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Freddie Gray death: cries of 'justice' in Baltimore after six officers charged


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State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announces criminal charges including murder and says Gray’s arrest by Baltimore police was illegal: ‘No crime had been committed’

 

 

Oliver Laughland and Raya Jalabi in Baltimore and Jon Swaine in New York

 

Friday 1 May 2015 17.49 BST

 

 

 

A criminal prosecution for murder will be brought over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the city’s top prosecutor announced on Friday morning.

 

The announcement came after nearly two weeks of growing anger over Gray’s death, and only hours after state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby received the results of a police investigation.

 

“Mr Gray’s death was a homicide,” Mosby declared. His arrest was illegal, and his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter, she said.

 

Mosby said Gray sustained fatal neck injuries because he was handcuffed and shackled in the back of a police van without a seatbelt after his arrest on 12 April.

 

“To the people of Baltimore: I heard your call for ‘no justice no peace’,” Mosby said at a Baltimore press conference. Praising young people who had taken to the streets to protest over Gray’s death, she said: “I will seek justice on your behalf.

 

“This is a moment. This is your moment,” said Mosby. “Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now.”

 

Whoops of joy and cries of “justice” were heard from bystanders as Mosby, a 35-year-old African American woman who has been in the job for less than six months, spoke. At an intersection in west Baltimore that has become the base for demonstrations, cars honked their horns and drivers pumped their fists in the air.

 

Officer Caesar Goodson – the driver of the police van – was charged with second-degree murder, while charges including manslaughter, assault, and misconduct in public office were brought against five other officers. Goodson, who has refused to cooperate with investigators, faces up to 30 years in prison.

 

Officer William Porter and Sergeant Alicia D White were charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct.

 

Lieutenant Brian Rice, Officer Garrett Miller and Officer Edward Nero were charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct and false imprisonment.

 

All six officers involved were charged, and Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said later that five of the six officers were in custody and that she had ordered police commissioner Anthony Batts to suspend all of them from their jobs. They are expected to be arraigned in court later on Friday.

 

“No one is above the law,” Mosby said.

 

Gray, 25, was arrested after catching the eye of a senior officer and running away. He was placed in the back of a police transportation wagon and was not placed in a seatbelt, as is required under Baltimore police regulations.

 

Past prisoners have suffered serious injuries during so-called “rough rides” in Baltimore vehicles.

 

Mosby said Gray sustained a fatal neck injury while he was handcuffed and shackled inside a police van without a seatbelt.

 

She said Gray’s arrest was illegal, since the knife in his pocket was not a switchblade and so was legal under Maryland law. In any case, the knife was not discovered until after he was arrested, Mosby said.

 

The announcement marked an extraordinary turn in the case, which has led to civil unrest in the city and reinvigorated discussions around poverty, discrimination and injustice suffered by African Americans across the United States.

 

Protests over Gray’s death turned to rioting on Monday, as young people – many of whom accuse Baltimore police of systematic brutality and mistreatment – clashed with officers. Shops were looted and buildings were burned. More than 200 people were arrested.

 

Protesters have been calling for all six officers involved in the arrest to be charged since Gray’s death on 19 April.

 

“This is a turning point in the world. This is a turning point in America,” shouted Jay Morrison of the YMC community coalition, part of the small group of Baltimore residents who assembled to hear Mosby’s announcement.

 

Mosby said she came from five generations of police officers, and that the charges against these six officers should in no way damage the relationship between police and prosecutors in Baltimore.

 

Her announcement came as the city braced for two move waves of protests on Friday and Saturday.

 

Barack Obama said it was “absolutely vital” the truth about what happened to Gray came out.

 

“It is my practice not to comment on the legal processes involved,” the US president said at a press conference. “That would not be appropriate. But I can tell you that justice needs to be served. All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law.

 

“So I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should. The justice department and our new attorney general [Loretta Lynch] is in communications with Baltimore officials to make sure that any assistance we can provide on the investigation is provided.”

 

He added: “What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That’s what people around the country expect.”

 

In a brief statement, Rawlings-Blake, the mayor, said: “There will be justice for Mr Gray, there will be justice for his family, and there will be justice for the people of Baltimore,” she said in a brief statement.

 

Rawlings-Blake said she was “sickened and heartbroken” by details of the charges against the officers.

 

“No one in our city is above the law,” she said. “Justice must apply to all of us equally.”

 

The mayor said most police officers served with “honour and distinction”, but said: “To those of you who wish to engage in brutality, misconduct, racism and corruption, let me clear: there is no place in the Baltimore city police department for you.”

 

The decision to charge all six officers caught many by surprise. Baltimore City police had only handed the findings of their own investigation into Gray’s death to Mosby’s office on Thursday.

 

Flanked by members of her own investigative team, Mosby said she decided to press charges after “independently verifying” all facts provided by the police department, and stated: “From day one, I also sent my own investigators to the scene.

 

“What we received from the police department yesterday we already had,” said Mosby.

 

Before her press conference, the Baltimore police officers’ union asked her to appoint a special independent prosecutor for the investigation into Gray’s death.

 

“All death is tragic. And death associated with interaction with police is both shocking and frightening to the public,” Gene Ryan wrote.

 

“As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr Gray.

To the contrary, at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced the obligations to protect Mr Gray and discharged their duties to protect the public.”

 

Despite claiming full faith in Mosby’s professional integrity, Ryan cited “very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case”.

 

Ryan specifically called into question Mosby’s personal and professional relationship with the Gray family attorney William Murphy.

 

Murphy was among Mosby’s biggest campaign contributors last year, donating the maximum individual amount allowed, $4,000, in June. He was also on Mosby’s transition team after the election.

 

But after announcing the charges on Friday, Mosby said she would not turn the case over to a special prosecutor.

 

For those outside the steps of the War Memorial Building, where Mosby held her press conference on Friday morning, the decision to prosecute was seen as nothing other than a move for justice and a potential turning point for the city recovering from widespread rioting and looting in the wake of Gray’s death.

 

Additional reporting by Sabrina Siddiqui and Dan Roberts in Washington

 

 

 

Freddie-Gray-headshot-010.jpg

 

Freddie Gray. Photograph: Murphy, Falcon & Murphy

 

 

 

 

CD7WcUoXIAAlTgh.png
 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/01/baltimore-freddie-gray-death

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Officers being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency ! It's readily apparent that Mosby had her mind made up before she got the police report. She's an Eric Holder clone. Da*n !!!!

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Officers being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency ! It's readily apparent that Mosby had her mind made up before she got the police report. She's an Eric Holder clone. Da*n !!!!

***///

 

Nailed it ! Spot on !   :twothumbs:

Can't give ya but 1 PLUS+1, so here's a 5-gold star rating for ya !  *****  :salute: 

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Officers being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency ! It's readily apparent that Mosby had her mind made up before she got the police report. She's an Eric Holder clone. Da*n !!!!

wow and here we go like *snap* right on queue.  when there is no truth or evidence to present, the next best tactic is slander.  

 

let me get this straight.  so now the baltimore state attorney is sacrificing officers on the altar of political expediency.  LOL!!!!!   LOL!!!!!!   so let me get this right......marilyn, in an attempt to better her political position and pursue personal career gains, intends to construct it on the lives of innocent police officers.  

 

LOL!!!!!! and on top of all that, ALLLLLL of this is being done to purposely to distract us from the evil and sinister plan of president Obama who is finishing off a scheme to hand the nation over to Iran.   HEEEEEELARIOUSSSSSSS!    whewwwwwww!!!   :jester:

Edited by TrinityeXchange
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Sounds like the attorney for the city was bought and paid for by those wanting to hang the police.  I do not know why anyone today would ever want to be a police officer.  It has to be something like a calling to the ministry where you really cannot do anything else besides be a police officer personally.  Otherwise there is no way I would want to be one in today's democrat lead and socially stupid society.  The cops that want to do good are hung by the same lynch mob that they are trying to prevent.  Personally I truly feel sorry for a good cop today because the media is so that they never have a chance.  They are hung if they do and hung if they do not do something.  In my day you stood by a cop and backed him up.  Now our society abandons them and then whines when bad things happen.  

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Botzwana I could not agree with you more.  They are being sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.  The knife is racism.  The firewood is carried by the minions of the Democrat party.  They never had a chance.

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Police lives matter too!!!!  If people like the ignorant mayor of New York De Blasio  get their way you will have unarmed police officers. On what planet are these people living?

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Are you people seriously defending the cops?

Instead of concentrating on this being a stupid "race" issue and being herded like sheep into the left/right, liberl/conservative, black/white paradigm. How about concentrate on it being a police brutality issue.

Because that's what it is: a police brutality issue. These cops committed a crime. They should be punished. Being defending the cops are being unreasonable and so are the people claiming it's racism.

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Are you people seriously defending the cops?

Instead of concentrating on this being a stupid "race" issue and being herded like sheep into the left/right, liberl/conservative, black/white paradigm. How about concentrate on it being a police brutality issue.

Because that's what it is: a police brutality issue. These cops committed a crime. They should be punished. Being defending the cops are being unreasonable and so are the people claiming it's racism.

 

We don't know what happened.  We weren't there. How about we let the innocent until proven guilty scenario play itself out, before we stick the death needle in these police officers' arms?

 

.

 

.

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Are you people seriously defending the cops?

Instead of concentrating on this being a stupid "race" issue and being herded like sheep into the left/right, liberl/conservative, black/white paradigm. How about concentrate on it being a police brutality issue.

Because that's what it is: a police brutality issue. These cops committed a crime. They should be punished. Being defending the cops are being unreasonable and so are the people claiming it's racism.

 

The guy didn't have a broken neck when he made eye contact with the cop and ran...

 

He had a broken neck when he got to the police station.

 

I will say Rightsonword...had you or I decided to take off "jogging" at that moment...would we have been chased and arrested?

 

 

Markinsa :) I am sure the cops are going to get more "due process" than Freddie Gray did. JMHO

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I know there are some big wigs who post on this site.  I do not know which positions ya'll take.  But regarding the police and the military I think everyone last one of you need to keep in mind that there are a large number of people on here who are present or former military and or present or former law enforcement, or come from homes of military and/or law enforcement.  You insult either of these groups and you insult us.  Any claim or accusation is seen personal and will be responded to in like manner.  To those of you who seem to feel how evil cops are....I hope next time you get robbed you call a junkie. Our families are or have been on the streets protecting people who could not give a rat's left hindquarter if they lived or died.  I dare ya'll to get out on the streets and be a cop reserve for one month.  Most of you who love to complain would not have the courage needed to last one week.

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In another thread, I posted that a BPD Officer stated on TV that Freddie Gray was observed with another individual conducting a small packet exchange (selling or buying drugs), That is why he was chased.  It wasn't just because the police made eye contact with him.  Individuals have been known to swallow the drugs they have in their possession before the police catch up to them.  Freddie Gray's toxicology report came back positive for Heroin and Marijuana.  He was also a known snitch and would frequently act out when he was taken into custody to give the impression he was resisting and the police were harming him.  That's a statement from one Police Office who spoke anonymously on TV.  I will repeat, we don't know what happened.

 

Below are symptoms for Heroin Overdose:

 

Symptoms

Airways and lungs:

Eyes, ears, nose, and throat:

  • Dry mouth
  • Extremely small pupils, sometimes as small as the head of a pin ("pinpoint pupils")
  • Tongue discoloration

Heart and blood:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse

Skin:

Stomach and intestines:

Nervous system:

 

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Morning Markinsa

 

 

In another thread, I posted that a BPD Officer stated on TV that Freddie Gray was observed with another individual conducting a small packet exchange (selling or buying drugs), That is why he was chased.  It wasn't just because the police made eye contact with him.  Individuals have been known to swallow the drugs they have in their possession before the police catch up to them.  Freddie Gray's toxicology report came back positive for Heroin and Marijuana.  He was also a known snitch and would frequently act out when he was taken into custody to give the impression he was resisting and the police were harming him.  That's a statement from one Police Office who spoke anonymously on TV.  I will repeat, we don't know what happened.

 

Below are symptoms for Heroin Overdose:

 

Symptoms

Airways and lungs:

Eyes, ears, nose, and throat:

  • Dry mouth
  • Extremely small pupils, sometimes as small as the head of a pin ("pinpoint pupils")
  • Tongue discoloration

Heart and blood:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse

Skin:

Stomach and intestines:

Nervous system:

 

 

Does a heroin overdose give you a broken neck? I didn't see it listed here.

 

Please stop conjecturing/speculating...the truth will come out on this one...hopefully.

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Rightsonword I do agree with you about this being a "rights" issue for all of us and it is getting derailed into a righty/lefty issue...

 

Seriously!!!

Exactly, Maggie!

People are so quick to defend cops no matter what as if all cops are saints: they're not. Since January, multiple cops have been indicted on murder charges for just about executing suspects. This story reeks of police brutality, unless you want to believe that a guy can so easily break his own neck.

I don't believe there was any racism invovled by the cops considering three of them were black, but there definitely is a hint of racism by some who are critical of the residents of baltimore.

Edited by rightsonword
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Exactly, Maggie!

People are so quick to defend cops no matter what as if all cops are saints: they're not. Since January, multiple cops have been indicted on murder charges for just about executing suspects. This story reeks of police brutality, unless you want to believe that a guy can so easily break his own neck.

I don't believe there was any racism invovled by the cops considering three of them were black, but there definitely is a hint of racism by some who are critical of the residents of baltimore.

 

A voice of reason...refreshing!! Yes it has seemed to bring out the worst in some people...uggggg.

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Some of you who seem to love to judge the cops and take them to task need to get your butts out in the streets.  See just how long you last.  See how you like being spit on and egged just because you are trying to protect ungrateful masses.  See just how long you last watching your fellow brothers and sisters murdered simply because they thought they could make a different and put on a badge.  Some of you do not deserve ONE life that has been lost by an officer defending your ungratful butts.


My brothers were out there day in and day out.  You bet I am angry.  You ungrateful masses.  I wonder just how many of you watched with glee the officer gunned down in NY.  

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Exactly, Maggie!

People are so quick to defend cops no matter what as if all cops are saints: they're not. Since January, multiple cops have been indicted on murder charges for just about executing suspects. This story reeks of police brutality, unless you want to believe that a guy can so easily break his own neck.

I don't believe there was any racism invovled by the cops considering three of them were black, but there definitely is a hint of racism by some who are critical of the residents of baltimore.

 

 

A voice of reason...refreshing!! Yes it has seemed to bring out the worst in some people...uggggg.

 

Oh hell, let's just line'em up and shoot them and get it over with.  They're guilty! We all know it was premeditated.  We all know exactly what happened. They were planning this for weeks! The police followed him from his home, and staged the whole thing.  Damn evil cops.  There is no possible way any of these six police officers are innocent.  There is no possible way that the police may have unintentionally and unknowingly fractured Freddie's neck when they were attempting to take him into custody. They just wanted to get rid of one more black kid of the streets to keep him from reproducing.

 

 

.

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It is interesting how there can be a cop who has dedicated his or her life to helping others and possibly have saved unknown lives of all races get murdered on the streets and an ungrateful society shows their true colors by being quiet.  Yet a thug with a rap sheet longer than they are tall can die in police custody and a politically correct morally inverted world goes totally insane.  

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The support of criminals from the lawlessness of the left, so rears its ugly head in this thread, from the usual tools of satan.

Tell me about it. Supporting police brutality is never a cool thing. :shrug:

 

Some of you who seem to love to judge the cops and take them to task need to get your butts out in the streets.  See just how long you last.  See how you like being spit on and egged just because you are trying to protect ungrateful masses.  See just how long you last watching your fellow brothers and sisters murdered simply because they thought they could make a different and put on a badge.  Some of you do not deserve ONE life that has been lost by an officer defending your ungratful butts.

My brothers were out there day in and day out.  You bet I am angry.  You ungrateful masses.  I wonder just how many of you watched with glee the officer gunned down in NY.  

What are you even talking about. Who in this thread is judging all cops or saying they're useless or all corrupt?

Police brutality is police brutality and it does exist, regardless if you believe it or not. Are you saying all cops are wonderful people?

I honestly don't care if your brother is a cop or not. If he is a good, law abiding, no abusive cop, prayers out to him. If he misses any of these qualities, he's scum and should be stripped of his badge. Same with any citizen, cop or not.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh hell, let's just line'em up and shoot them and get it over with.  They're guilty! We all know it was premeditated.  We all know exactly what happened. They were planning this for weeks! The police followed him from his home, and staged the whole thing.  Damn evil cops.  There is no possible way any of these six police officers are innocent.  There is no possible way that the police may have unintentionally and unknowingly fractured Freddie's neck when they were attempting to take him into custody. They just wanted to get rid of one more black kid of the streets to keep him from reproducing.

 

 

.

 

Sarcasm, eh? Are you one of those that believes police brutality doesn't happen? Obviously the legal process needs to take it's course, but from the evidence presented thus far, Gray died due to injuries sustained from some type of police abuse, whether from a rough riding paddy ride or other means. Unless you deny that as well . . .

Edited by rightsonword
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Tell me about it. Supporting police brutality is never a cool thing. :shrug:

 

lol, what are you even talking about. Who in this thread is judging all cops or saying they're useless or all corrupt?

Police brutality is police brutality and it does exist, regardless if you believe it or not. Are you saying all cops are wonderful people?

I honestly don't care if your brother is a cop or not. If he is a good, law abiding, no abusive cop, prayers out to him. If he misses any of these qualities, he's scum and should be stripped of his badge. Same with any citizen, cop or not.

 

lol, what? Are you one of those that believes police brutality doesn't happen? Obviously the legal process needs to take it's course, but from the evidence presented thus far, Gray died due to injuries sustained from some type of police abuse, whether from a rough riding paddy ride or other means. Unless you deny that as well . . .

YOU don't know that.   That's the problem with your perspective, hence your "argument".  It's not at the point of even being able to deny!  YOU are prejudging the case as factual, based on nothing but media attention.

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right...I know there are bad cops.  I was marked by one but because I had a public position in the town I was safe but I was disturbing their drug and sexual cover up thing.  I know there are bad cops.  Don't even go there.  You act like these cops are all guilty but you also were haveing a small heart attack at the idea that these poor little thugs might be misjudged.  I am sick of the double standard one for the cop and one for the good for nothing thug who is trying to burn people alive like that pizza owner in Baltimore.  When was the last time you got off your stinking high horse and went over to a cop and thank him for the risk he takes every day for your miserable hide?


right...I dare you to put on the badge as a reserve but I truly do not believe you would survive..

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        The results will give the Kurds – who, with 20% of Turkey’s population, are the country’s biggest minority – true representation in parliament. The HDP surpassed the steep 10% threshold for entering parliament to take more than 12% of the vote and around 80 seats in the 550-strong chamber. The party’s result also denied Erdoğan’s AKP its majority.
       
      The 10% hurdle, dating from the military-authored constitution of 1980, had been intended in part to diminish Kurdish representation in the parliament.
       
      Erdoğan is yet to speak following the vote, which was the first time in four general elections to see a fall in his support. While the AKP comfortably managed to secure the biggest portion of the vote, its 41% share of seats represents a sharp drop from its performance the 2011 elections, when it won nearly half the national vote. For the first time since 2002, the AKP will need to form a coalition government or call new elections.
       
      It remains unclear who will be a likely partner for the AKP after the most likely candidate, the rightwing Nationalist Movement party (MHP) ruled out the possibility of a coalition.
       
      According to the state-run Anadolu agency, the party leader, Devlet Bahceli, said the party was “ready to be a main opposition party” against an AKP-led coalition or minority government during a speech from party headquarters in Ankara early on Monday.
       
      “Nobody has a right to drag Turkey into [AKP] minority and some circles’ scenarios,” said Bahceli. “A snap election will happen whenever it will happen.” He welcomed the election results, with his party gaining 31 seats in parliament.
       
      Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the leftist HDP, and surprise star of this election, also dismissed any possibility of a coalition with the AKP.
       
      “We will not form a coalition with the AKP. We stand behind our words. We will be in parliament as a strong opposition,” Demirtas said in a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday night. He added that the election results had clearly put an end to all plans of an executive presidency.
        “As of this moment, the debate on the presidency, the debate about dictatorship, has come to an end in Turkey. Turkey has returned from the edge of a cliff,” he said.
       
      Pro-government newspapers on Monday morning were already calling for early elections. “The ballot box revealed the ballot box”, read the headline of the conservative daily Yeni Safak.
       
      Burhan Kuzu, the AK party deputy and head of the parliamentary constitution commission, said snap elections were inevitable. “No government will emerge from this scenario. Not even a coalition,” he told BBC Türkçe. “Early elections look inevitable.” He added that the election results reflected the weakness of the parliamentary system.
       
      “The parliamentary system is a curse for the whole world. In Turkey only majority governments ever worked, coalitions always destroyed it.” He said that the only solution would be an executive presidency.
       
      According to the AFP news agency, new elections could be called any time in the next 45 days.
       
      Official results based on 99.9% of votes counted put the AKP in the lead, followed by the Republican People’s party (CHP) on 25%, the MHP on 16.5% and the HDP in fourth place with 13%. Turnout was 86%. According to official projections, the AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, CHP 132, MHP 81 and HDP 79.
       
      The AKP has dominated Turkish politics since it first came to power in 2002, but has suffered from a dip in economic growth and controversy over Erdoğan’s perceived authoritarian tendencies.
       
      The results wreck Erdoğan’s dream of agreeing a new constitution to switch Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system that he had made a fundamental issue in the campaign. Such a change would have required a two-thirds majority in the parliament.
       
      Speaking from the balcony of AKP headquarters in Ankara – the traditional venue for the party’s victory speeches – the prime minister and party leader, Ahmet Davutoglu, sought to put a brave face on the results. “The winner of the election is again the AKP, there’s no doubt,” he said, pledging to ensure Turkey’s stability. But he added: “Our people’s decision is final. It’s above everything and we will act in line with it.”
       
      But the atmosphere outside the AKP’s headquarters was muted. Several hundred supporters chanted for Erdoğan, the party’s founder, but there was little sign of the huge crowds that gathered after past election victories.
       
      Erdogan’s divide-and-rule strategy of rallying his religious-conservative base has led to increasing polarisation in Turkey, and in some cases to violence. Erdoğan had repeatedly lashed out at the HDP and its charismatic leader Demirtaş before the elections.
       
      The HDP ran on a platform defending the rights of ethnic minorities, women, and lesbian, ***, bisexual and transgender people - forming an electoral coalition between the Kurdish minority in Turkey’s south-east and liberals in Istanbul and elsewhere.
       
      “This result shows that this country has had enough. Enough of Erdoğan and his anger,” said Seyran Demir, a 47-year-old who was among the thousands who gathered in the streets around the HDP’s provincial headquarters in Diyarbakir. “I am so full of joy that I can’t speak properly.”
       
      “It is a carnival night,” said 47-year-old Huseyin Durmaz, a Kurd. “We no longer trust the AKP,” he said.
       
      Another record was set by the number of women MPs set to take a seat in parliament after an unofficial tally estimated a total of 96 female parliamentarians securing a place in the Turkish grand national assembly – a record high and up from 79 in 2011.
        
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/turkey-may-face-fresh-poll-as-recep-tayyip-erdogan-is-snubbed-by-voters
    • By umbertino
      Greek prime minister accuses his country’s creditors of making ‘absurd’ demands and insists debt restructuring offer must stay in place
       
       
      Heather Stewart and Helena Smith in Athens
       Friday 5 June 2015 20.03 BST
       
       
       
      The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has warned that time is running out to rescue the country from the brink of bankruptcy an and exit from the eurozone, ensuring that Greece’s plight will be a pressing concern for G7 leaders as they gather in Bavaria.
       
      With the end of June now regarded as the last possible moment for striking a deal to release the €7.2bn (£5.2bn...$8B) in bailout funds that Greece needs to stay afloat, Tsipras struck a defiant tone in a statement before the country’s parliament, accusing Greece’s creditors of making “absurd” demands on his recession-hit country and insisting, “they won’t humiliate us”.
       
      Tsipras also appealed to the Greek opposition parties – and his own Syriza MPs – to give their backing to his negotiating stance and reject the latest proposals from the country’s paymasters.
        “Time is not only running out for us, it is running out for everyone,” he warned, adding, “Greek people should be proud because the government is not going to give into absurd proposals.”
       
      He also insisted that a debt restructuring – writing off some of the €320bn that Greece owes – must remain on the table.
       
      US officials, including the Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, have repeatedly warned their European counterparts not to be complacent about the economic risks of a so-called Grexit, and President Obama is likely to reiterate that argument this weekend. The US president is likely to be particularly concerned that Greece could turn to Russia for aid. Tsipras underlined that risk on Friday by letting it be known he was holding a phone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
       
      In the Greek parliament, Antonis Samaras, leader of the opposition New Democracy party, accused Tsipras of mishandling the negotiations and tipping Greece back into recession. “You have totally destroyed the country and isolated us,” he said.
       
      Analysts said Tsipras’s firm public rejection of the creditors’ latest proposal made it hard to envisage a deal emerging. Nick Spiro, of Spiro Sovereign Strategy, said it was, “difficult to see a basis for further negotiation”, given that Greece and its paymasters were already “at daggers drawn”.
       
      The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is thought to favour a compromise in the talks between Greece’s radical leftist government and its lenders, but the International Monetary Fund has argued for a tougher stance.
       
      Tsipras went to the Greek parliament to explain his stance last night, after Athens took the risky decision to delay a €300m ($333.3M) payment to the IMF.
        In a highly charged parliamentary session, Tsipras condemned the proposals tabled at a late-night meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
       
      A leaked draft of those proposals called on Athens to make pensions cuts, raise VAT and cancel the planned repeal of controversial labour market reforms imposed as part of its original bailout deal.
       
      All of these demands are unacceptable to Tsipras and to many in his party. He had hoped to return to Brussels to continue negotiations on Friday but a furious response from his Syriza colleagues forced him to remain in Greece and make the case for continuing to engage in the negotiations.
       
      Greek share prices were sold off sharply as investors absorbed the news that Athens had refused to make the IMF payment, a decision that emerged after markets closed on Thursday night. The Athens general composite index fell by almost 5%, with banks hit particularly hard.
       
      Athens exploited a little-known loophole in IMF rules and announced that it would bundle up four debt repayments into one lump sum at the end of the month.
       
      The ratings agency Fitch confirmed on Friday that Greece’s decision to postpone the payment would not jeopardise its credit rating, which has already been cut to CCC over the course of the crisis.
       
      Fitch warned: “The risk that Greece misses its larger IMF payment at the end of June cannot be discounted,” adding that Athens’ decision “illustrates the pressure that a lack of market or official funding and tight liquidity conditions for Greek banks are putting on Greece’s sovereign liquidity”.
       
      A group of high-profile economists, including the Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz and John Maynard Keynes’ biographer Robert Skidelsky, also wrote a letter to the Financial Times calling for Greece to be granted debt forgiveness, starting with an immediate moratorium on repayments in return for economic reforms. “We think that the whole of Europe will benefit from Greece being given the chance of a fresh start,” they said.
       
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/05/tsipras-warns-g7-leaders-time-running-out-to-rescue-greece-from-bankruptcy
       
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