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News Briefs October 8-21, 2015
[su_label]Bay Area[/su_label]

East Bay mural artist shot
Oakland artist Antonio Ramos, 27, was shot and killed on Sept. 29 while working on a mural with a group of other artists. The piece was commissioned by the nonprofit organization Attitudinal Healing Connection, as part of the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project — an initiative aimed at educating youth about violence through art. Witnesses said Ramos got into an argument with a passerby. The altercation quickly escalated and the as of yet unidentified man shot Ramos and then fled. Ramos was pronounced dead at the hospital. Once completed the mural will be dedicated to his memory.

[su_label]California[/su_label]

Assisted suicide becomes legal option in CA
Despite opposition from religious groups, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the End of Life Options Act on Oct. 5, granting Californians the right to physician-assisted suicide. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,” wrote Brown, who is a former Roman Catholic seminarian. “I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I won’t deny that right to others.” California is the fifth U.S. state to legalize assisted suicide.

[su_label]National[/su_label]

U.S. Border Patrol agent indicted for 2012 shooting
A federal grand jury has indicted agent Lonnie Swartz on one count of second-degree murder, the Washington Post reports. Swartz is being charged in the death of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a 16-year-old Mexican national who was shot 10 times in October 2012 as he attempted to cross through a fence at the U.S.-Mexican border. It is only the third instance in which a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with murder in the killing of an immigrant.

[su_label]International[/su_label]

Mexican president mocked for claiming commitment to human rights
Just two days after the anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa on Sep. 26, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took the stage at a United Nations general debate, proclaiming that his administration is “fully committed to law, human rights, and peace.” His statement sparked an outcry as the government is widely considered to have been complicit in the disappearance of the 43 students. To date the Mexican government has located less than one percent of the estimated 42,000 people who have disappeared since the beginning of former president Felipe Calderon’s 2006 “war on drugs.”

Investigation sought into U.S. bombing of Afghanistan hospital
The U.S. Air Force bombed the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on Oct. 3, killing 22 people and wounding an additional 30. MSF’s international president, Joanne Liu, condemned the attack, calling for an investigation via an International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a provision of the Geneva Conventions, which was set up in 1991 but has yet to be used. “Tens of thousands of people in Kunduz can no longer receive medical care now when they need it most,” Liu said at a hearing in Geneva, Switzerland. “Today we say: enough. Even war has rules.”

Story by: Staff