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Pope urges US Catholic media to work to overcome racism

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ROME – Pope Francis is urging Catholic media in the U.S. to work to overcome the “diseases of racism and injustice“ in his latest comments about George Floyd’s death in the U.S. and the anti-racism protests that followed.

In a message to a virtual conference of Catholic journalists of North America on Tuesday, Francis said Catholic media must build bridges and dialogue, as well as defend life.

He prayed for journalists to be enlightened by wisdom and understanding and guided by the Holy Spirit to “effectively work to overcome the diseases of racism, injustice and indifference that disfigure the face of our common family.“

Francis has spoken out previously about Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis and the “sin of racism.” He decried the violent protests that erupted as self-defeating but also asserted that “We cannot close our eyes to any form of racism or exclusion, while pretending to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25 after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he lay handcuffed on the pavement, gasping that he couldn’t breathe. The officer has been charged with murder, and he and other officers involved could get up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

 

Floyd’s death has inspired renewed Black Lives Matter protests around the U.S., some of them attended by Catholic priests, bishops and peace activists. The issue has gotten heavy coverage by the Vatican media.

Source:- Toronto Star

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Police: Pop Smoke's social media led killers to LA home – St. Albert Today

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LOS ANGELES — Authorities believe rising rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting, police said after detectives arrested the group Thursday morning.

Los Angeles police had initially discounted a robbery theory in the days after the 20-year-old rapper’s death Feb. 19 at a home in the Hollywood Hills. Pop Smoke’s legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson.

Capt. Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery-Homicide Division, said three men and two teenage boys likely went to the home because they knew Pop Smoke was there from social media posts. They stole items from the home, though Tippet said he could not divulge what was taken. The teens were 15 and 17 years old.

“We believe that it was a robbery. Initially we didn’t really have the evidence but then we discovered some other evidence that showed this was likely a home invasion gone bad,” Tippet told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The five suspects were arrested Thursday morning as detectives served several search warrants in Los Angeles. All are believed to be members of a South Los Angeles gang, which Tippet would not name, and at least some of them are believed to be linked to a 2019 homicide when a fight escalated into a shooting outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Pop Smoke and his entourage staying at the home are not believed to be associated with the gang, Tippet said. No one else was shot during the incident.

The Los Angeles Times reported in February that the rapper had posted pictures of him posing by an infinity pool in the home’s backyard, as well as a picture of the Los Angeles skyline from what was likely the house’s backyard. In another post, Pop Smoke or a member of his entourage put a picture of a gift bag tagged with the Hollywood Hills address and a different photo showed him posing by a Ranger Rover in a spot where the home’s address was partly visible in the background.

“It’s our belief that (the home-invasion robbery) was based on some of the social media” posts, Tippet said. “It’s based on the fact that he was posting his information may have contributed to him knowing where to find him.”

The home where the shooting occurred is owned by Edwin Arroyave and his wife Teddi Mellencamp, daughter of Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer John Mellencamp and a star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Teddi Mellencamp previously said on Instagram that the couple had been notified of the shooting at their rental property but knew no more than what they had seen in media reports.

Pop Smoke arrived on the rap scene in 2018 and broke out with “Welcome to the Party” a gangsta anthem with boasts about shootings, killings and drugs that became a huge sensation, and prompted Nicki Minaj to drop a verse on a remix.

Earlier this year, Pop Smoke released the mixtape “Meet the Woo 2,” which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. It was the follow up to his first official release, “Meet the Woo.” The rapper also had the popular hit “Gatti” with Travis Scott and Jackboys and “Dior.”

Last week, Pop Smoke released his posthumous debut album “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon,” which was met with mostly positive reviews. The 19-track album featured several star-studded guests including 50 Cent, Roddy Rich, Future, Swae Lee, Quavo and others.

___

Associated Press Writer Jonathan Landrum contributed.

Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press

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New wave of sexual assault allegations in Quebec washes over social media – CBC.ca

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The phone lines at Juripop’s downtown Montreal office have been ringing off the hook since Monday, as a new wave of Quebecers take to social media with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.

Juripop, a low-cost legal clinic, started a free service for sexual assault survivors needing legal advice last month. This week, they’ve seen a surge in demand for it.

“It really started on Monday morning and specifically on Instagram,” Sophie Gagnon, executive director of Juripop, told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak Thursday.

“We’ve opened close to 100 new files and we’ve been receiving calls every 15 to 20 minutes or so.”

Gagnon said the clinic has been tagged in so many posts on Instagram, that they needed to assign a staff member to handle their social media account.

A post by singer Safia Nolin detailing an incident involving celebrity Mariepier Morin in 2018 has fuelled the movement.

Nolin wrote on Instagram that Morin sexually harassed her and made racist comments when they were having drinks together one evening.

“Just because someone is a woman and four foot eleven, doesn’t mean it’s not sexual harassment,” Nolin posted.

Morin has since apologized.

Mariepier Morin (left) has apologized after Safia Nolin accused her of sexual harassment. (Radio-Canada)

Naming names

This latest wave of posts is similar to the #MeToo movement that gained momentum in 2017 and the #BeenRapedNeverReported movement that started a few years prior, but according to Gagnon, there is something different this time around.

“Contrary to #MeToo, more and more people are identifying by name the person who assaulted or offended them,” said Gagnon.

“So that obviously creates a higher risk of libel.”

Several of the people reaching out to the clinic, she said, sought help because they were already facing threats of defamation suits or cease and desist letters because of their social media posts.

Sophie Gagnon, executive director of Juripop, says there has been a new wave of younger Quebecers coming forward with their stories of sexual assault. 4:41

Gagnon said several of the survivors are also a lot younger than they are used to seeing, likely because this latest wave has predominantly been on Instagram.

She said it was important for the clinic to develop this free program, because many survivors don’t realize just how many legal options are available to them.

“The spotlight has often been on the criminal justice system and it’s obviously a big piece of the puzzle but it’s not the only one,” said Gagnon. There are other options, she said, including filing a claim to the human rights commission or making a claim in civil court.

Isabelle Charest, Quebec’s minister responsible for the status of women, was one of many who used social media to point Quebecers in the direction of Juripop.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, she recommended the service to survivors needing advice.

“I want to assure survivors of sexual assault of my support and salute their courage,” Charest wrote.

Gagnon said they have been receiving calls from people of all genders and backgrounds and have been helping callers grapple with situations that have happened recently, as well as claims of assault that originated decades ago.

The free legal helpline for victims of sexual violence,1-855-587-4767, is a pilot program funded by the Quebec government. Gagnon hopes it will be extended permanently past the March 2021 deadline.

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Police: Pop Smoke's social media led killers to LA home – CTV News

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LOS ANGELES —
Authorities believe rising rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting, police said after detectives arrested the group Thursday morning.

Los Angeles police had initially discounted a robbery theory in the days after the 20-year-old rapper’s death Feb. 19 at a home in the Hollywood Hills. Pop Smoke’s legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson.

Capt. Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery-Homicide Division, said three men and two teenage boys likely went to the home because they knew Pop Smoke was there from social media posts. They stole items from the home, though Tippet said he could not divulge what was taken. The teens were 15 and 17 years old.

“We believe that it was a robbery. Initially we didn’t really have the evidence but then we discovered some other evidence that showed this was likely a home invasion gone bad,” Tippet told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The five suspects were arrested Thursday morning as detectives served several search warrants in Los Angeles. All are believed to be members of a South Los Angeles gang, which Tippet would not name, and at least some of them are believed to be linked to a 2019 homicide when a fight escalated into a shooting outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Pop Smoke and his entourage staying at the home are not believed to be associated with the gang, Tippet said. No one else was shot during the incident.

The Los Angeles Times reported in February that the rapper had posted pictures of him posing by an infinity pool in the home’s backyard, as well as a picture of the Los Angeles skyline from what was likely the house’s backyard. In another post, Pop Smoke or a member of his entourage put a picture of a gift bag tagged with the Hollywood Hills address and a different photo showed him posing by a Ranger Rover in a spot where the home’s address was partly visible in the background.

“It’s our belief that (the home-invasion robbery) was based on some of the social media” posts, Tippet said. “It’s based on the fact that he was posting his information may have contributed to him knowing where to find him.”

The home where the shooting occurred is owned by Edwin Arroyave and his wife Teddi Mellencamp, daughter of Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer John Mellencamp and a star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Teddi Mellencamp previously said on Instagram that the couple had been notified of the shooting at their rental property but knew no more than what they had seen in media reports.

Pop Smoke arrived on the rap scene in 2018 and broke out with “Welcome to the Party” a gangsta anthem with boasts about shootings, killings and drugs that became a huge sensation, and prompted Nicki Minaj to drop a verse on a remix.

Earlier this year, Pop Smoke released the mixtape “Meet the Woo 2,” which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. It was the follow up to his first official release, “Meet the Woo.” The rapper also had the popular hit “Gatti” with Travis Scott and Jackboys and “Dior.”

Last week, Pop Smoke released his posthumous debut album “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon,” which was met with mostly positive reviews. The 19-track album featured several star-studded guests including 50 Cent, Roddy Rich, Future, Swae Lee, Quavo and others.

——

Associated Press Writer Jonathan Landrum contributed.

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