Justice system


For more than 50 years, Jay Lieberfarb saved people from the waters off of Jones Beach. But three years ago, Nassau County told him he wasn’t good enough to save people from the Eisenhower Park Aquatic Center’s swimming pool.

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Lieberfarb, a Valley Stream resident for 15 years, launched an age discrimination suit against the county after he was dismissed from his job when he was 71 years old, and the case was recently settled for $65,000. “I’m satisfied,” he said. “I thought it was a fair settlement.”

The lawsuit was actually brought against the county by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Lieberfarb will receive full back pay, but Nassau County does not have to rehire him. He said he doesn’t want the job back anyway, and is happy with his new position — working as a lifeguard at Hofstra University’s pool.

Lieberfarb, now 74, said the issue began when Nassau County ordered its lifeguards to take a swimming test, which he said was unexpected. Lifeguards had to swim both 50 meters and 200 meters within a certain time. He did not meet the time requirements and was told he could take the test again the next week.

He was suspended without pay, and given one week to get ready to take the test again, he said. Lieberfarb passed the 50 meter test, but strained a calf before doing 200 meters. Again, he said he was given another week and was told to produce a doctor’s note. Two days later, he was fired.

In between his firing and bringing the matter to the attention of the EEOC, Lieberfarb said that hundreds of other lifeguards took the same test, and several failed. “Nobody else was suspended or terminated and they were all under the age of 25 and I was over the age of 70,” he said. “I was the only one they treated this way.”

Lieberfarb said he was able to produce records that showed that no other lifeguards were penalized as a result of failing a test, and said he believes that is what put his case over the top.

Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli said the settlement admits no wrongdoing by the county. He said the county was willing to give Lieberfarb back pay, but did not want to rehire him because of the failed swim test, “which is really not a good thing for lifeguards,” Ciampoli said.

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“This was a case that we inherited from the prior administration,” Ciampoli said. “In light of all the underlying facts, we entered into a settlement.”

Ciampoli added that county officials are committed to ensuring that all of its employment practices follow the law, and that employees and supervisors are properly trained.

“We have been very proactive with programs on workplace discrimination,” Ciampoli said. “This is the type of area where a little bit of training can make a huge difference in terms of what you experience down the road in court cases.”

Kevin Berry, the director of EEOC’s New York District, said that employers need to take action to prevent age discrimination in the work place. “Employers cannot treat their older workers less favorably than their younger employees,” he said. “They must be treated in the same manner as all others.”

When Lieberfarb was a member of the swim team at Adelphi University, many of his teammates were lifeguards at Jones Beach. They recommended it to him as a summer job, so Lieberfarb began working there in 1956. He moved up the ranks, and eventually became a captain. “Little did I know that 56 years later, I’d still be working as a lifeguard,” he said, noting that he made hundreds of rescues during his half-century at Jones Beach.

A retired school teacher in New York City, Lieberfarb said he plans to remain a lifeguard as long as he continues to pass his certification tests. He added that he is glad to now have the discrimination suit settled and behind him.

 

By Andrew Hackmack, Valley Stream Herald (New York)

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — It was clear from the bod­ies laid out in the park­ing lot of the ma­ter­ni­ty hos­pi­tal here that it had as­sumed new du­ties: No longer a place that wel­comed new life, it was now a make­shift morgue.

Oth­er bod­ies lay in hall­ways and on the floor of the kitchen at Hi­lal Emi­rati Ma­ter­ni­ty Hos­pi­tal. In the walk-in cool­er, they were stacked three high, wait­ing for rel­a­tives to claim them for burial.

Sat­ur­day was the sec­ond day of heavy bom­bard­ment by Is­raeli forces on this city on Gaza’s bor­der with Egypt af­ter Is­rael’s an­nounce­ment that one of its of­fi­cers had been cap­tured by Pal­es­tin­ian mil­i­tants here dur­ing a clash.

But ear­ly Sun­day morn­ing, the Is­raeli mil­i­tary an­nounced that the of­fi­cer, Sec­ond Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, was now con­sid­ered to have been killed in bat­tle.

Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
Medics at a field hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip. More than 120 Palestinians were killed in Rafah alone on Friday and Saturday.

“It is just an ex­cuse,” said Dr. Ab­dul­lah She­hadeh,

di­rec­tor of the Abu Yousef al-Na­j­jar Hos­pi­tal, the city’s larg­est. “There is no rea­son for them to force the women and chil­dren of Gaza to pay the price for some­thing that hap­pened on the bat­tle­field.”

Af­ter two days of Is­raeli shelling and airstrikes, cen­tral Rafah ap­peared de­serted on Sat­ur­day, with shops closed and res­i­dents hid­ing in their homes. The pres­ence of Is­raeli forces east of the city had caused many to flee west, crowd­ing in with friends and rel­a­tives in neigh­bor­hoods by the Med­i­ter­ra­nean.

More than 120 Pales­tini­ans were killed in Rafah alone on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day — the dead­li­est two days in the city since the war be­gan 25 days ago. Those deaths, and hun­dreds of in­ju­ries, over­whelmed the city’s health care fa­cil­i­ties.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse, Is­raeli shells hit the cen­tral Na­j­jar hos­pi­tal on Fri­day af­ter­noon, Dr. She­hadeh said, lead­ing its em­ploy­ees and pa­tients to evac­u­ate.

To con­tinue re­ceiv­ing pa­tients, his staff mem­bers moved to the small­er Ku­waiti Spe­cial­ized Hos­pi­tal, al­though it was ill equipped to han­dle the large num­ber of peo­ple seek­ing care.

Am­bu­lances screamed in­to the hos­pi­tal’s park­ing lot, where medics un­loaded cases on­to stretch­ers some­times bear­ing the blood of pre­vi­ous pa­tients. Since the hos­pi­tal had on­ly 12 beds, the staff mem­bers had lined up gur­neys out­side to han­dle the over­flow.

The city’s cen­tral hos­pi­tal had al­so housed its on­ly morgue, so its clo­sure cre­ated a new prob­lem as the ca­su­al­ties mount­ed: where to put the bod­ies.

At the Ku­waiti Spe­cial­ized Hos­pi­tal, they were put on the floor of the den­tal ward un­der a poster pro­mot­ing den­tal hy­giene. In a back room lay the bod­ies of Sa­di­ah Abu Taha, 60, and her grand­son Rezeq Abu Taha, 1, who had been killed in an airstrike on their home near­by.

Few peo­ple ap­proached the main en­trance to the pink-and-white ma­ter­ni­ty hos­pi­tal, in­stead head­ing around back, where there was a con­stant flow of bod­ies. Near­ly 60 had been left in the morgue of the cen­tral hos­pi­tal when it closed, so am­bu­lance crews who had man­aged to reach the site brought back as many bod­ies as they could car­ry. Oth­er bod­ies came from new at­tacks or were re­cov­ered from dam­aged build­ings.

New ar­rivals were laid out in the park­ing lot or car­ried down a ramp to the kitchen, fea­tur­ing a large walk-in cool­er. Some were kept on the ground, and those not claimed right away were added to the pile in the cool­er.

Word had spread that the dead were at the ma­ter­ni­ty hos­pi­tal, so peo­ple who had lost rel­a­tives came to talk to the medics or look in the cool­er for their loved ones.

One short, sun­burned man point­ed to the body of a woman wear­ing pink sweat­pants and said she was his sis­ter Souad al-Tara­bin.

The medics pulled her out, laid her on a ta­ble and wrapped her in white cloth and plas­tic. Some teenagers helped the man car­ry her body up­stairs and lay it in the back of a yel­low taxi. A man in the front seat cra­dled a small bun­dle con­tain­ing the re­mains of the woman’s 4-year-old son, Anas.

Sit­ting near­by, As­ma Abu Ju­main wait­ed for the body of her moth­er-in-law, who she said had been killed the day be­fore and was in the morgue at the cen­tral hos­pi­tal when it was evac­u­ated.

“She is an old woman,” Ms. Abu Ju­main said. “She did noth­ing wrong.”

The move­ment of bod­ies made record-keep­ing im­pos­si­ble, al­though Arafat Ad­wan, a hos­pi­tal vol­un­teer, tried to jot down names in a small red note­book he kept in his pock­et.

He wor­ried that some bod­ies would re­main there for days, be­cause fam­ilies had been scat­tered and might not know that their rel­a­tives had been killed.

“There are peo­ple in here whose fam­ilies have no idea what hap­pened to them,” he said.

Oth­ers knew they had lost rel­a­tives but could not find them.

Mo­ham­med al-Ban­na said an airstrike the morn­ing be­fore had killed nine of his in-laws, in­clud­ing his wife’s fa­ther and four of her broth­ers.

“The ag­gres­sion here is cre­at­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of youth who want re­venge for all the crimes,” he said.

He had looked at the cen­tral hos­pi­tal the day be­fore, to no avail. Then, on Sat­ur­day, he re­ceived a mes­sage sent to lo­cal cell­phones telling those who had lost rel­a­tives to re­trieve them from the ma­ter­ni­ty hos­pi­tal. He had come right away, but had not found them.

“I’ll keep wait­ing for their bod­ies to come in so we can

take them home and bury them,” he said.

Mr. Ban­na added that he had been too wor­ried to tell his wife what had hap­pened to her fam­ily and want­ed to break the news to her grad­u­ally. Ear­lier that day, she had told him that she was start­ing to wor­ry be­cause her fa­ther’s cell­phone had been switched off all day.

“I told her maybe he has no elec­tricity and his phone is dead,” Mr. Ban­na said.

 

 

This section of Graphic Humor in political-economic, national or international issues, are very ingenious in describing what happened, is happening or will happen. It also extends to various other local issues or passing around the world. There are also other non-political humor that ranges from reflective or just to get us a smile when we see them. Anyone with basic education and to stay informed of important news happening in our local and global world may understand and enjoy them. Farewell!. (CTsT)

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This section of Graphic Humor in political-economic, national or international issues, are very ingenious in describing what happened, is happening or will happen. It also extends to various other local issues or passing around the world. There are also other non-political humor that ranges from reflective or just to get us a smile when we see them. Anyone with basic education and to stay informed of important news happening in our local and global world may understand and enjoy them. Farewell!. (CTsT)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

This section of Graphic Humor in political-economic, national or international issues, are very ingenious in describing what happened, is happening or will happen. It also extends to various other local issues or passing around the world. There are also other non-political humor that ranges from reflective or just to get us a smile when we see them. Anyone with basic education and to stay informed of important news happening in our local and global world may understand and enjoy them. Farewell!. (CTsT) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A photo of a desperate young Palestinian boy, badly wounded and screaming for his father as he clutches at the shirt of a paramedic in a hospital, has captured the tragic and bloody tension of the Gazan conflict.

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Shirtless and with cuts to his face, torso, arms and legs, the child clings to the hospital worker who is attempting to lay him flat on a girdle.

The Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian publication, reports the photo, taken at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City last Thursday, was captioned with the boy’s desperate cry: ‘I want my father, bring me my father’, according to Fairfax.

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The Palestinian paper claims the young boy was one of four siblings brought to the hospital wounded, two of them just three years old.

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It comes as grinning Israeli tank commanders were pictured flashing the victory signs as they blast their way through Gaza in the bloodiest day of the offensive so far – as one resident of the troubled region said: ‘The gate of hell has opened.’

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At least 65 people have been killed since this yesterday’s dawn strike on Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighbourhood – including the son, daughter-in-law and two small grandchildren of a senior Hamas leader.

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Hamas says it has captured an Israeli soldier – a scenario that has proven to be fraught with difficulties for the country in the past – but Israel’s U.N. Ambassador has denied the claims.

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The neighbourhood has come under heavy tank fire as Israel widened its ground offensive against Hamas, causing hundreds of residents to flee.

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The dead and wounded – including dozens of women and children – have reportedly been left in streets, with ambulances unable to approach.

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Source: (July 21, 2014)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2699772/This-desperate-little-boy-face-tragedy-Palestinian-toddler-clutches-shirt-hospital-worker-screaming-I-want-father-bring-father.html?ito=social-facebook

He’s had a busy summer. As God only knows, he was summoned to slaughter in the Holy Land, asked to end the killings of Muslims by Buddhist monks in Myanmar, and played both sides again in the 1,400-year-old dispute over the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad.

In between, not much down time. Yes, the World Cup was fun, and God chose to mess with His Holinesses, pitting the team from Pope Francis’s Argentina against Germany, home of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Well played, even if the better pope lost.

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At least Rick Perry was not his usual time-suck. The governor proclaimed three days of prayer to end the Texas drought in 2011, saying, “I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God, and say, ‘God: You’re going to have to fix this.’ ” The drought got worse. Two years ago, Perry said that God had not “changed his mind” about same-sex marriage. But the states have. Since Perry became a spokesman for the deity, the map of legalized gay marriage in America has expanded by 50 percent.

Still, these are pillow feathers in a world weighted down with misery. God is on a rampage in 2014, a bit like the Old Testament scourge who gave direct instructions to people to kill one another.

It’s not true that all wars are fought in the name of religion, as some atheists assert. Of 1,723 armed conflicts documented in the three-volume “Encyclopedia of Wars,” only 123, or less than 7 percent, involved a religious cause. Hitler’s genocide, Stalin’s bloody purges and Pol Pot’s mass murders certainly make the case that state-sanctioned killings do not need the invocation of a higher power to succeed.

But this year, the ancient struggle of My God versus Your God is at the root of dozens of atrocities, giving pause to the optimists among us (myself included) who believe that while the arc of enlightenment is long, it still bends toward the better.

In the name of God and hate, Sunnis are killing Shiites in Iraq, and vice versa. A jihadist militia, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, boasts of beheading other Muslims while ordering women to essentially live in caves, faces covered, minds closed. The two sides of a single faith have been sorting it out in that blood-caked land, with long periods of peace, since the year 632. Don’t expect it to end soon. A majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are peaceful, but a Pew Survey found that 40 percent of Sunnis do not think Shiites are proper Muslims.

Elsewhere, a handful of failed states are seeing carnage over some variant of the seventh-century dispute. And the rage that moved Hamas to lob rockets on birthday parties in Tel Aviv, and Israelis to kill children playing soccer on the beach in Gaza, has its roots in the spiritual superiority of extremists on both sides.

The most horrific of the religion-inspired zealots may be Boko Haram in Nigeria. As is well known thanks to a feel-good and largely useless Twitter campaign, 250 girls were kidnapped by these gangsters for the crime of attending school. Boko Haram’s God tells them to sell the girls into slavery.

The current intra-religious fights are not to be confused with people who fly airplanes into buildings, or shoot up innocents while shouting “God is great.” But those killers most assuredly believed that their reward for murder is heaven.

“It’s not true that all wars are fought in the name of religion, as some atheists assert.”Which atheists assert that? I’ve certainly never…

Of late, God has taken a long break from Ireland, such a small country for such a big fight between worshipers under the same cross. There, the animus is not so much theological as it is historical. If the curious Muslim is wondering why Protestants and Catholics can’t just get along on that lovely island, take a look at the Thirty Years’ War of the 17th century, when about 20 percent of the population of present-day Germany fell to clashes between the two branches of Christianity.
Violent Buddhist mobs (yes, it sounds oxymoronic) are responsible for a spate of recent attacks against Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, leaving more than 200 dead and close to 150,000 homeless. The clashes prompted the Dalai Lama to make an urgent appeal to end the bloodshed. “Buddha preaches love and compassion,” he said.

And so do Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The problem is that people of faith often become fanatics of faith. Reason and force are useless against aspiring martyrs.

In the United States, God is on the currency. By brilliant design, though, he is not mentioned in the Constitution. The founders were explicit: This country would never formally align God with one political party, or allow someone to use religion to ignore civil laws. At least that was the intent. In this summer of the violent God, five justices on the Supreme Court seem to feel otherwise.

 

* Timothy Egan, NYT, July 18, 2014

A federal judge Wednesday struck down California’s death penalty, saying the “dysfunctional” system that makes prisoners wait decades to be executed violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

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The ruling marks the first time a federal court has found the state’s death penalty to be unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, sitting in Orange County, wrote that since California voters reinstated capital punishment in 1978, more than 900 inmates have been sentenced to death row but only 13 have been executed.

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“For the rest, the dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty system has resulted, and will continue to result, in an inordinate and unpredictable period of delay preceding their actual execution,” Carney wrote in his 29-page ruling on a petition filed by death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones. He was convicted of raping and murdering a 50-year-old Southern California accountant in 1992.

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“When an individual is condemned to death in California, the sentence carries with it an implicit promise from the state that it will actually be carried out,” he said. “But for too long now, the promise has been an empty one … it has resulted in a system that serves no penological purpose.”

Carey, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, declared that “arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed.”

That, he said, violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The state could appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, is reviewing the opinion, her press secretary said.

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Death penalty opponents hailed the ruling.

“Judge Carney’s ruling today is truly historic,” said Gil Garcetti, former Los Angeles district attorney. “It further proves that the death penalty is broken beyond repair; it is exorbitantly costly, unfair, and serves no legitimate purpose whatsoever. The only solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

No executions have been carried out in California since 2006, when another federal judge determined that the state must revise its procedures for lethal injection. The death house is located inside San Quentin State Prison, north of San Francisco.

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In November 2012, California voters narrowly rejected a referendum that would have converted all death sentences to life without parole. Garcetti was a major supporter of that ballot measure, known as Proposition 34.

Buoyed by Californians’ support for capital punishment — and by polls showing their frustration over delays — three former California governors began collecting signatures in February for a state constitutional amendment designed to limit death penalty appeals and to speed executions.

At least 807,615 valid signatures were needed to put the proposition on the November ballot. The filing deadline was July 10, and the secretary of State is determining whether the measure qualified.

 

* Text by Michael Winter, USA TODAY

South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95.

Mr Mandela led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison for his political activities.

He had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital.

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Announcing the news on South African national TV, President Jacob Zuma said Mr Mandela was at peace.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Mr Zuma said.

“Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”

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Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela – who is known affectionately by his clan name, Madiba – had died shortly before 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT). He said he would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast.

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Crowds have gathered outside the house where Mr Mandela died, some flying South African flags and wearing the shirts of the governing African National Congress, which Mr Mandela once led.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. He made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa.

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His fellow campaigner against apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said he was “not only an amazing gift to humankind, he made South Africans and Africans feel good about being who we are. He made us walk tall. God be praised.”

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BBC correspondents say Mr Mandela’s body will be moved to a mortuary in the capital, Pretoria, and the funeral is likely to take place next Saturday.

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‘Bid him farewell’

Mr Zuma said in his statement that “what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.

“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.”

Tributes have come in from around the world. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration”.

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“Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.”

US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man.

“He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” he said, adding that Mr Mandela “took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.

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Mr Obama, the first black president of the United States, said he was one of the millions who drew inspiration from Mr Mandela’s life. He has ordered that the White House flag be flown at half-mast.

FW de Klerk, who as South Africa’s last white president ordered Mr Mandela’s release, called him a “unifier” and said he had “a remarkable lack of bitterness”.

He told the BBC Mr Mandela’s greatest legacy “is that we are basically at peace with each other notwithstanding our great diversity, that we will be taking hands once again now around his death and around our common sadness and mourning”.

The Elders – a group of global leaders set up by Mr Mandela to pursue peace and human rights – said they “join millions of people around the world who were inspired by his courage and touched by his compassion”.

The group’s chair, Kofi Annan, said the world had lost “a clear moral compass”.

“While I mourn the loss of one of Africa’s most distinguished leaders, Madiba’s legacy beckons us to follow his example to strive for human rights, reconciliation and justice for all.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said “a great light has gone out in the world”.

Earlier this year, Mr Mandela spent nearly three months in hospital with a recurring lung infection.

He was moved to his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg in September, where he continued to receive intensive care.

Robben Island

Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, as a law student.

He and other ANC leaders campaigned against apartheid. Initially he campaigned peacefully but in the 1960s the ANC began to advocate violence, and Mr Mandela was made the commander of its armed wing.

He was arrested for sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, serving most of his sentence on Robben Island.

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It was forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, but he and other ANC leaders were able to smuggle out messages of guidance to the anti-apartheid movement.

He was released in 1990 as South Africa began to move away from strict racial segregation – a process completed by the first multi-racial elections in 1994.

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Mr Mandela, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993 jointly with Mr de Klerk, was elected South Africa’s first black president. He served a single term, stepping down in 1999.

After leaving office, he became South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 football World Cup.

He was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere.

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* Text by BBC, December 5, 2013

 Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.

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Organizers say employees planned to forgo work in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But by late afternoon, it was unclear what the actual turnout was or how many of the participants were workers. At targeted restaurants, the disruptions seemed minimal or temporary.

The protests are part of an effort that began about a year ago and is spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union, which has spent millions to bankroll local worker groups and organize publicity for the demonstrations. Protesters are calling for pay of $15 an hour, but the figure is seen more as a rallying point than a near-term possibility.

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At a time when there’s growing national and international attention on economic disparities, advocacy groups and Democrats are hoping to build public support to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25. That comes to about $15,000 a year for full-time work.

On Thursday, crowds gathered outside restaurants in cities including Boston, Lakewood, Calif., Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, N.C., where protesters walked into a Burger King but didn’t stop customers from getting their food.

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In Detroit, about 50 demonstrators turned out for a pre-dawn rally in front of a McDonald’s. A few employees said they weren’t working but a manager and other employees kept the restaurant open.

Julius Waters, a 29-year-old McDonald’s maintenance worker who was among the protesters, said it’s hard making ends meet on his wage of $7.40 an hour.

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“I need a better wage for myself, because, right now, I’m relying on aid, and $7.40 is not able to help me maintain taking care of my son. I’m a single parent,” Waters said.

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In New York City, about 100 protesters blew whistles and beat drums while marching into a McDonald’s at around 6:30 a.m.; one startled customer grabbed his food and fled as they flooded the restaurant, while another didn’t look up from eating and reading amid their chants of “We can’t survive on $7.25!”

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Community leaders took turns giving speeches for about 15 minutes until police arrived and ordered protesters out of the store. The crowd continued to demonstrate outside for about 45 minutes.

Later in the day, about 50 protesters rallied outside a Wendy’s in Brooklyn. Channon Wetstone, a 44-year-old attorney ended up going to a nearby Burger King because of the protests.

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She said that fast-food employees work very hard. When asked if she’d be willing to pay more for food so they could earn more, she said it would depend on what she was ordering.

“I would say 50 cents, 75 cents more,” Wetstone said.

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The push for higher pay in fast food faces an uphill battle. The industry competes aggressively on being able to offer low-cost meals and companies have warned that they would need to raise prices if wages were hiked.

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Fast-food workers have also historically been seen as difficult to unionize, given the industry’s high turnover rates. But the Service Employees International Union, which represents more than 2 million workers in health care, janitorial and other industries, has helped put their wages in the spotlight.

Berlin Rosen, a political consulting and public relations firm based in New York City, is coordinating communications efforts and connecting organizers with media outlets. The firm says its clients are the coalitions in each city, such as Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15. Those groups were established with the help of the SEIU, which is also listed on Berlin Rosen’s website as a client.

Fast Food Protest

The National Restaurant Association, an industry lobbying group, said most protesters were union workers and that “relatively few” restaurant employees have participated in past actions. It called the demonstrations a “campaign engineered by national labor groups.”

McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, said in statements that their restaurants create work opportunities and provide training and the ability to advance. Burger King reissued its statement on past protests, saying its restaurants have provided an entry point into the workforce for millions of Americans.

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In the meantime, the protests are getting some high-powered support from the White House. In an economic policy speech Wednesday, President Barack Obama mentioned fast-food and retail workers “who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty” in his call for raising the federal minimum wage.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised a vote on the wage hike by the end of the year. But the measure is not expected to gain traction in the House, where Republican leaders oppose it.

Fast Food Strike

Supporters of wage hikes have been more successful at the state and local level. California, Connecticut and Rhode Island raised their minimum wages this year. Last month, voters in New Jersey approved an increase in the minimum to $8.25 an hour, up from $7.25 an hour.

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AP  |  By By CANDICE CHOI and SAM HANANELPosted: 12/05/2013

AP Writer Mike Householder contributed from Detroit, AP videographer Johnny Clark contributed from Atlanta and AP Video Journalist Ted Shaffrey contributed from New York, AP Writer Mitch Weiss from Charlotte, N.C.

Rep. Trey Radel, a Florida Republican elected in 2012, will be in court Wednesday on charges that he possessed cocaine.

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Radel, 37, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday.

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He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Several sources with direct knowledge say it was the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration who were involved in the charges.

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Radel has missed all four votes in the House this week.

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Radel, in a statement released by his office, made no mention of resigning from the House. He said he struggles “with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts. Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents.”

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The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia declined to comment on Radel’s arrest and case.

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed DEA official, said Radel allegedly bought cocaine from a dealer in the Dupont Circle area who had been previously arrested as part of a federal probe. “Later that night, federal authorities went to his apartment and informed him that he would be facing criminal charges related to his purchase of cocaine,” the AP said.

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The Florida Republican, who holds a district on the western coast of Florida that includes the tony Marco Island, is a former journalist, TV anchor and radio talk-show host. He never held elective office before winning his House seat last November. His district was vacated by former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who ran for the Senate.

In the statement, Radel said he realizes “the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.”

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The arrest, he said, has a “positive side.”

“It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” he said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

Text by John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman (Politico), 11/19/2013

Detained border-crossers may find themselves sent to the infamous hieleras, or ‘freezers.’
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The moment Border Patrol agents swooped in on Claudia and her husband, Marvin, as they tried to sneak across the Rio Grande, the 31-year-old mother of two almost felt relief.

It had been an arduous 18-day journey from their native of El Salvador, which they had fled for fear of their lives at the hands—and machetes—of a vicious gang, she said in a recent interview.

But she soon faced a new, unexpected ordeal as she quickly was separated from her husband and locked away with her preteen son and infant girl in cold cells with an ominous name.

“Then they took us,” Claudia said, “to the famous hieleras.”

Las hieleras, or “the freezers,” is how immigrants and some Border Patrol agents refer to the chilly holding cells at many stations along the U.S.-Mexico border. The facilities are used to house recently captured border crossers until they can be transferred to a long-term Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility, returned to their native country or released until their immigration hearing.

According to interviews and court documents, many immigrants have been held for days in rooms kept at temperatures so low that men, women and children have developed illnesses associated with the cold, lack of sleep, overcrowding, and inadequate food, water and toilet facilities.

These complaints are backed up by anonymous surveys of recent migrants. A 2011 report (PDF) from the advocacy group No More Deaths, for example, found that about 7,000 of nearly 13,000 immigrants interviewed reported inhumane conditions in Border Patrol cells—with about 3,000 of them saying they suffered extreme cold.

The treatment of migrants in these facilities has been muted in the roiling debate in Congress over expanding the Border Patrol and overhauling the nation’s immigration system. But for thousands of men and women, the facilities have provided a harsh official greeting after what they thought would be the hardest part of their journey, crossing the border.

Since their experience, Marvin and Claudia have filed administrative complaints against the Border Patrol, which can result in agents facing disciplinary action. The couple’s baby still has a persistent cough, Claudia said.

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“It’s that they make you feel like you’re worthless,” she said. “They make you feel like you’ve committed a horrible crime.”

Apprehended immigrants are staying longer in short-term detention because ICE facilities are too crowded to accept new detainees, and there are not enough Border Patrol agents in some stations to process immigrants in a timely manner.

A few lawmakers have taken an interest in the problem. In June, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., added an amendment to the immigration overhaul package, calling for limits on the number of people held in a cell, adequate climate control, potable water, hygiene items and access to medical care, among other stipulations.

It ultimately was stripped from the Senate version, but Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., has included similar stipulations in a bill she proposed in September, called the Protect Family Values at the Border Act. It is currently in committee.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection first approved, then declined, to give The Center for Investigative Reporting a tour of one of the Border Patrol stations in question, citing unspecified pending litigation.

Luis Megid, a reporter with CIR partner Univision, was allowed in. He said the cells looked as immigrants have described, but cleaner—concrete cells, aluminum toilets, doors with glass windows. He was not allowed into a holding cell with detainees to judge the temperature. Border Patrol agent Daniel Tirado told Megid that agents are supposed to provide blankets upon request.

Christopher Cabrera, a local vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agency’s 21,000 agents, said that when a tour or special investigative inspection is scheduled, the station typically brings in a cleaning crew ahead of time.

It’s clear the stations are overcrowded. Border Patrol agent Juan Ayala said he recently made 732 bologna sandwiches for a single lunch at the Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas. It took him almost five hours, he said. He loaded the sandwiches and juices into a shopping cart and delivered them to the 732 adult immigrant detainees in the station that day.

The station, Cabrera and Ayala said, was built to hold between 200 and 250 people at any one time.

Out of everything, former detained immigrants said it was the cold that was the worst. Several border crossers who have contacted attorneys and immigrant rights groups agreed to speak to CIR about conditions in the facilities, but on condition of anonymity to protect their pending asylum cases.

Adonys, 15, who came from Honduras in July to join his mother, said the Border Patrol apprehended him crossing the border near McAllen, in a group of 28 men, women and children. Agents put him in a van and took him to their station to process him.

He said the agents made him take off all his layers except for a T-shirt and made him remove his belt and shoelaces.

“I bent over to untie my shoelaces, and I felt an agent pouring cold water on me,” said Adonys, who has filed an asylum request. “He was laughing.”

Five other agents stood by, saying nothing, Adonys said.

They then moved him to a cold cell, wet shirt and all.

“I asked for something to cover myself with, and he said, ‘No, you’re just going to be in there like that,’ ” Adonys said. “It was very, very cold. It was unbearable. We couldn’t stand it.”

Sofía, a 25-year-old woman who has applied for asylum and also requested anonymity, was held for two weeks. She said it was so cold in one cell that she could see her breath.

“It’s so cold, you’re trembling,” she said. “Your lips split.”

Few complain, but problems appear widespread

Despite the conditions in the detention rooms, legal complaints about short-term detention are few. Generally, lawyers and immigrants alike are more concerned with the immediate issue of how to stay in the United States, attorneys said.

Earlier this year, Americans for Immigrant Justice, based in Florida, filed tort claims on behalf of seven women and one man detained in las hieleras in the spring. Like Claudia and Marvin, these people were held in stations in South Texas. The problem, however, stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to lawyers and activists.

“I don’t see how it could be any more widespread,” said James Duff Lyall, a border litigation attorney for the ACLU in Arizona.

Lawyers for detained immigrants raise concerns that migrants are placed in these cold rooms for punitive reasons. Immigration detention is intended, however, to ensure that people seeking asylum or fighting deportation appear in court. It is not because they have been convicted of a crime.

International and North American human rights standards are stricter for this type of detention than for criminal lockups because no one has been convicted of anything.

Immigration detention is held to a Fifth Amendment standard, said Lyall of the ACLU. The Fifth Amendment prohibits conditions that amount to punishment without due process of the law, including freedom from risk of harm and the right to adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care.

Further potentially violating immigrants’ right to due process, according to Lyall, is the denial of access to an attorney and to their consulate, as well as coercing detainees to sign voluntary removal orders.

While many of these standards are laid out in internal Customs and Border Protection policies and procedures, the agency is not subject to regular inspections to ensure compliance.

The agency’s policy dictates that “whenever possible,” detainees should not be held in short-term detention for more than 12 hours. At 24 hours, agents need to file a report to the station’s patrol agent in charge if a detainee hasn’t been transferred yet. At 72 hours, the chief of the sector should get a report.

For human rights attorneys, the conditions in las hieleras likely violate international standards. Michele Garnett McKenzie, advocacy director at The Advocates for Human Rights, said that if the temperature is turned down for humiliation or to degrade the detainees, that would be evidence of a more serious kind of violation.

“There’s a point where [the temperature] is deliberately turned down to harass people and make them unable to sleep,” McKenzie said, “and that’s where the allegation is here.”

Journey from El Salvador to a holding cell

For Claudia and her family, the cold holding cells were a shock.

They had left San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital city, in a hurry. They stuffed some clothes, diapers and cash in two small backpacks, got on a bus and went north. Marvin had gotten his paycheck from his bus-driving job the day before, and Claudia had a bit of cash from helping an aunt sell food on the street.

The couple had just gotten word that their family had been “denounced”—marked for death—by MS-13, the gang that ran their neighborhood. Marvin saw gang members torturing Claudia’s brother-in-law, who had a rival gang tattoo on his chest. The family was able to lay low for a while, but once the threat came, they fled.

For 18 days, the family rode crowded, broken-down buses to Cancun, Mexico, and then on to the town of Reynosa, bordering South Texas. The baby developed a cold. The parents didn’t have the money to pay coyotes controlled by a cartel to smuggle them across the river. As a result, the cartel held them in a house for eight days until a family member in Canada wired the money.

They were caught not long after crossing the river.

Once inside the Border Patrol detention facility, Claudia was given a heat-reflective “space” blanket—which she likened to a potato chip bag—to keep her and the baby warm. Her son was separated into a cell with other teens, no one would tell her where her husband was, and the baby was coughing. The small cell was packed.

Miles away, at another Border Patrol station, Marvin was in a similar cold, crowded cell. There was barely room to crouch, let alone lie down and sleep.

Even if the agents did turn off the overhead lights, which they never did, and even if they didn’t make a ruckus every time someone closed their eyes, which they always did, there were no mattresses. Just the cold, hard concrete floor, directly underneath large ceiling vents blowing cold air, according to Marvin.

In both cells, the toilet was in plain sight. In Claudia’s cell, a security camera pointed at it, and she could see the agents watching the screens in the control room whenever a woman got desperate enough to use the toilet. In Marvin’s cell, the area around the toilet was covered with dried spit laced with blood.

There were no showers, no soap, no toothbrushes.

Claudia got two sandwiches a day—bologna on white bread. The water was muddy-tasting, so she was afraid to drink it, even though she was breastfeeding. Her son got a few frozen mini-burritos and punch.

The baby coughed more.

After they were taken to the hospital, a doctor scribbled a prescription while a nurse allowed Claudia to bathe the baby and dress her in clean clothes. Then the agents took them back to the cell. They did not fill the prescription, she said.

They lived like this for six days, until one day, the agents told Claudia and her two children they could go. With no friends or family, Claudia and the kids found help at La Posada Providencia, an immigrants’ shelter in San Benito, Texas, where the program director, Sister Zita Telkamp, contacted the pro bono legal organization ProBAR to help find Marvin. The lawyer, Meredith Linsky, found him at an ICE facility.

In total, Claudia and her children spent 144 hours, or six days, in short-term detention, transferred among three different stations. Marvin spent 120 hours split between two Border Patrol locations.

The baby is still sick, and Claudia has nightmares about the Border Patrol coming back. The family’s plan, according to Marvin: “Continue struggling on so they don’t return us.”

 

Text by Rachael Bale, The Center for Investigative Reporting, November 19th 2013

Reporter Andrew Becker contributed to this report. This story was edited by Robert Salladay and copy edited by Nikki Frick and Christine Lee.

Turning a blind eye. Giving someone the cold shoulder. Looking down on people. Seeing right through them.

These metaphors for condescending or dismissive behavior are more than just descriptive. They suggest, to a surprisingly accurate extent, the social distance between those with greater power and those with less — a distance that goes beyond the realm of interpersonal interactions and may exacerbate the soaring inequality in the United States.

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A growing body of recent research shows that people with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power. This tuning out has been observed, for instance, with strangers in a mere five-minute get-acquainted session, where the more powerful person shows fewer signals of paying attention, like nodding or laughing. Higher-status people are also more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker.

Bringing the micropolitics of interpersonal attention to the understanding of social power, researchers are suggesting, has implications for public policy.

Of course, in any society, social power is relative; any of us may be higher or lower in a given interaction, and the research shows the effect still prevails. Though the more powerful pay less attention to us than we do to them, in other situations we are relatively higher on the totem pole of status — and we, too, tend to pay less attention to those a rung or two down.

A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain. In 2008, social psychologists from the University of Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley, studied pairs of strangers telling one another about difficulties they had been through, like a divorce or death of a loved one. The researchers found that the differential expressed itself in the playing down of suffering. The more powerful were less compassionate toward the hardships described by the less powerful.

Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at Berkeley, and Michael W. Kraus, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have done much of the research on social power and the attention deficit.

Mr. Keltner suggests that, in general, we focus the most on those we value most. While the wealthy can hire help, those with few material assets are more likely to value their social assets: like the neighbor who will keep an eye on your child from the time she gets home from school until the time you get home from work. The financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations — with those of the same strata, and the more powerful — than the rich are, because they have to be.

While Mr. Keltner’s research finds that the poor, compared with the wealthy, have keenly attuned interpersonal attention in all directions, in general, those with the most power in society seem to pay particularly little attention to those with the least power. To be sure, high-status people do attend to those of equal rank — but not as well as those low of status do.

This has profound implications for societal behavior and government policy. Tuning in to the needs and feelings of another person is a prerequisite to empathy, which in turn can lead to understanding, concern and, if the circumstances are right, compassionate action.

In politics, readily dismissing inconvenient people can easily extend to dismissing inconvenient truths about them. The insistence by some House Republicans in Congress on cutting financing for food stamps and impeding the implementation of Obamacare, which would allow patients, including those with pre-existing health conditions, to obtain and pay for insurance coverage, may stem in part from the empathy gap. As political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.

Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.

Freud called this “the narcissism of minor differences,” a theme repeated by Vamik D. Volkan, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who was born in Cyprus to Turkish parents. Dr. Volkan remembers hearing as a small boy awful things about the hated Greek Cypriots — who, he points out, actually share many similarities with Turkish Cypriots. Yet for decades their modest-size island has been politically divided, which exacerbates the problem by letting prejudicial myths flourish.

In contrast, extensive interpersonal contact counteracts biases by letting people from hostile groups get to know one another as individuals and even friends. Thomas F. Pettigrew, a research professor of social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed more than 500 studies on intergroup contact. Mr. Pettigrew, who was born in Virginia in 1931 and lived there until going to Harvard for graduate school, told me in an e-mail that it was the “the rampant racism in the Virginia of my childhood” that led him to study prejudice.

In his research, he found that even in areas where ethnic groups were in conflict and viewed one another through lenses of negative stereotypes, individuals who had close friends within the other group exhibited little or no such prejudice. They seemed to realize the many ways those demonized “others” were “just like me.” Whether such friendly social contact would overcome the divide between those with more and less social and economic power was not studied, but I suspect it would help.

Since the 1970s, the gap between the rich and everyone else has skyrocketed. Income inequality is at its highest level in a century. This widening gulf between the haves and have-less troubles me, but not for the obvious reasons. Apart from the financial inequities, I fear the expansion of an entirely different gap, caused by the inability to see oneself in a less advantaged person’s shoes. Reducing the economic gap may be impossible without also addressing the gap in empathy.

 

* Text By  Daniel Goleman (NYT, Oct. 5, 2013)

A single mother who has been working at McDonald’s for 10 years was detained by police last week after she interrupted the company president’s speech in Chicago to confront him about low worker pay.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that 26-year-old Nancy Salgado was part of a group protesting the event, asking company officials to raise worker wages to $15 an hour and allow employees to form a union without fear of retaliation.

Protestors were detained for an hour, threatened with arrest, and ticketed, according to Chicagoist.

The Real News posted a video to YouTube that contains a clip of Salgado’s outburst as well as an interview with her:

Here’s what Salgado said to McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton: “I’m a single mother of two. It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day. Do you think this is fair that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve been working at McDonald’s for 10 years?”

Stratton’s response: “I’ve been there [at McDonald’s] 40 years.”

Salgado told The Real News that she still works at McDonald’s (although they cut her hours back) and she loves her job, but she wanted to speak out because she thought her voice needed to be heard.

“It gets harder and harder,” she said. “Sometimes I can’t provide a gallon of milk in the refrigerator.”

 

* Pamela Engel (BI, October 9,2013)

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David Ranta spent 22 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit — and now the Brooklyn dad is struggling to adapt to the fast-paced world of 2013.

“I feel like I’ve been dropped onto another planet — everything has changed, and everything that I’ve known is gone,’’ said Ranta, 58, who will file a notice of claim today of his $150 million lawsuit against the city.

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BIG ERROR: David Ranta is led away in handcuffs after his false arrest for a rabbi’s murder in 1990.

“The first time I ate at a restaurant and used their restroom, I couldn’t figure out how to use the sink; it was one of those automatic motion-sensor faucets,’’ Ranta told The Post. “I had to get someone to show me what to do, and I felt embarrassed.”

Ranta, who was convicted of killing a prominent rabbi when cops convinced witnesses to make a false identification, said he has had trouble adjusting to life on the outside.

“To tell you the truth, mentally I still fell like I’m in prison,’’ he said. “You can’t just flip a switch and say, ‘Hey, you’re free; go enjoy the time you have left.’ ”

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NIGHTMARE: David Ranta (right, yesterday), who was falsely convicted of killing Brooklyn Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger (left), is now struggling to adjust to life outside prison.

Ranta was arrested for allegedly gunning down Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger on Aug. 8, 1990. He was convicted in 1991 and sentenced to 37 years.

Werzberger was shot in the head during a botched robbery of a jewelry courier in Williamsburg, and several witnesses, including the courier, initially fingered Ranta as the shooter.

Ranta, an out-of-work painter, fit the description — a tall, blond man. But there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime.

After his conviction, Ranta tried several times to appeal, to no avail.

His attempts to clear his name included a 1996 hearing during which a woman said her late, coke-addled husband, a known stick-up artist, had killed Werzberger.

But lead detective Louis Scarcella — who knew the husband, Joseph Astin, and even admitted that he had been a prime suspect — never showed Astin’s photo to witnesses. Still, the judge sided with prosecutors during the hearing and dismissed Ranta’s claim.

The break for Ranta came in 2011, when Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes put Ranta’s case before a special review panel. Too many witnesses were recanting on their own.

The courier said cops told him to pick Ranta out of a lineup. Other witnesses admitted that they were either coached or told to lie by NYPD cops.

Other damning details of the shoddy investigation surfaced, too, including that Scarcella never took notes during what he said was a confession by Ranta.

“I would ask [Scarcella] one thing: ‘Why?’ ” Ranta said.

A judge finally freed Ranta on March 21. But the former inmate’s joy was short-lived.

The day after his release, he suffered a heart attack.

“The doctors have said that the stress of being innocent and imprisoned for decades, combined with not being able to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable for 22 years, can do that to a heart,’’ Ranta said.

The gray-haired, bespectacled man said he’s doing “much better’’ now.

Ranta has hired civil-rights lawyer Pierre Sussman to represent him in the case, claiming malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment.

Amazingly, Ranta doesn’t blame the legal system for his woes — just a few bad apples.

“Most people in the justice system are trying to do the right thing. But when you have some police officers and detective[s] who are given too much power and higher-ups looking to solve a high-profile case, bad things can happen,” he said.

Ranta admitted that he barely managed to survive prison.

“You do what the guards tell you to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week; no decision is your own,” he said. “I spent a lot of time reading. You can only count the 13 bars and 862 holes in the ceiling of your cell so many times.

“It eats you up from the inside,’’ he said of knowing he was wrongly imprisoned.

“The most stressful part is wanting to be with your family and knowing that you can’t, especially [realizing] all those years I lost with my daughter, who was 2 at the time and is now about to have a baby of her own.

“The only things that I had were hope and faith: hope that one day the truth will come out and faith that I would be set free.”

Ranta said he is relying on that faith to now help him with his new challenges.

“It’s going to take a long time for me to feel normal again, if I even remember what normal is,’’ he said.

“Once I was released, the government washed their hands of me. It’s like, ‘You didn’t exist for 22 years and then you’re free, good luck, you’re on your own,’ ” he said. “I had no ID, no health insurance, nothing.

But “I have to let go,’’ he said. “The anger won’t get me those 22 years I missed with my family back.” Now “I appreciate every moment I have with them,” Ranta said.

“Once I’m fully on my feet, I’d like to work with other falsely convicted individuals to help them transition into society,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like me out there.”

 

By JAMIE SCHRAM Police Bureau Chief, May1, 2013