Ohio train derailment: Railroad reps ditch town meeting – National & International News – THU 16Feb2023


Ohio train derailment: Railroad reps ditch town meeting.

Georgia: Partial grand jury report released on Trump election meddling.

Peru: Report finds racial bias in deadly crackdown on indigenous protesters.



Ohio train derailment: Railroad reps ditch town meeting

Representatives from Norfolk Southern canceled an appearance at a town meeting in East Palestine, OH, at the last minute, citing “physical threats”. 

This statement from Norfolk Southern read out at the meeting: “Unfortunately, after consulting with community leaders, we have become increasingly concerned about the growing physical threat to our employees and members of the community around this event stemming from the increasing likelihood of the participation of outside parties. With that in mind, Norfolk Southern will not be in attendance this evening”. Local authorities said they had no knowledge of any “threats” to Norfolk Southern employees.

Over 200 locals had gathered for the meeting to address residents’ health concerns following the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals. Residents have reported sicknesses and deaths in small animals. Some have reported experiencing adverse effects themselves. Candice Desanzo, who evacuated the area with her small children and returned after officials gave the all clear. She now regrets her decision to return. “We all have red rashes, loose stool, congestion, eyes burning,” Desanzo said. “Everything smells. I have been having terrible headaches”.

State and local officials and even the EPA have downplayed the risks, assuring residents the fumes weren’t concentrated enough to be harmful to humans. But Peter DeCarlo of Johns Hopkins University says he wouldn’t want to be in the area based on the data he’s seen. “First off, I have two small children,” DeCarlo said, “And I’d be especially concerned for their health”. According to DeCarlo, the air monitoring and air sampling conducted in the area also isn’t sufficient to measure whether there are emissions from the crash site. “Clearly, there are [emissions] if people are still smelling fumes”, DeCarlo said.

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Partial grand jury report released on Trump election interference

The office of Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis has released part of a report from a grand jury probe into 2020 election interference in compliance with a court order earlier this week. Three sections of the report were released, the introduction, conclusion and one section pertaining to concerns about perjury by witnesses who appeared before the grand jury. “A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” the report said.

The report doesn’t name which witnesses the panel believed gave false testimony. Among those who testified under subpoena were several prominent Trump allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump himself wasn’t subpoenaed and did not testify.

The report indicates that recommendations were made for indictments against one or more individuals, who were not identified. Willis has said decisions on potential indictments in the case are “imminent”. 

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Peru: report finds racial bias in brutal crackdown on indigenous protesters

A scathing report from Amnesty International finds that racial animosity by Peru’s white ruling class was a driving force in the deadly crackdown on indigenous protesters. Protests began back in December when Peru’s elected president Pedro Castillo was deposed. Castillo, himself an indigenous school teacher, had butted heads with the elites who control the country’s Congress throughout his 17 months in power.

The congress tried twice to impeach Castillo on vague charges which critics say were a cover for a political and racist agenda. When Congress mounted a third impeachment attempt, Castillo attempted to dissolve Congress and call snap elections. Castillo was then impeached and imprisoned for rebellion.

His ouster enraged Peru’s indigenous communities who have been ignored and oppressed by Lima’s elites for decades. Protests sprang up all over the country, resulting in at least 60 deaths to date at the hands of the country’s security forces. Demonstrations persist, demanding that the country’s president Dina Boluarte (Castillo’s former VP) to step down and call elections. Boluarte has so far refused to step down and Congress has refused to call new elections.

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