Aug 13 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Ferguson, Missouri, New Report on Stand-Your-Ground Laws, and Snowden’s Latest Revelation

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Ferguson, Missouri continues to burn as yet another police shooting leaves a young man critically injured early this morning. The shooting death of an 18-year old unarmed black teen Mike Brown by an unnamed police officer, sparked continuous riots and protests since the weekend in a majority black suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Police have responded with armored tanks, riot gear, and tear gas. Dozens of people have been arrested while protesting. A Think Progress report cited an independent journalist’s tweet that the air space above Ferguson has been restricted, just as in a war zone. President Obama released a statement yesterday expressing his condolences to Brown’s parents, and calling for “reflection and understanding.” Meanwhile, Ron Davis, the father of a young black teen named Jordan Davis who was killed in Jacksonville Florida last year, is currently testifying about race-based shootings in the US at a United Nations meeting in Geneva. Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

A report studying the so-called Stand Your Ground laws has just been released. It was commissioned by the American Bar Association and finds a positive correlation between laws that allow people to shoot if they feel even slightly threatened, and higher homicide rates. This unsurprising result may give fodder to those seeking to repeal such laws that were initially invoked to justify the shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin in Florida. Ultimately, the shooter George Zimmerman chose not to use the Stand Your Ground law in his defense and was acquitted. The report found that the laws, which are in place in 33 states, had “No deterrent effect on crime,” and in fact had the opposite effect, and also found “empirical evidence of racial disparities,” in relation to the laws. Click here to download the study.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appears on the latest issue of Wired Magazine, in a soft-focus cover photo hugging a US flag. The story reveals yet another incursion into American privacy as Snowden tells of a program in development at the NSA called MonsterMind, that, “would instantly and autonomously neutralize foreign cyberattacks against the US, and could be used to launch retaliatory strikes as well.” The magazine likened it to a “digital version of the Star Wars initiative,” championed by President Reagan. Click here to read the Wired.com article about the story.

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