Jan 16 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on New Federal Definitions of Profiling, NY Protesters’ RNC-Settlement, And Vatican’s UN Hearing On Sex Abuse

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Justice Department has announced it will expand its definition of what is considered profiling, after years of pressure from civil rights groups. Under President George W. Bush federal agents were prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race but not national origin, religion, or other identities. And, even on race, there were caveats for cases concerning national security. Now, Attorney General Eric Holder has included religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in the list of categories that federal agents cannot discriminate on the basis of when conducting investigations. It is not yet clear whether the national security exemption remains. Muslim and Latino advocacy organizations, in particular, are heartened by the decision. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Activists in New York are claiming a major victory after winning a civil rights suit against the city for mistreatment during the 2004 Republican National Convention. After ten long years, the city has agreed to pay a total of $18 million to over a thousand people who were arrested, and detained in harsh conditions. Most of them were protesting the RNC but many were simply bystanders, and even minors. The settlement does not lay any blame on the NYPD. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

In international news, the Vatican has for the first time, appeared before the United Nations to address its child sexual abuse scandal. Representatives of the Vatican were questioned this week by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which is based on a convention the Vatican is a signatory of and thus is legally bound by. The Vatican has responded by saying it is only responsible for upholding its international obligations on its own geographic territory. Pope Francis has announced the formation of a new committee to investigate the sexual abuse cases but has not publicly made it a priority so far. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

And in other news, the 86th Academy Award nominations were announced today. 12 Years a Slave was nominated in 9 categories. And, Dirty Wars, The Square, and the Act of Killing were all nominated for Best Documentary Feature. We’ll speak with the film makers of The Square later in the program.

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