Jul 29 2015

Newsflash: Mullar Omar Death Rumors, Cincinnati Police Killing and New Bland Video, Trump’s Political Circus

Daily News Flash | Published 29 Jul 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: Mullar Omar Death Rumors, Cincinnati Police Killing and New Bland Video, Trump’s Political Circus -

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Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Afghan and Pakistani sources are claiming that the mysterious leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar, is dead. Mullah Omar has not been seen in public for well over a decade and rumors of his death have appeared several times over the years. Afghan government officials made the claims this morning and say they are investigating the fact that the elusive Taliban commander may have died two years ago. As of this morning there has been no statement from the Taliban confirming or denying the news of his death. According to Pakistani media, Omar’s son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, has been jockeying for leadership of the organization. The Taliban was about to begin a second round of peace talks in Islamabad with Afghan government officials, aimed at ending the violent 13-year long conflict. In mid-July AFP reported that Mullah Omar lauded the peace talks through the Taliban’s official website, saying, “All mujahideen and countrymen should be confident that in this process, I will unwaveringly defend our legal rights and viewpoint everywhere.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article and here for a New York Times article about the story.

Here in the US, news of another police killing of an unarmed African American man is making headlines. On July 19, Samuel Dubose was shot in the head by white University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who pulled him over for not having a front license plate. The prosecutor in the case has refused to release the body camera worn by Tensing, saying “it is not good,” and implying that it disputes Tensing’s claims of self-defense. The city is apparently bracing itself for riots in the event of the video’s release. Dubose’s funeral took place yesterday. Meanwhile, in the Texas police custody death of Sandra Bland, Waller County prison officials have released a new video showing Bland getting her mugshot photo taken. They were responding to rumors that Bland may have died before she entered the prison. Officials say the prison is receiving death threats. Click here for a Cincinnati.com article about Dubose’s funeral, and here for a CNN.com article about the new Bland video.

The political circus around Donald Trump’s candidacy for President continues. Because his poll numbers among potential Republican voters are so high, news media are obligated to cover the businessman turned politician. Now, Politico is reporting that the billionaire Koch Brothers, who have financed most major Republican candidates, are freezing Trump out. According to Politico’s report, “the network of Koch-backed policy and political outfits is using behind-the-scenes influence to challenge Trump more forcefully than the Republican Party establishment — by limiting his access to the support and data that would help him translate his lead in the polls into a sustainable White House campaign.” Meanwhile Trump has said he would invite Sarah Palin into his cabinet if he were to be elected President. Click here for the Politico report, and here for a Newsweek article about the story.

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