Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

January 16, 2015  

You’ve made it through another week relatively unscathed. Hopefully, so did your brain. Poor thing probably was in overdrive all week, trying to decipher the avalanche of “news” from everywhere.

Now, tell us how you foiled the plan to confuse us all. Share your clarity about this week’s major news issues and events—or anything else worth talking about, for that matter.

Call 888-874-4888 and show us how you freed your mind!

January 15, 2015  

As Haitians observed on Monday the fifth anniversary of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200,000 and all but destroyed the nation’s capital, they were experiencing aftershocks, though of a political kind.

Haiti’s parliament is dissolved, and its president, Michel Martelly, is now ruling by decree. A newly installed prime minister, Evans Paul, has taken office without a vote, either by the people or the disbanded parliament. Protests demanding Martelly’s ouster and free and fair elections are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Veteran journalist Kim Ives, an editor with Haïti Liberté, a news weekly serving the Haitian diaspora, has just returned from Haiti. He files a comprehensive report on Haiti’s political earthquake. 

January 14, 2015  

Media Madness: All the News That Fits, They Think

Way too many media outlets are having a ball playing with our minds, providing a steady diet of “coverage” of “major” issues and events that don’t tell us what we need to know, or that tell us what we don’t need to know, or that simply make no sense.

Leid Stories discusses the media’s role in shaping our minds and attitudes and, ultimately, our actions.

Listeners offer their own views.

January 13, 2015  

How Badges Get Shielded: Reports Confirm Systemic Problems in NYPD  

All within the past three days, New Yorkers have been given official proof of systemic problems within the New York Police Department and the wide berth given to rogue cops.

A 45-page report released yesterday by Philip K. Eure, the recently appointed inspector general of the New York Police Department, found several cases in which the chokehold, officially banned by the department, was used as officers’ first response to verbal resistance to arrest. Officers who used the chokehold—implicated in the death of Eric Garner on July 17, 2014—seldom were disciplined.

Two days earlier, Comptroller Scott Stringer announced that the city will pay $17 million to settle a wrongful-conviction claim brought by three men, half brothers, who spent a cumulative 60 years in prison (one of them died in prison) based on flawed evidence at trial from a detective whose investigations of at least 70 other cases that yielded convictions currently are being reviewed.

January 12, 2015  

More than 40 world leaders and dignitaries headed a march in Paris yesterday in solidarity with national mourning for 17 people killed in terrorist attacks last week. (President Barack Obama, who did not attend, was heavily criticized by U.S. media for his absence; Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed the media’s barbs as “quibbling.”)

World reaction to the three-day spate of killings by three alleged al-Qaeda-linked terrorists (whose main target was Charlie Hebdo, a popular satirical magazine that recently ran a cartoon lampooning the Prophet Muhammad) is in stark contrast to the massacre of more than 2,000 people in a single attack by the terrorist group Boko Haram in a town called Baga in Borno State, Nigeria.

Dr. Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor in chief of The African Sun Times, discusses the situation in Nigeria in the aftermath of the attack, and the dichotomy in world reaction to these separate, though related, events.

The new year brings with it a new fighting spirit in beleaguered Detroit, says activist Elena Herrada, a member of the Detroit School Board and member of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.

Herrada provides an overview of where the battle lines are being drawn, even though, she says, grassroots organizations still in the fight have been whittled down to just a few.

January 9, 2015  

Say No to Mental Muck and Mire! Free Your Mind!

The year’s barely begun, but there’s been no letup in the barrage of “information” that’s shaping our knowledge and view of the world.

Being a Leid Stories listener, you know that the battle’s for your mind, and so you’re on guard against attempts to take it from you. Continue the good work. Say no to mental muck and mire, and free your mind!

Call in (888-874-4888) and share with likeminded folk your opinions and ideas.

January 8, 2015  

French Journalist: Before Terror Attack in Paris, Rampant Racism, Anti-Arab Sentiment, and the Rise of the Rabid Right

One suspect has surrendered and the hunt is on for two others in a murderous attack on  the Paris-based headquarters of a satirical magazine yesterday that left 12 people dead and at least 12 others wounded.

President Francois Hollande has declared today a national day of mourning, and the attack, the second in three years against the magazine, has drawn condemnation from heads of state all over the world.

French journalist Gilbert Mercier, cofounder and editor in chief of News Junkie Post, discusses the attack in the context of France’s foreign policy, especially in the Middle East; the rise of the ultra-right in France and throughout Europe; and a virulent strain of racism and anti-immigrant and anti-Arab sentiment.

January 7, 2015  

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr: ‘Hush Money Is Not Justice’

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri has filed a federal lawsuit in behalf of a grand juror who wants to reveal alleged irregularities in the way St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch conducted a hearing into the shooting death of Michael Brown by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 last year.

The two-month-long probe ended with no indictment against Wilson.

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of Missouri’s ACLU, discusses “Grand Juror Doe”’s complaint.


In a related development, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund has asked Circuit Court Judge Maura McShane to review McCulloch’s handling of the “fatally compromised” grand jury process and appoint a new grand jury to reconsider the case, but under a special prosecutor.

“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr., who successfully had forced the appointment of special prosecutors in two highly charged, racially motivated cases in New York, says the ACLU and LDF actions are noble attempts to salvage the Brown case—not only from McCulloch’s manipulations, but also from the less-than-inspired lawyering of the legal team the Rev. Al Sharpton brought into the case to advise the Brown family. 

January 6, 2015  

No Justice, No Pleas: No Rape Charges Against Sharpton Lawyer Cut from Garner Case

Brown, Garner Cases Suggest Accommodation, Not Litigation Against System

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said yesterday that a three-month-long investigation into charges by a female executive of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network that she was sexually assaulted by the lawyer Sharpton had selected to handle litigation of the Eric Garner chokehold case against the NYPD proved her charges baseless. Sanford Rubenstein, a prominent attorney, said he was pleased that he was “fully cleared.” Sharpton, who cut Rubenstein from the case when the charges were filed against him, has said nothing of Vance’s decision. In 2012, Vance vindicated former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, saying she wasn’t “credible.” Kahn, a presidential hopeful in France, later settled a civil suit by Nafissatou Diallo.

The Rubenstein saga revives questions about the tactics Sharpton and his legal teams have taken in two major cases that are at the root of nationwide justice and anti-police brutality movements—the chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. on July 17 last year, and the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, both involving police.

 Leid Stories says Sharpton and his legal teams are accommodating with the systems they are supposed to be litigating against. Large settlements, not justice, are what they’re after.

January 5, 2015  

Lynch Mob: PBA Head’s ‘Protest’ Tactics Hold NYC Hostage; Mayor Dithers

The Dec. 20 ambush killings of two police officers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn have been feeding the police union’s gristmill of grievances with City Hall. Stalled contract negotiations and pay hikes top the list of a long list of complaints, says Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, and the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who was buried yesterday, are the battering ram Lynch is using to force concessions from Mayor William de Blasio.

Lynch, up for re-election as PBA head, has unleashed a particularly venomous campaign, and it’s not just against de Blasio. Increasingly, police officers are engaging in “protest” tactics that go way beyond insubordination. Lynch in fact is holding New Yorkers hostage with a veritable work stoppage while the mayor appears either unwilling or unable to bring the Lynch mob in line, says Leid Stories.

Ironically, the strong-arm conduct of the PBA and its membership is proving the validity of many long-held beliefs and criticisms of the New York Police Department.

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