FROM Howard Witt
Thousands Demonstrate for 'Jena 6' In the rural town of Jena, Louisiana today—a town of 3000 people, thousands showed up for a demonstration reminiscent of the civil rights movement of the 1960's and 70's. What sparked the demonstration is the following: A year ago, a black high school student asked school officials if he could break tradition and sit under a tree where whites congregate. Shortly afterward, nooses were hung on the tree; the local District Attorney says there is no law under which anyone could be charged for such a provocative action. In the meantime, after a fight, during which a white student was bloodied and knocked unconscious, six black students were charged with attempted murder. Mychal Bell has been convicted of aggravated battery and was to be sentenced today, but an appeals court overthrew the conviction , saying he should not have been tried as an adult. Civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton held the demonstration anyway.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?