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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
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Che Guevara

Bob Marley documentary let down by its eurocentrism

I went to see Marley, the new and highly-publicised documentary about Robert Nesta Marley, at the Rio cinema in the heart of gentrified Dalston. While I enjoyed my green tea and organic chocolate bar (definitely a step up from pepsi and popcorn!), I found that being surrounded by trendy middle-class types only added to my sense of fear that the film was going to be annoyingly eurocentric and patronising.

But let's start with the good parts. Doing justice to the legacy of Bob Marley in the space of two hours and 24 minutes is an impossible task. All things considered, the people behind the film did a pretty decent job. The archive and interview footage is nothing short of incredible. The production team must have gone to extraordinary lengths to get the level of access they got. The interviews with Rita Marley, Bunny Wailer, Lee Scratch Perry, Danny Sims and other important figures in Bob's life are brilliant, and do a lot to explain how this giant of a man came to be who he was. For any fan of Bob Marley, the film is worth watching for the footage alone.

Unfortunately, the film is let down (as I knew it would be) by its eurocentric perspective. Let's face it, the first feature-length documentary on Bob Marley should have been directed by somebody else. Kevin Macdonald is perfectly competent as a film director, but he is a western white liberal. The story of Bob Marley is the story of black suffering and strength inna Babylon; the story a great revolutionary activist; the story of a people stripped of their freedom, languages, religions and traditions, building a voice and a collective identity. In short, it is not a story that Kevin Macdonald is qualified to tell.

Cow Skull

Baby Dolphin Die-Offs Continue in the Gulf

Researchers perform necropsies and physical exams on stranded dolphins in an aim to determine the cause of death.
An unusually high number of dead dolphins - including stillborn and infant calves - have washed up along the Gulf of Mexico shores in the two years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded into flames, unleashing tens of thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean.

More than 100 dolphin strandings already this year add to a pattern of death and disease among the marine mammals. In a normal year before the spill, about 74 strandings would be reported in the area. That number has increased eightfold in the past two years. Since February 2010, more than 600 have been found on the shores between the Louisiana-Texas border and the western coast of Florida.

And many of these dolphins have serious health problems -- lung disease, liver problems and low blood sugar -- according to autopsies on the animals and other research.

Scientists suspect oil as a major culprit, but linking the spill definitively with the dolphin die-offs has been tricky. Decomposition causes tissue to decay, making the animals difficult to study.

"In all of the dolphin deaths... only 17 percent are stranded alive or stranded in fresh-dead conditions," said Jenny Litz, a research fishery biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is studying the die-offs. Decomposition makes it much harder to study tissues during a necropsy (A necropsy is the animal equivalent of an autopsy).


White Powder Packages Sent to Wells Fargo New York City Branches

Wells Fargo Bank
© The Telegraph
US - A rash of incidents Monday afternoon involving envelopes sent with suspicious white powder had police scrambling around New York City and forced the nation's fourth-biggest bank, Wells Fargo & Co, to shut down five branches around the city.

In one of six cases identified by the New York Police Department, the substance turned out to be corn starch, a police spokesman said. The substance has not yet been identified in the remaining five cases, the spokesman said.

The Wells Fargo branches will remain closed pending further investigation by the police, bank spokesman Ancel Martinez said. The branch locations include Third Avenue and 47th Street; Madison Avenue and 34th Street; and Broadway and 85th Street.


Wrongly Convicted Colorado Man Set Free After 16 Years

© Colorado Department of Corrections/Reuters
Robert "Rider" Dewey is pictured in this booking handout photo, received by Reuters April 29, 2012.
US, Grand Junction, Co. - A Colorado man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a woman found strangled with a dog leash was exonerated on the basis of new DNA evidence and set free on Monday after spending more than 16 years behind bars.

Robert "Rider" Dewey walked out of a courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado, a free man after a judge found him innocent of the 1994 killing and said his exoneration marked a "historic day" for the state.

"Mr. Dewey spent 6,219 days of his life incarcerated for a crime he did not do," Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn said during the brief hearing. "This is a reminder to the entire system that it's not perfect."

Flynn said prosecutors had not committed misconduct, Dewey had been represented by good defense attorneys, and an impartial jury had heard the case but added: "Despite all these things, the system didn't work."

Prosecutors announced earlier on Monday they were seeking an arrest warrant for a new suspect in the 1994 killing who was identified by DNA testing and is already serving a life sentence for a similar 1989 murder.

Bad Guys

BP Sees a Return to Grandeur as Gulf Fishermen Reel From Disaster

The second memorial of the nation's worst oil catastrophe has come and gone, forever linked to Earth Day and seared into the psyches of millions of Gulf residents and fishermen. In recent weeks, the media has unleashed a torrent of stories about the devastating impacts of the nation's worst oil spill disaster; deaths, disease and deformities in the fisheries; a two-year record-setting die off in dolphin populations; medical emergencies and family health crises in coastal communities; and ongoing Congressional wrangling over tens of millions of dollars in fines needed to save and rebuild the rapidly disappearing Gulf coast.

But it won't be long before these stories fade from the consciousness of a nation once riveted by the volcanic well spewing out Louisiana crude a mile below the sea. Instead we will see more stories like this one BP published in the Alabama Press-Register last week: "After Two Years, The Grandeur of the Gulf Is Returning."
These days, we don't see oily sheens and miles of orange containment boom; we see sparkling water and clean sand, dotted with deck chairs and beach towels. On the horizon, we don't see an armada of ships skimming oil; we see fishing vessels at work gathering the day's catch. And, in the skies and on the ground, we don't see planes and large cleanup crews; we see birds and other wildlife at play.

But one thing is clear: Many of the dire predictions for the Gulf, made in the days and weeks after the accident, have not turned out to be true. Indeed, after two years of hard work alongside local, state and federal officials, the scientific community and the people of the region, substantial progress has been made. And the grandeur of the Gulf is steadily returning.

Bizarro Earth

Exxon Mobil shuts Louisiana oil pipeline after leak

* 22-inch line delivers crude to Exxon Baton Rouge Refinery, 4 others

* Spill contained in immediate area around Torbert, LA

* Baton Rouge Refinery is 3rd largest in U.S.

* Exxon says no immediate impact on Baton Rouge production

Exxon Mobil Corp has shut the 160,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) North Line crude oil pipeline in Louisiana after a leak spilled 1,900 barrels of crude oil in a rural area over the weekend, affecting a conduit that supplies the nation's third-largest refinery.

The 22-inch line originates in St. James, Louisiana, and provides shippers with access to oil from the giant Louisiana Offshore Oil Port and crude from offshore platforms, according to Exxon's website.

It was unclear Monday, the second full day the North Line was shut, how long it might be down. The line pumps crude to ExxonMobil's 502,000 barrel per day (bpd) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery as well as a handful of other plants.

The U.S. pipeline regulator said it had sent an inspector to investigate the leak, but has not issued any orders that would prevent Exxon from resuming operations when it is ready. The company said it had contained the oil in the "immediate area".


Rachel Maddow Takes on the Big Boys in the War On Women

Republicans tried to target Rachel Maddow in their war on women, but Maddow made history by calling out the GOP's condescending misogyny on Meet The Press.

Here is the video:

Partial transcript is below:


RFK Assassination: Witness claims second RFK shooter

A key witness to the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy has retracted her official statements in the case and now claims that convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone.

Nina Rhodes-Hughes, 78, tells CNN that the FBI and then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris "twisted" her original statements to authorities.

"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes told CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups."

Rhodes' original FBI statement says she only heard 8 gunshots at the time and makes no mention of a second shooter. However, Rhodes, who was just feet away from Kennedy says she never claimed to have only heard 8 shots.


Apartheid Israel: Tel Aviv residents protest refugees' presence

Residents of Shapira neighborhood hold demonstration, decide to create security squads in wake of recent firebomb attack

Light Saber

Major British supermarket chain Co-Op boycotts West Bank settlement produce

Co-op, fifth biggest supermarket chain in Britain, emphasizes it will continue doing business with companies that can guarantee none of their products come from outside the Green Line.