Senate probes riot security failures – National & International News – TUE 23Feb2021

Senate hearing on riot security failures. Malcolm X family demands new murder probe. Canada declares Uighur genocide. 6500 migrants dead amid Qatar World Cup prep.


Senate hearings into security failings during Capitol riot

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee will begin hearings today to determine the cause and nature of security failures before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving will speak publicly for the first time since their resignations. The hearings hope to uncover what officials knew of the threat of violence and when, and how they responded. Despite days of online chatter, Capitol Police were caught completely unprepared and were overwhelmingly outnumbered. This resulted in grievous injuries to many Capitol officers and the death of at least one.

The hearing will also seek to clarify the reasons for the delay in deploying the National Guard. Sund has previously stated that his calls for reinforcement were ignored, but the Pentagon denies this. During the recent impeachment hearing of former President Trump, it was alleged that it was Trump himself who refused to order the Guard to support Capitol Police. According to those reports, it was former Vice President Mike Pence who eventually authorized the deployment.

Insider involvement?

It’s unclear whether the hearings will delve into the various reports of insider involvement. Of the 200+ insurgents arrested since the riot, dozens have alleged meeting with members of the FBI, Secret Service and Capitol Police prior to the riot. These reports are largely unconfirmed. However, an open letter from Senate Democrats pointed the finger at some of their own colleagues. According to the letter, unnamed members of Congress known to espouse extremist views were shepherding suspicious-looking groups around the Capitol in the days before the riot.

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Malcolm X family demands murder investigation reopened

Malcolm X’s daughters are calling on NYC prosecutors to launch a new inquiry into the death of their father. They cite new evidence in the form of a Letter from late ex-NYPD officer. The letter alleges that the NYPD and FBI were involved in the 1965 assassination.

In his deathbed letter, former NYPD officer Raymond Wood confessed his role in the killing. Wood said he was under orders from his NYPD supervisors to ensure that members of Malcolm X’s security detail were arrested ahead of a public address by the activist and minister.

Three members of the Nation of Islam, with whom X had parted ways shortly before his death, were eventually convicted in the assassination. Historians and independent investigators have raised questions about those convictions. Late last year, after a petition from the Innocence Project, New York City District Attorney Cy Vance announced a review of those convictions. Two of those convicted remain in prison, but one has since died.

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Canada joins US in declaring Uighur genocide

Canada’s parliament has voted overwhelmingly to join the US in declaring China’s systematic oppression of its Uighur Muslims a genocide. They also passed an amendment to call on the International Olympic Committee to call off the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics if the genocide persists.

The vote passed 266 to 0, with support from all opposition parties and a handful of MPs from the governing Liberal Party. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers abstained. Trudeau has been reluctant to label China’s campaign against the Uighurs a “genocide”, saying more information is needed.

Canada’s government is not alone in this fence-sitting in the West. European governments have also been notably silent on the issue. China’s growing influence in world markets, fueled in part by forced Uighur labor, has effectively stifled international response. In part due to a recent major trade treat, China recently overtook the US as the EU’s dominant trading partner.

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Qatar: More than 6700 migrant workers dead in World Cup preparations

A Guardian investigation has revealed that more than 6500 migrant workers, mostly from Asia, have died in Qatar since 2011. An overwhelming number of these came to the Gulf state in search of work since 2010 when Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Since then, the country has embarked on an immense building program in preparation for the games. The majority of these construction jobs are performed by migrants, who pay thousands of dollars in “recruitment fees” just for the right to work in Qatar.

Between 2011 and 2020, 6,751 workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka have died. This does not include deaths among workers from other countries that send thousands of workers to Qatar, like the Philippines and Kenya. The circumstances of their deaths is somewhat murky. There’s been a high degree of creative accounting on the part of Qatar’s government when it comes to tallying the deaths and determining their causes. The overwhelming majority of largely young, healthy workers are listed as having died from “natural causes”. In most cases, no autopsy is performed.

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