first_imgStanding up to an unrelenting wave of fear and hatred in the media targeting anyone of the Islamic faith, political activists in Philadelphia are building support for five Muslim men unfairly convicted of terrorism in New Jersey. Members of Project SALAM and the Fort Dix 5 Support Committee are urging community members to attend an appeal hearing on Jan. 6 in federal court. The hearing will rule on whether the men received a fair trial.In 2008, five Muslim men, including three brothers, were entrapped in an FBI sting operation for allegedly plotting to attack Fort Dix, N.J. Eljvir, Dritan and Shain Duka received life sentences plus 30 years for their disputed role in a government-manufactured “conspiracy” to attack the military base.At the trial, the government’s witness — an informant paid to entrap the brothers — conceded that the three brothers had never been told about any conversation regarding an attack on Fort Dix. But under federal law, in a conspiracy case all associates are considered equally culpable, even if they do not know of the existence of a plan.The appeal hearing is not just a new chance for the three brothers to state their innocence before a judge, but also an opportunity to call attention to this outrageous miscarriage of justice.Supporters have organized weekly “Hold a Banner for the Dukas” rallies in front of the U.S. courthouse where the hearing will be held, handing out fliers to passersby. At one such event, a professor from the nearby Rutgers University Camden campus stopped by and extended an invitation for organizers to speak to his students.At a public gathering in Philadelphia on Dec. 12, two documentaries were shown, including “The Newburgh Sting,” which focuses on an entrapment case similar to the Fort Dix 5 case. The Peabody Award-winning film investigates the 2009 case of the Newburgh 4, in which FBI informants turned four innocent African-American men into unwitting “terrorists.”A short documentary film, “Entrapped,” was also shown. It includes a summary of the Fort Dix 5 case and an interview with Burim Duka, the youngest Duka brother. Alicia McWilliams, aunt of one of the Newburgh 4 defendants, Burim Duka and Lynn Jackson of Project SALAM answered questions after the films.Injustice in atmosphere of fearSeveral people in the audience commented that Donald Trump’s campaign of racism and anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant bigotry was creating a resistance movement more willing to fight back today than after Sept. 11, 2001, or in April 2009 when the Fort Dix 5 were sentenced.In an atmosphere of Islamophobia fueled by ambitious politicians and sensationalist media headlines such as “Muslim fanatics” and “Jersey jihadists,” the Duka brothers were convicted of a plot they literally had never heard of before their arrest. The U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case was Chris Christie, now governor of New Jersey and candidate for U.S. president.The rare, court-ordered appeal hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6 to determine whether the three brothers received a fair trial and effective representation from their court-appointed attorneys. Supporters are urged to show solidarity at a short rally at 8 a.m. in front of the Mitchell H. Cohen Building and U.S. Courthouse, 4th and Cooper streets, Camden, N.J. Court proceedings begin at 9 a.m.More details on the case can be found at projectsalam.org or in the 2009 Workers World article, “The Fort Dix 5 convictions: provocation and frameup?” tinyurl.com/zy58fsq.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

first_imgLegislature approves judicial pay raises Legislature approves judicial pay raises Florida’s trial court judges, facing crowded dockets in many parts of the state according to workload studies, won’t be getting any help in the form of new judges from the legislature this year. But they will be getting considerably better paid for their troubles. In a budget being passed as this News went to press, state lawmakers in their final days approved 11 and 12 percent raises respectively for circuit and county court judges. Appellate judges and Supreme Court justices got smaller pay boosts. At the same time, the new budget had no money for the 43 new circuit and county court judges certified by the Supreme Court as needed this year to deal with rising caseloads. The court had used a new “delphi” workload measuring system at the request of the legislature which indicated the court had been underestimating judicial workloads. It resulted in the largest certification request in recent years. The pay raises were part of a last minute budget compromise between Senate President Toni Jennings, R-Orlando, and House Speaker John Thrasher, R-Orange Park, made public on May 2, three days before the end of the 2000 Regular Session. It was passed later that day. Under the budget, Supreme Court justices will get a raise from $145,083 to $150,000 annually, or 3.4 percent. District court of appeal judges will see their pay go from $130,576 to $138,500, or 6.1 percent. At the trial court level, circuit judges will see their pay rise from $117,010 to $130,000, or an 11.1 percent hike. County court judges will go from $104,018 to $117,000. Legislators passed the initial budget on May 2, and were required to give it final approval May 5, after this News went to press. Changes in the final review were considered extremely unlikely. The judicial salary hikes go into effect October 1. May 15, 2000 Regular Newslast_img read more

first_imgPremier League clubs made no firms decisions on restarting the season at a meeting on Friday, but remain committed to doing so when government advice allows.‘Project Restart’ was top of the agenda in the latest conference call with behind-closed-doors matches in ‘approved’ stadiums or neutral venues discussed as well as how players can return to full training, and what will need to happen inside each training ground.A Premier League statement read:“At a meeting of Premier League Shareholders today, clubs discussed possible steps towards planning to resume the 2019/20 season, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.“It was reiterated that the thoughts of all are with those directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Premier League’s priority is the health and safety of players, coaches, managers, club staff, supporters and the wider community.“The League and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with Government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers.“The League welcomed the creation of the Government medical working group for a return of elite sport, which met for the first time this morning.“No decisions were taken at today’s Shareholders’ meeting and clubs exchanged views on the information provided regarding Project Restart. It was agreed that the PFA, LMA, players and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted.“The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019/20 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomed the Government’s support.” Source: Sky Sportslast_img read more