(Mega link) Do Recent Moves by the Brazilian President Show Support for Modern-Day Slavery?

Modern-day Slavery
MONSENHOR GIL, BRAZIL – APRIL 8: Former slave Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos poses with his sickle on the piece of land where he lives and farms at the Nova Conquista settlement on April 8, 2015 in Monsenhor Gil, Piauí state, Brazil. He said he used the same type of tool when he was enslaved. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Slavery still exists in Brazil. The Global Slavery Index reports an estimated 161,100 Brazilians are currently living in modern slavery. And between 1995 and 2015, nearly 50,000 Brazilians were released from conditions of slavery, many of them Afro-Brazilian.

Given recent measures taken by the nation’s embattled president, Michel Temer, such modern-day slavery will likely increase. This past week, Temer was behind the Brazilian labor ministry’s move to officially end the public publishing of its “dirty list� which blacklists companies that employ slave labor, denying them loans and restricting their product sales. The 14-year-old list — composed largely of big agricultural interests, many who successfully lobbied for its suspension in December 2014 — was reinstated in March three months after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered Brazil to pay $5 million to 128 former farm workers enslaved between 1988 and 2000.

“It’s a debt peonage system they are never able to extract themselves from,� said James Early, a Latin America specialist, former director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Institution and current board member of the Institute for Policy Studies. Early has traveled regularly to Brazil for the past four decades. He explained that those who are forced into labor and threatened by armed guards are “recruited from urban areas with the idea they will be able to sustain their lives when they get there and, instead, they find they are indebted for transportation, for clothing, for food.�

The new legal measure — along with now requiring government farm inspectors to obtain a police report — also changes the way slavery is defined from the inclusion of debt bondage, abusive conditions and hours, and violations of a worker’s health and dignity, to a simple limiting or restricting of a worker’s freedom of movement.

“Before, if a worker is sleeping with the pigs, has no water, and doesn’t receive a wage, the labor inspector says this is slave labor, even though the worker can leave the farm,â€� said Leonardo Sakamoto of the U.N. Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, speaking with the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Brazil. Sakamoto also founded the independent reporting group Repórter Brasil. “But today, with this decree, this isn’t slavery anymore.â€�

Nonetheless, in a recent statement, the labor ministry maintained it is fully committed to preventing the forced labor of its citizens. “Combating slave labour is a permanent public policy of the state,� read the ministry’s statement.

However, critics say the recent move is an attempt by Temer to ensure big agribusiness support, given the series of ongoing votes on whether the controversial leader will face trial on numerous corruption charges. Temer is largely beholden to the powerful agribusiness caucus in the Brazilian Congress, the Frente Parlamentar da Agropecuária (FPA), for his political survival. In his recent Thomson Reuters’ interview, Sakamoto insisted, “This new decree is directly involved with Temer’s efforts to save his neck from the guillotine.â€�

Early clarified one can’t begin to understand the current situation in Brazil without relevant historical context. The last country to officially abolish slavery in the Western Hemisphere in 1888, Brazil’s history is fundamentally steeped in the economic exploitation of its Afro-descendants, a group constituting of over half of its population. The country has the ninth-largest gross domestic product and seventh-highest purchasing power in the world, noted Early, yet with “one of the greatest class divides in the world, which is fundamentally a racialized class divide, and nearly 3000 quilombos, or isolated African-descent communities, with a particular state of misery, dispossession and exploitation.�

In 1964, a U.S.-supported military coup overthrew Brazil’s elected government and its efforts to nationalize the profits of large companies and ensure a better quality of life for the country’s citizens. Characterizing such popular intentions as a “socialist threat,” the ensuing right-wing military regime continued to serve U.S. and big agribusiness interests for decades until a civilian government took office in 1985 and, again, began advocating for the general welfare of Brazilians.

More recently, this alignment of right-wing elite and U.S. interests was implicated in the thinly veiled regime change in the form of the impeachment of Brazil’s democratically-elected, left-of-center president, Dilma Rousseff, who advanced a more populist agenda.

“You have a coup that brings in all white males, and one of the first things they do is dismantle the Afro-descendant and women’s ministries and bring back these neoliberal paradigms of the privatization of public resources and concerns while lowering the role of the state in the social welfare, basic needs and aspirations of the majority of the population,� said Early, who traveled to Brazil with actor and international activist Danny Glover to personally meet with former-president Rousseff three months before her removal from office. “So this is the context in which we now see that Brazil is, once again, at the elite level trying to hide this type of slavery.�

Since the controversial measure was adopted on October 16, the international response has already caused Temer to reconsider, at least, in part. Within Brazil, a number of federal and labor prosecutors have issued a recommendation characterizing the decree as illegal and are threatening to revoke by legal challenge.

In addition to such challenges and the potential introduction of international sanctions, Early pointed out there are steps American citizens can take as well to exert an impact on a nation with the largest Afro-descendant population outside of Africa’s most populous country of Nigeria.

“The most important thing for US citizens is to become aware of how our stewards of government are complicit through their silence or their overt activity in support of these exploitive conditions,� said Early, noting the need to advocate for a more people-centered U.S.-Brazil relationship with the US State Department and in federal and state elections, especially given numerous states do direct business with Brazil. “There are multiple general implications for US citizens and particular implications for Afro-descendant citizens in the United States to hold ourselves and our policy stewards accountable.�

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(Mega link) Fallen Soldier’s Widow Seeks Answers From the Government on Her Husband’s Death

MIAMI (AP) — The pregnant widow of a fallen U.S. soldier on Monday contradicted President Donald Trump’s account of his phone call about her husband’s death and said what he told her “made me cry even worse.”

Myeshia Johnson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson was practically a member of their family and was among a group of people listening to Trump’s call on a speakerphone as they drove to receive Sgt. La David Johnson’s body.

“The president said that he knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyway,” Johnson said. “And it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn’t remember my husband’s name. The only way he could remember my husband’s name was he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David.”

“Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated,” Johnson said in her first interview since her husband’s death. “What she said was 100 percent correct.”

Sgt. Johnson and three comrades died Oct. 4 in Africa when militants tied to the Islamic State attacked them.

She said she also wants to know why she hasn’t been allowed to see her husband’s body. He was buried on Saturday.

“I need to see him so I will know that that is my husband,” she said. “They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe. And they won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know. But I need to see my husband. I haven’t seen him since he came home.”

Trump tweeted that Wilson “fabricated” his statement and the fight escalated through the week. Trump in other tweets called her “wacky” and accused her of “SECRETLY” listening to the phone call.

Johnson said everyone in the car was listening to Trump’s call. “The phone was on speakerphone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”

Asked if she had anything to say to Trump now, Johnson said, “No, I don’t have nothing to say to him.”

The war of words between the president and Wilson began Tuesday when the Florida congresswoman recounted Trump’s conversation.

Wilson has been a friend of the Johnson family for years and Sgt. Johnson was in her 5000 Role Models program that pairs African-American boys with mentors who prepare them for college, vocational school or the military.

Johnson said she had known her husband since they were about 6 years old.

Johnson said she wants the world to know “how great of a soldier my husband was.” She also said he was “a loving and caring father and husband.”

She said she learned her husband was missing in action when military members came to her house.

“They told me there was a massive gunfire and that my husband, as of Oct. 4 was missing,” she said. “They didn’t know his whereabouts or they didn’t know where he was or where to find him. A couple of days later is when they told me he went from missing to killed in action.”

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(Mega link) 38 Women Accuse Writer/Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment

James Toback
James Toback takes part in a panel discussion during HBO’s Summer 2013 TCA panel at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Writer and director James Toback, who received an Oscar nomination for writing “Bugsy,” has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women in a report published Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.

In the report, many of the women allege that Toback approached them on the streets of New York City and promised stardom. His meetings would often end with sexual questions and Toback masturbating in front of them or simulating sexual intercourse with them, according to the accounts.

The 72-year-old denied the allegations to The Los Angeles Times, saying he never met any of the women, or if he had it “was for five minutes and (I) have no recollection.”

Thirty-one of the women spoke on the record including Louise Post, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band Veruca Salt, and “As the World Turns” actress Terri Conn.

Actress Echo Danon recalled an incident on the set of his film “Black and White” where Toback put his hands on her and said that he would ejaculate if she looked at his eyes and pinched his nipples.

“Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it,” Danon told the Times. “That’s why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job.”

On Sunday afternoon, Times reporter Glenn Whipp said the number of accusers had doubled since the story had published.

Toback hasn’t responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The report comes amid the ongoing downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by over three dozen women. He was fired from the company he co-founded and widely denounced by his Hollywood peers.

“James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing,” tweeted Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan on Sunday.

Another Weinstein accuser, actress-director Asia Argento, tweeted, “So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig” in response to the Toback report.

Though less widely known than Weinstein, Toback has had a successful four-decade career in Hollywood and has a devoted following who have praised him for his originality and outsized, deeply flawed characters.

A New York native, Harvard graduate, creative writing professor and compulsive gambler, Toback used his own life as inspiration for his first produced screenplay, “The Gambler,” which came out in 1974 and starred James Caan. The film was remade in 2014 with Mark Walhberg and Brie Larson.

He also wrote and directed the Harvey Keitel film “Fingers,” the loosely autobiographical “The Pick-up Artist,” which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald, “Two Girls and a Guy,” also with Downey Jr. and Heather Graham, “Harvard Man,” with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the Mike Tyson documentary “Tyson.”

His one and only Oscar nomination is for writing the Barry Levinson-directed and Warren Beatty-starring “Bugsy.”

Toback’s upcoming film, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” stars Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin and debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

Like Weinstein, reports of Toback’s alleged behavior toward women have been around for decades. Spy magazine wrote about him in 1989, and the now-defunct website Gawker also published accounts from women in New York who had had run-ins with Toback.

But in the past few weeks, amid the Weinstein scandal and the rise of the #MeToo social media movement, in which women are revealing instances of sexual harassment and assault, more reports have emerged about the conduct of many working in the entertainment industry.

Just days ago, top Amazon Studios executive Roy Price resigned following sexual harassment allegations made by a “Man in the High Castle” producer.

On Sunday, a few in Hollywood began denouncing Toback on social media, including “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, who tweeted that Toback “Is a disgrace.”

“One of the main jobs of a director is to create a safe environment for the actors,” Feig wrote.

“Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson added, “If there is a Hell, James Toback will be in it.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn wrote a lengthy Facebook post on Sunday about the allegations, saying that he has personally met at least 15 women who have said they have had these kinds of encounters with Toback, including three women he has dated, two friends and a family member.

“For over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people,” Gunn wrote. “I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him.”

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(Mega link) Nets’ National Anthem Singer Justine Skye Kneels to Finish Performance

Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) drives to the basket against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in New York. The Nets won 126-121. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

NEW YORK (AP) — The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

Skye, who is black, is a recording artist from Brooklyn for Roc Nation. Rapper Jay-Z, the agency’s founder, was a part-owner of the Nets when they moved to Brooklyn five years ago.

Players from both teams stood along the foul lines during her performance, as NBA players have continued to do. Unlike the NFL, where some players have followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead and taken a knee during the anthem, the NBA has a rule requiring players to stand.

“We recognize that tonight’s national anthem singer kneeled briefly at the end of her performance and we were not aware that she was going to do so,” a Nets spokeswoman said.

Skye posted a video of the performance on her Instagram account , writing that she was “pretty uneasy about singing the anthem and probably won’t ever be invited to sing it again but I had to take a knee for the opening game in my city and let my voice be heard.”

“We will not be silenced,” she wrote, #blacklivesmatter.

Skye isn’t the first anthem singer to make a statement during a performance.

Last December in Philadelphia, Sevyn Streeter performed the anthem wearing a “We Matter” jersey before the 76ers’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The R&B artist had been scheduled to sing earlier before the 76ers’ home opener, but was scratched by the team two minutes before the performance because she was wearing a “We Matter” T-shirt.

Following backlash from players and other members of the organization, the 76ers apologized to Streeter two days later and invited her to sing at a future game.

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(Mega link) Jemele Hill Admits She ‘Violated the Policy’ and ‘Deserved that Suspension’ After Trump Tweet

Jemele Hill is breaking her silence ahead of her return to ESPN Monday, revealing some surprising admissions about her suspension. The “SC6” host disclosed the truth behind her permissions regarding social media use. Plus, Hill named her sole regret over those controversial Donald Trump tweets.

“Me and ESPN are fine,” Hill tells TMZ Saturday, Oct. 21. “I’m happy to be back on the network. … I want people to understand this: there was never any restrictions placed on me about Twitter. Never.”

Hill, who said her time away has been “reflective,” said she doesn’t hold anything against ESPN for their response to her saying NFL fans can boycott Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers. Hill tweeted the idea Oct. 8 after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any player who “disrespects the flag” won’t play. ESPN suspended her for two weeks the next day for violating its social media policy, but it never disclosed exactly what part of the policy she infringed upon.

It was the second time in two months that Hill was the center of controversy over her tweets. The first came when she called Trump a “white supremacist.”

“I would tell people ‘Absolutely after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension,’” she says. “I deserved it. Absolutely. I violated the policy I deserved that suspension. Going forward [the network and I] will be in a good, healthy place and it’ll be fine.


Jemele Hill’s Suspension Aftermath

Some Football Fans of a Certain Hue Want Jemele Hill Fired, Others #StandWithJemeleHill 

ESPN Suspends Anchor Jemele Hill for Breaking Alleged Social Media Rules

Trump Demands ESPN Apologize for Jemele Hill Tweet Calling Him a ‘White Supremacist,’ ‘Bigot’


“The only thing I’ll ever apologize for is, I put ESPN in a bad spot,” she continues. “But I’ll never take back what I said. … I regret the position I put them in, I regret a lot of the people I work with, the position we put our show in. I’ll never take back what I said.”

She also said she won’t think twice about what she tweets, adding that she doesn’t “feel suppressed.”

However, Hill’s discussion wasn’t all about her suspension. She also weighed in on the ongoing dust-up over the national anthem and the NFL. According to Hill, Jones is “openly challenging who [his athletes] are as people.”

She also advised having teams revisit stay in the locker room, noting that it wasn’t until recently that NFLers appeared on the field during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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(Mega link) Georgia Town to Honor Unmarked Graves of More Than 1,100 Blacks

Unmarked Graves
In this Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 photo, a monument to honor African-Americans who were buried in unmarked graves in the previously segregated Alta Vista Cemetery is wrapped by cemetery superintendent Tommy Casper after being displayed for a photo in Gainesville, Ga. The previously unmarked graves of more than 1,100 black souls buried in the cemetery will be honored with a memorial to be dedicated Sunday. Recently, the city discovered the extent of the unmarked graves using ground-penetrating radar. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Discriminated against in life, they were forgotten by their community in death, buried in unmarked graves in the back of the Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville, Georgia.

The final resting places of the 1,146 black souls who once lived and worked there were anonymous. Though loved ones may have initially marked the spots with a homemade wooden cross or only a rock, the fragile tributes were lost to time.

For generations, segregation kept black and white Gainesville separate and unequal in life and death. On Sunday, those buried in obscurity were revered by the town in a ceremony to unveil a monument to their lives and finally welcome them as fellow residents.

Though their names, birthdates and dates of death remain unknown, six benches, along with a seven-foot, black granite obelisk stands in place of headstones for those interred in sections 16 and 17 of the cemetery.

The obelisk proclaims in gold letters: “This memorial stands as our testament that these citizens are important to this community and we embrace them as our own.”

Mayor Danny Dunagan and Barbara Brooks, Gainesville’s only African-American city council member, unveiled the monument Sunday. A large crowd gathered at the cemetery for the ceremony as spirituals were sung and tributes were given.

“These are home folks,” said Brooks, who helped lead the effort to establish the memorial. “They’re ours, and we intend to take care of them.”

Alta Vista Cemetery dates back to 1872, and hold the remains of veterans from the Revolutionary and Civil wars — including Confederate Lt. General James Longstreet, a trusted adviser to Gen. Robert E. Lee. The cemetery was segregated until the mid-1960s, and the unmarked graves are believed to date from between the 1870s to the 1950s.

The project was born in 2015 — in the wake of the racially motivated shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina — and is the latest effort to memorialize the buried. After being an open secret in town for decades, the full extent of the unmarked graves was discovered a few years ago after the city used ground-penetrating radar to locate them.

Rumor had the number estimated at around 200. More than five times that amount was discovered.

“They just kept finding them over and over,” said Rev. Stuart Higganbotham, pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, who went to the cemetery with Brooks after hearing about the unmarked graves.

“I know people at Grace had to have owned slaves,” said Higganbotham, who is white. “I’ve done a few funerals there. There was a time when people weren’t even allowed to be buried together. These were human lives.”

After they were identified, the city placed numbered silver medallions on each of the 1,146 gravesites. But after Charleston, civic and community leaders wanted to do something to foster healing and reconciliation among its citizens. The idea for a memorial at Alta Vista was born.

A committee, consisting mainly of black residents, was formed to come up with a design. They wanted something big and bold that would stand out — but not a monument that would evoke white guilt for the past.

“Nobody living today can be blamed for what happened back then, but it is our duty to acknowledge what happened and to try to bring attention to a people that really had no way to be recognized,” Brooks said.

Organizers next plan to attempt to find descendants of those buried through historical documents and family Bibles. They encourage anyone who believes they may have a family member who was buried in the segregated sections at Alta Vista to contact the cemetery.

For those who already suspect as much, they will now have a place to grieve with dignity, said Higganbotham.

“Their families can come to continue that physical contact with their loved one,” he said. “In a powerful way, they become alive to us again.”

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(Mega link) 사까시만 10분해주는 착한여친


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(Mega link) 성관계를 방송� 하네


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