New information revealed in redacted Chicago Police Department reports from the Jussie Smollett criminal investigation calls into question the actor's claim that a check he wrote to two brothers for $3,500 was for fitness training, CBS Chicago reports.
The brothers -- Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, who are of Nigerian descent -- told police Smollett paid them $3,500 to help stage a racist, anti-gay attack on him.
Authorities still believe Smollett concocted the attack in which he said two masked men beat him in late January. He also said they yelled, "This is MAGA country" -- an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
No, he didn't say two men attacked him, he said two White men attacked him.
He's a liar and EMPIRE is pure crap. How dare Taraji. Screw her. I can't with her anymore. She's dead to me, just a cheap hustler willing to do anything for a buck.
Somebody explain to trashy Taraji that the Image Awards are about us being thrilled to embrace you because you represent something, you stand for something.
The only thing Taraji stands for is currency. Pay her so she can go home already.
There's one angle that still remains unresolved: a week before Smollett said he was attacked, a letter arrived at the "Empire" production offices in Chicago threatening Smollett. U.S. Postal Inspectors investigated opening the door to a potential federal case if it’s found the U.S. Mail was used to carry out a hoax.
Detectives' notes said the Osendairo brothers "stated they had absolutely nothing to do with that letter. Both were emphatic about the denial.”
There's no response from the feds on whether they’re considering making a case.
Just cancel the show already. It's nothing. My grandma watched it tonight and called me. She said, "So they're trying to save Empire. Again. And Cookie thinks Lucious is cheating. Again. It's all a bunch of agains. It's like they're circling the block repeatedly looking for a parking place." She said it, didn't she? Pull the plug.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Last week's tragedy in Iraq left at least 120 dead. What will the next tragedy be? It's a question worth asking considering the government refused to follow the policies in place that should have prevented the ferry from even being on the water last week. It's a question worth asking as Basra faces rising water.
Large agricultural areas have drowned in Basra south of Iraq due to the floods .
Flooding? In the city where clean water is something the government's unable/unwilling to provide.
That was among the reasons that protests started in Basra last July. Over 100,000 (official Iraqi government figure) were hospitalized for drinking the water.
Half of all households in #Iraq are at risk from drinking contaminated water. In spite of the attention that last year's protests and illnesses in Basra brought to the problem, it seems that weak governance is impeding efforts to address it.
The western press may not be talking about it but others are and this is a known in Iraq -- a known that is not being addressed. The government remains non-responsive to the people.
When it is a misfortune and when is it an injustice?
Political theorist Judith N, Shklar grappled with that issue in THE FACES OF INJUSTICE. She noted:
When is a disaster a misfortune and when is it an injustice? . . . If the dreadful event is caused by the external forces of nature, it's a misfortune and we must resign ourselves to our suffering. Should, however, some ill-intentioned agent, human or supernatural, have brought it about, then it is an injustice and we may express indignation and outrage.
Grasp that any misfortune that arises in Basra due to the flooding will not be a misfortune, it will be an injustice. There has been more than enough time to address this. The government continues to ignore it.
The government doesn't do much of anything, do they? They sacked the governor of Nineveh Province over the ferry disaster. Or 'sacked' him.
Dropping back to Monday's snapshot:
Alissa J. Rubin and Falih Hassan (NEW YORK TIMES) report:
In a rare show of deference to the anger of Mosul citizens over government abuses, the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to remove the province’s governor, citing accusations of corruption, self-dealing and negligence.
Although Mosul citizens had pleaded with the central government to remove the governor for more than two years, it was only after a ferry disaster brought angry citizens into the street that senior political figures decided to act.
They note that Nuafal Hammadi "had held the job since 2015." They fail to note how the previous governor departed or that this was not the first government effort to remove Hammadi.
December 28, 2017, KURDISTAN 24 reported:
So they actually sacked him in 2017 and he refused to step down? Interesting. You don't suppose he might respond in a similar way today, do you?
So he is again refusing to step down.
Hmm . . .
Oh, they're going to arrest him. Like they did Atheel al-Nujaifi?
If you just asked "who?," then you may be a member of the western press. Atheel was governor of Nineveh. He was sacked. (Replaced with the current governor who refuses to be fired.) And then? Well he's Sunni. So the Shi'ite-based government issued an arrest warrant for him like they do for so many Sunni officials (most infamously with Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi -- Atheel, by the way, is the brother of another Sunni Vice President of Iraq, Osama al-Nujaifi). He was arrested when? Never. All these years later, never.
Arrest warrants are little more than threats in Iraq. For years, the puppet government, at the request of the US government, held one on Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr. The warrant is probably sill around today but it has no legal standing at this point and everyone's long ago grasped that arresting Moqtada would result in rioting and unrest.
Will the arrest warrant be executed on the current I-am-staying governor?
History would indicate "no." However, don't put the Magic 8 Ball down just yet. Adil Abdul-Mahdi isn't have much luck with anything these days, is he?
Like US President Donald Trump, Mahdi likes to pretend that ISIS is over in Iraq. Even though this week saw an attack using suicide bombers (three). It's not over and what it might morph into next is even scarier.
He likes to pretend he can govern. But he still does not have a full Cabinet. More to the point, the security posts of Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior remain vacant. What happened the last time they were vacant? Oh, right, ISIS rose and seized Mosul. He was supposed to have a full Cabinet by the end of October. He did not. He promised it would take place in the next month. Don't know about you, but my calendar shows November to be the next month after October. Then he said it would be in the new year. April is a week away and the posts are still vacant.
He's failed to address corruption. He's failed to address the protests of the people in Basra or anywhere else.
A big for-show arrest might boost his image. So don't rule out an arrest completely.
Let's wind down with this from Burn Pits 360:
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