The German national has lived in Baghdad for several years, promoting the work of young Iraqi artists.
Mewis is a prominent figure in the Iraqi art scene and a known supporter of the widespread demonstrations that erupted last year against the Iraqi government, which some critics accuse of being corrupt and too close to Iran.
Her abduction sparked concern among other foreigners and activists living in the country and authorities have not given any information about who was behind her disappearance.
Hella Mewis was freed at 6:25 a.m. local time (11:25 p.m. Thursday) in an operation southeast of the capital Baghdad in which security forces raided a location based on intelligence they obtained regarding her whereabouts, a security official said. A second security official said she had been found blindfolded.
[. . .]
Iraqi security forces comprised of Interior Ministry personnel, intelligence officials and the federal police had worked to free Mewis by monitoring surveillance footage, among other methods, a statement from the Interior Ministry said.
Brig. Khaled Al-Muhanna, a spokesman for the ministry, said the kidnappers had not been arrested. The statement said an investigation was under way to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Behind the various proposals by the White House and congressional Republicans and Democrats is a common class purpose. American capitalists regard the $600-a-week supplemental unemployment compensation as a major barrier to their campaign to force millions of workers to go back to their jobs, regardless of the dangers from coronavirus.
Corporate executives have complained that for many workers, the average of nearly $1,000 a week in state and federal unemployment payments combined represents a pay raise compared to the miserable wages they previously received for working 40 hours a week in warehouses, factories, fast-food restaurants and retail stores.
The business magazine Forbes carries a headline on its web site today: “Potential Unemployment Plan Means Huge Income Cut For Tens Of Millions Who Can’t Afford It.” For the financial oligarchs, that is not an indictment, but rather the purpose of the plan. These workers, they calculate, will have no choice but to take any job on offer, no matter how dangerous in terms of COVID-19 and no matter how low the pay.
In addition, big business wants to ensure that, like the CARES Act, the lion’s share of any new federal outlays will go to corporate America, both in large-scale loans and grants, and the so-called “small business” funds in the Paycheck Protection Program, much of which has gone to large companies and those with political connections to members of Congress.
Official Washington is fully conscious of the tidal wave of mass suffering and deprivation that the ending of federal extended benefits will unleash. The Trump administration has quietly extended for 30 days a moratorium, first enacted in the CARES Act, on evictions from federally backed housing. The White House wants to make the necessary preparations—particularly in bolstering local police and sheriff’s departments—before it begins to move against the estimated 12.3 million households who are now in arrears on rent and will face eviction after September 1.
The scale of the impending social collapse is indicated by a Washington Post report Thursday that as many as one million families in a single state, North Carolina, “have fallen behind on their electric, water and sewage bills, threatening residents and their cities with severe financial hardship unless federal lawmakers act to approve more emergency aid.” Duke Energy alone has more than 130,000 customers who are 60 days behind on their electric bills.
The American ruling class and its two corporate-controlled parties are planning to stage an election campaign over the next three months that will unfold against the backdrop of an unprecedented social calamity. Neither the fascistic Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden, the favored candidate of Wall Street and the CIA, offer anything to tens of millions of working people.
I strongly condemn Israel’s planned annexation of much of the West Bank and I demand an end to U.S.aid to the state of Israel. I also call for an immediate end to the annual gift of $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel, an highly militarized state, the only one in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons. The U.S. government also provides Israel with billions more in loan guarantees and assistance.
In the midst of a deadly pandemic, tens of millions of people have lost jobs, housing, health care and more. While severely cutting food stamps at a time of rapidly growing hunger, the Trump administration is sending billions to fund the brutal occupation and repression of the oppressed Palestinian people.
Trump, while promoting the worst neo-Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic elements, simultaneously pretends that his support for Israel is based on sympathy with Jewish people! Through the backing of Israel’s annexation of Syrian land in the Golan Heights, the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and the so- called “Deal of the Century,” the Trump administration had given a green light to Israel to seize much of the West Bank. The worldwide uprising against racism, however, caused the administration to block Israel – at least temporarily – from annexing 30% or more of the West Bank.
As despicable as Trump and his cohorts are, it would be wrong to see the support for Israel and its anti-Palestinian apartheid system as just a Republican project. In fact, going back to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the driving out of most of the Palestinian population, the Democratic Party has been the main supporter of vast military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for President supported every form of aid to Israel in his 36 years as a U.S. Senator and eight years as vice-president.
Neither the Democrat nor Republican leaders’ support for Israel has anything to do with sympathy for Jewish people. They view Israel as a vital extension of U.S. military power in a key strategic region of the world. Israel’s wars against Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian people were also proxy wars against countries and movements viewed as enemies by Washington.
My campaign, the La Riva for President 2020 Campaign, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, we express our full solidarity with the people of Palestine, and the various ongoing movements to bring mass attention to their struggle for emancipation, such as the international call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). My campaign calls for no annexation and supports true self-determination for the Palestinian people including the right of return to their stolen homeland for all Palestinian refugees.”
In the U.S. Presidential race, the most notable name to file yesterday was hip-hop star Kanye West. West, who is originally from Chicago, was joined by some less notable names filing on Monday. According to some sources, 3178 signatures appear to have been accepted from West’s 4120 that were turned in. West’s campaign petitions have an address for a vacant lot and out building that West owns in Cody, Wyoming.
Leonard Peltier a federally imprisoned Native American activist in Florida filed as a Vice Presidential candidate on the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He previously ran for president in 2004. Peltier is one of the longest serving political prisoners in the world, as he has spent 43 years in prison. In a controversial 1977 trial, Peltier was convicted of aiding and abetting the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He is not scheduled for parole until 2024. Peltier is the running mate to long-time socialist activist Gloria La Riva. This is La Riva’s 10th consecutive presidential or vice presidential candidacy.
Brian Carroll of Visalia, California and Amar Patel of Lombard, Illinois filed with the American Solidarity Party as president and vice president.
Signatures on petitions will be allowed to be contested until July 27th. Ballots will be finalized late next month.
On August 8 at 10:30 a.m., protesters are gathering in the first nationwide #LetHerSpeak driving protest in counties all across the nation. The Los Alamos Libertarian Party will lead a group of local community members in a COVID-safe demonstration, driving convoy style down Trinity Drive, and Diamond and Central (see google maps specific route plan). They will be decorating their cars parade-style and will “go live” together on their social media channels.
This is a coordinated effort across the nation to protest the Commission on Presidential Debates continued decision to silence the Libertarian Nominee for the United States President, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, and all third parties are who are listed on the presidential ballot.
One hundred years ago this year, women were taking to the streets to protest the government to recognize their rights as sovereign citizens, and their right to be heard in elections, led by the Women Voters Coalition. The WVC also created the first presidential debates to give American voters a greater understanding of all their presidential candidates. In 1987, the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed to take over sponsorship of the debate and boxed the WVC out.
The CPD created polling restrictions to not allow third-parties in the debate by selecting random polls to determine who is polling above 15%. The catch? Most of these polls do not even mention a 3rd party candidate. In 2012, the minimum to participate was 10%, but when Gary Johnson got 12%, the CPD raised the polling requirement to 15%. Voters are being left in the dark with systemic voter manipulation.
We demand polling restrictions are changed to quantifiable results that cannot be manipulated by the CPD. Third parties who are listed as options on American ballots shall be allowed to debate so that Americans can properly compare their choices.
It’s been 100 years since the 19th amendment was passed, and Dr. Jo Jorgensen, the only female candidate (who is highly qualified), is still being silenced by the CPD. Dr. Jo Jorgensen has her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology, is a Senior Lecturer at Clemson University, is an accomplished entrepreneur, and has a pristine record. The Libertarian Party is one of the only parties in the U.S. that has secured ballot access for presidential candidates in all 50 states. She is an educated and articulate woman with fresh ideas, and with as divided as the American public is, she deserves to be heard.
“Government is too big, too bossy, too nosy, and, worst of all, often hurts the very people it intends to help. The government doesn’t work; liberty and freedom do” – Dr. Jo Jorgensen
We invite all local press to participate in this grassroots event and meet us at the Ashley Pond Parking Lot on 20th Street and Trinity Drive on August 8 at 9:45 a.m. for a short rally before the convoy begins and “go live” with this historic event!
All participants will be wearing masks and be staying with their cars.