Pope apologizes for many religious crimes…excepting abusive church-run schools in Canada

Few leaders have embraced the power of an apology for historical wrongs quite as enthusiastically as Pope Francis and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The former has apologized for the “grave sins” of colonialism in Bolivia, the persecution of Italian Pentecostals and the church’s “failings” during the Rwandan genocide. The latter has said sorry for the execution of six indigenous chiefs by the colonial government of British Columbia, as well as decades of government-sanctioned discrimination against Canada’s LGBT civil servants.

But now, the two are at odds over an apology — or, rather, the lack of one…

“Hearing an apology directly from Pope Francis would have a profound impact for many of our people and would be an important act of healing and reconciliation, much like the apology delivered to the indigenous peoples of the Americas in 2015,” said Perry Bellegarde, the current national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Want to wear that silly little hat…you have to talk the talk and own up for the past.

1st Amendment OK’s recording coppers — Suggestions for staying alive!

Recordings of police officers, whether by witnesses to an incident with officers, individuals who are themselves interacting with officers, or by members of the press, are an invaluable tool in the fight for police accountability. Often, it’s the video alone that leads to disciplinary action, firing, or prosecution of an officer.

This blog post provides some practical tips to record the police legally and safely, and explains some of the legal nuances of recording the police.

What to Know When Recording the Police

* You have the right to record police officers exercising their official duties in public.
* Stay calm and courteous.
* Do not interfere with police officers. If you are a bystander, stand at a safe distance from the scene that you are recording.
* You may take photos or record video and/or audio.
* Police officers cannot order you to move because you are recording, but they may order you to move for public safety reasons even if you are recording.
* Police officers may not search your cell phone or other device without a warrant based on probable cause from a judge, even if you are under arrest. Thus, you may refuse a request from an officer to review or delete what you recorded. You also may refuse to unlock your phone or provide your passcode.
* Despite reasonably exercising your First Amendment rights, police may illegally retaliate against you in a number of ways including with arrest, destruction of your device, and bodily harm. We urge you to remain alert and mindful about this possibility.

Don’t expect cops to obey the law or even know or understand the law. That’s a sad thing to have to say; but, it’s the truth. Staying alive … living to fight another day … gets a lot more done than a photo of your body on the front page of a newspaper.

“Our cause is just” — leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe fighting pipeline construction

❝ High on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, Dave Archambault II knelt and touched a stone that bears a handprint worn into it by thousands of his ancestors who have done the same for centuries.

There, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said a prayer for peace.

❝ Below, Archambault can see Native Americans from across North America gathered at an encampment a half-mile away, joining his tribe’s growing protest against a $3.8 billion four-state oil pipeline that will cross the Missouri River nearby. It’s a project they fear will disturb sacred sites and impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions further downstream.

“Our cause is just,” the laconic, soft-spoken 45-year-old said. “What we do today will make a difference for future generations.”

❝ His contemporaries say he’s the right person at the right time to lead the fight, which has led to the arrests of about 30 people, Archambault included, for interfering with construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

❝ Since becoming the leader of about 9,000 people in 2013, Archambault has sought to improve housing, health care, employment, education and other grim realities that his 2.3 million-acre reservation that straddles the North and South Dakota border and reservations nationwide face.

Now, he’s dealing with added pressure of the pipeline, which he has called yet another “historic wrong involving tribal sovereignty and land rights.

RTFA. Decide which part of history deserves your support: short term profits including construction jobs for a couple of years – or long-term civil rights and sovereignty for a Native American nation simply trying to live in peace.

Egyptian court bans forced virginity tests by military

An Egyptian court has ordered a halt to forced virginity tests on female detainees in military prisons.

The case…was filed by Samira Ibrahim, a woman who said the army forced her to undergo a virginity test in March after she was arrested during a protest in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Human rights organisations say that there have been many other such tests by the military…

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Cairo, said the verdict was cheered by hundreds who had gathered inside the courtroom to hear the ruling read out.

“Today’s verdict to ban any form of virginity test [in military prisons] will be seen by many as vindication for their criticism of the military over the past few months,” our correspondent said…

On January 3, one soldier is to face court martial in the case of the so-called virginity tests, charged with “public indecency and not following orders”…

On March 9, army officers violently cleared Cairo’s Tahrir Square and held at least 18 women in detention. Women said they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to “virginity tests” and threatened with prostitution charges.

Overdue. But, then – there’s a lot that’s overdue in Egypt. Most of which is just as criminal as this brutal treatment of women.