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UN Report on Yemen; NC Gerrymandering Map Unconstitutional; Free Mumia

UN Unveils Saudi War Crimes; NC Gerrymandering Map Unconstitutional; Free Mumia
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Elisabeth Myers, editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia, to discuss a new UN report accusing a Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in Yemen.

Evidence presented as part of a wide-ranging investigation sponsored by the United Nations and released today shows that the military coalition waging a war in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and armed by and with backing from the United States and the United Kingdom, has likely "perpetrated, and continue[s] to perpetrate, violations and crimes under international law." Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman reportedly vowed recently to continue targeting women and children throughout Yemen in order to "leave a big impact on the consciousness of Yemenis [for] generations."

Judges rule North Carolina's gerrymandered map is unconstitutional and may have to be redrawn before midterms. A panel of three federal judges has held that North Carolina's congressional districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans over Democrats and said it may require the state to draw new districts before the November elections, possibly affecting control of the House of Representatives. The judges acknowledged that primary elections have already produced candidates for the 2018 elections but said they were reluctant to let voting take place in congressional districts that courts twice have found violate constitutional standards. What does this mean going forward?

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been in prison in Pennsylvania since 1981 for killing Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981. He will appear in court this Thursday to pursue a new legal strategy that argues that Ronald Castille, the former district attorney whose office prosecuted Abu-Jamal's case, was improperly involved in his appeal after becoming a state supreme court justice.

In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia's freedom, Judge Leon Tucker ordered the Philadelphia District Attorney's office to present new testimony in reference to Castille on August 30, 2018. Castille is a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge who refused to disqualify himself when Mumia's case came before the court, despite having been the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia's prior appeals. The US Supreme Court ruled in the 2016 case Williams v. Pennsylvania that such dual role conduct is unconstitutional.

Philadelphia prosecutors argued during the trial, and still claim, that Mumia, driving a taxi in downtown Philadelphia, came across his brother, who had been stopped by Officer Faulkner. Prosecutors claimed that, motivated by a longstanding hatred of the police from his days as a Black Panther and supporter of MOVE, Mumia ran to Faulkner and shot him in the back. They further alleged that, although wounded by a return shot from Faulkner, Mumia then stood over the fallen police officer and shot him several times in the face. There is no dispute that Mumia was wounded as he approached the scene. After Mumia was shot, however, the details are unclear. It is known that after police apprehended Mumia and while he was in transit to the hospital, he was beaten severely by the police. It is also clear from photographic and ballistic evidence, which has only recently come to light, that the state's version of what happened cannot possibly be true.


Elisabeth Myers — editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia.

Bob Phillips — Executive Director for Common Cause. Common Cause North Carolina is a Raleigh-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy. Bob Phillips, welcome to The Critical Hour.

Johanna Fernandez — Filmmaker with Big Noise Films, professor of history at Baruch College (CUNY) and one of the coordinators of The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Netfa Freeman — Host of Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM. Pan-Africanist and internationalist organizer intimately involved with political prisoners' causes, from Mumia Abu Jamal to the Cuban 5, and an organizer with Family & Friends of Incarcerated People.

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