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Newsflash: Baltimore Police Dig in Heels, Pope Francis Keeps Speaking Out, Sanders Declares Candidacy

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, author and a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Baltimore’s Police Department continues to come under fire in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. This time, it’s because the department has decided to not release its internal report of Gray’s death to the public. Police Captain Eric Kowalczyk justified the secrecy saying, “the evidence is saved for any kind of prosecution that may or may not happen.” Six officers have been suspended with pay in relation to Freddie Gray’s arrest and subsequent death. However, police seem to be leaking selective information to the press. The Washington Post was given access to the testimony of an anonymous prisoner who was in the same police van as Gray, but separated by a metal wall and concluded that Gray was, “banging against the walls” and “was intentionally trying to injure himself.” Meanwhile, solidarity demonstrations sprung up around the country last night, with the largest gatherings taking place in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Minneapolis. In New York, a protest resulted in 60 arrests. Click HERE for a RT.com, HERE for a NBCnews, and HERE for a Washington Post article on this story.

Pope Francis continues to take strong stands that land him in the news. This week he called upon the Vatican to release documents related to its role in Argentina’s dictatorship. The pope, who was born in Buenos Aires, has been questioned about his own role in the so-called “dirty war” of the 1970s during which tens of thousands of Argentines were disappeared. His decision to open the Vatican’s archives from the era was the result of pressure from families who are still seeking answers for what happened to their loved ones. Pope Francis also spoke out on the inequality of women’s pay during his Wednesday general audience. He said, “Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.” Click HERE for a The Guardian and HERE for an Al Jazeera article on this story.

And finally Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has officially declared his run for the Presidency of the United States. Sanders, one of only two independent Senators, has long flirted with the idea of a candidacy. He has come forward to vie for the Democratic Party nomination within weeks of Hillary Clinton declaring her intentions for the White House. Sanders said, “I am running in this election to win.” He added, “We’ve got a long path forward,” referring to the fundraising challenge he will surely face. Already media pundits are speculating that Sanders’ candidacy will be “useful for the Democrats,” as he presents a foil for Clinton. Clinton gave a speech yesterday with a broad outline of a proposal to end the era of mass incarceration, which escalated via the policies of former President Bill Clinton – although of course she made no mention of her husband. Click HERE for a NY Times and HERE for a Common Dreams article on this story.