Did CNN Air a Staged Migrant Crossing of the Rio Grande?
The scene starts out serenely, as CNN national correspondent Ed Lavandera and crew motor by boat down the Rio Grande near the city of Hidalgo, Texas, as the sun sets. But soon, the idyllic setting gives way. “That’s when we stumble across a group of migrants loading into a raft,” Lavandera says in the clip. He’s heard speaking with the migrants in Spanish to ease the tension. In the video, shot on March 11 and aired the next day, a group of migrants, including children, board a tiny raft and are led across by a man in a black ski mask and camouflage clothing. The migrants wear clean-looking surgical masks and life vests. “The Rio Grande Valley has been ground zero for the latest surge in migration and here you see the operation unfolding right in front of us,” said Lavandera. “After the first raft crosses, the magnitude of this moment reveals itself. Dozens of migrants emerge and walk down to the river’s edge. You can see that this is a serious operation.” He narrates what he describes as a “highly organized system,” with the raft taking at least six trips across the river. “Scenes like this are escalating in the Rio Grande Valley,” Lavandera says.
How Kyrsten Sinema Went from Lefty Activist to Proud Neoliberal Democrat
The halls of Congress are filled with individuals who at some point abandoned almost everything they once believed in. More often than not, it’s a cushy, post-political corporate job or lobbying position that might have led them to give up on whatever led them to enter politics in the first place. Rarer is the person who’s done it out of pure, unbridled political ambition. Such appears to be the case with Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic senator from Arizona who recently went viral after cheerfully voting against a $15 minimum wage hike that would have helped reduce poverty for millions of children and working parents. Unlike fellow congressional spike strip Joe Manchin, Sinema doesn’t have a conflict of interest that might explain her vote; according to disclosures, her only extracurricular activity is a $25,000 a year adjunct teaching job at a local university. Nor has Sinema, who consistently ranks among the least wealthy members of Congress, appeared to pair her journey up the political ladder with a windfall in her own personal fortune. So what is it that led Sinema to do a complete 180 on almost every position she ever took on almost any issue, from war to inequality to government spending? The answer is that she shifted right little by little, at each moment when her political ascent demanded it, a death by a thousand compromises that has turned Sinema into a right-wing Democrat who makes a virtue of defying not just the party’s Left but even its center.
Shrewsbury 24: Convictions finally overturned - 47 years too late!
Following a decades-long campaign by trade union activists, the Court of Appeal has finally overturned the disgraceful 1974 conviction of the ‘Shrewsbury 24’, who were tried and convicted over their involvement in the 1972 building workers strike. Twenty-four pickets were charged by the state. Fourteen received sentences - two including jail time - in a trial that was nothing short of a scandal. Rigged: The court has now been forced to admit that the trial was indeed faulty. It found that witness statements had been destroyed, and that the screening of a hostile TV documentary at the time of the hearing, were both “clearly prejudicial” to a fair trial. In the words of Lord Justice Fulford: "If the destruction of the handwritten statements had been revealed to the appellants at the time of the trial, this issue could have been comprehensively investigated with the witnesses when they gave evidence, and the judge would have been able to give appropriate directions… By the standards of today, what occurred was unfair to the extent that the verdicts cannot be upheld." That is an understatement! Those trade unionists who were sent to trial in 1974 faced no justice at all. The whole system was rigged against them in what was a clear attempt to break trade union militancy.