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      L’ONU enquête sur le Pape pour une affaire d’écoutes téléphoniques peu glorieuse

      news.movim.eu / Numerama · 2 days ago - 15:27

    Un entrepreneur britannique a été condamné par le Vatican pour avoir trompé le siège de l'Église catholique lors de la vente d'un bien immobilier. Le Pape aurait autorisé l'écoute téléphonique de l'homme d'affaires pour appuyer le procès.

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      Apple paierait moins les femmes que les hommes dans son groupe, selon deux plaignantes

      news.movim.eu / Numerama · 5 days ago - 05:57

    Apple est poursuivi en justice par deux employées qui accusent le groupe de verser des salaires plus bas pour les femmes.

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      “Crime Has Been a Euphemism for Race”: Alameda County’s Reform DA Rejects Recall Narrative

      news.movim.eu / TheIntercept · Tuesday, 2 April - 15:38 · 11 minutes

    What is now a multimillion-dollar campaign to recall the elected prosecutor in Alameda County, California, began just six months after she took office.

    When Pamela Price won office in 2022, she became the first district attorney in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, in decades who hadn’t risen through the ranks of the DA’s office. Instead, Price was a former defense and civil rights attorney focused on reforming the criminal justice system and holding police accountable for misconduct.

    Now, with the recall effort against her gaining steam, Price is calling out the double standard against her office, denouncing the focus on crime as the perpetuation of a racist tropes.

    “There is obviously no place where racism has been so accepted than in the criminal justice system,” she said. “When we talk about crime in America — for decades, if not centuries — crime has been a euphemism for race. And to be afraid of crime is synonymous often for many people with being afraid of Black people or being afraid of brown people.”

    Police unions spent heavily against Price in 2018, when she first took on her predecessor, Nancy O’Malley, who had held office for a decade without facing a challenger. In June, a grand jury found that O’Malley violated county policies during the 2018 election by soliciting campaign funds from police unions.

    Price lost to O’Malley in 2018 but beat one of her deputies in 2022 to become the first Black woman to serve as Alameda County’s district attorney.

    It was under O’Malley’s tenure that homicides in Oakland first spiked , but Price’s opponents say they want to recall her because her reform policies have driven crime in the city, one of the 14 cities in the county. Price told The Intercept that those behind the recall campaign did not take the same tack against O’Malley when crime rose during her time in office — and that some of the cases she is being blamed for were handled by O’Malley.

    Price acknowledged that violence remains an issue that she wants to tackle in office and said her policies are designed to allocate more resources toward the most serious crimes. She said, however, she has a problem with the way O’Malley never received the same scrutiny, criticism, or vitriol about crime during her tenure.

    “If you did not hold Nancy O’Malley accountable, it is not fair for you to now be in the public eye suggesting to the public that I’m doing something wrong,” Price said. (O’Malley did not respond to a request for comment.)

    O’Malley had been repeatedly accused of misconduct by defense lawyers. In one case, a judge knocked down the objections, but in another, charges were dismissed because of misconduct by O’Malley’s office. In 2021, a report from the ACLU of Northern California and Urban Peace Movement took the DA’s office to task for policies that resulted in “over-incarceration and criminalization” — particularly of Black and brown communities. O’Malley was also criticized for going easy on police and not investigating deaths of people in police custody.

    Police and real estate investors bankrolling the recall push against Price have been among the reform DA’s most vocal and powerful opponents. That opposition has been long in the making, since Price’s 2018 campaign against O’Malley.

    Things kicked into high gear after Price took office last year. The Oakland Police Officers’ Association has blamed her for crime and attacked her for charging police with misconduct. In April, Price charged an Oakland Police officer with perjury and threatening a witness in a wrongful conviction case. The union said the case was an attempt to undermine the credibility of police “and facilitate the release of convicted murderers.”

    “My predecessor was the district attorney for 13 years. I haven’t seen anyone make a correlation between her policies and the rise and fall of crime.”

    Under O’Malley, homicides in Oakland first climbed in 2012 . Homicides fell and rose throughout O’Malley’s tenure and began to rise again in 2019 , followed by another spike in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic that affected cities and rural areas around the country. O’Malley announced her retirement in 2021 and left office in 2022, just before Price took office. Oakland homicides stayed level during Price’s first year on the job.

    “My predecessor was the district attorney for 13 years,” Price said. “I haven’t seen anyone make a correlation between her policies and the rise and fall of crime.”

    Oakland Real Estate Interests

    O’Malley had also faced a recall effort, but not because of rising homicides in Oakland. The push, which received little attention and did not go to a vote, started after O’Malley declined to prosecute one public transit officer who knelt on 22-year-old Oscar Grant’s neck before another officer shot and killed him in 2009. For her part, O’Malley is supporting the current recall effort against Price and gave $5,000 to the effort.

    Supporters of the recall effort against Price, including several wearing Make America Great Again hats , rallied at the county courthouse earlier this month on the deadline to submit petition signatures to get the recall on the ballot. County election officials are still manually counting the signatures and expect a result by April 15. Price and her supporters have accused recall leaders of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to gather signatures and recruiting people who don’t live in the county to canvass for signatures.

    Two committees are leading the recall push. The first, Save Alameda for Everyone, was launched in July by Oakland residents Brenda Grisham, whose son was killed in a shooting in 2010, and Carl Chan , who is the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. The recall committee has also paid thousands of dollars to Grisham’s own security company. (Grisham told the press the payment was a reimbursement for security costs.)

    Grisham told The Intercept that she has never blamed Price for her son’s case. Her reasons for wanting to recall the DA stem from Price ignoring victims and releasing murderers. Grisham denied allegations that signatures had been improperly collected and said there was no rule that canvassers had to be from the county. She said she was confident the committee had enough valid signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

    Grisham said she started planning the recall effort in June or July and that it shouldn’t matter who is funding the effort because they’re citizens of the county.

    Among those backers was hedge fund partner and Oakland resident Philip Dreyfuss, who worked with Grisham and Chan before launching a second separate committee in September, Supporters of Recall of Pamela Price. He is one of the biggest individual donors to the committee and has given $390,000 so far, more than half of the money it raised last year. Dreyfuss also gave $10,000 to support the recall of former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin in 2022. (Dreyfuss did not respond to a request for comment.)

    National media outlets have framed the push to recall Price as part of a dispute over approaches to criminal justice reform. Price acknowledged that was true, but also said the fight in Alameda County is being driven by other motives, including wealthy investors who want to protect real estate interests in downtown Oakland.

    Mass incarceration in California has been a failed strategy, Price said. Prosecutors in the reform movement are opposed to racism and racist policies in the criminal justice system, including mass incarceration and injustices imposed on both survivors of crime and defendants.

    “Unfortunately,” Price said, “there are many in this arena who are not opposed to the racial inequities that have infected this system.”

    Price pointed to her duty to the whole county, not just Oakland. “I’m the district attorney of Alameda County,” she said. “And any policies or practices that we implement are implemented and practiced across the county.”

    “Unfortunately, there are many in this arena who are not opposed to the racial inequities that have infected this system.”

    Price has lived in Oakland since 1978, during which time she said the city has always been portrayed in a negative light compared to others in the Bay Area. At the same time, she said, Oakland has been traumatized by gun violence that mass incarceration has not solved.

    “People have always denigrated Oakland,” she said. “Now I think there’s the racism associated with putting my face as the Black face of Oakland, when in fact I’m not the mayor of Oakland, I’m not the police chief of Oakland. But it serves a purpose.”

    Price added that if the people leading the recall truly cared about victims, they’d use their money to support victims in Alameda County.

    “The primary backers and funders of the recall are, in fact, real estate developers and investors that have no real interest in the manner in which justice is administered to the majority of people who live, work, and play in Alameda County,” Price said. “They are a handful of wealthy folks that have as their agenda to control the way that the district attorney’s office operates. They could care less about the victims that we deal with every day.”

    “The amount of money that they are prepared to spend to recall me could easily replenish the trauma recovery fund that the state is having to shut down because we don’t have any more funding.”

    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 07: San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks to supporters during an election-night event on June 07, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Voters in San Francisco recalled Boudin, who eliminated cash bail, vowed to hold police accountable and worked to reduce the number of people sent to prison.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks to supporters during an election night event on June 7, 2022, just ahead of results that showed him being recalled as the as city’s top prosecutor. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    The San Fran Playbook

    Opponents of the recall push have also pointed to overlaps in donors and messaging between the campaign against Price and the campaign to recall Boudin in San Francisco in 2022. Boudin’s replacement, Brooke Jenkins, has also come under fire for not disclosing payments she received from groups linked to the SF recall campaign prior to her appointment. Violent crime has increased under Jenkins, but the reaction from Boudin’s critics has been muted.

    Jenkins’s current term ends in 2025. She already has a challenger, Ryan Khojasteh, an alum of Boudin’s office who Jenkins fired shortly after she was appointed . After being let go, Khojasteh went to work for Price as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County. He’s currently working for Price part-time and launched his campaign against Jenkins in January.

    Khojasteh is hammering Jenkins for overseeing a rise in crime after promising that getting rid of Boudin would solve San Francisco’s problems. Jenkins has now turned her fire on judges , a strategy that has largely backfired so far. Efforts to oust two San Francisco judges failed in elections earlier this month.

    “Now the mayor, the DA, the police chief, who are all aligned, don’t have anyone else to blame.”

    “Now the mayor, the DA, the police chief, who are all aligned, don’t have anyone else to blame,” Khojasteh told The Intercept. “So they decided to shift that to judges, and that failed.”

    Even the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which was critical of Boudin, has raised alarms about crime in San Francisco under Jenkins. The chamber’s annual City Beat poll , released in February, showed that 72 percent of residents feel San Francisco is on the “wrong track” and 69 percent feel that crime worsened in 2023, during Jenkins’s tenure.

    Although Jenkins has now fallen victim to the panic she stoked, her rhetoric has eroded faith in the entire system and made it harder for prosecutors and judges to do their jobs, Khojasteh said. Some victims have refused to cooperate because they’ve heard that DAs won’t prosecute or that judges will release people.

    “That’s rhetoric coming from Brooke Jenkins making my job harder,” he said. “I’m the one begging the victim to come to court just to do the basics of my job.”

    While Price pointed to similarities between her predicament and the San Francisco recall, she noted that what’s happening in Alameda County is very different.

    “It’s the same false narrative used: the ‘soft-on-crime’ trope that comes from the 1980s, from Ronald Reagan.”

    “We know that some of the major donors for the Alameda County effort were involved in funding the recall of Chesa Boudin,” Price said. “So it’s the same false narrative used: the ‘soft-on-crime’ trope that comes from the 1980s, from Ronald Reagan. The difference is that Alameda County is not one city.”

    Alameda is a diverse county made up of many residents who rent, including those who may not be as accepting of the status quo as voters in San Francisco.

    The linking of race and crime has been deeply embedded in how the criminal justice system functions, how it’s perceived, and the conversation that has proceeded, Price said.

    “It’s a conversation about race and criminality that led to mass incarceration,” she said. “And so it’s that same conversation that we have to be willing to engage in, if we’re going to unravel mass incarceration.”

    The post “Crime Has Been a Euphemism for Race”: Alameda County’s Reform DA Rejects Recall Narrative appeared first on The Intercept .

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      How the Right Is Taking Over State Courts With Judicial Gerrymandering

      news.movim.eu / TheIntercept · Tuesday, 2 April - 15:24 · 5 minutes

    MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference on March 20, 2024 in Miami Beach, Fla., where he signed a state law addressing homelessness.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference on March 20, 2024, where he signed a state law addressing homelessness. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    In the nearly two years since the Supreme Court sent abortion rights back to the states in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, state courts have become a hotbed of battles to criminalize, legalize, or expand access to abortion care.

    States like Michigan prevented decades-old draconian bans from taking effect, while Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, and others have challenges pending in state court to their criminal bans. Judges in Florida, Missouri, and Ohio have also become referees for when voters get to weigh in on abortion rights through ballot measures.

    Beyond abortion, the Supreme Court’s supermajority conservative bloc has made the entire federal judiciary generally hostile to civil rights. State courts have therefore increasingly assumed center stage on a wide variety of issues: LGBTQ+ rights and gender-affirming care, criminal justice reform and police accountability, voting rights, and more. As state courts and the cases they handle continue to grow in importance, so have various efforts to rig who sits on those courts and who has power in the legal system.

    If in the past legislative gerrymandering — or redrawing legislative districts in artificial ways — was used to entrench corporate and partisan power, we now see another branch of government being manipulated to rig the system toward the same aims: judicial gerrymandering.

    Like its legislative counterpart, judicial gerrymandering threatens our democracy.

    Judicial gerrymandering is the process of manipulating the rules for selecting, retaining, or replacing judges, prosecutors, and other judicial actors to evade voter accountability. It can look like state legislatures redrawing judicial districts to favor certain voters; judges evading the prescribed retirement process to prevent elections for open seats; or state officials creating new “tools” to remove elected judges and prosecutors as an end run around voters’ choices.

    Like its legislative counterpart, judicial gerrymandering threatens our democracy.

    In states where gerrymandering has already created severely partisan legislatures, the rigging of judicial positions — which are typically voted on at the local level — threatens to cut entire swaths of the population out of the political process.

    Take Georgia, where conservatives have devised a scheme to prevent voters in more progressive parts of the state from exercising their power to elect their judges. As judges approach reelection, several have strategically retired before they would have to face voters, and the state has canceled elections for their seats, sending power to Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, to appoint their replacements and depriving voters of the opportunity to select new jurists according to state law.

    The Georgia state legislature has also created a partisan oversight commission with the power to suspend and remove locally elected prosecutors, part of a national campaign of attacking the independence of district attorneys. The commission has been given broad authority to disqualify prosecutors for 10 years based on their charging decisions — often decisions aimed at reducing mass incarceration by not prosecuting low-level offenses like drug charges, or standing up for reproductive rights by taking public stances against criminal bans.

    In Mississippi, state officials have executed a judicial takeover of majority-Black Jackson, depriving its mayor, also Black, and its residents of local control over police, prosecutors, and the courts. One attempt to dilute voting power over elected county judges failed, but the state has created a two-tiered system in which a Capitol district controlled by white conservatives has power to govern Jackson instead of the city’s own residents.

    And in Florida , state officials considered judicial redistricting to attempt to kick out reform prosecutors, who are elected based on the district “circuit” lines for state courts. The Florida Supreme Court demurred last year, but that doesn’t stop the legislature from taking it up in 2024. These redistricting efforts come in tandem with moves by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to suspend prosecutors in both Orlando and Tampa , due to his disagreement with their approaches to prosecution.

    These efforts come in various shapes and sizes, but they all add up to an end run around the democratic process, depriving voters of an opportunity to elect officials based on their priorities, and depriving officials of the ability to do the jobs they were elected to do.

    The trend will continue to intensify in the coming years. The Supreme Court has made it clear it won’t get involved in issues of state and local power consolidation, no matter how egregious.

    Across states, legislators and governors often follow one another, proposing “new ideas” to consolidate power along partisan lines. These attempts start not as bald-faced power grabs, but something more insidious. Early, small pushes set the precedent for actions that are bolder and more problematic — and often harder to reverse. It is up to all of us to stay vigilant and pay close attention to this new brand of subtle attempts to dilute community power.

    There is also, however, a growing resistance. There’s a new playbook taking shape: a movement by elected officials, community organizations, nonprofit lawyers, and civil rights groups who are executing a range of legal and electoral strategies to fight back against judicial gerrymandering. In Georgia, for instance, we have worked with a bipartisan coalition of prosecutors to file litigation challenging their oversight commission .

    The same system that can be rigged for political advantage can also be used for good, to protect civil rights.

    This pushback also includes efforts to let voters weigh in on changes regarding judicial authority and redistricting. When people understand what’s at stake and are given a voice, they can make it harder for state officials to interfere with and take over local power.

    Supporting government officials who push back is critical to resist those trying to rig the rules of democracy. The same system that can be rigged for political advantage can also be used for good, to protect civil rights. The effort for reform has won victories too, in even purple and red states like Wisconsin , Georgia , and Mississippi . The future of our democracy may depend on more of these wins.

    The post How the Right Is Taking Over State Courts With Judicial Gerrymandering appeared first on The Intercept .

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      Fuites chez Apple : l’employé qui parlait aux médias a été identifié

      news.movim.eu / Numerama · Friday, 29 March - 08:58

    Apple accuse Andrew Aude, un de ses ingénieurs en charge de l'optimisation des batteries, d'être à l'origine d'une série de fuites sur ses futurs produits. Plusieurs captures d'écran suggèrent qu'il s'est entretenu avec des leakers et des journalistes.

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      Pro-Israel Advocates Are Weaponizing “Safety” on College Campuses

      news.movim.eu / TheIntercept · Thursday, 28 March - 20:08 · 14 minutes

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20: People gather to protest the banning of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at Columbia University on November 20, 2023 in New York City. Students, alumni of both schools, some dressed in caps and gowns, and supporters held a "Denouncement Ceremony" and pledged not to donate money to the schools after the banning of the student groups for holding a nonviolent but unsanctioned protest demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. More than 20 progressive elected officials have sent a letter to the university calling for the reinstatement of the groups. Calls for a ceasefire in Gaza continue as the death toll from Israel’s invasion of Gaza has increased in the weeks since the October 7 Hamas attack. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) People gather to protest the banning of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace chapters at Columbia University on Nov. 20, 2023, in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

    Two weeks ago, the Columbia chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine publicized an email leaked by an anonymous student at the university’s social work school. In the email, a professor, who was also not named in the screenshot, raised the issue of a Palestinian flag emoji that the student had placed next to her name during Zoom meetings.

    “On an unrelated matter,” the professor wrote, “it has recently been brought to my attention that geopolitical emojis” — the Palestinian flag — “used at the end of name info has caused trauma reactions, making it difficult for some to remain present and not dissociate during class session.”

    The professor asked for the student’s “continued partnership in ensuring our class space remains a safe one for all.” In an excruciatingly polite response, the student asked for permission to discuss the issue collectively, with the class.

    It’s the stuff of far-right parody: an absurd example of “woke” culture. An Ivy League professor, invoking the language of “trauma response” and safety, in an email that refers to class members as “folx,” suggesting the removal of an emoji.

    Yet the professor’s email speaks to a broader problem of student safety being flattened into a question of whether students feel safe. And these aren’t the reactionary tropes of left-wing “snowflakes”: “Safety” is being invoked by pro-Israel students, many conservative and center-right, who believe that protests targeting the nation state constitute inherent attacks on them as Jews.

    The same dynamic played out in the fall at the same university. Last November, Columbia banned its chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, as The Intercept reported , because an “unauthorized event” put on by the groups “included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.” When challenged to name the threat, Columbia Senior Executive Vice President Gerald Rosberg said only, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the student groups, that “accusations that Israel was ‘a racist state committing genocide’ and ‘is an apartheid state’ could upset some people and ‘seem … like an incitement of violence.’”

    New York City’s Upper West Side isn’t the only setting for such thin complaints. A staggeringly imbalanced feature in The Atlantic this week, written by Stanford sophomore Theo Baker, offered up a supposedly neutral narrative that treats the “conflict” on his college campus as a battle between imperiled Jewish students and unreasoned pro-Palestine zealots.

    Right-wing GOP culture warriors and conservative Zionist groups are using similar claims about campus incidents nationwide. “Safety” is the latest weapon in the culture war, being deployed now to deal a blow to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, known as DEI, and to silence criticism of Israel.

    “People are taking their feelings of being uncomfortable with information as the same as physically being unsafe.”

    The result has brought us to our intolerable status quo, with students and faculty risking grave consequences for protesting a war in which Israeli forces have slaughtered over 31,000 people. Israel’s U.S.-backed assault has razed to rubble every single university in Gaza , but the concern as relates to intellectual life in this country focuses instead on the inoculation of Israel’s young supporters from bad feeling.

    “People are taking their feelings of being uncomfortable with information as the same as physically being unsafe,” said Layla, a Palestinian American graduate student at Columbia’s School of Social Work, who asked to withhold her last name for fear of harassment. “As a Palestinian student, I’ve lost family in Gaza. Frankly, I get uncomfortable when Zionist students are chanting ‘no ceasefire’ on campus. That makes me feel uncomfortable. That makes me feel unsafe. But I know that it is not a physical threat to my safety. That is free speech.”

    Feeling Safe vs. Being Safe

    The need to distinguish between feeling safe and being safe is both urgent and undeniably fraught. Antisemitism is rising. There have been instances, including on campuses, of Jewish students harassed and targeted solely for wearing a kippah or being otherwise identified as Jewish. Islamophobic, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian violence is surging . And a American-supported genocide is being carried out halfway around the world in the purported name of Jewish safety. Yet this is no time for cowardice.

    Writing as a professor and a Jew, with a profound commitment to my students’ safety and well-being, I see an imperative for them to learn to distinguish between genuine threat and paranoia — that their judgments of the world be grounded and attentive to the workings of power, propaganda, and ideology.

    Instead, a perfect political storm, driven in large part by sustained campaigning from pro-Israel groups, has produced structures of feeling — a map of collective emotions at historical junctures — that are resistant to challenge. The elements include the conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism, pushed evermore fervently by Zionist groups in the last decade ; the equation of feeling unsafe with being unsafe that has been normalized in the oversimplified liberal discourse; and the weight of intergenerational Jewish trauma combined with very real antisemitism in the present.

    I have no doubt that the students’ feelings of fear are real, but educational institutions should not be validating a psychic block that precludes seeing support for Palestine as anything other than a threat.

    DEIR AL-BALAH, GAZA - NOVEMBER 7: Civil defense teams and citizens continue search and rescue operations after an airstrike hits the building belonging to the Maslah family during the 32nd day of Israeli attacks in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)

    One way universities are validating these feelings as proof of real danger may be out of their hands: through Title VI complaints and, in some cases, official investigations. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. By statute, universities are duty-bound to take these complaints seriously, but that doesn’t mean they’re always serious.

    In the post-October 7 campus battles, the complaints in question consistently center on claims of campus antisemitism — referring to Title VI’s protection from discrimination based on national origin.

    Related

    Student Protests for Gaza Targeted by Pro-Israel Groups for Alleged Civil Rights Violations

    The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has 80 open Title VI investigations that have arisen since October 7 that fall under the category of “shared ancestry” discrimination, which also covers incidents of Islamophobia and other religious discrimination. And just one man , Zachary Marschall, the editor of the right-wing site Campus Reform , is responsible for 10 of them, according to a database of the complaints and investigations put together from public data by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

    To file a complaint, a person need have no affiliation with the institution in question. Marschall, an outspoken critic of DEI, has no connection with any of the universities against which he is the Title VI complainant, but claims to be filing the complaints on behalf of campus figures who are often not publicly named.

    While details of the federal investigations are not public, Campus Reform’s coverage of reported antisemitism on campus offers clues about Marschall’s approach. His posts on the site consist largely of alarmed responses to Palestinian solidarity slogans , calls for ceasefire , and vocal anti-Zionism on the part of left-wing Jewish student groups.

    Consider, by way of example, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, against which Marschall filed a Title VI complaint. Campus Reform wrote about the school too. A November post cited as evidence of anti-Jewish animus the fact that a faculty open letter in support of a Gaza ceasefire was commended by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group that Campus Reform alleged is connected to Hamas — a common attack against CAIR that the group has denied as a “ smear .”

    Marschall may well think the discrimination he is alleging is very real, but it hangs on a thin reed. To have the desired impact, though, the Title VI complaints don’t necessarily need to be sustained. The Department of Education might rule that Marschall’s complaints fail to show civil rights violations, but the investigations themselves can still have a chilling effect, forcing universities to act out of fear of losing federal funding.

    The investigations can and have drummed up publicity, putting other university funding in the crosshairs. The effects of similar pressure campaigns are already being felt: Elite universities have appeased wealthy pro-Israel donors, who have since October 7 threatened to withhold their money if anti-Israel speech is tolerated on campus.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Pro-Israel protestors argue with Pro-Palestinian protestors during a demonstration near Columbia University on February 02, 2024 in New York City. The demonstrations were held in solidarity with Pro-Palestinian protesters that were allegedly attacked during a protest two weeks ago on the university campus. Pro-Palestinian University organizations alleged that two people attacked multiple protestors with 'skunk' stink-bomb during a January 19th protest on campus. Multiple arrests occurred following clashes between the NYPD and protestors as they marched around the exterior of the Columbia, and Barnard-Columbia, before being pushed down Broadway.  (Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images) Pro-Israel protesters argue with pro-Palestinian protesters during a demonstration near Columbia University on Feb. 2, 2024, in New York City. Getty Images

    Antisemitism as Cudgel

    Using antisemitism for political ends is not a new tack. Efforts like Marschall’s play into a pattern of reporting on antisemitism that obfuscates rather than clarifies material antisemitic threats. Frightening statistics, leading to sensationalized headlines, about soaring campus antisemitism are compiled by conservative, agenda-driven watchdogs that conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism as policy.

    They assert without compunction that calls for Palestinian liberation are a threat to Jews. The statistics then take on the imprimatur of official narrative, stoke further fear, and resist dispute — any such challenge is open to charges of antisemitism denialism.

    Meanwhile, three Palestinian students wearing Keffiyehs were shot last November in Vermont, leaving one paralyzed from the waist down. An Arab Muslim student at Stanford was hospitalized in a hit-and-run in November that authorities are investigating as a hate crime. (The latter incident went notably unmentioned in Baker’s viral Atlantic story detailing threats at Stanford.)

    And there have been physical dangers at Columbia, too — for pro-Palestine students. Those attending an on-campus Palestine solidarity rally in January were sprayed with a noxious chemical by two veterans of the Israeli military, also Columbia students. Numerous students — including Layla, the Palestinian social work student — were hit with the foul-smelling spray, believed to be Israeli-developed chemical weapon knowns as “skunk.”

    Fifteen students had to seek hospital care for nausea, burning eyes, and irritated skin. While the NYPD is investigating the incident and the assailants are currently banned from campus, the university’s initial response was to chide the injured students for holding the protest in the first place.

    Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students at Columbia and elsewhere have seen their faces and names projected on “ doxxing trucks ” circling campus. A vocally pro-Zionist business school professor, Shai Davidai, has faced complaints that he used his X account to target individual Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students by linking them to Hamas. (Davidai has denied going after particular students, though in January he promoted a form letter that singled out a student by name and, in March, accused a student of being “pro-Hamas” while linking to a tweet that identified her.)

    In response to dozens of student complaints, the university launched an investigation into Davidai’s behavior; he has decried the probe as “retaliation.” His outrage make sense, I suppose, in a universe that gives credence to a Palestinian flag emoji as a potential trigger for a “trauma response.”

    “The Absence of Any Real Threat”

    The disparity of the stakes — felt safety and its material counterpart — become ever starker when one’s gaze is turned to where it really belongs: Palestine itself. Students speaking out for Palestine are not doing so to shore up campus safety for Palestinian students — which the Palestinian students, of course, deserve — but because they are desperate to see an end to Israeli assault on Gaza.

    “I question why our focus is on the elite college campuses and their use of language over the horrific injustices being committed against the Palestinian people,” wrote Maryam Iqbal, a freshman at Barnard College and among the students hospitalized after the Columbia chemical attack, in the college newspaper. “There is absolutely no reason to be centering the feelings of privileged college students over the victims of an actual genocide.”

    Iqbal told me that she hoped that following the chemical attack, the university administration’s attitude towards what constitutes threat and safety, and where risks lie, would change. “Nothing has shifted,” she said.

    Instead, attacks on expression continue. Last month, Barnard banned students from displaying any decorations on dorm room doors, to avoid “the unintended effect of isolating those who have different views and beliefs.”

    There are, without question, students who feel hurt and unwelcome when faced with protests and speech condemning Israel as a genocidal apartheid state. Many Jewish people struggle to square such realities with the idealized notion of Israel we were raised with: that it is a noble and necessary state for Jewish safety.

    I know, too, that there are Jewish students who fear that antisemitic groups and individuals are simply using opposition to Israel as a guise for anti-Jewish hate — there’s certainly historic precedent. And there are, as I noted, examples of genuine heightened antisemitism on campus. When Jewish people are targeted for being Jewish, we need to act with severity. Fear, however, does not make a protest against Israel, even a protest against its maintenance as a Jewish ethnostate, a protest against Jews.

    “Treating feelings of fear and discomfort seriously does not mean reifying them.”

    Institutions of higher education should be in the business of demystification, even when it involves challenging certain sensitive received wisdoms. We fail as educators if we permit the false lesson of all too many Zionist upbringings — that Palestinian freedom is a threat to Jewish safety — to persist for our students.

    As Joseph Howley, a classics professor at Columbia who has been perturbed by the treatment of pro-Palestine protest on campus, told me, “Treating feelings of fear and discomfort seriously does not mean reifying them.”

    Howley, who is also Jewish, noted that, by the same logic, we would not want to validate the fear felt by a white student, conditioned under racist assumptions, who called the police because they felt afraid in the presence of a Black student.

    “Capitulation to this sort of language of fear and unsafety in the absence of any real threat,” he said, “is a real betrayal of our actual responsibilities as teachers to the social emotional development of our students.”

    UNITED STATES -November 15: Students and activists protesting Columbia University's decision to suspend the student groups "Students for Justice in Palestine" and "Jewish Voice for Peace" for holding pro-Palestine events on campus at Columbia University in Manhattan, New York on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.  (Photo by Shawn Inglima for NY Daily News via Getty Images) Students and activists protest Columbia University’s decision to suspend the student group chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace for holding pro-Palestine events on campus, in Manhattan, N.Y., on Nov. 15, 2023. NY Daily News via Getty Images

    More Than a Feeling

    We might be tempted to hand it to the anti-woke right, who warned against the proliferation of “safe space” language and “therapy speak” as organizing forces at American universities. Such criticisms, though, rely on bad faith framings of anti-racist and diversity work — only the worst liberal iterations, although too common, exemplify the right-wing caricature of colleges privileging “snowflake” student feelings.

    It is a different, more rigorous exercise entirely when students and professors proffer materially grounded, historically informed opposition to oppressive speech and discriminatory treatment on campus.

    When the Hillel student group at the New School in New York City, where I teach, invited a lieutenant from the Israeli military to come speak on campus in early March, I was among several colleagues who signed a letter to our administration, requesting the planned event be canceled.

    Among the reasons listed was that many students, above all Palestinians, would feel “utterly unsafe” to have an active-duty Israeli soldier on campus. This, I thought, was true, but a weak argument; the students might feel unsafe, but they would not be unsafe.

    The letter’s far stronger claim was that, as a university founded on antiwar ideals and a purported commitment to liberatory principles, the school should not offer “a platform for an army that continues to violate international law and is actively engaged in perpetrating human rights abuses and the murder of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.” It is, I believe, valid to oppose a university hosting an active ranking officer of an army that has obliterated every single institution of higher education in Gaza.

    Citing the importance of free speech, the university permitted the talk to proceed .

    I’ve long argued against an absolutist approach to free speech on campuses and beyond; some oppressive speech, even if constitutionally protected, should not be platformed. Decisions about canceling speakers and banning certain speech, however, should not be a question of privileging certain peoples’ feelings and fears over others, however visceral the feelings might be.

    Rather, we must — without presuming answers in advance — interrogate whether structures of oppression and violence are normalized and upheld in our educational institutions through these choices. The decisions will be imperfect and contested, but at least they will be based on more than feelings.

    The post Pro-Israel Advocates Are Weaponizing “Safety” on College Campuses appeared first on The Intercept .

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      Anti-Abortion Doctors Struggle to Explain Mifepristone Harms Before Supreme Court

      news.movim.eu / TheIntercept · Wednesday, 27 March - 17:25 · 7 minutes

    The theory at the core of the lawsuit filed by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and a handful of anti-abortion doctors who are challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone is that they have been harmed — or will be harmed — by the FDA’s actions.

    The doctors are not claiming that they’ve been hurt by taking the drug or prescribing it, which none of them do. Instead, their theory goes something like this: Mifepristone is dangerous, and pregnant people who take the drug are bound to have serious complications. When they do, they’ll probably go to an emergency room, which could be in a hospital where one of the anti-abortion doctors works. As a result, the doctor could be pulled from regular patient duties to deal with the mifepristone-related emergency, forcing them to play some role in the provision of abortion and causing emotional trauma.

    The claim is so tenuous that during oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, not even the anti-abortion majority of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed to buy it as a theory that would give the group standing to sue the FDA. The justices appeared disinclined to rule in a way that would narrow access to medication abortion, at least for now.

    “FDA approved mifepristone based on the agency’s scientific judgment that the drug is safe and effective,” U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told the court. “It’s maintained that judgment across five presidential administrations, and millions of Americans have used mifepristone to safely end their pregnancies.” The alliance “may not agree with that choice,” she continued, “but that doesn’t give them … a legal basis to upend the regulatory scheme.”

    Mifepristone is the first in a two-drug protocol approved for early pregnancy termination. It blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to continue pregnancy, while the second drug, misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract, expelling the pregnancy. Mifepristone is among the most studied drugs in the country; it has been used in more than 600 published clinical trials, and at less than 1 percent, the risk of serious complications is low. Today, the two-drug regimen accounts for more than 60 percent of all abortions in the United States.

    The FDA first approved mifepristone in 2000. In 2016 and 2021, the agency loosened restrictions on the drug that had long been challenged as medically unnecessary, extending its use through 10 weeks of pregnancy and lifting a requirement that it be dispensed in person.

    The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, an umbrella organization for several groups of anti-abortion doctors, filed federal suit in Amarillo, Texas, in late 2022, challenging the FDA’s initial approval of mifepristone as reckless and the subsequent changes as hazardous. Filing the suit in Amarillo — where the group had only recently incorporated itself — offered a tactical advantage: It guaranteed that the case would be heard by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a far-right Trump-appointed judge who hears all federal civil cases filed in the Texas Panhandle.

    Kacsmaryk did not disappoint. In April 2023, he sided with the alliance, ruling that the FDA never should have approved mifepristone in the first place. To support his position that mifepristone was wildly unsafe, Kacsmaryk disengaged from science and instead cited an analysis of anonymous blog posts , a researcher whose work has been repeatedly called into question , and two studies sponsored by an anti-abortion organization that have since been retracted by the journal that published them.

    The government appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which disagreed with Kacsmaryk’s conclusion regarding the 2000 approval of mifepristone but nonetheless said the FDA impermissibly loosened restrictions in 2016 and 2021.

    In coming to their conclusions, both courts bought the alliance’s shaky theory of legal standing. On Tuesday, the justices on the Supreme Court seemed less convinced — even if Justice Samuel Alito was inclined to try to help his colleagues along. What if an anti-abortion doctor was the only person on duty in an emergency room when a “woman comes in with complications from having taken mifepristone … and as a result, in order to save her life, the doctor has to abort a viable fetus?” he asked the solicitor general.

    The doctors “haven’t identified any incident in more than 20 years … that resembles that kind of hypothetical situation.”

    If the doctor was forced into action, that could be a violation of longstanding laws that protect providers’ conscience rights , Prelogar responded, but that “situation has never come to pass.” The alliance and its doctors “haven’t identified any incident in more than 20 years that mifepristone has been available on the market that resembles that kind of hypothetical situation.”

    Experts have worried that allowing legal standing on such a thin premise would lower the bar and permit nearly anyone to sue the FDA or any other agency for nearly anything they disagree with. Doctors who don’t think vaccinations are safe could sue to have their approval yanked; cardiologists could challenge a new heart medicine on the grounds that “some patients would no longer require their services,” as the FDA pointed out in a legal brief. Pharmaceutical companies have voiced concern that accepting the alliance’s premise would upend the system, encourage judges to second-guess scientists, chill drug development, and harm patients.

    Even if the court were to accept that conscience rights had been violated, the doctors’ suggested remedy — making mifepristone illegal for everyone — was excessive, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson observed. “I’m worried that there is a significant mismatch … between the claimed injury and the remedy that’s being sought.” Exempting the doctors from participating in abortion-related care seemed the logical solution, she said. Instead, “they’re saying because we object to having to be forced to participate in this procedure, we’re seeking an order preventing anyone from having access to these drugs at all.”

    Erin Hawley, a lawyer with the far-right Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, tried to push back, ignoring the fact that broad conscience objections can be raised with hospital administrators or other health care employers well before a particular situation arises. She argued that the doctors couldn’t afford to waste “precious moments scrubbing in, scrubbing out” of the ER to lodge an objection.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch interrupted: There had been a “rash” of recent cases in which a lower court issued a nationwide ruling when the circumstances called for a more modest result. “This case seems like a prime example of turning what could be a small lawsuit into a nationwide legislative assembly on … an FDA rule or any other federal government action,” he said.

    If the court rejects the alliance’s theory of legal standing, the case is dead without the justices having to address the group’s baseless arguments about the dangers of mifepristone, and the drug will remain available, as it is now, under the FDA’s current regulations. The court is expected to issue a ruling later this year, likely near the end of its session, which concludes in June.

    That doesn’t mean that the attacks on medication abortion will stop or that the court will stand in their way. Both Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas seemed open to discussing a revival of the Comstock Act, an 1873 law that outlawed mailing anything considered “obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy, or vile” — which included contraception — as well as “every article or thing” that could be used for abortion.

    The zombie law has been dormant for decades, but many anti-abortion activists see it as a means of enacting a de facto national medication abortion ban without having to confront mifepristone’s safety record — even if the law’s broad language would trigger the possibility that instruments and drugs used for routine gynecological procedures could also be subject to its provisions.

    During oral arguments, Alito asked whether the FDA should have considered the Comstock Act before lifting the in-person dispensing requirement, which led to widespread mail order sales. No, the solicitor general responded. If the restriction wasn’t medically necessary, then the FDA was required to lift it, not consider a statute that was outside its scientific purview.

    Thomas asked Hawley, the alliance lawyer, for her take on Comstock. “The Comstock Act says that drugs should not be mailed,” she said. “We think the plain text of that, your honor, is pretty clear.”

    The post Anti-Abortion Doctors Struggle to Explain Mifepristone Harms Before Supreme Court appeared first on The Intercept .

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      « N’hésitez pas à porter plainte » : Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr appelle à agir face aux vastes fuites de données

      news.movim.eu / Numerama · Wednesday, 27 March - 15:28

    La cyberattaque contre la Fédération française de football (FFF) est la troisième fuite de données massive depuis le début de l'année avec potentiellement 1,5 million de Français concernés. Le directeur général de Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr recommande de porter plainte pour aider les enquêteurs.

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      Prosecute a Cop? You’ll Face Removal From Office

      news.movim.eu / TheIntercept · Friday, 22 March - 17:34 · 4 minutes

    Two unions representing police and state troopers in Minnesota wrote a letter to Gov. Tim Walz last friday. An elected prosecutor in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, was prosecuting one of their own, and they wanted her removed from the case — immediately.

    On Wednesday, four Republican members of U.S. Congress from Minnesota followed up in another letter to Walz expressing “outrage” in the same case. “It is time for us as a nation to stop demonizing law enforcement,” the Republican representatives wrote. They called for an investigation into Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty. At least one of the four, Rep. Michelle Fischbach, has called on Moriarty to resign.

    Only a few days earlier, Minnesota Republican state lawmakers called on Moriarty to resign and drop charges against the state trooper in the case. Lawmakers accused her of coddling criminals and targeting police in “politically-motivated prosecution.”

    The controversy erupted around the prosecution of a state trooper who shot and killed 33-year-old Ricky Cobb II, a Black man, during a traffic stop in July. Moriarty’s office said the trooper’s use of deadly force against Cobb was not justified.

    The pressure campaign against the prosecution seems, so far, to be working. Asked about the case during a press conference on Monday, Walz, a Democrat, questioned Moriarty’s handling of the charges and criticized her assessment of the use of force. The governor’s office, however, has not yet said whether Moriarty will be removed from the case. (Moriarty’s office did not respond to a request for comment, but in a previous statement she said the unions wanted Walz to “give special treatment to this case.” Walz’s office did not respond to a request for comment.)

    The attacks like those on Moriarty are not unique to Minnesota. Moriarty was among a clutch of reform-minded prosecutors who started winning elections in greater numbers in recent years. Constituents were increasingly casting their ballots for criminal justice reformers who ran on prosecuting police for misconduct and killing of civilians, ending cash bail, and curtailing the prosecution of nonviolent offenses.

    In response, opponents of the reform push have been more and more explicit about why they want to remove elected attorneys like Moriarty: They’re prosecuting the police.

    “It’s clear this is not about safety,” said Jessica Brand, who founded the Wren Collective, a progressive consulting firm, and works with several reform prosecutors. “It’s about power — they don’t want prosecutors in office who will hold them accountable when they abuse their power. That’s the theme that is running through the backlash in every state.”

    “It’s clear this is not about safety. It’s about power — they don’t want prosecutors in office who will hold them accountable.”

    In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has unilaterally removed two prosecutors who implemented policies he didn’t like, including one who indicted a deputy sheriff for shooting a civilian in 2020. The attorney DeSantis appointed to replace former State’s Attorney Monique Worrell, Federalist Society member Andrew Bain, dropped the charges against the deputy sheriff last week.

    In Texas, where top Republican state officials and police have blamed reform prosecutors for police attrition and crime, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is now demanding case files on the prosecution of police in any county with more than 250,000 residents. The population threshold targets larger cities where reformers have won office or found substantial support.

    “When certain crimes went up post-Covid, police unions moved quickly to attack progressive prosecutors and their policies, no matter how modest those policies were,” Brand said. “Now, crime is down, and these attacks have not only continued, but have also intensified.”

    Removals From SF to Philadelphia

    The opposition to district attorneys who ran on prosecuting police misconduct, which often lead to formal recall and removal efforts , has come in large part from the police.

    In their letter to Walz last week, unions for Minnesota police and state troopers blamed Moriarty for a “state of crisis” among law enforcement officers in the state. They cited, in particular, Minneapolis, where the ranks of police have shrunk since an officer killed George Floyd in May 2020.

    The unions wrote, “There is a crisis of confidence in the elected leadership who are supposed to be partners in making our communities safer, but instead seek to score political points through charging every police officer whom circumstances compel to use deadly force, regardless of the evidence.” (In her statement responding to the letter, Moriarty said, “[T]here is a crisis in confidence, but it is not because of attempts at accountability. It is because of well-documented and horrific instances where some officers abused their power and used unauthorized force.”)

    Similar sagas have played out from San Francisco to Philadelphia . Police and their unions led attacks against reform prosecutors and poured money into efforts to remove them from office. In Worrell’s case in Florida, DeSantis reportedly worked with law enforcement targeted by Worrell for prosecution to tarnish her reputation before he removed her from office.

    In Moriarty’s case, the attacks have also come from one-time allies.

    Cobb’s killing is not the first case in which Moriarty was threatened with removal for adhering to the reforms she ran on in 2020. Last year, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over another case from Moriarty in which she had declined to charge two teens accused of murder as adults.

    Ellison had built his reputation as a reformer and fought off attacks from Republicans claiming he was soft on crime to win election as attorney general in 2022. The juvenile case put Ellison and Moriarty on opposite ends of a fight for reform they had once shared.

    The post Prosecute a Cop? You’ll Face Removal From Office appeared first on The Intercept .

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