the Flynn Intel Group, was hired to compile opposition research on Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government claims helped orchestrate an unsuccessful coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last summer, and to prepare material on Gulen—presumably derogatory material—that could be publicly disseminated. But an attachment to the filing, citing an American law firm representing Alptekin, says that “Inovo represented a private sector company in Israel that sought to export natural gas to Turkey, and it was for support of its consulting work for this client that Inovo engaged Flynn Intel Group, specifically to understand the tumultuous political climate at the time between the United States and Turkey so that Inovo could advise its client regarding its business opportunities and investment in Turkey.” In March, Alptekin told one reporter that he had hired Flynn “principally to produce geopolitical analysis on Turkey and the region” for a “regional energy company that is considering an investment in Turkey.”

It’s unclear why there are conflicting accounts about Flynn’s work for Inovo and Alptekin. And though Alptekin has asserted that his firm had no official or financial connections to the Turkish government, Flynn’s retroactive registration—his company shut down in November—stated, “Flynn Intel Group’s work for Inovo could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey.” It was through his contract with Inovo that Flynn ended up in a September 19 meeting set up by Alptekin at the Essex House hotel in New York City with Turkish government officials, where reportedly the participants considered kidnapping Gulen. (A Flynn spokesman insisted Flynn had not discussed any illegal actions, and Alptekin has denied there was any talk of abducting Gulen at this gathering.)

Much is hazy about Flynn’s work for Alptekin, including, most notably, the source of the funding for the project. According to Flynn’s disclosure filing, Alptekin’s Inovo made three payments to him from September 9 to November 14 totaling $530,000. None of the money came from Turkey, according to Alptekin’s American attorneys. In an interview with a Dutch newspaper in April, Alptekin said the funds for the Flynn project came from a loan from his wife and payments from Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli natural gas company.

Here’s where the story gets curious. An Israeli news station in March contacted Ratio Oil Exploration, and the firm said it had no relationship with Alptekin.

A day after disclosing that news, the Israeli station reported that Alptekin had told it, “I have never stated, confirmed, or denied that I acted for Ratio Oil.”

Yet weeks later, Alptekin was telling the Dutch newspaper that some of the money for Flynn had indeed come from Ratio Oil Exploration. Was Ratio Oil part of the Flynn deal? It would seem not, given that the company denied any connection to Alptekin. For his part, Alptekin had initially been dodgy about its possible involvement before stating that Ratio Oil had helped to finance the Flynn project. (Ratio Oil did not respond to a request for comment.)

As for his wife, Nigar Alptekin, she is an Azerbaijani fashion model who once was in a Turkish pop group with two other models that was called Adrenalin. Neither Nigar Alptekin (also known as Nigar Talibova or Nigar Talibzade) nor the music group have a prominent online presence. A music video from the group posted on YouTube in 2012 had only been viewed 4,387 times as of Thursday. Nigar Alptekin’s Twitter feed has 155 followers.

Ekim Alptekin this week was in Washington for the 36th Annual Conference on US-Turkey Relations. When a reporter for Mother Jones, looking to ask about the source of the money and his wife’s role, approached Alptekin, he declined to be interviewed. Alptekin did not respond to multiple email requests for comment. And a lawyer for Flynn also did not respond to a request for comment.

It’s possible that Alptekin used money from a fashion model and an Israeli energy company to pay for Flynn’s secret lobbying for Turkish interests. But confirming the source of these funds could well be on the to-do list of FBI investigators working the Flynn case, a list that seems to be rather long.

Source: Mother Jones

(ANTIWAR.COM) Just a day after they bombed a village in the Mayadeen area, near the ISIS capital of Raqqa, US warplanes launched yet more airstrikes, and once again the indications out of the area is that everyone slain in the attacks was a civilian, bringing the two-day toll in excess of 50.

Today’s bombings, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killed at least 35 civilians, overwhelmingly women and children. The slain were said to include at least 26 people who were “relatives” of ISIS fighters, including both Syrians and Moroccans. The other nine civilians were just locals, including five children.

There has been no official statement from the Pentagon on either of the two days of strikes, and no indication on why the US attacked the village, apart from it being sort of close to Raqqa, and the US has been launching a lot of airstrikes around the outskirts of Raqqa, nominally in support of the Kurdish YPG’s advances.

The US has been killing a soaring number of civilians in airstrikes in recent months, occasionally admitting to incidents, but generally keeping up the pretense of “enormous care” taken to not kill even more. While the Pentagon insists targeting rules have not been relaxed, the soaring death toll is clearly raising doubts about US policy.

That today’s attack killed a lot of ISIS family members is likely to add to questions, particularly as President Trump openly advocated killing family members of terrorists as part of the war, complaining that the lack of family killing amounted to a “very politically correct war.” That’s one thing President Trump won’t be accused of, given the number of civilians he’s having killed.

By Jason Ditz / Republished with permission / AntiWar.com / Report a typo

Source: Anti Media Feed