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Irv Cross, the former NFL defensive back who became the first Black man to work full-time as a sports analyst on national television, died Sunday

ByThe Associated Press

March 1, 2021, 3:26 AM
• 2 min read

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PHILADELPHIA — Irv Cross, the former NFL defensive back who became the first Black man to work full-time as a sports analyst on national television, died Sunday. He was 81.
The Philadelphia Eagles, the team Cross spent his six of his nine NFL seasons with, said Cross’ son, Matthew, confirmed his father died near his home in Roseville, Minnesota. The cause of death was not provided.

“All of us at CBS Sports are saddened by the news of Irv Cross’ passing,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “Irv was a pioneer who made significant contributions to the storied history and tradition of CBS Sports and, along with Phyllis George and Brent Musburger, set the standard for NFL pregame shows with `The NFL Today.’ He was a true gentleman and a trail blazer in the sports television industry and will be remembered for his accomplishments and the paths he paved for those who followed.”

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback had 22 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles and a pair of defensive touchdowns. He also averaged 27.9 yards on kickoff returns and returned punts.
Cross joined CBS in 1971, becoming the first Black network sports show anchor. He left the network in 1994, and later served as athletic director at Idaho State and Macalester College in Minnesota. In 2009, he received the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
“Irv was one of the finest gentleman I’ve been with,” Musburger tweeted. “We met at Northwestern where Irv played both ways for Coach (Ara) Parseghian, He later became my go-to mainstay on the NFL TODAY. No one ever had a bad thing to say about Irv. He led the way for African Americans to host NFL and other sports shows. Rest in peace my friend.”
The eighth of 15 children, Cross is survived by wife Liz; children, Susan, Lisa, Matthew and Sarah; grandson Aiden; brothers Raymond, Teal and Sam; sisters Joan, Jackie, Julia, Pat, and Gwen.

Adam Oakes, 19, was found dead off campus, according to officials.

February 28, 2021, 11:34 PM
• 4 min read

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Virginia Commonwealth University said it shut down a fraternity and the police are investigating after a freshman student was found dead this weekend.
Adam Oakes, 19, was found dead at an off-campus residence early Saturday morning by authorities, the university and the Richmond Police Department said in statements. The medical examiner’s office is working to determine the cause of death, according to Richmond Police.

“This is a tragic loss for Adam’s family and members of our community, and we encourage any students in need of support to contact University Counseling Services,” the school said in a statement.

Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White, told ABC News that the teen had rushed the university’s Delta Chi fraternity, and this weekend was the night of his “big little reveal.”

Virginia Commonwealth University campus.

The national office of Delta Chi said in a statement it suspended its VCU chapter Saturday afternoon and extended its condolences to Oakes’ family.
“We encourage all members to cooperate with law enforcement, investigative efforts and all directives of the University Administration,” the national fraternity organization said in its statement.

The university said it also took “similar action” against the chapter.
White, 39, said Oakes was an only child and the youngest of all of the family’s cousins. She said her cousin pledged with the fraternity because “he was just trying to be accepted and find his place.”
“Adam was a kid who loved life and was just coming out of his shell,” White told ABC News.

Adam Oakes, 18, is seen in this undated family photo.

The university instructed students to contact the Richmond Police if they have any information regarding Oakes’ death or this weekend’s incident. Richmond Police said anyone with information is asked to call Major Crimes Detective Michael Gouldman at (804) 646-3915 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
White urged her cousin’s classmates and fraternity members to speak up and help find answers.

“Don’t be afraid, be brave,” she said. “There is no healing from this, but it would give us a sense of what happened.”

Two ambulance agencies and a volunteer fire department were targeted.

February 28, 2021, 11:23 PM
• 5 min read

A Connecticut ambulance company employee was arrested and charged in a string of Molotov cocktail attacks across the state that targeted two emergency medical services agencies, a volunteer fire department and a private residence on the same day, authorities said.
Richard White, 37, of Torrington, Connecticut, was arrested around 10 p.m. on Saturday by Pennsylvania State Police troopers who stopped his car on Interstate 80 near Milton, Pennsylvania, officials said.

An arrest warrant was issued for White on Saturday night, charging him with third-arson and third-degree burglary. He is being held in Pennsylvania on a $150,000 bond and is awaiting extradition back to Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael A. Spera told ABC News on Sunday.

“This individual has targeted those who we count on to save lives,” Spera said in a statement to ABC News. “Our Officers have worked diligently all evening obtaining both search and arrest warrants in an effort to quickly stop these violent attacks against public safety and cause the suspect to be taken into custody.”
It was not immediately clear if White had retained an attorney.

No one was injured in the attacks, Spera said.

White is an employee of the Hunters Ambulance agency in Meriden, Connecticut, according to a statement from Capt. John Mennone of the Meriden Police Department.
White’s colleague told police that he was involved in a physical altercation with another employee about 10 a.m. on Saturday following a disciplinary hearing in which he was placed on administrative leave, Mennone said.
He said police were called to the ambulance agency, but by the time they arrived White had fled. Police did not release details on what White was disciplined over.
Spera told ABC News that White works as an emergency medical technician.

Just after 4 p.m. on Saturday, White resurfaced at the Hunters Ambulance station in Old Saybrook, where he allegedly ignited a Molotov cocktail inside an employee room and fled in a 2004 gray Ford Taurus, according to Mennone’s statement.
Mennone said that at about 5 p.m., a car matching the description of White’s vehicle was spotted back at the Hunters Ambulance agency in Meriden, where the occupant of the car was seen throwing a lit Molotov cocktail at the building and speeding off.

During a news conference on Sunday, Sgt. Paul Makuc of the Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit said the back-to-back attacks at the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department and at a residence about 2 miles away both occurred around 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Spera told ABC affiliate station WTNH-TV in New Haven that the residence set on fire in Roxbury is believed to be White’s childhood home.

The Biden administration says it remains open to talks with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal despite Tehran’s rejection of an EU invitation to join a meeting with the U.S. and the other original participants in the agreement

By MATTHEW LEE AP Diplomatic Writer

February 28, 2021, 10:04 PM
• 4 min read

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Sunday it remains open to talks with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal despite Tehran’s rejection of an EU invitation to join a meeting with the U.S. and the other original participants in the agreement.
A senior administration official said the U.S. was “disappointed” in the rejection but was flexible as to the timing and format of the talks and saw Iran’s decision to snub the European invitation as part of the diplomatic process. The official said the U.S. would be consulting with the other participants — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union — on the way forward.

The official was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Earlier Sunday, Iran turned down the offer for talks saying the “time isn’t ripe” for the meeting, at which the U.S. would have participated as an observer. Iran had been insisting that the U.S. lift or ease sanctions imposed on it by the Trump administration under its “maximum pressure campaign” before sitting down with the United States.
President Joe Biden has said repeatedly that the U.S. would return to the deal that his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from in 2018 only after Iran restores its full compliance with the accord.
“Considering US/E3 positions & actions, time isn’t ripe for the proposed informal meeting,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. He referred to the so-called E3, which comprises Britain, France and Germany.
“Remember: Trump failed to meet because of his ill-advised ‘Max Failure,'” he said. “With sanctions in place, same still applies. Censuring is NOT diplomacy. It doesn’t work with Iran.”
The Biden administration announced earlier this month that it would accept an EU invitation to participate in a meeting of deal participants and at the same time rescinded a Trump determination from the U.N. Security Council that Iran was in significant breach of the agreement that all U.N. sanctions had be restored.

The U.N. move had little practical effect as nearly all members of the world body had rejected Trump’s determination because the U.S. was no longer a participant in the nuclear deal. Biden administration officials said the withdrawal of the determination was intended to show goodwill toward its partners and at the same time had eased severe restrictions on the movement of Iranian diplomats posted to the U.N.
Separately on Sunday, the State Department condemned a weekend attack by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels on Saudi Arabia, saying it damaged prospects for peace. Along with the overtures to Iran on the nuclear front, the Biden administration also reversed several late Trump administration moves against Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken rescinded his predecessor’s designation that the Houthi rebels were a “foreign terrorist organization,” a move that the U.N. and relief groups had said would make the already disastrous humanitarian situation in Yemen even worse. In addition, the Biden administration decided to halt all offensive assistance to Saudi Arabia for its military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.
The Houthis, however, have stepped up their operations in the country, pressing ahead with an offensive in Marib province and launching attacks on Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, Saudi authorities said they had intercepted a missile attack over their capital and reported that bomb-laden drones had targeted a southern province, the latest in a series of airborne assaults they have blamed on the Houthis.
State Department spokesman Ned Price on Sunday said the U.S. “strongly condemns the Houthis’ attacks on population centers in Saudi Arabia.” He said they “threaten not only innocent civilians but also prospects for peace and stability in Yemen” and called on the Houthis “to end these egregious attacks.”
“The United States remains committed to its longstanding partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to helping Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” Price said.
On Friday, the Biden administration further strained ties with the Saudis when it published a declassified intelligence report finding that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had ordered an operation to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident who was brutally slain at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Saudi Arabia has forcefully rejected the report’s conclusions.
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Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Doses can be shipped and administered once the CDC director signs off.

February 28, 2021, 8:42 PM
• 3 min read

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice voted on Sunday to recommend the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for persons 18 years of age and older in the United States under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.
The interim recommendation passed with 12 in favor, one recusal and no opposition.

The recommendation will now go to the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to sign off before doses are administered.
The FDA announced the emergency authorization on Saturday.
“The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement.

The green light by federal regulators was expected to trigger the shipment of 3.9 million doses as early as Monday, with some 800,000 of that expected to go directly to pharmacies.
Those numbers would grow weekly. And with shipments from other vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna, the expanded supply would eventually put the country on track to have enough vaccine on hand to immunize some 130 million adults by the end of March.

This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium.

Like its competitors Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was considered highly effective at preventing serious illness. J&J found its vaccine was 85% effective at preventing severe illness and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths 28 days after individuals were vaccinated.
“We believe that people should take the vaccine that they are able to access,” Woodcock said on a conference call following authorization on Saturday. “We feel all these vaccines meet our standards for effectiveness. They were not studied in head-to-head trials and so it’s really very difficult to compare right now due to different differences in the development program.”
The other good news is that J&J was tested in countries known to have potentially more dangerous variants, including Brazil and South Africa. The data found the vaccine worked against all variants at preventing severe disease.

A science professor at a university in Michigan who claimed sinister forces were targeting him and breaking into his home has been fired after using racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs months ago on Twitter

ByThe Associated Press

February 28, 2021, 7:59 PM
• 2 min read

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BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — A science professor at a university in central Michigan who claimed sinister forces were targeting him and breaking into his home has been fired months after using racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs on Twitter.
Thomas Brennan announced in a Twitter posting Saturday he’d been fired, and Ferris State University later confirmed he was dismissed last week, The Detroit News reported. The Big Rapids-based university, which put Brennan on administrative leave in November as it investigated, declined further comment.

The Torch, the university’s student-run newspaper, first reported about the tweets in November. According to the newspaper’s screenshots, one tweet said: “Covid19 is another jewish revolution.”
At the time, the university’s president, David Eisler, said the school was “shocked and outraged by these tweets.” He added the tweets were “extremely offensive and run counter to the values of our University and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In a statement linked to his Saturday posting, Brennan expressed remorse for the tweets. But he said they were a consequence of self-destructive behavior and migraines that stemmed from a “secret program” in which electromagnetic fields and nanotechnology were deployed against him.
“I know that many of the things I tweeted were horrible, and I don’t truly feel that way in my heart,” the statement said. “But out of spite for myself and what my world had turned into, I decided to say all the things that are some of worst things you could say.”
He added about what he described as debilitating headaches and the possibility he was delusional: “The things I said on twitter were not expressed in order to discriminate against people of different races or social categories but were uttered as a result of my disability.”
In the statement, which Brennan presented to the university on Feb. 15, he said he had installed security cameras outside his home and changed his locks to prevent recurring break-ins. But he said only after he nailed all his windows shut in May last year did they stop.

Following the student-run newspaper’s report in November, Brennan justified his use of racist slurs in one of his tweets as an attempt to “neutralize its power.” But he said he wasn’t racist, anti-Semitic or a science denier.

A northwest Indiana City Council member and police officer has apologized after photos of him in blackface at a past Halloween party recently surfaced

ByThe Associated Press

February 28, 2021, 7:21 PM
• 2 min read

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — A northwestern Indiana City Council member and police officer has apologized after photos recently surfaced of him in blackface nearly 20 years ago at a Halloween party.
Merrillville Councilman Jeff Minchuk, who is also a Lake County Sheriff’s Office police officer, apologized Saturday on Facebook.

“I blame no one else for what happened, it was my decision and a poor one at that. The thing that bothers me the most is, that this is not who I am,” Minchuk wrote. “I never have been or ever will be involved in any type of racism.”
One photo of Minchuk, obtained by The (Northwest Indiana) Times, show Minchuck in blackface and a black wig while wearing a shirt reading “Kill Whitey.” He is standing next to a person dressed in a white Ku Klux Klan robes. The photos were reportedly taken around 2003.
According to Minchuk’s Facebook post, the person in the robes is a Black male friend who had coordinated costumes with him. He said they were trying to portray characters from a television comedy sketch by Dave Chappelle in which a white supremacist is Black.
“We were all in our mid-twenties to early thirties at the time,” Minchuk wrote. “My good friend, who is African American, went as the Black white supremacist and I went as the opposite. We thought that switching races for the party would be comedic, just like the show’s skit. We were hoping to show people that, even though this is comedy, that we can all get along no matter what.”
Merrillville Town Council President Rick Bella didn’t respond to requests for comment, including a message left Sunday by The Associated Press.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez told the newspaper that he does not condone the past behavior shown in the photos, calling it “disrespectful, irresponsible and in bad taste.”

When President Joe Biden made environmental protection a key element of his campaign, he promised to overhaul the federal office that investigates complaints from people in minority communities who believe they have been unfairly harmed by industrial pollution or waste disposal.Although the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that disadvantaged communities in America are disproportionately affected by pollution, hundreds of complaints sent to its civil rights office since the mid-1990s have only once resulted in a formal finding of discrimination.

The situation has provoked criticism from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, the EPA’s own Office of Inspector General and citizens who have filed complaints that sometimes languished for years — or decades.
Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, states, cities and other entities that receive federal funds are prohibited from discriminating because of race, color or national origin. That means citizens bearing the brunt of industrial pollution can bring a complaint if federal money is tied to the project.
In Uniontown, Alabama — a mainly Black town of 2,200 — residents complained to the EPA in 2013 about the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s oversight of a huge landfill containing 4 million tons of coal ash that residents blame for respiratory, kidney and other ailments. Five years later, the EPA dismissed the complaint, saying residents hadn’t proven the landfill caused their health problems.
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission called the dismissal of the Uniontown complaint “another distressing step in the wrong direction” by the EPA office.
The outcome was typical. In three decades of fielding complaints, EPA’s civil rights office has almost never found pollution was adversely affecting human health. And without such a finding, the agency won’t even consider whether illegal discrimination occurred.
Marianne Engleman-Lado, who was recently appointed by the Biden administration to the EPA’s office of general counsel, had helped Uniontown residents with their case. She maintains the way the EPA evaluates such complaints makes it nearly impossible to prevail because proving with scientific certainty that pollution is causing disease is a nearly insurmountable obstacle.

Ben Eaton, a Perry County Commissioner involved in the Uniontown complaint, said attorneys warned that discrimination claims usually go nowhere, but residents felt their evidence — including photos and videos — was compelling. “What’s the use of having these agencies,” he said, “if they’re not going to do the job?”
Residents of a predominantly Black and Latino community in Oakland, California were similarly disappointed with results of their civil rights complaint over air pollution from ships and truck traffic at the busy Port of Oakland.
Margaret Gordon, a co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, said her group did not have a seat at the table when EPA hammered out an informal resolution with the port. Air pollution is still a problem, she said, although port officials are now more willing to listen to community members.
Lilian Sotolongo Dorka, who heads the EPAs office of external civil rights enforcement, touted the 2019 Oakland resolution as an “extremely effective” example of the difference her office is making in people’s lives.
But Richard Grow, who worked at EPA for 40 years before retiring in 2019 and was one of the agency’s negotiators, agrees with Gordon’s assessment.
“We put forth a number of very practical … solutions and recommendations and they just said ‘No,’” Grow said. When he reported the port’s and city’s position to Dorka’s office, he said he was told nothing could be done.
The office had no further comment, and the port issued a statement saying it is committed to continuing a dialogue with the community.
The EPA has the power to withdraw funding from groups that discriminate, although it has never used that power. Dorka defends her office’s record, saying it has eliminated a chronic backlog of complaints.
“I disagree very significantly with the conclusion that you can judge our civil rights program by the number of formal findings (of discrimination) we’ve made,” she said, noting the office is required by regulation to seek informal resolutions wherever possible.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) is among those who think EPA’s civil rights office should do more. During confirmation hearings this month for Michael Regan, Biden’s nominee for EPA administrator, Booker spoke of meeting Alabama citizens suffering from tropical diseases they attribute to sewage pollution, children with elevated lead levels in his own state, and families in Louisiana’s so-called “cancer alley” who felt abandoned by their government.
The EPA’s civil rights office “has been eviscerated over the years,” the African-American senator told Regan. “You’re not even equipped, in my opinion, to actually begin to fight against these issues that affect millions of Americans.”
Regan promised to make environmental justice a top priority, including “restructuring and reorganizing” the office of civil rights, which has 12 fulltime employees. “We will need additional resources. …” he said.
Critics concede that Dorka, who took over the office of external civil rights under President Barak Obama, has made some progress, including producing a case resolution manual to guide investigations.
Obama’s last day in office marked the only time Dorka’s office issued a formal finding of discrimination — in a complaint filed 25 years earlier over the Genesee Power Plant outside Flint, Michigan. The agency dismissed allegations that the plant’s emissions hurt Black residents, finding insufficient evidence of harm to their health. However, the EPA did find residents were not given a fair opportunity to participate in the permitting process.
Dorka said progress has continued under the Trump administration.
EPA spokeswoman Lindsay Hamilton said that “The new leadership team will be working closely with career colleagues … as well as receiving input from stakeholder groups, in an effort to bolster the agency’s capabilities to deliver on our environmental justice and civil rights missions.”
Environmental justice advocates say the changes need to be significant.
“There are still places where people don’t have access to safe drinking water, where they live in close proximity to hazardous sources,” said Vernice Miller-Travis, a longtime advocate and cofounder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “This could be a moment of real sea change in terms of how the EPA is not just paying lip service to civil rights.”
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Follow Travis Loller on Twitter: @travisloller

People in El Salvador are voting in legislative and mayoral elections that are seen as a referendum on whether to break the congressional deadlock that has tied the hands of upstart populist President Nayib Bukele

By MARCOS ALEMÁN Associated Press

February 28, 2021, 7:04 PM
• 3 min read

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Sunday’s legislative and local elections in El Salvador are seen as a referendum on whether to break the congressional deadlock that has tied the hands of upstart populist President Nayib Bukele.
El Salvador’s established political parties — the conservative National Republican Alliance party and the leftist Farabundo Marti Liberation Front — are trying to retain their hold on congress and other key positions, which has continued since the end of the country’s civil war in 1992.

Anger with the parties that ruled El Salvador for nearly three decades swept the youthful Bukele into office in 2019, and frustration remains.
“I’ve come to vote for a change, to get rid of the corrupt ones and so our president can make a new country,” said Estela Jiménez, who arrived early at a polling place wearing a T-shirt with an “N” for Nayib.
Bukele, 39, has blamed congress for blocking his efforts in everything from controlling crime to managing the coronavirus pandemic. His New Ideas party was favored in polls to pick up congressional seats and municipal councils.
While popular with voters tired of the scandals associated with the two old-guard parties, Bukele has shown an authoritarian streak. Two years ago, Bukele sent heavily armed soldiers to surround the congress during a standoff over security funding, earning rebukes internationally.
Bukele’s party complained Sunday that the country’s electoral tribunal had not issued the ID cards needed for the party’s poll watchers to participate.
“This always happens. Now they say there are problems because the Supreme Electoral Council hasn’t allowed the New Ideas people in. I hope they solve this so I can vote, I’m not going to leave here without voting,” said Esteban Castellón, who was among the first in line to vote at a polling place in San Salvador, the capital.

A total of 5.3 million eligible voters were electing all 84 seats in the unicameral Legislative Assembly, along with 262 municipal councils. Most polling places opened at 7:00 a.m., though some were delayed by as much as an hour, and will close at 5:00 p.m. (2300 GMT).
The conservative party known as ARENA currently holds 37 of the 84 seats in congress and controls 138 of the 262 municipal councils, while the leftist FMLN holds 23 congressional seats and 64 townships.
With a majority in the Legislative Assembly, Bukele’s party would not only be able to advance the president’s agenda, but also name justices to the Supreme Court — another Bukele obstacle — as well as magistrates to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the attorney general, the prosecutor for the defense of human rights and others. Essentially his party could replace his loudest critics.
Eduardo Escobar, executive director of the nongovernmental organization Citizen Action, said that if New Ideas wins a congressional majority, El Salvador would lose “that brake on the exercise of power from the legislature when legality or constitutionality is exceeded, (and) that brakes any attempted abuse, any arbitrary act that the executive wants to commit.”
“It would deepen the authoritarianism of the government Bukele leads,” Escobar said, though he acknowledged that Bukele’s popularity remains at stratospheric levels and the rejection of the traditional parties is nearly as high.
New Ideas’ popularity is because “in the 30 years of government under these parties, the people have not seen improvements in their lives,” said Escobar.

A new faction of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement has staged a protest march, linking their cause with that of demonstrators in Myanmar battling that neighboring country’s coup-installed military government

ByThe Associated Press

February 28, 2021, 4:06 PM
• 2 min read

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BANGKOK — A new faction of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement staged a protest march Sunday, linking their cause with that of demonstrators in Myanmar battling that neighboring country’s coup-installed military government.
Marchers sought but failed to go to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s house, which is on an army base in Bangkok. Shipping containers were situated to block them, and police using water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas barred the way. Erawan Emergency Services said 16 people were injured.

The demonstrators abandoned their plan several hours later after taking an online vote of their supporters.
Their action was linked to the informal Milk Tea Alliance of pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Myanmar, which called for efforts Sunday online and in real life in support of the protests in Myanmar.
In Myanmar on Sunday, a crackdown on protesters by security forces left at least 18 people dead, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office.
Prayuth was targeted in part because he met Wednesday in Bangkok with the new foreign minister appointed by Myanmar’s junta.
The protest in Bangkok was the first to be led by a new group calling itself REDEM, short for Restart Democracy, whose self-proclaimed goals are to build democratic socialism and minimize political and economic inequality.
REDEM was launched last week as an offshoot of Free Youth, one of the main groups that began rallying against the Thai government last year.

Last year’s original protest coalition campaigned for Prayuth and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the monarchy reformed to make it more accountable.
The demand about the monarchy is the most controversial, because the institution has been widely considered an untouchable, bedrock element of Thai nationalism.
The protest movement lost steam when it took a break in December and January as Thailand was hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections. It is now trying to reinvigorate itself but has been hampered by the recent jailing of some of its leaders who are pending trial on several charges, including defaming the monarchy.
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This story has been corrected to show the name of the new protest group is Restart Democracy.