Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and professor of Journalism at the University of Texas At Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:
A series of Saudi-led airstrikes on a UN-run refugee camp in Yemen yesterday has resulted in the deaths of nearly 30 civilians including women and children. A total of 40 are dead and 200 injured. Saudi Arabia, which is spearheading a 10-member war coalition in close collaboration with the United States, denies that it struck the Al-Mazraq camp where thousands have taken refuge, while a Shia Houthi-rebellion has captured most of the nation and driven out the President. News media are reporting that the Saudi bombing campaign on Monday was the single deadliest since the air war began last Thursday. The likelihood of Saudi ground troops entering Yemen in the near future remains high. Click here for a Christian Science Monitor article about the story.
While the national outrage aimed at Indiana’s new religious freedom law is justifiable, another story in the same state that is just as chilling if not more, has received very little attention. On Monday a 33-year old woman named Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for essentially having a miscarriage. Patel was convicted a month ago on charges of negligence and feticide. In July 2013, she arrived at a hospital bleeding heavily and admitted she had been pregnant and miscarried and had expelled what was essentially a fetus about 22 weeks gestated. She had received no pre-natal care. But prosecutors say the fetus was 30 weeks old and viable, and that Patel had knowingly taken miscarriage-inducing drugs to terminate her pregnancy, even though no evidence of such drugs was ever found in her blood stream. Patel, who is the daughter of Indian immigrants to Indiana, is the first woman to be convicted of feticide. She is the second woman to have been charged, after another immigrant of Chinese descent. Click here for a PRI.com article and here for an RHRealityCheck.org article about the story.
The award winning journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, whose commentaries we routinely broadcast, was apparently hospitalized yesterday on an unspecified medical emergency. Abu Jamal was moved to a facility in Pennsylvania about ten miles from where he is imprisoned and advocates are urging authorities to let his wife visit him. The hospitalization came on the same day that a judge heard arguments in Harrisburg, on a Pennsylvania law being challenged by inmates including Abu Jamal. The so-called “Mental Anguish” law effectively silences the voices of incarcerated people like Abu Jamal on the grounds that their speech causes mental anguish to the victims of the crimes they were convicted of. Abu Jamal, who gave a recorded commencement speech to a college in Vermont, has remained politically active and vocal throughout his incarceration. Click here for a San Jose Mercury News article about the story, and check prisonradio.org for more information on Abu Jamal’s condition.