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African Nations 'Deeply Divided' Over Israel-Hamas Split

Oct. 24, 2023


Pro-Palestinian demonstration in South Africa.


( Information Network) - Back in 1963, the founders of the Organization of African Unity pledged to work and speak as one, forge an international consensus in support of the liberation struggle and fight against apartheid.

Their aims were high. The achievements less so.  Last week, a one-day Cairo Summit for Peace, attended  by leaders and top officials from more than a dozen countries, closed without agreement on a joint statement two weeks into a conflict that has killed thousands and visited a humanitarian catastrophe on the blockaded Gaza enclave of 2.3 million people.

Only one Africa leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, was in attendance.

The speeches reflected growing anger in the region, even among those with close ties to Israel as the war sparked by a massive Hamas attack enters a third week with casualties mounting and no end in sight.

The current Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza strip has left the African continent deeply divided, with some countries choosing to remain silent while others openly showing solidarity with either Israel or Palestine.

Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo all expressed some form of support for Israel since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

“Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians,” said President William Ruto, writing on Twitter, now known as X.

Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs proclaimed Israel’s right to exist and defend itself while cautioning that country to exercise restraint and seek negotiation talks for both parties.

Rwanda called the Hamas attack an ‘act of terror’ while the Democratic Republic of the Congo expressed support for Israel from the presidency’s Twitter account.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in contrast, expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine.

“All of us standing here pledge our solidarity for the people of Palestine,” he said at a recent meeting of the African National Congress in Johannesburg. “We stand here because we are deeply concerned about the atrocities that are unfolding in the Middle East.”

One of Palestine’s strongest African supporters is Algeria which condemned ‘brutal air strikes by the Zionist (Israel) occupation forces in the Gaza Strip’. They stated they were in ‘full solidarity with the Palestinian people’ while calling on the international community to act against ‘repeated criminal attacks.’

Tunisia, a member of the Arab League like Algeria, expressed ‘complete and unconditional support for the Palestinian people “who have been ‘under Zionist occupation for decades.” They called on the world ‘to stand by the Palestinians and remember the massacres carried out by the Zionist enemy.”

Countries that are more neutral include Nigeria which, on the day of the attack, condemned the “cycle of violence and retaliation that the current escalation has assumed.”

While Uganda has not taken an official side, President Yoweri Museveni urged Israel and Palestine to strive for peace and a ‘two-state solution’.

“African countries take different positions based on their political and geopolitical interests,” said Louis Gitinywa, a Rwanda-based political analyst and constitutional lawyer. “This is nothing new. States have interests, they don’t have friends.”

The only African country with a strong historical attachment to Israel is Ethiopia, but it is yet to make clear its stance on the current situation.

Buchanan Ismael, a political scientist at the University of Rwanda, pointed out that some African countries depend on Israel for military technology and weapons.

“I don’t think African states have very strong diplomatic relations with Israel,” he said. “Their ties are based on an “opportunistic way of cooperation and assistance.” 


Federal Agencies Issue $23 Million Fine Against TransUnion and Subsidiary by Charlene Crowell

Oct. 24, 2023

 Breaking News Sign

( - Two federal agencies recently reached a $23 million settlement with TransUnion, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, and a subsidiary, TURRS. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the settlement on October 12.  

The regulators said the firm’s use of inaccurate, outdated, and incomplete eviction records to screen prospective tenants harmed consumers looking for rental housing and violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  

The settlement, when approved by a federal court, will require the firm to repay $11 million to affected consumers, an additional $4 million civil penalty, and $8 million to CFPB for lying to consumers. TURRSS failed to provide consumers with the names of third-party vendors from whom it received criminal and eviction records included in its tenant screening reports. Further, no effort was made to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening reports. As a result, reports included inaccurate and incomplete eviction records that hampered consumers’ ability to obtain housing.  

“Americans across the country were put at risk of wrongful housing denials because TransUnion failed to follow the law,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We are ordering TransUnion to cease its years-long illegal activity, clean up its broken business practices, redress its victims, and pay penalties.”  Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection reacted similarly.  

“Consumers struggling to find housing shouldn’t be shut out by tenant screening reports that are ridden with errors and based on data from secret sources,” noted Levine. “Protecting consumers looking for housing is critical to a fair economy, and we are proud to partner with the CFPB in obtaining this record-breaking order.” 

According to the complaint, TransUnion and TURRSnever took legally-requiredsteps to ensure the accuracy of the data it received until April 2021 when the corporation learned of the related FTC investigation. The firms’ failure to follow reasonable procedures resulted in the use of error-laden consumer credit reports that wrongly showed multiple eviction records when only one may have occurred. As a result, many borrowers were denied rental housing, subjected to additional and undeserved fees, and had to spend hours or days trying to correct errors in their credit reports.  

“An unfair denial of rental housing has effects beyond just the loss of rental application fees—it means losing out on the opportunity to live in a person’s preferred neighborhood, the neighborhood that makes sense for them in terms of schools, work, and more; and it may mean having to pay even more for housing down the line,” added Eric Halperin, CFPB’s Enforcement Director. 

FCRA, a key consumer protection law passed more than 50 years ago, requires firms that collect consumer credit data, as well as those that use it in making credit-related decisions, to ensure accuracy of the information. Further, companies are required to investigate disputes and advise consumers when an adverse action is taken on the basis of credit reporting.  

TransUnion, which has gathered an estimated 190 million consumer credit profiles has a long history of anti-consumer behaviors.  

For example, in 1992, FTC Commissioners issued a cease-and-desist order against the corporation after it was found to have sold information, without consumers’ consent, to a third party who used that information to solicit consumers to purchase goods and services.  A legal finding delivered in the case in 1998 agreed with the FTC, saying in part: “Trans Union invades consumers’ privacy when it sells consumers’ credit histories to third-party marketers without consumers’ knowledge or consent. ... " 

In 2017 the CFPB took action against TransUnion and Equifax, another major credit reporting bureau, for deceiving customers and luring them into costly recurring payments by pushing credit-related products that offered false promises. In 2022, CFPB sued TransUnion, claiming the company did not meet the conditions of the earlier law enforcement order. That lawsuit has not been resolved.  

CFPB encourages consumers to utilize dedicated whistleblower hotline and email to report suspected wrongdoing. The email address is:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . As an alternative, consumers may also phone the toll-free Whistleblower Tip Line at (855) 695-7974.  


Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Equivalent Sanctity of Life By Julianne Malveaux

Oct. 17, 2023



(TriceEdneyWire) - I must join others in condemning the bombing in Tel Aviv that killed more than 1,200 people.  Those killed were mothers and fathers, children and grandparents.  They were soldiers and civilians, people simply attending a concert.  They had no idea they had breathed their last breath when they died.  They were going about their business, possibly blissfully clueless about the next moment.  Their deaths, horrible deaths, must be mourned.

There are also as many as 200 hostages, some American citizens.  Brutally, some of the hostages have been paraded about.  Some families have no idea whether their loved ones are dead or alive.  Barbarism is associated with taking hostages, mainly innocent civilians,  and it must be condemned, with the hostages released soon.  But Netanyahu's assertion that he will not bargain with Hamas, the group that took the hostages, does nothing to facilitate hostage release.

Israel is justifiably enraged and has vowed to retaliate.  And the retaliation has begun with bombing attacks on Gaza.  These ruthless attacks have hit mothers and fathers, children and grandparents, soldiers and civilians, and people living their lives.  They had scant warning of their coming slaughter.  They were going about their business, possibly blissfully clueless about the next moment.  Thousands in Gaza are dead, and their horrible deaths must be mourned.   Tens of thousands of others are affected by Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has restricted the availability of food, water, and medical supplies.

The Bible says something about an eye for an eye, but an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.  I fear that we in the United States have been blinded long ago.  There is no excuse for the carnage Hamas imposed on Israel.  Period.  There is also no excuse for starving people to death or removing tens of thousands from their homes, forcing them to leave everything behind.  When President Biden says, "We stand behind Israel," already sending military equipment and asserting a strong presence, what is he speaking to the Palestinian people?

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs ( has documented the loss of human life in Gaza and the West Bank between the last (2008) and now, not including the current conflict.  There have been 6407 Palestinian fatalities and 306 Israeli fatalities.  Where have world voices, now united against Hamas brutality, been in the face of Palestinian fatalities exponentially greater than any Israeli fatalities?  Without excusing Hamas (because their cruelty is inexcusable), cannot one understand Palestinian frustration and, perhaps, brutal action?  Hamas didn't do the Palestinian people any favors.  Israel's retaliation has left as many as a million displaced.  But I think of the Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay, whose 1919 poem, "If We Must Die," spoke of armed resistance against racism.  The poem begins, "If we must die, let it not be like hogs, hunted and penned in an inglorious spot."  McKay continues, "If we must die, O let us nobly die," and concludes, "Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave, and for their thousand blows deal one death blow, what though before us lies the open grave like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, pressed to the wall, dying but fighting back."  It's a powerful poem, written in response to the carnage of the Red Summer of 1919, where random packs of whites attacked Black people for next to nothing, slights real or imagined, protests to our very presence, even as Black men had returned from World War I.

Many will find the comparisons between Palestinian insurgents and Black freedom fighters to be false or untimely.  I understand.  I especially realize that McKay was not writing about killing women and children or putting them in danger.  I cringe at the notion that human lives, especially children's, are considered "collateral damage."  Yet, who bombs hospitals and educational institutions for "revenge.”

Israeli lives must be valued, and so must Palestinian lives.  Human life is equivalent, but the media does not reflect it.  There were protestors outside the White House saying they stood with Palestine.  Can't we all stand with life?  Until we embrace the equivalency of life, this conflict will continue, and an eye for an eye leaves all of us blind.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an economist and author.

‘UAW Workers are Striking for All Working People’ by Hazel Trice Edney

Oct. 17, 2023

Lee Saunders

Lee Saunders

( - When the Memphis sanitation workers were amid their strike that preceded the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. King gave a succinct analogy in his “Mountain Top” speech the night before he was killed. As he’d begun the Poor People’s Movement amidst threats and intimidation against those who would side with economic justice, he said the most important thought must not be, “If I take a stand, what will happen to me?” But the most important thought must be, “If I don’t take a stand, what will happen to them.”

It is apparently with this principled posture that Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

(AFSCME) has released a statement coming down squarely on the side of the afflicted - the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the expansion of their current strike.

“UAW workers are striking for all working people,” Saunders said in a release. “For decades, insatiable corporate greed has driven billionaires to take and take and take from hardworking Americans. It’s never enough for them, and we’re sick of it. Going back to the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, when AFSCME and Dr. King marched with workers for fair pay and justice, we know that strikes can change the world for the better. That is why we stand with UAW in this fight, and we will continue to be by their side until they get the dignity and respect they are owed."

Dating back to 1932, AFSCME has1.4 million members. It describes itself as a provider of “the vital services that make America happen. With members in communities across the nation, serving in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and freedom and opportunity for all working families.”

The Trice Edney News Wire views it as relevant to publish the following chronology from of the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike, led by AFSCME in Memphis as an example of the long and tedious stance required by strikers in order to attain justice:

1968 AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike Chronology

Monday, Jan 1 - Henry Loeb is sworn into office as mayor.

Sunday, Jan. 31 - Rain sends sewer workers home.

Tuesday, Feb. 1 - Two sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, are killed in an accident on a city truck.

Monday, Feb. 12 - Memphis sanitation and public employees strike after last-minute attempts to resolve grievances fail. Newspapers claim 200 workers of 1,300 remain on the job but only 38 of 180 trucks move. Mayor Loeb says strike is illegal but says "this office stands ready... to talk to anyone about his legitimate questions at any time."

Tuesday, Feb. 13 - An International Union official flies in from Washington to meet with the mayor. He calls for union recognition, dues checkoff and negotiations to resolve the workers' grievances. The Mayor says he'll hire new workers unless the strikers return to their jobs.

Wednesday, Feb. 14 - The Mayor delivers a back-to-work ultimatum for 7 a.m. Feb. 15. Police escort the few garbage trucks in operation. Negotiations between the city and the union break off. Newspapers say more than 10,000 tons of garbage is piled up.

Friday, Feb. 16 - Union leaders urge the city council to intervene. The council supports the Mayor. Memphis NAACP members endorse the strike.

Sunday, Feb. 18- AFSCME International President Jerry Wurf arrives and says the strike can end only when the workers' demands are met. The Ministerial Association arranges a meeting between the Mayor and union leaders moderated by a Memphis rabbi. It goes until 5 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 19 - NAACP and others stage all-night vigil and picketing at city hall.

Tuesday, Feb.20 - The union and the NAACP call for a citywide boycott of downtown merchants.

Thursday, Feb. 22 - City Council sub-committee headed by Councilman Fred Davis urges that the city recognize the union, in rowdy meeting with council chambers packed by more than 1,000 strikers and supporters. Meeting adjourns without action.

Friday, Feb. 23 - The Council refuses to recognize the union. Police attack strikers during a march on Main Street, using mace.

Saturday, Feb. 24 - Black leaders and ministers form citywide organization to support the strike and the boycott. City obtains court injunction to keep union from staging demonstrations or picketing.

Sunday, Feb. 25 - Ministers call on their congregations to boycott and march.

Monday, Feb. 26 - Daily marches begin, amid rumors that a compromise has been received by the Mayor.

Tuesday, Feb. 27 - The Mayor backs down on the compromise. Hundreds demonstrate at city hall. Courts cite 23 union members for contempt of court.

Thursday, Feb. 29 - Mayor Loeb sends each striker a letter inviting him back to work without union recognition. Two strike leaders arrested for jaywalking. Union files suit in federal court.

Friday, March 1 - Mayor meets with black ministers. Windows at his home are broken and he blames the strikers. Federal judge rejects union's suit.

Sunday, March 3 - Eight-hour gospel singing marathon at Mason Temple raises money for strikers and shows community support.

Monday, March 4 - State Sen. Frank White proposes bill to create state mediation board to resolve impasse. Mayor opposes it.

Tuesday, March 5 - Ministers announce the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will come to Memphis, as 116 strikers and supporters are arrested for sitting in at city hall.

Wednesday, March 6 - Seven union leaders given 10-day sentences and fines for contempt of court. Strikers stage a mock funeral at city hall, lamenting the death of freedom in Memphis.

Thursday, March 7 - City Council votes against dues checkoff proposal.

Friday, March 8 - Trash fires in South Memphis are blamed on strike supporters.

Saturday, March 9 - At Mayor's suggestion, National Guard begins holding riot drills.

Monday, March 11 - Students skip high school to participate in march, led by black ministers. Two students arrested.

Wednesday, March 13 - Nine demonstrators arrested at Main and McCall. Police claim they threatened shoppers.

Thursday, March 14 - National NAACP leader Roy Wilkins addresses meeting of 10,000 or more and expresses support for a firm, peaceful protest. Six pickets are arrested and charged with blocking the Democrat Road sanitation depot entrance.

Saturday, March 16 - Mayor says entire city should vote on dues checkoff questions in August. Union says no.

Monday, March 18 - Newspapers claim strike is failing as scabs operate 90 garbage trucks. But 17,000 Memphians attend rally where Dr. King calls for a citywide march on March 22.

Wednesday, March 20 - Mayor restates his opposition to union demands.

Friday, March 22 - Record snowstorm blocks Dr.King's return. March is cancelled. City and union agree to mediation. Round-the-clock meetings begin.

Wednesday, March 27 - SCLC Leader Ralph David Abernathy addresses rally in support of strikers. Mediation talks collapse.

Thursday, March 28 - March from Clayborn Temple, led by Dr. King, is interrupted by window breaking. Police move into crowds with nightsticks, mace, tear gas and gunfire. A 16-year old boy, Larry Payne, is shot to death. Police arrest 280, report about 60 injured, mostly blacks. State legislature authorizes 7 p.m. curfew and 4,000 National Guardsmen move in.

Friday, March 29 - Some 300 sanitation workers and ministers, march peacefully and silently from Clayborn Temple to City Hall — escorted by five armored personnel carriers, five jeeps, three huge military trucks and dozens of Guardsmen with bayonets fixed. President Johnson and AFL-CIO President George Meany offer assistance in resolving the dispute. Mayor Loeb turns them down.

Sunday, March 31 - Ministers urge restraint. Dr. King cancels trip to Africa and plans return to Memphis to lead peaceful march. Attempts to renew mediation of strike fail.

Monday, April 1 - Curfew is lifted.

Tuesday, April 2 - Hundreds attend funeral for Larry Payne. National Guard withdrawn.

Wednesday, April 3 - Dr. King returns to Memphis and addresses rally, delivering his "I've been to the Mountaintop" address.

Thursday, April 4 - A sniper, later captured and identified as James Earl Ray, assassinates Dr. King as he stands on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Hotel.

Friday, April 5 - Federal troops and Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark are in Memphis as FBI begins international manhunt for assassin. President Johnson instructs Undersecretary of Labor James Reynolds to take charge of mediation to settle the strike.

Saturday, April 6 - Reynolds meets with Mayor Loeb in the first of a long string of meetings-first with one side, then the other, rarely together.

Monday, April 8 - Mrs. King and dozens of national figures lead a peaceful memorial march through downtown in tribute to Dr. King and in support of the strike.

Tuesday, April 9 - Funeral services are held in Atlanta for Dr. King.

Wednesday, April 10 - Reynolds steps up meetings with city and union officials, most without publicity.

Tuesday, April 16 - AFSCME leaders announce that agreement has been reached. The strikers vote to accept it. The strike is over.

Source: AFSCME Local 1733 pamphlet

New Museum Head Troubled by Human Remains Taken from Graves

Oct. 17, 2023


Sean M. Decatur

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Global Information Network

 ( - Sean M. Decatur, recently appointed to head the American Museum of Natural History, is well aware of the obstacles that could await him in his new job.

It’s clear from an essay he wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “The Cost of Leading While Black.”

“If you are a Black person in America, you can measure with an egg timer how long it takes for an intense disagreement to lead to the invocation of racist tropes,” he wrote. “The dynamics of race in America are fractal: They can be observed at all scales, from the paths of power in Washington to the gravel paths of bucolic Gambier, Ohio.”

His current challenge will be to move forward with all due speed on the disposition of skeletons of indigenous and enslaved people taken from their graves and the bodies of New Yorkers who died as recently as the 1940s.

The museum is facing questions about the legality and the ethics of its acquisitions.

“Figuring out exactly what we have here is something that is important to do moving forward,” Decatur said.

“Human remains collections were made possible by extreme imbalances of power,” Decatur noted in a letter sent to staff members this week. “Moreover, many researchers in the 19th and 20th centuries then used such collections to advance deeply flawed scientific agendas rooted in white supremacy — namely the identification of physical differences that could reinforce models of racial hierarchy.”

Currently, the museum has three people involved in repatriating remains, although Decatur said part of his initiative is to focus more resources in this area.

Decatur discussed the desecration of the cemetery for enslaved people in his letter to the staff. The cemetery most likely dated back to colonial times and was excavated during construction in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood. A photo from that time displays the skeletons that had been pulled from the ground. Workers formed a pyramid with the skulls.

In an interview, Decatur said he found the treatment of the bodies disturbing.

In his staff letter, the president said of the remains, “Identifying a restorative, respectful action in consultation with local communities must be part of our commitment.”

Recently, John Jay College professor Erin Thompson  learned about the New York museum’s “medical collection” while conducting research into the ethical and legal questions that surround its holdings of remains. She was surprised to see the collection included New Yorkers who had died as recently as the 1940s.

Efforts to more fully research those remains were stymied by the museum, she said, which denied her access to its catalog.

Human remains currently on display in the museum range from skeletons to instruments and beads made from, or incorporating, human bones.

“None of the items on display,” Decatur said in his letter, “are so essential to the goals and narrative of the exhibition as to counterbalance the ethical dilemmas presented by the fact that human remains are in some instances exhibited alongside and on the same plane as objects.

“These are ancestors and are in some cases victims of violent tragedies or representatives of groups who were abused and exploited, and the act of public exhibition extends that exploitation.”