MLK document found
Last week, some of the remaining classified files regarding JFK’s assassination were made public. Amongst the thousands of documents regarding the former president and his death was a short dossier on Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK document appears to be entirely unrelated to the JFK papers, and so both the reason that it was hidden amongst those documents as well as the motivation for its composition remain unknown. Concerns regarding the Washington Spring Project—a march planned for the later months of 1968—were detailed in the dossier along with allegations linking Dr. King to the Communist Party USA and reports of participation in group sex acts and a number of extramarital affairs. The dossier alleges that MLK was a “whole-hearted Marxist,” explaining that regarding Marxism, he “has studied it … believes in it, and agrees with it, but because of his being a minister of religion, does not dare to espouse it publicly.” The dossier goes on to caution that “the combined forces of the communist influence and the black nationalists advocating violence give the Washington Spring Project a potential for an extremely explosive situation.” The information in the file was collected mostly through private conversations or third party tip-offs. It remains unknown which, if any, of the details were verified before the document was written. King was assassinated three weeks after the composition of this document and prior to the Washington Spring Project march.
Texas church shooting
This past Sunday, at approximately 11:30 a.m., a man later identified as Devin Patrick Kelley entered an ongoing service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and began shooting into the crowd. Armed with a semi-automatic rifle, he walked from pew to pew as he fired on the congregation and then fled as law enforcement arrived. Out of the approximately 50 people in attendance at the service, 26 were killed and more were injured. Most are being treated at nearby hospitals, but at least eight were transported to San Antonio—roughly 30 miles away. Kelley drove away and was briefly chased by police before being killed. It remains unclear whether he died as a result of police fire or self-inflicted wounds. At this time, a motive for the shooting remains unknown, although law enforcement is in the process of trying to unlock Kelley’s phone to search for any possible explanation. They currently suspect that he may have come to the church to harm a specific target, although whether that person is his former mother-in-law remains unconfirmed.
Paradise Papers leaks expose secret accounts
Last year, the Panama Papers leak exposed some of the offshore finances of many wealthy individuals, including both legal holdings and some accounts that were utilized for dubious purposes, such as tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement. Over the weekend, another collection of approximately 13.4 million documents of privileged financial information was made public in a leak now being dubbed the Paradise Papers. These documents illustrate how many of the world’s richest individuals invest money in ‘tax havens’ that exist outside their home countries. This leak is particularly notable because of its size and its release of information regarding the Queen of England’s assets, as well as the U.S. Commerce Secretary’s potential financial ties to Russia. The Queen has approximately $13 million in investments in both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The returns from these provide her with an income and funds to handle her own private estate. Wilbur Ross, the current Commerce Secretary under the Trump Administration, has maintained interest in Navigator Holdings, which transports fuel for Sibur—a Russian energy company—via his shell companies in the Cayman Islands. This connection could draw attention back to potential links between the Trump administration and Russia.
Report details civilian deaths in Mosul
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a joint report last Thursday detailing the damages in Mosul. The city has been subject to ISIS occupation and an onslaught of fighting and airstrikes by the Iraqi military and the U.S.-led coalition in their attempts to retake it. The report states that, at minimum, 2,521 civilians were killed and another 1,673 were injured in those seven months. While approximately 500 of the deaths were due to the Iraqi-U.S. airstrikes, the majority of casualties were attributed to deliberate killings by ISIS. The report states that “during the course of the operation to retake Mosul City, thousands of civilians were subjected to shocking human rights abuses and clear violations of international humanitarian law.” Among the abuses residents faced, ISIS intentionally bombed homes, used civilians as human shields, shot those who attempted to flee and resorted to execution-style killings. The report concludes with statements calling for those responsible to be held accountable for their crimes and for Iraq to a
gree to jurisdiction under the ICC so that investigations and trials can begin.