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Daily News Flash with Courtney Morris on Ukraine Sanctions, Supreme Court on Cell Phone Searches, and Donald Sterling’s Racist Remarks

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and women’s Studies at Penn State University and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Obama Administration has announced sanctions this morning on Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin for what it calls “indisputable” interference in the Ukraine crisis. According to the Guardian newspaper this morning, “The White House announcement included visa bans, asset freezes and export license denials on a panoply of top Russian officials and firms,” that are part of Putin’s inner circle. Meanwhile, the mayor of the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was shot in the back today and according to news reports, is still in the hospital in critical condition. Pro-Russian activists have been occupying government buildings in Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities. And, a group of seven European military observers have been held hostage since Friday in another Eastern Ukrainian city called Slovyansk. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article and here for a USA Today article about the story.

The Supreme Court plans to take up a case involving cell phone searches tomorrow. Each year 12 million Americans are arrested and in today’s digital age, the question has arisen whether warrantless searches of cell phones by law enforcement are justifiable. The Fourth Amendment protects the right of Americans to “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The amount of data that cell phones today hold and keep track of has created uncharted legal territory. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

The biggest domestic news story over the weekend originated right here in Los Angeles with racist remarks made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling sparking a firestorm of outrage. A recording released by an online site found Sterling telling his girlfriend “Don’t bring black people to my games.” The woman identified as Sterling’s girlfriend is apparently of black and Mexican descent. Magic Johnson declared on Twitter, “I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner,” while President Obama from his visit to Malaysia called the remarks “incredibly offensive.” The NBA has opened an investigation into Sterling’s remarks, and the NAACP has withdrawn an award they were planning on presenting to him. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.