Aug 22 2014

Daily News Flash with Maya Rockeymoore on Syrian Death Toll, Shiite Massacre of Sunnis in Mosque, and CA AG Defends Death Penalty

Uprising’s guest expert Maya Rockeymoore, President of the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a social change non-profit dedicated to making policy work for people and their environment, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Syrian death toll reaches 191,000, more than double the number from just a year ago. The grim toll of the Syrian civil war which began more than 3 years ago, includes tens of thousands of women and children. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, said, “Tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed.” She added, “The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis.” The UN accuses the Syrian government and opposition rebel groups of committing war crimes. Meanwhile, US military officials have begun considering expanding the American operation in Northern Iraq to Syria as well. Click here for a BBC article, and here for a Commondreams article about Syria.

In neighboring Iraq, a massacre by Shiite soldiers of at least 30 Sunnis could exacerbate existing tensions. Early this morning, a mosque in the northeastern part of Baghdad was attacked when militia men from the dominant Shiite group opened fire. The killings come at a time when Iraq’s incoming Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi is expected to begin repairing some of the sectarian damage caused by his predecessor, Nuri Al Maliki. Meanwhile, in the northern part of the country where ISIS rebels maintain a stronghold, reports are emerging of a man being stoned to death for adultery, just days after American journalist James Foley was beheaded. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

In California, a victory that anti-death penalty advocates were hailing, may have suffered a set back. A federal court in July ruled the death penalty in this state unconstitutional because of extremely lengthy delays. Now, State Attorney General Kamala Harris has decided to appeal that ruling. According to her, those lengthy delays are necessary to ensure inmates receive due process. The decision has puzzled some because Harris has publicly voiced her opinion against the death penalty. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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