Jul 27 2015

Newsflash: Saudis Kill 120 Yemenis, Obama Visits Ethiopia & Kenya, Sandra Bland Funeral

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

Saudi Arabia is continuing its devastating air-war against its impoverished neighbor, Yemen. On Saturday, the deadliest airstrike of the war so far, killed 120 people, including many women and children. The strikes were aimed at a power plant in a residential area. So many lives were lost that bodies were buried in mass graves on Saturday. A spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders told AP, “It just shows what is the trend now of the air strikes from the coalition. Now, it’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything.” Saudi Arabia, which is the major player in a US-backed coalition, announced a ceasefire which was to have begun at midnight last night. But fighting continued to rage on the ground between Houthi rebels who have taken over the country, and Saudi-armed Yemeni forces.Click here for a BBC article, and here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

President Obama continues his tour of Africa, arriving in Ethiopia today, after his visit to Kenya. In Ethiopia, he met with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for several hours in a closed-door session. Ethiopia has been a vital US ally in the fight against the Al-Shabab militant organization in neighboring Somalia. Still, Ethiopia faces its own struggles with human rights violations, including the unjustified detention of journalists. Earlier, during his visit to Kenya, where his father hailed from, President Obama made a lengthy speech, veering into personal territory. It was the first time he has visited Kenya as President, and called himself the “first Kenyan American to be president of the United States.” He also used his platform to demand that Kenya respect gay rights, a direct snub to President Uhuru Kenyatta who referred to it as a “non-issue.” Click here for a Time.com article, here for a Commondreams article, and here for a Quartz article about the story.

And finally here in the US, the body of Sandra Bland was laid to rest on Saturday in Lisle, Illinois, just outside Chicago. The 24-year old African American woman became the newest symbol in the fight against police brutality after she died with 3 days of her arrest in a Texas jail. The New York Times’ Charles Blow described her funeral as “celebratory and defiant.” Ironically, as the National Convening of the Movement for Black Lives met in Cleveland, Ohio, they were met with an incident of police violence. As Cleveland cops targeted a 14-year old African American boy for arrest after slamming him to the ground, they were met by Black Lives Matter activists on the streets. A white officer was captured on several videos calmly pepper spraying dozens of people in the face. The boy was eventually released to his mother after being treated for injuries. Click here for a New York Times article about Bland’s funeral, and here for a Huffington Post article about the Cleveland gathering.

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One Response to “Newsflash: Saudis Kill 120 Yemenis, Obama Visits Ethiopia & Kenya, Sandra Bland Funeral”

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