Saturday, March 7, 2015

I Was one of the State Police Officers in Selma's Bloody Sunday March - Former Alabama state trooper James Fowler freed in civil rights killing

  The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on July 07, 2011 at 10:51 AM, updated July 07, 2011 at 3:51 PM


Former Alabama State Trooper James Bonard Fowler sits in the Perry County Courthouse prior to a hearing in Marion, Ala., in the file photo from Aug. 17, 2010. (AP Photo)
ALABASTER, Alabama — An elderly, ailing former state trooper who was freed early from a six-month jail sentence for fatally shooting a civil rights demonstrator in 1965 could face additional charges in a killing that occurred the following year, a prosecutor said today.

District Attorney Michael Jackson, the chief prosecutor in Perry County, said federal authorities are still investigating ex-trooper James Bonard Fowler in the fatal shooting of a motorist in suburban Birmingham in 1966.

Fowler, 77, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter last year in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot to death in Marion. Originally charged with murder in 2007, Fowler claimed he fired only after the man threatened him with a bottle.

Court records in the Jackson case show Fowler fatally shot Nathan Johnson in the Shelby County city of Alabaster on May 8, 1966. In that case, Fowler claimed he fired because Johnson tried to assault him with a billy club after being arrested during a traffic stop.

FBI spokesmen didn't immediately return calls seeking comment on the Johnson shooting, but the Perry County DA said agents had been in contact with him about the case, which was on a list of "cold cases" from the civil rights era that the FBI said it was reviewing.

"The Department of Justice is looking into that shooting," said Jackson.
Fowler's defense lawyer, George Beck, was sworn in this week as the chief federal prosecutor in Montgomery, and an attorney who assisted Beck did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The daughter of Jimmie Lee Jackson said she would like to see additional charges filed against Fowler.

"I feel like he should have had more time than just six months," said Cordelia Billingsley. "But I forgive him. I have to for my own life to be able to go on."

A judge in Perry County sentenced Fowler to six months in jail in November, and Geneva County officials agreed to let him serve the time there to be nearer his family.

Fowler was due to finish serving his sentence in mid-May, but Geneva Sheriff Greg Ward said the man had health problems that required surgery so Ward made the decision to free Fowler from custody on April 14. Fowler had an operation about two weeks later and his lawyers reported on his condition, but Ward said the former trooper wasn't required to report back to jail.

"I have to follow the recommendations of the doctors and nurses on this kind of thing," said Ward. "He was sick the whole time he was here."

Billingsley said she doesn't know whether federal authorities are still reviewing the death of her father, but she'd like to see additional investigation of his slaying.

"I still think more should be done," she said.

Witnesses said Jackson was trying to protect his mother and grandfather, who had been clubbed in a restaurant after a protest march turned chaotic on Feb. 18, 1965 in Marion. Fowler said he fired in self-defense.

Perry County prosecutors wanted to use evidence from the Shelby County shooting during Fowler's trial in the Jimmie Lee Jackson shooting, but those plans were cast aside after Fowler pleaded guilty.

Friday, March 6, 2015

China’s new terrorism law provokes anger in U.S., concern at home

A student takes part in an anti-terror training given by police at a campus in Beijing, June 11, 2014.© REUTERS A student takes part in an anti-terror training given by police at a campus in Beijing, June 11, 2014.
BEIJING — A new draft counterterrorism law here is provoking unusually strong condemnation, from multinational companies trying to do business in China to domestic dissidents trying to stay out of jail and from global human rights groups to foreign health workers.
Governments around the world have dealt with the threat of terrorism by increasing surveillance and curtailing civil rights, but China’s government, critics say, has exploited a genuine terrorist threat to further empower its repressive state-security apparatus. It is, they say, invoking the dangers of violent extremism to justify and expand an already harsh crackdown on civil rights and to punish foreign information technology companies that refuse to play by its rules.
Human Rights Watch calls the draft law a “recipe for abuses.” President Obama focused his ire on provisions in the law that would affect U.S. technology companies doing business here and force them to hand over the keys to their operating systems to Chinese surveillance.
The new law is symptomatic of the gulf between China and the West over human rights, and it is widening a serious rift between Washington and Beijing over cyberspace.
In an interview with Reuters this week, Obama said he had raised his concerns with China’s President Xi Jinping.
“We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States,” he said.
The state news agency Xinhua called Obama’s criticism “utterly groundless” on Wednesday, adding it was “another piece of evidence of the arrogance and hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy.”
China blames escalating violence in its far-western province of Xinjiang on Islamist extremists bent on violent jihad; it says terrorists use the Internet to organize and to spread their ideas. It frames the new legislation as part of its efforts to counter that threat and to govern the country according to the “rule of law.” It is asking for international support and approval for its approach.
Julia Famularo, who has been studying the law for the Project 2049 Institute, an Arlington-based think tank devoted to Asian security issues, said every government has to strike a balance between fighting terrorism and citizens’ rights.
“We could argue whether the United States, Britain and other countries have been able to strike that balance — but what we are really concerned about in China is that these measures are incredibly broad, and we are worried they can be used to attack dissidents,” she said.
One of those dissidents, Hu Jia, under house arrest since last June, said the law might appeal to people angry at terrorist attacks, but it was fundamentally designed to extend a comprehensive system of control introduced by President Xi.
“Once you want to exercise your political rights as a citizen, you will touch the red line and be caught in the net,” he said in a telephone interview. “According to criminal procedure law, your right to a lawyer will be restricted if you are accused of endangering state security or terrorism. And because the government controls propaganda, if they say you are a terrorist, then you are.”
In Xinjiang, China stands accused of a wide-ranging crackdown on the religious, political and civil rights of the mainly Muslim Uighur people, of torture and enforced disappearances and widespread socio-economic discrimination.
Now, as the arrest and imprisonment of moderate Uighur academic Ilham Tohtidemonstrated last year, anyone attempting to criticize government policy or assert an independent Uighur identity runs the risk of a being branded a separatist and, by association, a terrorist.
Indeed, the law offers a broad definition of terrorism that includes not only “activity” but also “opinion” that “generates social panic, threatens public security or coerces a state organ or international organization.”
It conflates terrorism with what China defines as “religious extremism,” including, for example, the forcing of children to take part in religious activities.
Although the Chinese government has a right and responsibility to provide public order, says Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch, the law, and the security mind-set it lays bare, “is just as likely to fuel unrest and violence as it is to mitigate it.”
Richardson says an “incredibly broad spectrum of behavior” can be construed as criminal, “with no avenues to challenge it.”
“Even in perfectly ordinary, non-controversial criminal cases, the right to a fair trial in China is a rare thing already,” she said. “Add on that veneer of terrorism, and you have very little hope of a meaningful opportunity to defend yourself.”
The first draft of the law also demanded that IT companies operating in China hand over encryption codes, install security “backdoors” in their products to Chinese authorities, and keep servers within the country.
Obama said it would essentially force foreign companies “to turn over to the Chinese government mechanisms where they can snoop and keep track of all users of their services.”
In China, it is not only Xinhua that accuses Obama of hypocrisy. Beyond the lack of due process at Guantanamo Bay or the extended government powers granted under the Patriot Act, China points out, Western governments often request that tech companies hand over encryption codes.
Western free-speech advocates counter that China lacks effective constraints to state power, in the form of an independent judiciary, a feisty legislature, a business sector willing to stick up for itself or an independent media.
That, they say, makes government over-reach in China potentially much more dangerous.
At a news conference Wednesday, Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress, China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, said the law had been modified to reflect some of those concerns during a second round of drafting last month.
In particular, she said, there were “hot discussions among legislators” on how to “better balance the relation between counterterrorism measures and safeguarding human rights.”
She said the articles relating to IT companies had been “improved” to include “strict conditions and limits” on when data could be obtained. In particular, the law would only be used to prevent or investigate terrorist activity, she said, and after “a strict review and approval procedure.”
Richardson, of Human Rights Watch, says the only revision worth making to the first draft would be “to rip it up and start again.”
As a crackdown on nongovernmental organizations has intensified under Xi’s presidency, the new counterterrorism law also includes a section mandating the central bank and civil administration to supervise and inspect financial flows into foundations, social organizations and foreign NGOs.
“Everyone is very concerned,” said a manager at an international NGO, who requested anonymity for fear of inviting problems. “This puts us into a very different purview. We are no longer civil society, now we are potential terrorists.”
Gu Jing, Xu Yangjingjing, Liu Liu and Xu Jinglu contributed to this report.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Keyshia Cole - Singer calls husband a cheat on Instagram

Keyshia ColeSinger calls husband a cheat on Instagram

If there were any hopes of Keyshia Cole and husband, Booby Gibson coming back together, then that's all gone after the singer caught him cheating!
  • Published: 

Keyshia Cole and husband "Booby" Gibson have lost hope of staying together after the singer indirectly called him a cheat on Instagram yesterday, March 1.
Reportedly Cole was visiting Booby at a video shoot when she discovered he was trying to talk to another woman via phone, begging for sex time.
The songstress then posted screen shots of Booby’s texts to the unknown female.
Keyshia went on to post another photo of her son with Boody captioning:
"@Daniel_Gibsonjr is all that matters. Everything is not for everybody. Gib is a Great father. I'm just ready to put this all behind me/Begin my healing process for once Nd for all."
It's now clear that the couple won't be getting back anytime soon.

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