Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, analyzes today’s news headlines:
Russia began dropping bombs on Syria today, after President Vladimir Putin pushed through a resolution in his Parliament. The US was apparently notified ahead of time about the airstrikes that targeted the Syrian city of Homs. Russia is casting the move as an attack against ISIS as well as in support of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. According to the New York Times, “Russia’s intervention will most likely prolong and complicate the war, as it could keep Mr. Assad in office and adds Russia to the already complicated patchwork of forces deployed there.” Russian officials clarified that at this time their nation was engaging only in an air war, and no ground troops. US President Barack Obama and Mr. Putin met earlier this week at the United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York and sniped at one another diplomatically. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.
Here in the United States, Georgia executed a woman last night. Forty seven year old Kelly Renee Gissendaner was the only woman on Georgia’s death row and the first in 70 years to be executed by that state. Despite many appeals, the Supreme Court yesterday rejected three stays of execution. Her children tried vainly to stop the execution and even Pope Francis had made a plea on Gissendaner’s behalf. She reportedly sang Amazing Grace after receiving a lethal injection, during the last few minutes of her life. Gissendaner was convicted of planning the murder of her husband by her lover, Greg Owen. Owen, who actually carried out the killing, testified against Gissendaner and is serving a life sentence – he will be eligible for parole in 2022. Click here for a CBS News article about the story.
The new darling of the anti-abortion right wing, Kim Davis, says she met with Pope Francis secretly during his visit to the US. Davis is the notorious Kentucky County Clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, saying it violated her religious faith. In an interview with ABC, Davis said of her meeting with the Pope, “It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to, you know, meet me or know me.” She said the pope told her, “Thank you for your courage,” and “Stay strong.” Davis reacted that, “That was a great encouragement,” and that the Pope’s words, “kind of validates everything.” The Vatican refused to deny or confirm the meeting*. Despite becoming a sort of progressive hero in the US, the Pope stayed away from speaking about same-sex marriage while here. *UPDATE: After our broadcast, the Vatican confirmed the meeting. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.