Linden Corrica, an immigrant father and husband from Guyana living in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, pleaded guilty to selling ten dollars worth of marijuana in exchange for a 20-day sentence in September 2003. But after serving his time at NYC's Rikers Island prison, he was transfered to an out-of-state federal detention facility to await deportation. Having exhausted all his appeals, he is now about to be deported—despite a psychiatric evaluation of the emotional problems his seven-year-old daughter has suffered since his detention.
An apparent lone nut, Bart Ross, left a suicide note claiming responsibility for the murder of two family members of Chicago federal Judge Joan Lefkow before blowing his own brains out, throwing suspicion off the white supremacist World Church of the Creator (see our last blog post on the case).
The administration of California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has followed the Bush White House in producing "video press releases" neatly disguised as actual news items for distribution to TV news stations—Bush to promote the Iraq war, Arnold to promote his anti-union policies. Critics call the tactic "covert propaganda" and compare it to the methods of totalitarian regimes. (UK Independent, March 14)
Brazil's ruling Workers' Party rejected a claim by a leading weekly magazine that Colombia's FARC guerrillas donated $5 million to its candidates for the 2002 elections. In an eight-page cover story, Veja magazine said that it had been given access to secret documents of Brazil's Intelligence Agency (ABIN) showing that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) offered aid. Veja said that a FARC representative in Brazil, Father Oliverio Medina, made the offer during a meeting on April 13, 2002, at a small farm outside Brasilia. A secret service agent infiltrated the meeting. In a statement March 12, Workers' Party President Jose Genoino contradicted the Veja story, headlined "FARC's tentacles in Brazil," calling it irresponsible and stating that the allegations lacked proof. He said that Veja failed to print any documents showing financial links between the Workers Party and FARC. (Reuters, March 13)
In another gesture of perverse irony, the Bush administration has appointed John Bolton, a longtime anti-UN ideologue, as ambassador to the UN (replacing John Danforth, who is stepping down).
Three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement were arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn while engaged in the legal monitoring of police activities. They have been falsely charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and obstructing governmental operations. (Our Time Press, reprinted by the NY Independent Press Association, Feb.
Yemeni cleric Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, 56, faces up to 75 years behind bars after a Brooklyn federal jury found him guilty of five charges stemming from a conspiracy to support al-Qaeda and Hamas. ¨Today's convictions mark another important step in our war on terrorism,¨ U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said. (NY Post, March 11)
Prime Minister Tony Blair has won the support of Parliament for a new anti-terrorism law, which will allow the government to move quickly against eight foreign terror suspects who have been granted bail. The House of Lords approved new powers to order house arrest, impose curfews and electronic tagging without trial, after the government made concessions to end a bitter parliamentary deadlock just three days before similar legislation was to have expired.