It's Friday: that means it's panel time, as we discuss the major stories of the week.
Five officers are injured and five civilians are dead, including the gunman in Aurora, Illinois. The incident occurred at Henry Pratt Company manufacturing plant. The suspected gunman in Friday's mass shooting has been identified as Gary Martin. The 45-year-old was an employee at the business where the shooting occurred. We'll discuss the latest in the case.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid have reached a settlement with the NFL concerning their collusion grievances against the league. Attorney Mark Geragos and the NFL said in a joint statement issued earlier today, "The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement, so there will be no further comment by any party." Kaepernick charged that the NFL and its owners "have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States." Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. I think it is interesting and telling that Kaepernick did not go through the NFL Players Association in filing the grievance but instead hired Geragos, a high-profile attorney.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday in a bid to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats have vowed to challenge as a violation of the US Constitution. He also signed a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday. The legislation would fund nine Cabinet departments and dozens of other agencies through September 30, removing — for now — the threat of another government shutdown. It provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new fences along the border in Texas, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had sought for 234 miles of steel walls. The final number for border barriers is also less than deals that were on the table last year before Trump pushed the government into a record, 35-day shutdown. So, did he get a worse deal than he was offered before?
The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether the Trump administration may add a question about citizenship to the next census questionnaire. Critics say that adding the question would undermine the accuracy of the census, because both legal and unauthorized immigrants might refuse to fill out the form. By one government estimate, about 6.5 million people might decide not to participate. That could reduce Democratic representation when Congressional districts are drawn in 2021 and affect the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending.
A month into Venezuela's high-stakes political crisis, President Nicolas Maduro revealed in an Associated Press interview that his government has held secret talks with the Trump administration. He also predicted he would survive the US-led coup to force his resignation. While harshly criticizing US President Donald Trump's confrontational stance toward his socialist government, Maduro said Thursday that he holds out hope of meeting the US president soon to resolve a crisis triggered by America's recognition of his opponent, Juan Guaido, as Venezuela's rightful leader.
Now approaching nearly a year after the April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria — which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases throughout Damascus — a BBC reporter who investigated the incident on the ground has issued public statements saying the "Assad sarin attack" on Douma was indeed "staged." Riam Dalati is a well-known BBC Syria producer who has long reported from the region. He shocked his nearly 20,000 twitter followers on Wednesday by stating that after a "six-month investigation" he had concluded, "I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged." What's going on here?
Colin Campbell — PhD student in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University's School of Communication. He has been a TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC, correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large, covering two presidencies, Congress and the State Department.
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
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