The Omitted News March 25 – 30

Hello and welcome to The Omitted by Freddy Brewster and T. William Wallin. We are journalism students at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. and decided to start a newsletter to provide our take on what is in and out of the news. The intention of this newsletter is to provide you with some of the headlines that fell through the cracks. We will mention a few big events and give some analysis, however we will mainly focus on what was left behind. We feel that this is important because these “omitted events” tend to influence our lives just as much as the mainstream announcements. Enjoy!

The Omitted

Monday March 25

  • A Palestinian journalist was acquitted of all charges after she uncovered doctors in Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry were taking bribes in return for writing false medical reports. Hajar Harb was sued by two doctors she investigated and on June 4, 2017, was sentenced to six months in jail and fined with 1,000 shekels. Although Harb never mentioned names in her investigation, she was constantly threatened and received death threats from the doctors. Harb was tried by Gaza authorities while in Jordan receiving breast cancer treatment. Amnesty International has been following Harb’s case since 2016 and “welcomed the decision on Monday.” As of 2018 there has been 77 violations of press freedom in the West Bank and 37 violations in Gaza.
  • Uber and Lyft drivers in Los Angeles are planning to strike due to low wages and bad treatment, according to the Los Angeles Times. The drivers are citing a decrease in pay from 80 cents to 60 cents as a reasoning behind the strike and are demanding that Uber raise its rates by 25 percent. The drivers are classified as independent contractors, which has limited their ability to strike. Watch for more collective action against the companies as they roll out plans for an IPO in the coming weeks.

Tuesday March 26

  • The makers of OxyContin will have to pay $270 million to the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter brought on the lawsuit and alleged that Purdue Pharma played a crucial role in the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma is a facing similar lawsuit in Ohio, where jurisdictions from across the country have consolidated their efforts to sue the company. Purdue Pharma announced that they may file for bankruptcy because of the lawsuits.
  • 1.8 million people in Mozambique are in need of basic life necessities days after Cyclone Idai tore through the country. Aljazeera reported that most survivors “had nothing more than the clothes on their backs.” United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres said over 1 million children are in “need of urgent assistance,” as aid agencies are only supplying “a bucket of drinking water and a large pot of rice.”  

Wednesday March 27

  • Over 17,500 Yemen civilians have been killed by U.S backed strikes according to a new study. Women and children make up for 8,000 of those deaths. The Yemen conflict began with Houthi rebels overthrowing the government in 2014 and the US getting involved in 2015. The U.S supported a host of countries in the Middle East and Europe that lead an opposition attack against the Houthi rebels called Operation Decisive Storm that failed. Recent airstrikes killed seven people, four of them children, when a missile flew through a hospital outside of Saada. Tuesday marked the four year anniversary of the Yemen conflict with thousands protesting in the capital.
  • Anthony Clark has been served a restraining order that denies him access to Sacramento city hall meetings due to his outburst that have caused city hall meetings to shutdown. After Sacramento District Attorney Annie Marie Schubert declined to file charges against Sacramento Police officers in the death of Stephon Clark, large protests ensued and the chambers of city hall have been filled with angry and grieving community members. Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old African American, was unarmed and shot eight times in the back in his grandmother’s backyard. After the DA’s decision a protest took place in East Sacramento that resulted in 84 arrests, including a veteran Sacramento Bee journalist. There have been over 70  unarmed African American males killed by police since 2015 and tensions continue to rise between the African American community and police departments in regards to safety and trust. Stephon Clark’s death follows Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was also unarmed and African American, sparking nationwide protests.

Thursday March 28

  • The nonpartisan and nonprofit award winning news organization The Marshall Project began a new print publication to be distributed in prisons and jails. The publication, News Inside, was created by Lawrence Bartley and is currently circulating in 30 facilities in 19 states. Bartley wrote an essay to The Marshall Project that lead to winning his parole after 27 years in prison. After being released Bartley joined The Marshall Project. “I wanted to share our rich articles with my information-poor former community, particularly those who believe study is a chance for redemption, who sacrifice sleep and risk a misbehavior report to pour over texts books under shaded lamps after lights out, who struggle to find resources to expand their minds,” Bartley said. News Inside is currently fundraising to distribute in all 50 states.
  • There have been over 19 deaths and 50 crashes involving prisoner transportation across state lines with private prisons since 2000, according to an investigation by The Marshall Project. The investigation found private prison transportation businesses to have “gross negligence” and usually avoid responsibility. Private for-profit transportation companies are hired to move prisoners across state lines by state-run law enforcement agencies across the nation. Five passengers of USG7, the largest prisoner transport company, died since 2012 and members of Congress have demanded explanation.

Friday March 29

  • The Maryland state legislature approved of a $15 minimum to be fully implemented by July 1, 2026. The bill was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan but was overrode by the majority Democrat General Assembly. Although the minimum wage is going up, pay for Maryland tipped employees will stay the same at $3.63 an hour.
  • The San Francisco group “Safe Embarcadero for All” has raised $50,000 to stop the building of a 200-bed facility for the homeless. An opposition group, “SAFER Embarcadero for ALL”, has created a rival fundraising campaign to support the new Navigation Center proposed for construction along the Embarcadero. Both groups are using GoFundMe and the executive director for GoFundMe of Redwood City donated to “SAFER Embarcadero for ALL” within a few hours of the page being made. According to the Point-In-Time Census there were nearly 7,500 homeless people on the streets of San Francisco with an estimated number of 20,000 that pass through on a given year. The Navigation Center would be a 24 hour shelter with other services and resources.

Saturday March 30

  • Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return protests in Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians made their way to the Israeli bordered fence in Gaza demanding the return of land they claim was stolen when Israel was founded in 1948. According to Gaza health ministry, over 207 people were injured and four 17-year-olds were killed. Live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas were all used by Israeli forces against the Palestinian protesters. Mohammed Ridwan told Al Jazeera the rally was “completely peaceful” and it was “ample proof that our people will not back down until they gain their legitimate rights.” The Gaza health ministry has also stated nearly 7,000 people were shot and wounded in the past year.


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