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herding cats

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Another Historically Black Church in South Carolina Burns

Yet another black church in the South went up in flames Tuesday night, this time historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal in Williamsburg County, South Carolina — 20 years after it was burned to the ground by Ku Klux Klan members.

The Clarendon County Fire Department said shortly before midnight ET that the fire was under control, but it released a photo showing the church with its roof apparently completely collapsed.

Williamsburg County Fire Chief Randy Swinton told NBC News it wasn't known whether the fire was intentionally set, noting that a lightning storm passed through the area about the same time the blaze was reported.

No injuries were immediately reported, but The Kingstree News of Williamsburg County reported that the church was "gutted."

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/another-historically-black-church-south-carolina-burning-n384876


The last time (1995) it was burned to the ground by two Ku Klux Klan members. 20-years later and it's burned once again There's so much I would like to add here, but I don't yet know if this is an arson. I will say this could well be a catalyst to garnering the media attention to the recent burnings of black churches. I understand two of those churches were possible accidents (a tree limb falling on electrical wires, and one a possible lightening strike), but that does not take anything away from the other four which last I knew of were being investigated as arson. There may be more I've missed this week. I've been trying to stay on top of the issue, but it's not as readily reported in the media as the things they think they can twist about to lure in hordes of "shocked" readers/viewers.
Posted by herding cats | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:20 AM (7 replies)

Black Churches being burnt again

What's the church doing on fire?”

Jeanette Dudley, the associate pastor of God's Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia, got a call a little after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, she told a local TV news station. Her tiny church of about a dozen members had been burned, probably beyond repair. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco got called in, which has been the standard procedure for church fires since the late 1960s. Investigators say they’ve ruled out possible causes like an electrical malfunction; most likely, this was arson.

The very same night, many miles away in North Carolina, another church burned: Briar Creek Road Baptist Church, which was set on fire some time around 1 a.m. Investigators have ruled it an act of arson, the AP reports; according to The Charlotte Observer, they haven’t yet determined whether it might be a hate crime.

Two other predominantly black churches have been the target of possible arson this week: Glover Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Warrenville, South Carolina, which caught fire on Friday, and College Hill Seventh Day Adventist, which burned on Monday in Knoxville, Tennessee. Investigators in Knoxville told a local news station they believed it was an act of vandalism, although they aren’t investigating the incident as a hate crime. (In two other cases of fires at Southern black churches this week—at Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee, and the Greater Miracle Temple Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee, Florida—officials suspect the blazes were caused by lightning and electrical wires, respectively, but investigations are still ongoing.)

These fires join the murder of nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as major acts of violence perpetrated against predominantly black churches in the last fortnight. Churches are burning again in the United States, and the symbolism of that is powerful. Even though many instances of arson have happened at white churches, the crime is often association with racial violence: a highly visible attack on a core institution of the black community, often done at night, and often motivated by hate.

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Jun-2015/black-churches-being-burnt-again

Check out the White House Twitter icon today.



Isn't it beautiful!

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/614438061817114624

President Obama on same sex marriage ruling.



U.S. to pre-position tanks, artillery in Baltics, eastern Europe

Source: Reuters

The United States will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central Europe, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved by Russian involvement in Ukraine.

Carter, during a trip to Tallinn, said the Baltic states - Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia -- as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Poland had agreed to host elements of this heavy equipment. Some of the equipment would also be located in Germany.

The U.S. decision to stage heavy equipment closer to Russia's borders aims to speed deployment of rotating U.S. forces as NATO steps up exercises in Europe following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region last year.

Neighboring NATO countries, especially the former Soviet Baltic states with their Russian minorities, fear Russia could foment trouble on their territories. Moscow denies any such intention.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/23/us-usa-europe-defense-idUSKBN0P315620150623

SC lawmakers discussing Confederate flag’s removal; Haley to hold 4 p.m. news conference

Source: The Charlotte Observer

COLUMBIA, SC - Gov. Nikki Haley plans a news conference Monday afternoon amid growing speculation that South Carolina leaders are ready to call for removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

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Haley, a Lexington Republican, is meeting with state political leaders Monday ahead of her 4 p.m. news conference. The office of House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, confirmed he is meeting with Haley at 1 p.m.

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State Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, said Monday lawmakers have been on the phone in recent days talking about the Confederate flag.

Smith said there is a “growing consensus among lawmakers – House, Senate, Republicans and Democrats” – to resolve the flag issue before the next legislative session begins.

Smith said lawmakers have the ability vote on removing the flag this summer by amending a resolution that has allowed them to continue working after the regular session ended in early June.



Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article25160845.html



South Carolina Politicians Call for the Confederate Flag to Come Down

Local religious and political leaders joined forces today to call for the South Carolina state general assembly to remove the Confederate battle flag still flying at the state capitol after last week's deadly shooting spree at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

"The time has come to remove this symbol of hate and division from our state capitol," said the Rev. Nelson Rivers, who is a member of the National Action Network and the pastor at a local Baptist church.

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Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said that while the flag was originally used to commemorate South Carolina residents who died during the Civil War, "years and years ago [it] was appropriated as a symbol of hate," he said today.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/south-carolina-politicians-call-confederate-flag/story?id=31944646

US senators call for mandatory reporting of police killings

Source: The Guardian

A plan to force all American law enforcement agencies to report killings by their officers was unveiled by US senators on Tuesday, a day after the Guardian published an investigation into the fatal use of force by police.

Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey proposed legislation that would demand all states submit reports to the US Department of Justice that they said would bring “transparency and accountability to law enforcement agencies nationwide”.

“Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don’t have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents,” Boxer said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that we know the full extent of the problem so we can save lives on all sides.”

Aides to the senators said their bill, the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence (Pride) Act, would force mandatory reporting on the same data being collected by The Counted, a database published by the Guardian beginning this week.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/02/us-senators-call-for-mandatory-reporting-police-killings

Climate deal must avoid US Congress approval, French minister says

Source: The Guardian

The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn’t require approval by the US Congress, the French foreign minister said on Monday.

Laurent Fabius told African delegates at UN climate talks in Bonn that “we know the politics in the US. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse.”

If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions — something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.

“We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the US without going to the Congress,” said Fabius, who will host the UN climate summit in Paris in December where the new agreement is supposed to be adopted.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/01/un-climate-talks-deal-us-congress
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