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 Story of the

Assimilation

of Africans

in Mexico 

GLOBAL AFRICAN DIASPORA

THE BOOK OF RABBINICALS

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Wedding 

At Cana 

 

VICTORIA GRIMMETT RABB

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33-Year Exoneration

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Thirty-three years of injustice for Daniel Saldana (right), became a 33-year act of justice May 25 with his freedom from state prison for a crime he did not commit, seen here congratulated by LA County DA George Gascón Screenshot.

Falsely imprisoned more than three decades

LOS ANGELES (MNS)—The wheels of justice do bend slowly for some. No one knows that better than 55-year-old Daniel Saldana, freed from prison after 33 years for attempted murder in 1990.

 

Saldana was liberated after the state reopened his case and determined he was not involved in the crime, Los Angeles County District Atty. George Gascón made the announcement, May 25, amid the release of Saldana.

Twenty-two years old at the time Saldana was convicted in 1990 of opening fire on a car containing six teenagers who were leaving a high school football game in Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles. Two students were wounded but survived.

The attackers mistook the teens for gang members, authorities said.

Saldana worked full-time as a construction worker at the time of the incident. He was one of three men charged with the attack. Convicted of six counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle, Saldana was sentenced to 45 years to life in state prison.

Saldana appeared with Gascón at a press conference announcing his exoneration. He said he was grateful to be freed.

"It's a struggle, every day waking up knowing you're innocent and here I am locked up in a cell, crying for help," Saldana said. "[But] I just knew that one day this was going to come. I'm so grateful. I just thank God."

Said Gascón, "As prosecutors, our duty is not simply to secure convictions but to seek justice. When someone is wrongfully convicted, it is a failure of our justice system and it is our responsibility to right that wrong.

 

"We owe it to the individual wrongfully convicted and to the public that justice is served," Gascón said.

 

Gascón was also joined by Mike Romano, who assisted Saldana and his family throughout the exoneration process. Romano is the Director of Stanford’s Three Strikes Project and serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code.

He credited the DA's office for its due diligence in correcting the injustice, and bringing to light information that was known six years ago. 

 

"I want to thank the District Attorney’s Office, the Conviction Integrity Unit and law enforcement for their hard work and dedication in seeking out the truth about what really happened more than three decades ago," Romano said. "It is disappointing to know that a deputy district attorney was privy to this information over six years ago at a parole hearing but failed to bring it to light.

 

"But we thank the CDCR for bringing this information to the district attorney’s attention in February of this year. We must all work together to help people like Mr. Saldana who are spending their precious years behind bars for an act they did not commit,” Romano said.

On Aug. 31, 2017, it was disclosed during a parole hearing that Saldana was not involved in the shooting in any way and was not present. At the end of February 2023, the Executive Officer of the Board of Parole Hearings provided a copy of the 2017 hearing transcript to the DA's office and thereafter, the office launched an investigation.

The office’s Conviction Integrity Unit realized the importance of this new evidence and quickly sought to prioritize the investigation into the matter. A thorough review of the case was conducted, including an investigation by district attorney investigators in partnership with the Baldwin Park Police Department's probe of new leads.

 

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Torrance cops charged with manslaughter  in death of innocent Black man

LOS ANGELES (MNS)The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office announced that two Torrance police officers have been indicted for the December 2018 fatal shooting of Christopher Deandre Mitchell.

 

“Special Prosecutor Lawrence Middleton was given the independence to reevaluate, investigate and determine whether to pursue criminal prosecution in this case. He thoroughly reviewed and analyzed the evidence and decided to seek a grand jury indictment. We support his decision to do so and we are pleased that the grand jury returned the indictment,” said District Atty. Gascón.

"While there is nothing that can be done to heal the pain for those who loved and cared for Christopher, I hope this provides them with a measure of justice"

A grand jury returned an indictment on March 24, 2023, against Anthony Chavez and Matthew Concan- non for one count each of voluntary manslaughter. Both men pleaded not guilty and were expected to return on May 15 to Department 108 in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center for a pretrial/bail motion review hearing. Bail was set at $100,000 for each defendant.

On Dec. 9, 2018, the two defendants responded to a call about a stolen vehicle and both approached a car with Mitchell, 23, inside. As the officers instructed Mitchell to exit the car, Concannon fired one shot and Chavez fired two more. Mitchell was shot and killed.

The case was investigated by the Torrance Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office.

MARINES JUMPED, BEATEN

SAN CLEMENTE (CNS) - Two Marines were beaten by a group of teenagers and the Orange County Sheriff's Department today was searching for the attackers.

 

The melee began about 9:15 p.m. Friday near the pier located at the end of Avenida del Mar, and OCSD deputies responded to the site, according to sheriff's spokesman Mike Woodroof.
 

The pair of marines were treated at the scene for minor injuries to their hands, knees, abdomens and heads, but they refused to go to a hospital, Woodroof said.


It's unclear how many people attacked the two men, but Woodroof said the number was likely somewhere between 10 and 30.


A minute-long video which has circulated online captured the brawl. In the video the Marines are seen on the ground trying to shield themselves from the attack. One of the Marines told CBS Los Angeles that the crowd was setting off firecrackers and, when debris hit him the face, he asked the group to move on.
 

One of the teens then took a swing at the back of the victim's head, and the Marine turned around and charged at his attacker, which set off the crowd, he told the station. The group then circled the two Marines and begin punching and kicking them, using racial slurs and curse words, he said.
 

A neighbor recorded the incident, the station reported.

 

The brawl appears to come to an end after two individuals, a man and a woman, step in, telling the group to stop, the station reported. Woodroof said the investigation was ongoing, and the attackers could
face charges that include assault with a deadly weapon and/or assault and battery.


Anyone with information regarding the incident, was asked to call San Clemente Police at 949-770-6011.

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Soulja Boy must pay 200K to alleged female assault victim

SANTA MONICA (CNS)—A jury has ordered Soulja Boy to pay more than $200,000 to a woman who alleged the rapper yelled profan- ities, kicked her, stomped on her stomach and bashed her head with a large gun during a party she attended at his Malibu home in 2019.


The Santa Monica Superior Court panel reached its verdict on April 22, directing the 32-year-old performer to pay $235,900 to plaintiff Kayla Christine Myers, all but $1,800 of which is to compensate her for her pain and suffering. The jury also found that the singer acted with malice, oppression or fraud, triggering a second phase of trial to deter- mine whether Myers should be awarded punitive damages.


Myers alleged Soulja Boy, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, held the gun to her head and told her she was going to die the night of Feb. 1, 2019. Myers also maintained

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According to court testimony, Soulja Boy, aka DeAndre Cortez Way, held a gun to plaintiff Kayla Christine Myers' head on the night of Feb. 1, 2019, and told her she was going to die.

the rapper then instructed an assistant to take the plaintiff inside the garage and tie her up with duct tape, and that she was later dragged by her hair inside the house and forced to take two showers.


Myers was led to the home's garage and left there for four hours while the female assistant and another man watched over her, according to the suit brought in January 2020.


According to Myers, she was eventually allowed to leave and was hospitalized with three fractured ribs and a facial contusion. Soulja Boy denied assaulting Myers or any other wrongdoing and alleged she was the
aggressor in the confrontation with the singer's assistant.

Key words: Soulja Boy, rapper, assault, woman, Malibu

Raft of new California laws in effect 

By NATALIE HANSON, Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO (CN)—Emerging into the new year, Californians will see historic new laws take effect that range from tackling climate change to protecting workers’ pay and women’s right to reproductive health care. 

 

"California leads, and we do so by following our moral compass and staying true to our values," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Dec. 9.

The governor positioned California as a leader in advocating for women’s health and freedom to choose, adding the statewide constitutional amendment Proposition 1 to the ballot which the majority of voters approved. Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s bill Assembly Bill 1242 prohibits law enforcement and California corporations from cooperating with or providing information to out-of-state entities regarding a lawful abortion performed in California. It also prohibits law enforcement from knowingly arresting a person for aiding a lawful abortion in California.

Quita Tinsley Peterson, interim executive director of ACCESS Reproductive Justice in California, said AB 1242 and Proposition 1 ensure the work for reproductive rights can benefit not only state residents, but visitors seeking health care "in the face of such harsh criminalization of abortion and targeting of abortion access."

"People have been really been paying attention to abortion access in the country this year because of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and as states across the country are starting to implement their abortion bans —and in some cases even worsen their bans," Tinsley Peterson said.

 

The California Future of Abortion Council has released recommendations for the next legislative session and noted that as of Nov. 13, states had total abortion bans in effect—eight with pre-viability gestational limits and five with bans temporarily blocked by court challenges. The council and state Attorney General Rob Bonta say that about a third of people who can become pregnant live in a state where abortion is not legal or is severely restricted. 

"It’s a very scary time in the U.S. around abortion access, but for Californians, I want folks to remember that advocates, organizations, reproductive leaders on the ground and providers have been working really hard to ensure that abortion access in California is solidified and expanded for folks living here and folks traveling here," Peterson said. "Don’t get lost in the despair; here in California we’re doing everything we can to make sure folks have the care they want and need."

Artists will have stronger protections over their work in California under Assembly Bill 2799, which restricts the use of creative content like song lyrics and music videos against artists by requiring judges in criminal proceedings to balance the probative value of creative content as evidence against the "substantial danger of undue prejudice." 

 

The bill also requires a court to consider that undue prejudice includes the possibility that creative expres- sion could be treated as evidence of a defendant's propensity for violence, as well as the possibility that the evidence will inject racial bias into the proceedings.

 

Women purchasing necessities from razors to sanitary products will no longer pay more for goods mar- keted to them that are similar to others—known as "the pink tax." Assembly Bill 1287 prohibits anyone from charging a different price for goods marketed to women.

 

The state’s sidewalk street vendors now have an easier route to obtain health permits with Senate Bill 972. Newsom said the bill not only increases community health and safety, it also helps vendors formally enter the economy to build their business and provide for their families.

With the passage of Senate Bill 1322, California now requires oil companies to post how much money they’re making off of residents on their websites.

And Senate Bill 1162 is designed to close the pay gap for many workers by expanding existing transpar- ency laws, which mandate pay data reporting by employee gender, race and ethnicity.

"California has the strongest equal pay laws in the nation, but we’re not letting up on our work to ensure all women in our state are paid their due and treated equally in all spheres of life," said Newsom. "These measures bring new transparency to tackle pay gaps, end discriminatory pricing of products based on gender and expand supports for survivors of abuse and assault."

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, a Democrat from Bell Gardens and chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, said the Covid-19 pandemic spurred lawmakers to action.

"The reality is that these issues existed long before the pandemic, but the pandemic further exacerbated and highlighted the work we need to do to lift up all women, especially low-income women of color, and has given us a greater sense of urgency," she said.

Assembly Bill 1705 requires community colleges to enroll students in transfer-level math and English courses if the program they want to transfer into requires it. The new law aims to remove barriers to degree completion and help students meet academic and career goals.

Senate Bill 1183 looks to ensure that children in California from ages 0-5 will be able to sign up for free books in both English and Spanish from Dolly Parton’s “Imagination Library” program. 

And California will begin celebrating new state holidays in honor of its diverse communities. In 2023, Lunar New Year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and Juneteenth will be state holidays.

Carl Luna, director at University of San Diego’s Institute for Civil Civic Engagement, said in an interview that while California made incremental changes in 2022 on homelessness, climate protection and income inequality, "there was nothing fundamentally earthshaking this year."

"Newsom is staking himself out as a bit of a neo-Jerry Brown, blocking/tempering the more progressive/left inclinations of a state legislature dominated by Democrats, positioning himself as moderate pragmatist," Luna said. "That precludes transformative/bold new actions."

Luna pointed to wealthy countries in Europe and Asia making bolder moves to try to eliminate home lessness with a constitutional right to housing. He said California could start addressing income inequality by passing fundamental corporate reform, reining in Big Oil and corporations, requiring workers and communities to be represented on corporate boards, enforcing windfall profit laws and working with the feds to weaken monopolies “that call California home.”

“That, however, would require political risk-taking, in a California where senior elected officials are the advancement conveyor belt,” Luna said. “So look to 2023 to move the needle incrementally on critical issues as well, but look to after 2024 for anything truly status quo-shaking to emerge.”

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Weather Forecast by the numbers

Southland to see cooler temps, some light rain This Week

Metropolis News Service
 

LOS ANGELES (MNS)—Cooler temperatures are on the way to theSouthland this week with some rain, forecasters said. An unseasonably cold storm system will move over the region between Tuesday and Thursday, bringing rain and mountain snow, gusty winds and slight chance of thunderstorms, according to the

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the National Weather Service.


Drizzle and light rain was forecast for Los Angeles and Orange counties Sunday night and Monday morning, with the potential for heavier rainfall Tuesday through Thursday, especially Thursday.
 

In the Antelope Valley, a wind advisory was in effect until 10 p.m. Sunday, with gusts expected to reach up to 45 mph.


Sunday's high of about 70 degrees in downtown Los Angeles was expected to drop to 62 Monday and 59 on Tuesday, with highs of 62 forecast Wednesday and Thursday. Highs were expected to linger in the low 60s in much of Los Angeles and Orange County through at least Thursday.


The NWS predicted a ``good chance of a warming and drying trend for late week.''

SILVERLAKE

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REPLENISHED. Sprawling Silverlake, in the shadow of downtown Los Angeles, which had been reduced to a literal dust- bowl in wake of the worst drought in California history, has been replenished to near capacity doe to the recent heavy rains throughout the state.

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