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Week In Review: Obama Argues Gay Rights At UN, DADT Repeal, Palestine

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“Week in Review” is a new addition to the New Civil Rights Movement by Tanya Domi, which presents a review of top news throughout the world and in America each Sunday. We begin this week by highlighting several major stories from the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York this week.

International News

Obama Affirms the Human Rights of Gays and Lesbians at the UN

After laying down an aggressive LGBT human rights agenda at the UN during the past year, President Barack Obama called for equal rights for lesbians and gays in an address before the UN General Assembly. “No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere,” Obama said. Mark Bromley, chair of the Council on Global Equality, issued this comment on Wednesday: “The President’s remarks today at the UN General Assembly, where he called for the world to ‘stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere,’ were historic. Never before has a sitting U.S. President spoken so clearly about LGBT rights in a formal address to the full General Assembly. It shows how far we have come.”

Palestinians Ask the UN for Statehood Vote

https://youtube.com/watch?v=d8_rd3PqT-k%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

 

Mahmood Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, went before the UN General Assembly this week andsolicited the UN for a full Statehood vote n the Security Council. The U.S. has indicated it will veto such a proposal. Abbas was received warmly by the world body during his speech, receiving a standing ovation. Abbas said during his speech, “I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favour of our full membership. I do not believe that anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application for a full membership in the United Nations and our admission as an independent state.” Upon Abbas’ return to Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinians greeted him in a raucous celebration.

Pope Calls for Global Religious Alliance Against Gay Marriage and Abortion

During a tour of his native Germany, Pope Benedict XVI called on Orthodox Christians to join with the Roman Catholic Church to form a religious alliance against gay marriage and abortion. During a meeting with Orthodox Christians he said, “Knowing, too, the value of family and marriage, we as Christians attach great importance to defending the integrity and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman from any kind of misinterpretation,” adding, “Here the common engagement of Christians, including many Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians, makes a valuable contribution to building up a society equipped for the future.” The Orthodox Church also condemns homosexuality and has proven to be a formidable adversary toward LGBT rights in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Putin Announces Second Run for Russia’s Presidency

Endorsed by his party United Russia, Vladimir Putin announced he will run for President again in 2012by switching places with Dimitri Medvedev. Many Kremlin watchers have said the younger Medvedev had been keeping the seat warm for Putin to reclaim for a 2012 run. Theoretically, if successful, this election could extend Putin’s reign of power to 2024 equating his time in power to that of Stalin and Brezhnef. Medvedev announced he would step down from the presidency yesterday, allowing Putin to move forward, with no significant opposition in sight.

13 Million Affected by Famine in Horn of Africa

A predicted famine in Sub Sahara Africa rages on, affecting at least 13 million people who have been disproportiately displaced from Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, a failed state located in the Horn of Africa.  Startling photographs documenting this famine can be attributed to lower wheat crop yields around the world, coupled with poor humanitarian response by state officials.  Somalis are fleeing, by walking out of the poor country that takes about a month, to the Dadaab refugee camp, located in Northern Kenya, the largest such camp in the world today. But arriving to the the camp does not assure access to food or safety and many continue to die in the camp. The U.S. government is providing an array of humanitarian assistance, including $69 million in emergency food aid to support the populations in emergency conditions.

Jailed American Hikers Return to the U.S.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, two American hikers who had been held in an Iranian prison for more than two years, were released this past week and returned to the United States on September 25. The two were released from Tehran’s Evin prison under a $1 million bail deal and arrived in Oman on Wednesday in the first leg of their journey home. The third hiker, American Sarah Shourd, was released for health reasons in November 2011. Shourd met Fattal and Bauer in Oman for a joyous reunion. Bauer asked Shourd to marry him while they were imprisoned in Iran. Nick Kristof of The New York Times interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this past week and raised the issue of the American hikers. On Thursday, Ahmadinejad told CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer that homosexuality is, “one of the ugliest behaviors in our society. It is against divine will, divine teachings of any and every faith, and it is certainly at the detriment of humans and humanity.”

National News

End of Era: DADT Ends

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a Clinton Administration “compromise” in 1993 during the effort to repeal the gay ban was finally repealed this past week that was marked by celebrations from Washington D.C. to San Francisco.  This watershed event was made evident in an official Department of Defense website titled “DADT is Repealed.” Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in observation of the day, “Today, with implementation of the new law fully in place, we are a stronger joint force, a more tolerant force, a force of more character and more honor, more in keeping with our own values.”

The White House issued the following statement from President Barack Obama, ‘Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.”

Republicans Boo Openly Gay Soldier During GOP Presidential Debate

In the same week DADT was repealed into the history books, a partisan Republican audience jeered Stephen Hill, an openly gay soldier based in Iraq, who questioned in an YouTube presentation whether Republican candidates for the presidency would reinstate the discredited and unconstitutional policy. Virulent anti-gay candidate Rick Santorum, condemned the jeering by the audience, only to retract his statement a day later. The New Civil Rights Movement captured all the candidates comments or actions about the jeering of the gay soldier following the debate. Ultimately, only John Huntsman, candidate from Utah, expressed his regrets for not condemning the jeers of the audience.

Troy Davis Executed in Georgia Prison Garnering Worldwide Condemnation

Troy A. Davis, sentenced to death row 19 years ago for the killing of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah, Georgia police officer in 1989, was executed on September 21 after the U.S. Supreme Court and the Georgia Parole Board denied his request for clemency. Pleas for Davis’ clemency were submitted by numerous luminaries, including former Nobel Peace laureates President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as Pope Benedict and the European Union. The Georgia conviction of Davis unraveled in recent years, when several eye witnesses recanted their original statements. The NAACP has established an on-line condolence book for Troy Davis, who will be buried on October 1.

HRC Announces Obama as Keynote Speaker for Annual Dinner

“We are honored to share this night with President Obama who has a tremendous record of accomplishment for LGBT people,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “On the heels of the end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ we look forward to celebrating our victories and redoubling our efforts for the fights that remain ahead.”

The event, HRC’s largest fundraiser which is expected to draw nearly 3,000 attendees, will be the evening of Saturday, October 1st at the Washington Convention Center. many wonder if the President will make any major news this time, like supporting full civil marriage equality.

 

Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

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BREAKING NEWS

Highly-Anticipated J6 Committee Hearing Likely Postponed

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Wednesday’s highly-anticipated hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first one since July, and possibly the final publicly-televised event, will likely be postponed due to Hurricane Ian which is ravaging Florida.

The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey were the first to report the postponement. MSNBC has confirmed the likely postponement.

No new date has been scheduled yet.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Yes’: GOP Nominee Mastriano Supports Charging Women With Murder if They Have an Abortion After a 6 Week Ban (Audio)

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Pennsylvania’s GOP nominee for governor, state Senator Doug Mastriano, in 2019 said women who violate a bill he sponsored that would ban abortion after six weeks should be charged with murder.

“OK, let’s go back to the basic question there,” Mastriano told Pennsylvania radio station WITF, as NBC News reports. “Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law.”

“Asked if he was saying yes, they should be charged with murder, Mastriano responded: ‘Yes, I am.'”

READ MORE: ‘Seize the Power’: Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano Prayed MAGA Would ‘Rise Up’ Against the Gov’t on 1/6 (Video)

Mastriano is a conspiracy theorist, election denier, and white Christian nationalist with ties to Gab founder Andrew Torba, an antisemitic Christian nationalist and white supremacist.

Mastriano’s bill would have barred abortions once a so-called “fetal heartbeat” could be detected, NBC News adds, “usually around six weeks,” generally before most women even know they are pregnant.

Mastriano, when confronted, falsely attempted to downplay the ability of a governor to shape laws.

“My views are kind of irrelevant because I cannot rule by fiat or edict or executive order on the issue of life,” Mastriano told the conservative network Real America’s Voice, NBC adds. “It’s up to the people of Pennsylvania. So if Pennsylvanians want exceptions, if they want to limit the number of weeks, it’s going to have to come from your legislative body and then to my desk.”

READ MORE: Watch: Torba Warns GOP to Not ‘Disavow or Condemn Us’ Because ‘Christian Nationalists Are the Republican Party’

Mastriano, endorsed by Trump, is facing Democrat Josh Shapiro, who is leading in the polls.

The New York Times reports Mastriano’s campaign is “sputtering,” and says he “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state’s news media in ways that would push his agenda, and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys.”

Earlier this month Rolling Stone just days before the January 6 insurrection Mastriano “was video taped leading a group in prayer, asking God that the MAGA movement would overthrow the federal government, praying they would ‘seize the power’ and ‘rise up’ on January 6.”

Listen below or at this link:

 

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CRIME

Trump Mocked for ‘Sidelining’ His New $3 Million Attorney: ‘Must Have Given Him Actual Legal Advice’

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It’s no secret Donald Trump has been virtually unable to hire highly-respected attorneys to defend him in the many legal and civil cases he is facing for a variety of alleged crimes and misdeeds, including his actions surrounding fraudulent efforts to overturn a free and fair election and the January 6 insurrection, his retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents, and his alleged real estate and tax fraud cases, and more.

One of the rumored reasons Trump, a former President, has been unable to retain quality legal representation is he “has a long history of allegedly not paying his bills,” as Vanity Fair has noted.

Trump did manage to hire what many consider a qualified and respected attorney for his legal issues surrounding his classified documents case.

READ MORE: ‘Bright-Red, Ear-Splitting Alarm Bell’: Former Top GOP Congressman Blasted for ‘Normalization’ of Fascism (Video)

Chris Kise, the former solicitor general for Florida, agreed to work for Trump but only if he was paid up front.

Thanks to Trump’s massive fundraising operation Kise is being paid millions, effectively by Trump supporters.

Kise is also no longer leading the case.

CNN reports Kise “has been sidelined from the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation less than a month after he was brought on to represent Trump in the matter, two sources familiar with the move tell CNN.”

READ MORE: Embattled Trump-Appointed DHS Inspector Was Given Phones of Secret Service Agents in July, Raising ‘New Questions’: Report

“Kise’s hiring came with an unusual price tag of $3 million, paid for by Trump’s outside spending arm. The retainer fee, paid upfront, raised eyebrows among other lawyers on Trump’s team, given the former President has a developed a reputation for not paying his legal fees.”

Legal experts are mocking Trump for sidelining his top attorney.

“Obviously this means the lawyer must have given Trump actual legal advice,” teased George Conway.

“Which is just RUDE,” replied attorney Ken White.

MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst and anchor Katie Phang asked, “So Kise is a $3 million dollar benchwarmer?”

“Trump is already throwing over Chris Kise after signing a $3M retainer and convincing him to leave Foley & Lardner? That seems … not smart,” says Liz Dye, who writes about law and politics. “Chaos monkey gonna chaos monkey, I guess.”

Dan Berman, CNN Politics managing editor for legal, immigration, and the Supreme Court serves up the perfect headline: “Trump’s 3 Million Dollar Man is sidelined already.”

LA Times columnist Harry Litman, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former U.S. Attorney offered perhaps the most amusing response:

“The one credible lawyer that Trump has hired in years, Chris Kise, paying $3M up front, now has been demoted and is no longer leading the MAL defense. Must be Trump’s payback for the fix he’s now in w/ Judge Dearie. He thinks he’s Goldfinger/Dr.No but he’s really Austin Powers.”

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