Finally. Whether justice will be done is a whole other matter, but at least charges have finally been leveled.
Zimmerman Attorney Defends ‘Troubled’ Client: ‘It Must Be Frightening Not To Be Able To Go Into A 7/11’: On the rainy night he was gunned down by George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was walking back to his father’s house from a nearby 7/11 with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Zimmerman was advised by police not to confront Trayvon, but ended up shooting someone whom he referred to as one “these a**holes.”
In trying to portray his client in as sympathetic terms as possible, Zimmerman’s new attorney Mark O’Mara said this evening that Zimmerman is “troubled by everything that has happened.” O’Mara added, “Truly, it must be frightening to not be able to go into a 7/11 or into a store and literally to be in fact a prisoner wherever he was.” [thinkprogress/Faiz Shakir/11 Apr 2012]
Zimmerman charged with 2nd degree murder: A state investigator has ruled Zimmerman can’t be charged with first-degree murder. On Wednesday, however, a special state prosecutor announced that Zimmerman would be charged with second-degree murder and was in police custody. The state’s prosecutor said police investigators needed to take the time necessary to establish probable cause and decried the publicity surrounding it, saying it could prevent selecting an unbiased jury. However, without the national outcry, it is questionable whether any charges would have been forthcoming. [alternet/11 Apr 2012]
Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder: [Special Prosecutor Angela Corey] said that Zimmerman has surrendered to authorities in Florida and has been arrested. The charge carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
…[Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET] Zimmerman’s new attorney, Mark O’Mara, said that he expects to file a motion seeking bond for Zimmerman on Thursday. Currently, Zimmerman is being held without opportunity for bond.
…”He’s concerned about getting a fair trial and a fair presentation,” O’Mara said. “There’s obviously been a lot of information flowing. I think a lot of it has been premature and inappropriate.” [Mark O'Mara] [If Zimmerman had only been half as concerned with Martin's getting fair treatment, none of this would have happened.] [cnn/11 Apr 2012]
BREAKING: Mayor Bloomberg Announces National Campaign Against “Stand Your Ground” Laws: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with leaders of national African-American organizations and others, today announced a national campaign to repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws that have passed in 25 states.
…Bloomberg’s official announcement [care2/Judy Molland/11 Apr 2012]
Conservative Billionaire Foster Friess Makes Obama Assassination Joke: Foster Friess, the billionaire conservative donor who almost singled-handily funded the Super PAC backing Rick Santorum and has now vowed to support Mitt Romney, made a joke about an assassination attempt on President Obama. In an interview on Fox Business, Friess said, “There are a lot of things that haven’t been hammered at because Rick and Mitt have been going at each other. Now that they have trained their barrels on President Obama, I hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof.” In a follow-up interview with ABC, he said he regretted the remark. [thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/12 Apr 2012]
Allen West Strikes Again With Crazy McCarthyite Rant: Calls House Members Communists: Everyone’s favorite mouthing-off ultra conservative politician Allen West has done it again, this time emulating Joseph McCarthy in a classic rant back home in Florida. [AlterNet/Sarah Seltzer/11 Apr 2012]
Romney Camp Fumbles Equal Pay For Women Question: Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked during a press call this morning if Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which assists women in working to get equal work for equal pay. This bill was the first legislation President Obama signed into law, and conservative Republicans of the sort that make up the GOP base have been agitating for its repeal ever since. The response: “We’ll get back to you.” Somebody on Team Romney realized that this wasn’t the best way to try and prove to women voters that the GOP really isn’t at war on them, so an hour later, they tried again, stating that Romney did after all back the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Of course, this might sound a little more convincing if the Republican female legislators Mitt’s using for human shields, Mary Bono Mack and Cathy McMorris, hadn’t both voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act. It might also have helped a bit if Romney, when he was in Wisconsin cuddling up to the anti-woman Paul Ryan and his bad joke of a budget, had anything besides warm-and-fuzzy words for Scott Walker, who just signed the bill repealing the Wisconsin version of the Lilly Ledbetter Act. [phoenixwoman/11 Apr 2012]
Mississippi Considers Banning Abortions 6 Weeks After Gestation, Even In Cases Where Women’s Health Is At Risk: Lawmakers in Mississippi have resurrected the so-called “heartbeat” bill, a measure which “equates abortion of a fetus with a detectable heartbeat to child homicide.” A physician who performs an abortion where a fetal heartbeat is present “could face the maximum 30 years” and some women would be required to undergo “a transvaginal ultrasound to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present.”
Under the measure, pregnancies that result from “rape or incest or that would endanger the life of the mother” are exempt from the requirement, but those that would pose health risks are not [thinkprogress/Igor Volsky/11 Apr 2012]
Two Immigrants Killed in Ambush by Arizona Gunmen: Two people were killed on Sunday night when “an unknown number of subjects in camouflage clothing armed with rifles” ambushed a truck carrying 20 to 30 undocumented immigrants near the southern Arizona town of Eloy,” according to the Pima County sheriff’s department.
…This is not the first deadly attack by people reportedly dressed in paramilitary-style gear in the area. In 2007, four men armed with an assault weapon and wearing camouflage and berets ambushed a vehicle 40 miles north of Eloy and killed a smuggling suspect and wounded another person.
The attack comes as the Arizona legislature is considering a bill that would create a volunteer, state-sponsored and fully armed militia to aid the Border Patrol along the United States-Mexico border. Militia members would be able to pursue, arrest and detain individuals. The 300-person militia would cost taxpayers $1.4 million annually and would be under the control of the governor. [Truthout/Mike Ludwig/11 Apr 2012]
“I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last sixty years, but that son of a bitch is still there.” — Ozzie Guillen
In Defense of Ozzie Guillen: The Marlins hired an opinionated coach and now are suspending him for being who he is. Isn’t voicing unpopular opinions something that can get you jailed in Cuba? [progressive/Elizabeth DiNovella/11 Apr 2012]
Tony Blair channels Ronald Reagan, “doesn’t remember” sending dissidents to Libya for torture: When the Qaddafi regime fell in Libya, the headquarters of the secret police were occupied by the rebel forces, who retrieved a large quantity of memos and documents detailing the cooperation between western governments and the Qaddafi regime, including the sale and maintenance of network surveillance equipment, and, notoriously, the use of Qaddafi’s torturers on suspected terrorists who were secretly rendered to Libya by western intelligence agencies.
One set of documents show that the UK intelligence service worked to kidnap and render Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife, Fatima Bouchar, for a horrific round of torture that was directly overseen by UK intelligence agents, with the knowledge of the CIA.
Now Tony Blair, who was prime minister of Britain at the time of the illegal kidnapping and torture, denies having any recollection of the programme, and insists that Libya was a fine partner in the war on terror. [boingboing/Cory Doctorow/11 Apr 2012]