Top 5 Live-WURD Monday November 23
1. Mali Hunts More Suspects In Extremists’ Deadly Attack On Hotel
After gunmen attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital and killed at least 19 people, the authorities are looking for at least three suspects. Two others died Friday.
Jihadist group al-Mourabitoun says it is behind the attacks, and that it conducted the operation along with another al-Qaida affiliate, AQIM, according to government officials.
Al-Mourabitoun was founded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian who had left AQIM — and who was believed killed in a U.S. airstrike back in June. So U.S. officials are trying to determine whether or not he is in fact dead.
Those killed in Friday’s attack include citizens of China, Russia and America; when the hotel was attacked, it held visitors from 14 different countries, officials say. At least 130 hostages were reportedly freed after Malian special forces cleared the hotel floor by floor. Both French and U.S. military personnel were also on the scene.
2. Belgian police mount raids in Brussels and other towns
Belgian armed police mounted raids across the country late on Sunday after the prime minister announced another day of lockdown in the capital for fear a new, Paris-style mass attack may be imminent.
Shortly before midnight, the public broadcaster, announcing several arrests, said the operations had concluded, and a Brussels official said shots had been exchanged.
Earlier in the evening, Prime Minister Charles Michel, speaking after a meeting of security chiefs called to review the threat status, said the capital’s metro, universities and schools would be closed on Monday.
For the rest of the country, a threat level of three on a four-tier scale would remain in place, Michel said. Brussels would remain at level four, meaning an attack was imminent, as it has been since Saturday.
“What we fear is an attack similar to the one in Paris, with several individuals who could possibly launch several attacks at the same time in multiple locations,” Michel told a news conference.
3. Tamir Rice shooting: One year after Cleveland boy was killed, case drags on
The frantic scene unfolded swiftly on Nov. 22, 2014: A police cruiser raced in front of a Cleveland recreation center and rolled up alongside 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
One of the two police officers inside the car jumped out and fired his service weapon twice. Rice, who earlier had been flashing around a toy pellet gun, crumpled onto the snowy soil.
The incident lasted less than two seconds.
The choppy surveillance footage of the fatal shooting stoked public outrage and prompted calls for police reform. The death of the young black boy also became the latest example in the national debate over policing in minority communities and what constitutes a justifiable use of force — a rallying point for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
But a year later, one key question has gone unanswered: Will the officer who pulled the trigger be held criminally culpable?
4. Chicago set to release dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting
Laquan McDonald was walking down a Chicago street the night of October 20, 2014, carrying a four-inch knife and behaving erratically, authorities say.
A police officer told him to drop the knife. He didn’t listen, and the officer fired on him out of fear for his life, according to a police union spokesman.
McDonald, 17, died. He was shot 16 times.
Now, more than a year later, the public will be able to see what happened.
On Thursday, a judge in Chicago ordered the city to release the police dashcam video by Nov. 25. For months, the city has fought attempts to have the video released to the public, saying it could jeopardize any ongoing investigation.
However, in issuing his 18-page decision, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama said the city failed to prove that claim. Valderrama also denied a request by the city’s attorneys to issue a stay in his decision while they appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.
5. Pa. sales tax looks to climb; so does unfairness, critics say
Pennsylvania soon might raise its statewide sales-tax rate to the second highest in the nation, a move that experts say would hit low-income residents the hardest while making local businesses less competitive with nearby Delaware and New Jersey.
In Philadelphia, where a local sales tax is also imposed, the rate would be the second highest among America’s 10 most populous cities.
A framework to end the months-long budget impasse between Gov. Wolf and Republican legislators in Harrisburg includes increasing the sales-tax rate to 7.25 percent to raise $2 billion in new revenue. At least $400 million of that money would go to education. Some of the rest would also be applied to reducing property taxes across the state, although no details have emerged.
In Philadelphia, where additional local sales taxes are imposed, the total rate would be 9.25 percent. Only Chicago, among the country’s 10 most populous cities, would have a higher rate than Philadelphia.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon