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US: Portland calm as federal agents hand over to local police | News

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The first nightly protest in downtown Portland, Oregon after a deal was struck for the withdrawal of federal agents guarding a court was largely peaceful and ended on Friday without any major confrontations between state police and demonstrators.

The scene outside the federal court that started with yet another demonstration on Thursday night stood in sharp contrast to the two weeks of violent clashes between the protesters and the agents sent by President Donald Trump to quell the unrest in Oregon’s largest city.

State and local officers stepped up their presence as part of the deal between Democratic Governor Kate Brown and the Trump administration to draw down the number of United States agents at the demonstrations that have taken place in the city for more than 60 days following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Portland’s federal court became a target for protesters, with the demonstrators trying to tear down a fence that was erected to protect it, lighting fires at the court’s entryway and hurling objects at the agents holed up inside. The agents most nights fired tear gas in return.

But at Thursday night’s protest, there was little violence and few signs of confrontation as several thousand people gathered near the court, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

A handful of protesters pointed lights and lasers at the building at about 10pm local time on Thursday, but state troopers remained inside and did not respond.

About 30 minutes later, hundreds of demonstrators gathered about a block from the court to listen to speeches. There was little sign of a law enforcement presence. The mood remained calm at 1am on Friday as the crowd dwindled to about 500 demonstrators.

In preparation for the law enforcement handover from federal authorities, state troopers, the local sheriff and Portland police met and agreed not to use tear gas except in situations with a threat of serious injury or death, Mayor Ted Wheeler said.

Wheeler, who was tear gassed when he joined protesters outside the court last week, added that tear gas “as a tactic really isn’t all that effective” because protesters have donned gas masks and often return to the action after recovering for a few minutes.

The Democrat also apologised to peaceful demonstrators exposed to tear gas used by Portland police before federal officials arrived.

Under the deal announced by Brown, the agents will withdraw in phases. But federal officials said the agents will not leave the city completely and will be kept on standby. 

Acting Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf said on Thursday that National Guard troops could be sent in should state police be overrun.

Separately, a DHS spokesman said Wolf had ordered an intelligence unit to stop collecting information on American journalists covering protests in Portland after a media report on the practice.

US newspaper The Washington Post on Thursday reported that the department compiled “intelligence reports” on journalists using a government system meant to share information about suspected “terrorists” and violent actors.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said he believes the new collaboration between local law enforcement agencies will be seen “as a victory in many ways”.

Portland police are set to take over from federal agents after a deal was made with the Trump administration[John Rudoff/Anadolu]

“A lot of people came out to express their displeasure of folks from the federal government here and engaging in crowd control with members of our community,” Lovell said. “So I’m hoping that on many levels that people are happy in this development.”

Portland’s demonstrations have attracted up to 10,000 people for peaceful marches and rallies. The violence that has emerged was increasingly directed at federal property.

The US government had arrested 94 people as of Wednesday. Over the past two months of protests, Lovell said the city police department made more than 400 arrests and tried many strategies to deescalate the confrontations.

“It’s been a long two months,” he said.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Court Dismisses Appeal by Former CMB Employees

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A panel of three Justices of the Court of Appeal have dismissed with costs a case filed by three representatives of 1,568 Uganda Coffee Marketing Board workers who were retrenched between 1992 – 1998 and were entitled to payment as per the Auditor General’s report of 13th November 2009.

These rushed to the Court of Appeal challenging High court decision in which Government was ordered to compensate them but they disagreed with the interest rate awarded.

The three applicants (now appellants); Basiima Kabonesa, Solome Adumo and James Musoke in 2014 dragged the Government (Attorney General) and the Management of Uganda Coffee Marketing Board (under liquidation) to court on behalf of 1,568 other workers seeking to be compensated with more than Shs 10Billion with damages and costs

On 22July 2015, the parties entered a consent Judgement where it was agreed that the plaintiffs shall be paid a sum of Shs 10,330,013,506 as total terminal benefits with an additional ten million shillings each as damages

Court then granted this sum, which was to be shared equally by all workers with 10% interest per annum on the Principle sum from date of consent Judgement up to full payment and 6% on aggravated damages from judgment date up to full payment.

However, the petitioners were not satisfied with the total sum of aggravated damages awarded to them as well as the interest on Principal sum which they described as low.

On top of that, they claimed that the trial judge erred when he awarded interest on Principal sum from judgment date to full payment instead of running from date of retrenchment to full payment.

In their unanimous judgement, justices Remmy Kasule, Godfrey Kiryabwire and Monica Mugenyi noted that the trial judge was within the law by awarding interest on terminal benefits from date of judgement.

The justices also concurred with the High Court decision of awarding the plaintiff one billion shillings as costs that have to be shared equally by all beneficiaries since the trial judge based on the condition that the consent judgment was against the Government.

Each party was ordered bare its costs at High court while the appellants were ordered to pay the costs at the appeal level.

The post Court Dismisses Appeal by Former CMB Employees first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees

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A panel of three justices of Court of Appeal have dismissed with costs an appeal filed before them by three representatives of 1,568 workers who were retrenched between 1992 to 1998 and entitled to payment as per Auditor General report of 13th November 2009.

These rushed to the Court of Appeal challenging the High court decision in which Government was ordered to compensate them but they didn’t agree with the interest rate which was imposed on the said money.

The three applicants (now appellants) Basiima Kabonesa, Solome Adumo and James Musoke, in 2014 dragged the Government of Uganda (Attorney General) and the Management of Uganda Coffee Marketing Board (under liquidation)  to court on behalf of other 1,568 workers seeking to be compensated more than ten billion shillings with damages and costs

On 22nd July 2015, the parties entered into a consent Judgment where it was agreed that the plaintiffs shall be paid a sum of ten billion three hundred thirty million thirteen thousand five hundred six (Shs 10,330,013,506) as total terminal benefits with an additional ten million shillings each as damages.

High Court would later okay this decision in which it awarded the plaintiffs aggravated damages totaling ten billion shillings which had to be shared equally by all of them with 10% interest per annum on Principle sum from the date of consent Judgment up to full payment and 6% on aggravated damages from judgment date up to full payment.

However, these were not satisfied with the total sum of aggravated damages awarded to them as well as the interest on the Principal sum which they described as “very low.”

The appellants also claimed that the trial judge erred when he awarded interest on Principal sum from judgment date to full payment instead of running from date of retrenchment to full payment.

In their unanimous judgment, justices Remmy Kasule, Godfrey Kiryabwire and Monica Mugenyi noted that the trial judge exercised under the law by awarding interest on terminal benefits from date of judgment.

“In terms of provisions in section 26(2) of the CPA for award of interest from date of suit, it seems to be resolved that so far, as the consent Judgment resolved, the dispute between the parties inter-allia leaving out the claim of aggravated damages and terminal benefits, the date of consent judgment redefined as between them,” reads part of the judgment.

The justices also concurred with the High Court decision of awarding the plaintiff one billion shillings as costs that have to be shared equally by all beneficiaries since the trial judge based on the condition that the consent was against the Government and  already made concessions involving colossal sums of public money.

Each party was ordered bare its costs at High Court well as the appellants were ordered to pay the costs at the appeal level.

The post Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Britain’s unequal troop commemorations due to ‘pervasive racism’ | Racism News

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Inquiry by Commonwealth War Graves Commission finds Black and Asian troops who fought for Empire were not properly memorialised.

As many as 350,000 Black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire might not have been commemorated in the same way as their white comrades because of “pervasive racism”, a report has concluded.

The inquiry commissioned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), in its report released on Thursday, says that between 45,000 and 54,000 individuals of predominantly Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin who died during World War I were commemorated “unequally”.

“A further 116,000 casualties [predominantly, but not exclusively, East African and Egyptian personnel] but potentially as many as 350,000, were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all,” the report said.

The CWGC works to commemorate those from Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two world wars and to ensure all those killed are remembered in the same way, with their name engraved either on a headstone over an identified grave or on a memorial to the missing.

It issued an apology in the wake of the inquiry’s findings.

“The events of a century ago were wrong then and are wrong now,” said Claire Horton, head of the CWGC. “We recognise the wrongs of the past and are deeply sorry and will be acting immediately to correct them.”

‘Watershed moment’

The CWGC commissioned the report in December 2019 after Unremembered, an investigative television documentary presented by opposition Labour Party MP and shadow justice secretary David Lammy.

The Unremembered investigation found that Africans killed in World War I had not been treated equally and revealed an example of a British governor saying: “The average native of the Gold Coast would not understand or appreciate a headstone.”

It also uncovered how African soldiers’ graves were abandoned in Tanzania, while European officers’ resting places continued to be maintained.

According to Thursday’s report, another officer, who later worked for the CWGC’s predecessor – the Imperial War Graves Commission, had said: “Most of the natives who died are of a semi-savage nature”, and concluded that erecting headstones would be a waste of public money.

The inquiry said decisions that led to the failure to commemorate the dead properly – or even at all – was the result of a lack of information, errors inherited from other organisations, and the opinions of colonial administrators.

“Underpinning all these decisions, however, were the entrenched prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes,” the report concluded.

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace was expected to address Parliament about the findings later on Thursday.

Lammy hailed the report as a “watershed moment”.

“No apology can ever make up for the indignity suffered by the Unremembered,” he tweeted.

“However, this apology does offer the opportunity for us as a nation to work through this ugly part of our history – and properly pay our respects to every soldier who has sacrificed their life for us … The arc of history is long but it bends towards the truth.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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