05-26-2018  9:06 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

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

Oregon advances with 11-1 run-rule victory over Kentucky

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — DJ Sanders hit a grand slam in a seven-run second inning and the Oregon Ducks are headed to the women's College World Series after an 11-1 run-rule victory over Kentucky Saturday night in the deciding game of the Eugene Super Regional.Shannon Rhodes hit a solo home run...

Amtrak: No evidence injured passenger was in fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old train passenger found severely injured next to railroad tracks in Truckee, California, suspects he may have been the victim of a hate crime, but Amtrak said Saturday that investigators have found no evidence of foul play.Aaron Salazar's family...

City aims to block release of dangerous psychiatric patients

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The city that houses Western State Hospital, Washington's main psychiatric facility, is fighting to keep patients from being released into its boundaries.The News Tribune reports Lakewood on Monday approved a moratorium on city business licenses for new adult family...

Missing fisherman found by divers in submerged vessel

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of a missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J.The Coast Guard said Saturday that the body was found before the vessel was refloated by contractors in Willapay Bay on Friday.The Pacific County Sheriff's Office took the fisherman's...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 200 people turned out for a community meeting Saturday to protest the death of a young black man who was fatally shot by a Virginia police officer after he ran naked onto an interstate highway.Speakers at the meeting at Richmond's Second Baptist Church said...

The Latest: Family: Police need to handle people better

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a naked and unarmed man in Richmond (all times local):5:16 p.m.Family and friends of a man who was fatally shot by Richmond police after running naked onto an interstate highway are calling on police to find non-lethal ways of...

White neighbor gets prison for harassing black family

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor accused of harassing and using racial epithets against a black Pennsylvania family for years has been sentenced to prison.A Northampton County judge sentenced 45-year-old Robert Kujawa to the term Friday after a jury convicted him of ethnic intimidation,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Glenn Snoddy, inventor of fuzz pedal for guitarists, dies

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — A recording engineer whose invention of a pedal that allowed guitarists to create a fuzzy, distorted sound most famously used by Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones' hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" has died.Glenn Snoddy was 96. His daughter Dianne Mayo...

Reaction to criminal charges filed against Harvey Weinstein

Reaction to rape and other criminal charges filed in New York on Friday against Harvey Weinstein:"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us." — Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, to The Associated...

Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

NEW YORK (AP) — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Klay Thompson has 35, Warriors force Game 7 in West finals

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson hit nine 3-pointers and scored 35 points, the Warriors held James...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on border stats _ and a Merkel mystery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Illegal border crossings, as President Donald Trump measures them, have gone up since he...

US Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations ahead of the...

Declassified US cables link Uribe to Colombia drug cartels

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — As Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's most powerful politician, was making his rise to the...

Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the...

Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank arrest raid dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says a soldier who was seriously wounded in action this week has...

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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