CNN Fires Marc Lamont Hill for Pro-Palestine Remarks

By Free Radical

Marc Lamont HIll spoke at the UN on Wednesday in support of Palestine. He was fired by CNN shortly thereafter.

Marc Lamont HIll spoke at the UN on Wednesday in support of Palestine. He was fired by CNN shortly thereafter.

News agency CNN fired Temple professor Marc Lamont Hill shortly after he made a speech at the United Nations Wednesday in defense of Palestine. Hill worked at CNN for several years as a recurring pundit.

Hill’s speech was delivered during the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and called for Israel to end its policy of “state violence and ethnic cleansing.” In addition, he advocated for a one-state solution which would be both democratic and secular.

In a briefly worded statement, CNN said Hill was “no longer under contract.”

The portion of Hill’s speech which drew the most ire was his defense of a free Palestine “from river to sea.” The phrase has been used by several pro-Palestinian groups, including the current Hamas ruling party, and is meant to refer to the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Anti-Defamation League responded to the phrase by saying that it called for the destruction of Israel.

In response to criticism, Hill tweeted that his use of the phrase “was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice…” Hill also reiterated that his speech advocated for the “return to the pre-1967 borders, to give full rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel and to allow right to return. No part of this is a call to destroy Israel. It’s absurd on its face.”

Hill is a noted political commentator who relocated to his hometown of Philadelphia after serving as a professor at Atlanta based HBCU Morehouse College. In recent years he has placed an increased emphasis to the human rights and liberation struggle in Palestine, even taking several sojourns there.

Rwanda’s National Cabinet is Now Fifty Percent Women

By Shujaa Kwanzaa

Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Rwanda's head of Trade and Industry is one of Rwanda's 13 women cabinet members.

Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Rwanda’s head of Trade and Industry is one of Rwanda’s 13 women cabinet members.

According to international reports, in late October the central African nation of Rwanda announced that women would be making up 50 percent of its now 26-seat cabinet.

This happened just days after Ethiopia became one of the few countries in the world to introduce a “gender-balanced” cabinet.

The two African countries join a small number of countries around the world that have gender-balanced national cabinets. Most European nations do not have gender balanced cabinets.

Rwanda presently has sixty-one percent women in its parliament.

Canada formed the country’s first gender-equitable cabinet in 2015. Presently the United States (US) has not achieved such a balance.

According to reports earlier this year, the Trump administration touted the number of women he has appointed to senior-level positions on both his campaign and his administration. But within the U.S. leader’s cabinet, just over 27 percent of roles are held by women, with the cabinet composed of 16 men and six women.

That number is also lower than those of his more recent Democratic predecessors. Former President Barack Obama’s administration saw women occupy 30 percent of cabinet positions during his first term. That number rose to 35 percent in his second term.

Women in high-level cabinet positions within the Trump administration currently include Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was preceded by Elaine Duke, who served as acting secretary until Nielsen was confirmed as her replacement in December 2017; as well as United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and Linda E. McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Report: Many Missouri State Colleges in Disrepair

By Free Radical

Harris-Stowe State University will need $34 million to complete its most needed capital projects.

Harris-Stowe State University will need $34 million to complete its most needed capital projects.

A recently published report by the Missouri Department of Higher Education projected that the state’s public colleges and universities are in dire need of $1.4 billion in revenue to cover a range of deferred maintenance. The 26 campuses require basic repairs such as repaving sidewalks to more extensive improvements such as brand new computer systems and science laboratories.

“Literally, [there are] college classrooms for chemistry that were below the standards of their local high school, just because they didn’t have the ability to keep up,” said Jeff Barlow, an assistant commissioner of higher education, who led the review.

Public HBCUs in particular are in great need of physical plant upgrades. The report described the St. Louis based Harris-Stowe State University as “operating at full capacity.” Even though the college created a new dormitory just six years ago, it is at full capacity and some students have to be housed off campus. Harris-Stowe’s Dr. Henry Givens Administration building is where the lions‘ share of classes are held. The facility was built in 1925 and needs improvements in its science laboratories and auditorium which requires new wiring and electrical equipment.

Other buildings such as the older Vashon Center and the newer Innovation Center could alleviate the university’s space problems but they must first be renovated before they are put into use.

The college has identified three capital priorities: a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building, a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and renovations to the Dr. Henry Givens Jr. building. Altogether, these projects will cost a total of $34 million.

Missouri’s other HBCU, Lincoln University, located in Jefferson City, also badly needs physical plant improvements. Despite its proximity to the state capital, it has received few political favors.

In 2015, former Governor Jay Nixon vetoed appropriations for a $2.8 million recreation center to balance the state budget. Two years later, $200,000 was withheld from a study to assess how the St. Mary’s Hospital building could be used by the university.

Lincoln also has a great need for space as many of its buildings such as Founders Hall and Elliff Hall cannot accommodate student demand.

The campus’s steam distribution systems, electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems are also under major duress. Buildings show signs of water infiltration or structural damage from the chipped, flaking, and compromised paint.

Lincoln has identified its top three capital projects as campus wide renovations, a new science building, and a new academic building. These projects are collectively slated to cost $136 million.

Four St. Louis Cops Indicted for Assaulting Undercover Officer

Four St. Louis cops are under fire for beating one of their own.

Four St. Louis cops are under fire for beating one of their own.

By MCNS Staff

According to local reports, four St. Louis police officers have been indicted on federal charges surrounding the beating of an undercover cop during a protest and subsequent cover up last year.

Stltoday.com reports that the indictment also claims that several of the officers exchanged messages that “expressed disdain” for protesters and “excitement about using unjustified force against them and going undetected while doing so.”

Prosecutors accuse officers Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers of throwing a 22-year police veteran to the ground, kicking and hitting him with a police baton on Sept. 17, 2017, in the midst of protests downtown that followed the acquittal of former police Officer Jason Stockley. Stockley was charged for murder for fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Smith. The indictment states that believing the undercover cop was a protester, the officers beat him “while he was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone.”

The fourth officer named in the indictment, Bailey Colletta, is accused of lying to a federal grand jury investigating the incident, in an apparent cover up for his colleagues. False information he gave included that he did not know any of the officers, when in fact, he was and still is in a live-in relationship with Hays.

According to local sources, all four officers are members of the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, which is locally known for staunch opposition to protests and demonstrators.

After three officers learned that the person they assaulted was an undercover cop, they lied claiming that the man resisted arrest and was not complaint, the indictment states.

Identified only by the initials “L.H.,” which sources connecting age, gender and initials to “Luther Hall,” the undercover cop is said to have been inserted into demonstration crowds to detect criminal activity.