05-23-2018  3:42 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

OPINION

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Tony Best Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News

slave shipEven before the first legal briefs have been filed in a British or World Court seeking reparations for slavery in 14 Caribbean island nations, legal luminaries are squaring off publicly.

And the words of a former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the U.K.'s current Foreign Minister, William Hague, as well as former French president Nicholas Sarkozy may come back to haunt them as Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Bahamas, St. Vincent, Haiti, St. Lucia, Belize and their Caricom neighbors continue to press their case for compensation.

But while Leigh Day, the London law firm retained by the Caribbean states to argue the region's case in court against Britain, France and the Netherlands insists the countries in the region have a reasonably good case should the matter end up before the International Court of Justice at the Hague,  Roger O'Keefe, Deputy director of the Lauteracht Center for International Law at Cambridge University in England, has cast serious doubt on the Caribbean states' ability to be awarded any money for the victims of what is generally recognized as a crime against humanity.

"There s not the slightest chance this case will get anywhere," O'Keefe was quoted as telling the New York Times.  Indeed, he described the Caribbean's claim for repartition as an "international legal fantasy".

Not so, argued Martyn Day, senior partner of Leigh Day, who insisted that the Caribbean's case could start at the ICJ as early as next year.

"What happened in the Caribbean and West Africa was so egregious we feel that bringing a case in the ICJ would have a decent chance of success," said Day. "The fact that you were subjugating a whole class of people in a massively discriminatory way has no parallel."

In the meantime, Caricom states have taken their case to the United Nations General Assembly, where heads of government or foreign ministers of several countries, including Baldwin Spencer of Antigua & Barbuda, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Portia Simson Miller, leader of Jamaica and Kamla Persad Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister have thrown their collective weight behind compensation for slavery which ended in the 1830s when Britain paid 20 million English pounds sterling to slave owners for the loss of their assets. Dr. Nicholas Draper of the University College of London put the present day vale of that compensation package at about $21 billion.

Dr. O'Keefe says there is another reason why the case against Britain may not stand legal scrutiny. It is that while both the Netherlands and Britain have accepted the ICJ's jurisdiction, the latter excluded disputes that arose before 1974.

"Reparations may be awarded only for what was internationally unlawful when it was done," the Cambridge University legal expert argued. "And slavery and the slave trade were not internationally unlawful at the time the colonial powers engaged in them."

There is more. Although there have been cases of reparations being paid for the "actions of long dead leaders and generals remain a touchy one all over the globe," according to the New York Times, Turkey wouldn't pay compensation for the mass deaths of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire but West Germany paid reparations to the Jews for Crimes during the Nazi regime. Just the other day Leigh Day succeeded in getting Britain to pay reparations to Kenyans for the brutality during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising.

"Critics contend that it makes no sense to try to redress wrongs that reach back through the centuries, and that Caribbean countries already received compensation through development aid," stated the Times.

But what about the assessments of slavery and other crimes against humanity as outlined by different European leaders?

For instance, Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, Hague, called slavery "brutal, mercenary and inhumane from its beginning to end."  The Caribbean states are hoping that Hague who once led the British conservative party may be forced by the ICJ to put British money where its mouth is.

When Blair was Prime Minister, he called potato famine in Ireland in the late 1840s "something that still causes pain as we reflect on it today." That too could be cited in any court cases on slavery.

In France, former President, Sarkozy once linked a debt cancelation plan for Haiti with "the wounds of colonization."

Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal of the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, has argued that reparations were "Britain's Black Debt" for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide."

Baldwin Spencer, Antigua's Prime Minister agreed with Sir Hillary.

"Our constant search and struggle for development resources is linked to the historical inability of our nations to accumulate wealth from the efforts of our people during slavery and colonialism," asserted Spencer who insists reparations must be used to repair the damage done by a mix of slavery and racism.

It's a position that is strongly backed by Dr. Gonsalves who told the UN General assembly during a session resided over by Dr. John Ashe, Antigua's Ambassador to the UN that compensation was due the region and he invited the European nations to enter into deliberations with the Caribbean to resolve the issue amicably.

Indeed, the Caribbean has placed considerable emphasis on diplomacy and discussion while keeping the legal option open.

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