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Newsflash: UN General Assembly, Shell Leaves Arctic Alone, Delaware Cops Kill Black Man in Wheelchair

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:

The UN General Assembly is meeting in New York today, and the war on Syria is taking center stage. The Syria war has resulted in a massive refugee crisis in Europe. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had strong words, naming the nations that, according to him, “hold the key” to peace in Syria, and those are Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama are scheduled to address the General Assembly later today. Media are speculating whether the two will shake hands, since they will be meeting in person after two years of harsh words and Cold-War-like moves. In an interview on 60 Minutes last night, Mr. Putin, who has been the Syrian government’s strongest foreign ally, accused the West of failing to organize a rebel army in Syria, and said that the majority of rebels “simply ran away with their American weapons to [the] Islamic State!” Meanwhile Russia recently signed an intelligence-sharing agreement with Iraq over the weekend. Click here for a New York Times article, and here for a Washington Post blog about the story.

Environmental activists are declaring a major victory after Shell Oil decided to abandon its drilling operations in the Arctic. The fossil fuel giant had been the target of major protests around the US, from Oregon to Alaska by indigenous and climate justice activists who coined the phrase, “Shell No” to express their opposition to drilling in an extremely fragile environment. Shell claims that the exploratory well that it drilled about 80 miles off the coast of Alaska, yielded disappointing results and that there are not enough reserves of oil and gas for it to continue operations. The company had betted a good chunk of its future on Arctic drilling, and stands to lose more than $4 billion. According to the Guardian newspaper, “Shell has also privately made clear it is taken aback by the public protests against the drilling which are threatening to seriously damage its reputation.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

An African American man in a wheelchair was fatally shot by police in Delaware last week and now family and community members want answers. Police said that 28-year old Jeremy McDole, who was paralyzed from the waist down, reached into his waistband for a gun when they shot him. A gun was found in McDole’s possession, and there is speculation that he may have been trying to kill himself. There is video of the shooting that apparently shows several officers moving toward McDole shouting commands, before they fired shots and he fell off his chair. Members of the Delaware chapter of the NAACP are actively seeking answers. The victim’s mother, Phyllis McDole, says the video does not show her son reaching for his gun when he was shot. She told press, “This was murder. He shot my son like he was roadkill.” Click here for an Independent newspaper article, and here for an Associated Press article about the story.