The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has acknowledged that it has been sending prisoners sentenced to death from several nations to “Jihad” in Syria. According to a secret memo obtained by the Assyrian International News Agency, The House of Saud negotiated with up to 1239 inmates and offered them full pardons and monthly payments to their families for the prisoners “training in order to send them to Jihad in Syria." The prisoners included Saudis, Afghans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians and Yemenis. USA Today reports that all faced execution for rape, murder and drug smuggling.
In related news, US Sec of State John Kerry says that Syria can avoid military action against it if the Syrian government gives up their chemical weapons in one week, which he then admits is an impossible task. This represents yet another red line painted by the Obama administration while Congress debates whether to authorize US military strikes.
The CEO and President of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous will be stepping down at the end of this year citing that he would like to spend more time with his wife and children. In a statement Jealous said, “The NAACP has always been the largest civil rights organization in the streets, and today it is also the largest civil rights organization online, on mobile and at the ballot box too, I am proud to leave the association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever.” Jealous said he plans to start a political action committee to raise money to elect diverse progressive candidates to public office and that the candidates would not be limited to Democrats.
In local news, an opinion piece published over the weekend on GoUpstate.com takes members of the Spartanburg County Council to task over not holding public hearings over proposed changes to the county’s 911 communications that include fire service, police and emergency medical service. According to the piece, the law requires that all official meetings be open and that the public be given notice. That did not occur when Councilmen Michael Brown, Dale Culbreth and David Britt attended a private meeting with Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright to discuss public safety issues.
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