July 30, 2014
United States NEW YORK – Extell, a luxury Manhattan high rise condo developer, has reportedly been given permission to go forward with their plans to add a separate entrance to the building for poor people. The segregationist proposal was approved by New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The Upper West Side, 33-story building – which is still in the process of construction – will have 219 luxury units that face the Hudson River. Floors 2 through 6 have been set aside for families who make less than $51,540 – which makes up about 60 percent of the area’s median income.
FLORIDA – A Florida judge has sentenced 18-year-old Ivins Rosier, a young Black man, to 23 years in jail for shooting and killing a retired police dog back in 2012. He had been charged with burglary of a dwelling with a firearm (he broke into a state trooper’s house), cruelty to animals with a firearm, and shooting into a building. The dog, a 5-year-old German shepherd, had to be euthanized because of its injuries. An outrage has broken out among Black communities across the country, but state officials haven’t budged. The State Attorney was present for Rosier’s sentence and has gone on record to say it was a fair sentence. However, he wanted Rosier – who was 16 at the time – to be sentenced to 30 years. Rosier’s attorney responded saying they will be appealing the conviction and sentence.
DELAWARE – Back in 2010, Nigel Sykes tried to rob Seasons Pizza restaurant in Newport. But what he got was tackled by employees, his gun taken and a stone, cold beat down. Now he is suing the restaurant for his injuries, and he’s doing it from jail. Now 23 years old, Sykes has filed a federal civil complaint claiming that the rough treatment was “unnecessary.” He also says that because of his injuries he received during the robbery attempt, he wants to be compensated. He also claims in his suit that after employees subdued him, two local police officers improperly used their stun guns on him and denied him access to medical attention. Sykes filed his lawsuit from prison where he is serving a 15-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery. He wants to be compensated more than $260,000. He is demanding $20,000 from each employee, $20,000 from each arresting officer and $100,000 from the restaurant itself.
Africa SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found a public school guilty of hate speech towards Black and mixed race students. Children at the school alleged staff called them racist names such as baboons and monkeys. After an 18-month investigation, staff and the head teacher were found to have exposed students to dehumanizing and racist treatment. The Free State Department of Education, responsible for the school, says it will study the report and would hold its own investigation before taking any potential disciplinary actions. The SAHRC is an independent body set up at the end of White minority rule in 1994 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and hold public institutions accountable.
SOUTH AFRICA – The South African government has announced plans to fast track a bill barring foreigners from buying land. The regulations of the Land Holdings Bill would mean foreigners will only be able to lease land for 30 years. However it will not allow for expropriation of land currently owned by people outside the nation. An estimated 7 percent of land in South Africa is owned by foreigners. The government hopes that the bill will become law within five years.
SUDAN – A Sudanese woman, who fled to Italy after being spared the death penalty for renouncing Islam, has met with the Pope. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag flew to Rome with her family after more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum. There was condemnation when she was sentenced to hang for apostasy by Sudanese court. Ibrahim’s father is Muslim so according to Sudan’s version of Islamic law she is also Muslim and cannot convert. She was raised by her Christian mother and says she has never been Muslim.