WNJ Weekly Roundup (4/19 - 4/25)

Good Sunday Morning!


This week was dominated by fired police Officer Chauvin's trial, more police brutality and killings, national protests and tension between DC and Moscow.



LOCAL


NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION

New Jersey joined 19 other states and Washington, DC this week in offering X gender markers on driver's licenses and state ID – Customers identifying as non-binary or those who prefer their gender not be specified. The marker is offered alongside existing (M) male or (F) female options. Anyone wishing to change their gender maker will have to pay $11.00 and surrender their current ID. You can fill out the necessary form by clicking here, or by visiting any MVC Licensing Center as a walk-in customer.



NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE

  • 2,465 new positive PCR tests

  • 873,399 total positive PCR tests

  • 480 new positive antigen tests

  • 122,798 total positive antigen tests

  • 39 new confirmed deaths

  • 22,756 total confirmed deaths

  • 2,611 probable deaths

For more information you can click here.



NJ VACCINE UPDATE

  • 6,513,215 total doses have been administered as of yesterday morning.

  • 2,738,430 New Jerseyans are now fully vaccinated

Over four million New Jerseyans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of this morning.


Learn more here.



NEWARK

Larry Hamm, founder of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) held a rally this week in Newark, New Jersey to protest the death of George Floyd, and Duante at the hands of Minneapolis police. For many years now, every Monday, Hamm’s POP holds a march against police brutality outside City Hall, in the street below the Newark Mayor’s window.


You can see more of this event in our weekly local photos series.



PALISADES PARK

You may recall from our WNJ Weekly news roundup published on April 11, about this guy, Roy Riggiatano, a shared public employee wiht a salary of at least $347,970.


As a quick update, the Mayor of Palisades Park, Mr. Chung has yet to comment about this matter. If you see him at one of the anti-Asian rallies around the county, by all means keep asking, especially if you're a member of the press.



DREAMS, SURVIVAL AND DESPERATION

Undocumented immigrants have been at the forefront during this global pandemic – feeding, cleaning rich people's houses, raising American children and doing any other jobs they could without health care, or any other assistance from the Government, although some of their children are Americans. They worked hard and people continued to have toilet paper and a selfish livestyle, while not even acknowledging that these humans, these neighbors in our communities that keps us going exist.


From desperation, to marches, rallies, hunger strikes to even ACLU of New Jersey calling out Governor Murphy to give a shit about these humans in our state, it’s embarrassing how little rich American people care about human rights and other humans these days.


Let’s talk about it:

  • How about instead of applauding and thanking minimum wage workers for a sacrifice they have no option, but engaging in it, we actually do something to help our neighbors, who without you would not be able to walk around in Burberry coats and Porshes around New Jersey claiming that you're the shit in town.

  • Also, you are litteraly shit if you think that other human lives means nothing.

  • The State needs to lead with humanity and kindness recognizing who it is that you owe your cold materialist lifestyle to.

  • And if you're offended by this; good!! Do and act better.



EARTH DAY

Sunrise Montclair, Sunrise Bergen, Workers Party Against Racism, Extinction Rebellion NJ, XR youth NJ, Young Ecosocialist Caucus, NJ Socialist Party, and NJ Green Party held a ‘Stop Line 3’ action in Montclair in solidarity with the indigenous activists in Minnesota fighting big oil who is trying to build pipelines over indigenous soil, on Earth day, April 22.



CHRIS CHRISTIE – The rumors on twitter (via Axios) this week involved former NJ Governor Chris Christie who is said to be seriously considering running for president in 2024 (Who most likely hasn't run a day in his life!!), and the public replies were delicious. You can read some of them here.



NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL

Promissed to keep the public ‘more up to date’ on bias incidents in New Jersey vs. the yearly reported statistics. You can check out the data for January - March here.



SOME GOOD NEWS FOR JOURNALISTS COVERING POTENTIAL RIOTS BY COPS AGAINST PRESS IN NJ – The Attorney General Grewal had this to say this week:

“We’re committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists. That’s why, this morning, we issued new guidance to ensure that members of the press can safely cover public demonstrations in New Jersey.” – Attorney General Grewal



IN CORRUPTION

Via Naveed Jamali This is a fascinating story about corruption in NJ at the highest level, involving the son of a Republican dealmaker, a procecutor and the current NJ top cop. You can read it all for yourself here.



NEW YORK

Akayed Ullah sentenced to life in prison for bombing New York City subway station in 2017 on behalf of ISIS with the intent to kill as many innocent Americans as possible.



STEALING 9/11 VICTIM COMPENSATION FUNDS

A disbared lawyer in New York, was sentenced this week in White Plains federal court to 51 months in prison for stealing approximately $1 million awarded by the Department of Justice’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) to his client, a 9/11 first responder.


U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Gustavo Vila stole money awarded by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to his client, an NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder. Further, Vila lied to his client for more than three years, telling him that the stolen money had yet to be released by the Fund. Now Gustavo Vila has been sentenced to prison for his betrayal.”



NATION


The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back - The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted the pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, allowing its use to resume without any restrictions on who should it be made available for.


Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was placed under review, after a small number of unusual clotting events were reported among people who had received it.


Question

  • How many people will trust J&J vaccine moving forward?

  • How many people trust the US Governmnet in general to be transparent about anything and act with the people's best interest in mind?


ANOTHER VACCINE HICKUP

Aproximately 8 percent of those who received their initial Pfizer or Moderna shots missed their second doses. The factors were anywhere from delayed shipments, to scheduling issues, to not trutsting the vaccine.



GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES (Minn.) - The jury began deliberations on Monday, April 19, in Chauvin trial, coincidentally it was also the 6 year anniversary of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in Baltimore.


Floyed was pinned face down on the pavement for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.


"He betrayed the badge and everything it stood for. It's not how [police] are trained, it's not following the rules," prosecutor says in closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial.


"This is not an anti-police prosecution. It's a pro-police prosecution."


The American criminal justice system was design to operate in favor of a group of people. The case of George Floyd overturned that, but only because of a brave person by the name of Darnella Frazier, the activists, advocates, protestors and even independent journalists who refused to back down and ‘fall in line’ with an outdated cruel and racist system that no longer serves this generation.


You can see the peoples immediate reactions in our weekly photos series from Minnesota by Photojournalist and NPPA member PJD.



The U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional unlawful policing.


Let's talk about it:


  • What the hell has this Attorney General been up to prior to Minneapolis becoming global news and for the right reasons?!

  • Is Garland going to include the press who was brutalized, beaten, tear gassed, detained, mugshot, and had their ID's (not press credentials as innitially reported by SPJ) photographed, in his civil investigation?

  • How unconstitutional are authorities in this state?

  • Should perhaps someone else above the Attorney General take over this investigation?

  • Over 3,000 National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis, while only 340 unarmed National Guard were deployed to Washington DC ahead of the January 6 Insurection.

  • Instead of violating human and civil rights and abusing their power as public servants, how about asking the community if they need food aid, rent assistance, jobs, medicare, medicaid, councling, help for students who don’t have wifi or laptops, offer housing tax relief, and other aid needed in the community, including condemning the attacks and killings of Black people?!?

For comparison, this is also a state that treated its community as a permanent adversary that must be occupied and forcefully controlled by military force. The unconstitutional events that a mourning community went through to have ONE trial for a white cop, also the FIRST white cop to be held accountable for the killing of a Black man in this state, can not be swiped under a rug anymore.


If this would have occured in another country America would have called them out on human and civil rights violations.



Also – While Pelosi and other politicians thanked George Floyd for ‘sacrificing his life for justice,’ cops kept murdering people this week.


Let's talk about it:

  • Have you checked the donor list (for police union donations) of every politician who celebrated justice this week?

  • Do Americans deserve more than thanks and prayers from politicians?



LEGISLATIONS TO CRIMINALIZE PROTESTORS

As previously reported by WeekenderNJ, Republicans have introduced bills in 34 States not to stop cops from killing people, but to criminalize protestors for engaging in their first Amendments rights.



OHIO

Police in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday fatally shot a 16-year-old teenage girl, confronted by a police officer as she lunged at two people with a knife, as seen in police video footage of the encounter. This police killing came at the same time as the George Floyed murder verdict in Minneapolis.


The incident, sparked street protests in Ohio’s largest city, as well as in other states, reminding a nation of the refusal of public officials to take a real stance against corruption among procecutors, and killing spree epidemic by the hands of cops nationally. However,

no matter of the outcome of this case, 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant won’t be coming back home.


Let's talk about it:

  • Shouldn't public servants serve the people?

  • How many donations have public servants received from cops?

  • Who are the public servants who receive donations from cops?

  • Has anyone looked into the PBA cards and shields that are yearly being sold by corrupt cops to the public?

  • How many more marches and protests does it take in a democratic country to be heard by the people voted to serve?



HAWAI'I

The state gave up on the pandemic combined with a shortage of U-halls – but it’s not for what you may think – As the state reopened and tourists inundated the state, there are not enough rental cars to meet the demand. The already skyrocket $1,000 per day car rentals, to rental shorateges left visitions to become creative, turning to U-Hall rentals.


The rest of the nation can now start bracing for potentially innundations of COVID-19 cases as a result of rich selfish COVID-19 idiots.



CALIFORNIA

The University of California and California State University, two of the nation's largest university systems, say they plan to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff on campuses this fall once the FDA gives formal approval. Other Universities in New Jersey had the same mandatory COVID-19 requirements.



SO THIS HAPPENED ON FRIDAY – In another batshit crazy event, Republican Olympian-turned Caitlyn Jenner announced a run in the recall for Governor in California.


The effort to recall Newsom is expected to collect enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot soon.


Other Republicans who are running include former Rep. Doug Ose, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and businessman John Cox.



Friday afternoon felt almost like a normal day in California (yes, we’re being sarcastic) - A guy decided to take the Cali PD on a car chase through multiple counties ending in Santa Ana, after it originated in Rialto.



The State Departmentannounced it will issue "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisories for roughly 80% of countries due to Covid-19 risk and urges U.S. citizens to "reconsider all travel abroad."



Via Reuters –– ”The United States of America and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) have filed a lawsuit against Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) and its former CEO in the Copenhagen city court, according to the attorney representing the parties.” You can read more about it here.



VIRGINIA

Nearly 3,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) representing employees at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) entered their second week on strike. The Virgina plant covers all North America. No talks to end the walk have been reported.



DC

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged with pro-Trump rioters and domestic terrorists on Jan. 6, suffered strokes and died of natural causes the day after the insurrection, D.C. chief medical examiner ruled.



The House just passed D.C. statehood this week, but it is unlikely that Republicans will vote in favor in the Senate.



THE GREATEST SOURCE OF TENSION BETWEEN MOSCOW AND WASHINGTON

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan returned to Washington DC this week - this after his Russian counterpart was recalled amid increasingly strained relations between the two countries.


Let’s talk about it

  • How close are we to a nuclear world war escalation?

  • Is there a connection between the ‘do no travel’ advisory issued by the State Department this week and Russia?

  • Where do we as a nation and world go from here?


Former Vice President Walter Mondale who served under President Jimmy Carter died in Minneapolis this week. He was 93.



US SUPREME COURT

Has the US Supreme Court gone too far? – For years (Via AP) – First Amendment Groups are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant access to the public to government surveillance, opinions that until now have remained almost secret. You can read more about it here.



West Wing

The White House has now officially endorsed D.C. statehood.



HOW'S BIDEN DIFFERENT FROM TRUMP?

From Trumps wall to Biden’s wall. Bidens administration could roll in bulldozers through a 6.6 acres sized by the government this week. The land was passed down by three generations in Texas. Initially Biden made a promise that ‘'not another foot of wall would be constructed" on the border. Now, he broke another early campaign promise.


It’s almost as if the two corporate political parties pursue the same authoritarian agenda.



WORLD NEWS


INDIA

A tsunami of COVID-19 deaths is happening in India and a Government unable to handle the surge in cases and economic devastation set to affect people who are already poor and in need of help.


OLYMPICS

Your weekly reminder of greed and corruption that is a global pandemic.

Japan declared its third state of COVID-19 emergency, but the Olympics “will go ahead.”


Let's talk about it:

  • What the hell is wrong with Japan?

  • How many Olympians will nations have to burry after this event?


EUROPE

Between the tension between DC and Moskow to Europe, it’s hysterical to think that European leaders can come up with an excuse of being taken by surprise when it comes to Russia.


Let’s talk about it:

  • Should European leaders get their shit together and address the Nuclear Elephant in their back yard?

  • Should EU leaders show their support for Ukraine, issue credible sanctions now, than after an invasion?

  • Should EU leaders protect their citizens who elected them into office?

  • There is literally zero excuse for European leaders to go through a major case of amnesia, after Rusia's track record. That unless if some of them are too corrupt beyond redemption, to care or be able to lead. So, which one is it dear European leaders?



IN OTHER NEWS

Mainstream adoption - PayPal-owned Venmo will now let users buy and send crypto, including #Bitcoin and #Ethereum, in amounts as little as $1.



FACEBOOK

This week in public intelligence gathering and spying in the name of socializing – Mark Zuckerberg, FB CEO announced this week that the company is building audio features where users can engage in real-time conversations with others. So basically cloning the Clubhouse.


Let’s talk about it:

  • What happened to humans thinking for themselves?!?

  • Do you remember who you were before social media dictated who you should be?

  • How is data collection of voice recognition as a small fraction to name not worry some?

  • How is your information, notes, thoughts and photography shared on FB by you and your children not a debating topic?



SPACE NEWS TO ROUND UP YOUR WEEK

Spin-up, hover and landing – Ingenuity's first-ever powered flight on another planet, NASA's Perseverance rover successfully ascended briefly on Monday, making history.


Images taken from the craft show its shadow on the Mars surface. Another taken from the Perseverance rover shows the helicopter airborne.



NASA had another reason to celebrate this week – It was 49 years ago this week that Appolo 16 landed on the Moon and operated the first telescope on the surfce of the Moon.



WHAT'S ON MURPHY'S AGENDA FOR NEXT WEEK

Governor Murphy is hosting a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 27th to bring residents the latest updates on combatting the pandemic, getting New Jerseyans vaccinated, our state budget and more.



MORE THINGS HAPPENING NEXT WEEK:


  • ELIZABETH CITY, N.C.WeekenderNJ is continuing to movitor developments in N.C., where not one, but seven sheriff’s deputies were put on leave after they shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year old Black man and father of seven, on Wednesday. The N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper called for the release of body-camera footage.


  • NYC – International Workers Day March, on Sat., May 1, at Union Square.


  • NASA to provide live coverage - NASA Television, the NASA App, and the agency’s website - of the upcoming SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts’ Return to Earth on Wednesday, April 28 at 7:05 a.m. EDT.

The live coverage schedule will be as follows:


Wednesday, April 28

4:45 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 5 a.m. hatch closure

6:45 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for the 7:05 a.m. undocking

12:40 p.m. – Splashdown (NASA TV will provide continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown)




WEEKLY QUOTE –


“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption”

— Kurt Cobain, Nirvana





Thanks for spending part of your morning with WeekenderNJ. See you next Weekend. – WNJ team



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