washington post

The rarity of a federal grand jury not indicting, visualized - The Washington Post

A data point from FiveThirtyEight’s coverage of Monday night’s events in Ferguson is worth pulling out. “U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010,” the site’s Ben Casselman writes, “the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.”

That data is from a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and covers October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2010. Over that time period, over 193,000 federal offenses were investigated, about 16 percent of which were declined for prosecution. That leaves just over 162,300 offenses that the government tried to prosecute. And the grand jury decided against doing so 11 times, finding no true bill or a lack of evidence to do so.

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In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest
August 14, 2014

For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald’s a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown’s shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby. But inside there’s WiFi and outlets, so it’s common for reporters to gather there.

That was the case Wednesday. My phone was just about to die, so as I charged it, I used the time to respond to people on Twitter and do a little bit of a Q&A since I wasn’t out there covering the protests.

As I sat there, many armed officers came in — some who were dressed as normal officers, others who were dressed with more gear.

Initially, both Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and I were asked for identification. I was wearing my lanyard, but Ryan asked why he had to show his ID. They didn’t press the point, but one added that if we called 911, no one would answer.

Then they walked away. Moments later, the police reemerged, telling us that we had to leave. I pulled my phone out and began recording video.

An officer with a large weapon came up to me and said, “Stop recording.”

I said, “Officer, do I not have the right to record you?”

He backed off but told me to hurry up. So I gathered my notebook and pens with one hand while recording him with the other hand.

As I exited, I saw Ryan to my left, having a similar argument with two officers. I recorded him, too, and that angered the officer. As I made my way toward the door, the officers gave me conflicting information.

One instructed me to exit to my left. As I turned left, another officer emerged, blocking my path.

“Go another way,” he said.

As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, “Officers, let me just gather my bag.” As I did, one of them said, “Okay, let’s take him.”

Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.

“My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.

As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.

I could see Ryan still talking to an officer. I said: “Ryan, tweet that they’re arresting me, tweet that they’re arresting me.”

He didn’t have an opportunity, because he was arrested as well.

The officers led us outside to a police van. Inside, there was a large man sitting on the floor between the two benches. He began screaming: “I can’t breathe! Call a paramedic! Call a paramedic!”

Ryan and I asked the officers if they intended to help the man. They said he was fine. The screaming went on for the 10 to 15 minutes we stood outside the van.

“I’m going to die!” he screamed. “I’m going to die! I can’t breathe! I’m going to die!”

Eventually a police car arrived. A woman — with a collar identifying her as a member of the clergy — sat in the back. Ryan and I crammed in next to her, and we took the three-minute ride to the Ferguson Police Department. The woman sang hymns throughout the ride.

During this time, we asked the officers for badge numbers. We asked to speak to a supervising officer. We asked why we were being detained. We were told: trespassing in a McDonald’s.

“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

Once at the station, we were processed, our pockets emptied. No mug shots. They removed our restraints and put us in a holding cell. Ryan was able to get ahold of his dad. I called my mom, but I couldn’t get through. I couldn’t remember any phone numbers.

We were in there for what felt like 10 or 15 minutes. Then the processing officer came in.

“Who’s media?” he asked.

We said we were. And the officer said we were both free to go. We asked to speak to a commanding officer. We asked to see an arrest report. No report, the officer told us, and no, they wouldn’t provide any names.

I asked if there would ever be a report. He came back with a case number and said a report would be available in a week or two.

“The chief thought he was doing you two a favor,” he said.

The Ferguson Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Lowery’s detention.

Source

From the article: 

As international groups pull staff from the three countries, airlines suspend commercial flights and neighboring countries close their borders, some have argued that it will be next to impossible to contain the outbreak — that public health systems are too weak, the cost of providing effective care too high and health workers too scarce.

But Ebola has been stopped in every other outbreak to date, and it can be stopped in West Africa, too. The crisis we are watching unfold derives less from the virus itself and more from deadly and misinformed biases that have led to a disastrously inadequate response to the outbreak.

These biases, tragically, live on, despite evidence that disproves them again and again.

Just 15 years ago, Western experts said confidently that there was little that rich countries could do to stop the global AIDS crisis, which was killing millions of people in Africa and elsewhere.

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Two main stream media journalists reportedly arrested without cause, assaulted in Ferguson
August 13, 2014

Two reporters working out of a McDonalds in Ferguson, Mo. say they were arrested and assaulted for no apparent reason while covering the increasingly violent clash between police and protestors on Wednesday night. Both were eventually released without being charged.

According to reports, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly were both arrested, handcuffed and booked. Once word of their arrests began circulating on social media, they were immediately released.

The already-tense situation in Ferguson escalated earlier today, when SWAT teams descended on the largely peaceful protests that have been taking place since an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer Saturday.

Lowery and Reilly were both apparently working from a Ferguson McDonalds when a SWAT team entered the restaurant. After posting initial tweets about the encounter, both reporters went offline just before 5 pm.

Lowery, who says he was slammed into a fountain soda machine during his arrest, wrote on Twitter that he was “Detained, booked, given answers to no questions. Then just let out… Got no explaination at any point why in custody other than “trespassing” - at a mcdonalds where we were customers.”

The Washington Post has obtained video of the arrest available at the source.

Source

Absolutely one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time. There is so much real life truth in this article, articulately written in a way that is not offensive to the Gender Variant/Non-binary community, but also understandable to the majority.

The first part of the article made me cry because it gives a real life example of the struggle non-binary individuals go through, just to find clothing that is for them. That is exactly what I am trying to change with #GENDERFLUX! I am starting from the ground up with simple t-shirts and building my brand bit by bit until I have created a full blown clothing line that encourages diversity and originality, WITHOUT gendered norms!

Seriously a good read, do not pass this up!

Xoxo
-Elliott Alexzander

The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News - but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn’t Fox News; it was the New York Times. The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia - when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and NATO.
—  John Pilger, ‘War by media and the triumph of propaganda’

J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels have a great many concerns that express the series’ larger themes of fascism, democracy and diversity. Among them is the struggle for the rights of house-elves, who play an enormous role in the functioning of the wizarding world even as they reap almost none of the rewards of the magical economy.

The house-elves emerge as characters in the “Harry Potter” novels much in the same way that children themselves might become aware of the workings of the economy as a whole. When Rowling’s characters initially enroll in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, they think certain things there come to pass by magic. Food appears, beautifully prepared, on dinner tables. Beds are made, fires are lit.

But Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione come to learn that most of these tasks are performed by house-elves, who work not just at Hogwarts but in the homes of many wizarding families. In almost all cases, they are bound to their employers by magic, which is convenient for wizards in two ways: They can force these virtual slaves to do even the most dangerous and disagreeable tasks, and they can do it without paying the house-elves.

Ultimately Harry, Hermione and Ron decide that their concern for non-magical persons and certain classes of magical beings means that they must become advocates for house-elves’ rights as well.

But that is not the end of their education. They also learn that if you want to help people, you have to listen to what they want and need and respect their wishes. When the main characters in Rowling’s series inadvertently free a house-elf named Winky from her rigid wizard employer, they are initially surprised when she is devastated and becomes an alcoholic. The wizards saw her release as a simple matter of her rights, but Winky lost her home and what she perceived to be her family. Instead of just forcing her out of bad conditions, Harry, Hermione and Ron needed to convince Winky that a new kind of life would be better and then deliver on their promises.

And at the end of the “Harry Potter” novels, the three young characters get a powerful illustration of what solidarity really means.

—  "Why the Harry Potter books are the perfect way to explain Labor Day to kids" | by Alyssa Rosenberg for the Washington Post.
Washington Post "fact checks" SNL spoof critical of Obama's executive overreach

Talk about your lows in journalistic integrity.  Washington Post is so desperate to shield Obama’s amnesty executive order from criticism that they’re actually fact checking an SNL spoof.

The response on Twitter has been merciless…and hilarious:

There are dozens more of these on twitter, and they’re all hilarious.  

Flight accidents and fatalities from 2014

Over the course of 2014, there have been 22 fatal airline accidents with a total of 992 fatalities. Fourteen of the 22 accidents occurred while the planes were en route to their destinations, including AirAsia Flight 8501. The AirAsia accident ranks among the worst of this past year.

Click here to see the full graphic. 

My country, I will build you again,
If need be, with bricks made from my life.
I will build columns to support your roof,
If need be, with my bones.
I will inhale again the perfume of flowers
Favored by your youth.
I will wash again the blood off your body
With torrents of my tears.
—  Outspoken Iranian poet Simin Behbahani died last week at the age of 87. This is the opening stanza of her poem “My Country, I Will Build You Again,” which you can read in full on her website.

If there is any member of the judicial branch whose daily minutiae deserves the small screen treatment, it’s Ginsburg.

There can be no doubt that Ruth Bader Ginsburg — comic book superhero, T-shirt hoarderstar of the whole Internet — is leading the pretend popularity contest for the Supreme Court Justice Most Likely to Get Her Own Reality Show… . If there is any member of the judicial branch whose daily minutiae deserves the small screen treatment, it’s Ginsburg, who doesn’t even have to make stuff up to achieve cult-like nonfictional star status.