Alabama newspaper at center of KKK outrage gets black female editor

In this Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 photo, Goodloe Sutton, publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper, speaks during an interview at the newspaper's office in Linden, Ala. (AP)
Updated 24 February 2019

Alabama newspaper at center of KKK outrage gets black female editor

  • Sutton and his wife, Jean, won acclaim in the 1990s for a series of articles in the Democrat-Reporter that detailed corruption in their local sheriff’s department

NEW YORK: A small town Alabama newspaper that drew condemnation for an editorial this month calling for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again” has named an African-American woman as its new editor and publisher, the paper said in a statement.
Elecia R. Dexter on Friday took the reins of the weekly Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Alabama, from Goodloe Sutton, 79, the longtime owner of the paper who wrote the incendiary editorial that brought sharp rebukes from elected officials in the state and the public.
“Ms. Dexter is coming in at a pivotal time for the newspaper and you may have full confidence in her ability to handle these challenging times,” the statement said. It is unclear whether Sutton remains the owner of the paper.
Dexter has “strong roots and a rich history” in the area, and she will continue the paper’s long journalistic tradition while moving it in a new direction, according to the release.
Sutton, who has led the publication for the past 50 years, told the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper last week he had written the editorial which called for a return of the KKK and railed against Democrats.
The KKK was a white supremacist group that terrorized blacks in the US South and later targeted other minority groups, following the Civil War and the emancipation of African-American slaves.
“Good riddance Goodloe,” US Senator Doug Jones, an Alabama Democrat, tweeted in response to the news of Sutton stepping down. “His dangerous views do not represent Alabama or the small-town papers in Alabama that do great work every day.”
Sutton and his wife, Jean, won acclaim in the 1990s for a series of articles in the Democrat-Reporter that detailed corruption in their local sheriff’s department.
Jean Sutton died in 2003 from cancer, according to her obituary.
The circulation of the Democrat-Reporter, which is more than 100 years old and does not publish online, was about 3,000 in 2015, according to a report that year in the Montgomery-Advertiser.


India shuts down Internet in hotspot after deadly protests

Updated 13 December 2019

India shuts down Internet in hotspot after deadly protests

  • Protests erupted this week after the government introduced new legislation that many in the far-flung northeast believe will give citizenship to immigrants
  • On Friday morning thousands gathered in central Guwahati as riot police looked on

GUWAHATI: Internet access was cut in India’s northeastern city of Guwahati on Friday as thousands gathered for fresh protests against a new citizenship law, a day after police shot dead two demonstrators.
Protests erupted this week after the government introduced new legislation that many in the far-flung northeast believe will give citizenship to immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, and which other critics say is anti-Muslim.
On Friday morning thousands gathered in central Guwahati as riot police looked on, with residents hurrying out to buy essentials.
No fresh violence was reported but Guwahati and other areas remained littered from the detritus of recent days, with some roads blocked by fallen trees, concrete poles, stones and iron railings. Many cash machines have run out of cash and most petrol stations were also shut.
A local government official said that Internet access in the Guwahati, the main city of Assam state, had been cut and an AFP reporter confirmed that connections appeared to have been suspended.
The Meghalaya state government has also cut off mobile Internet, with parts of the capital Shillong brought under curfew since Thursday evening.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was planning to scrap a visit to the city due to begin on Sunday as the security situation deteriorated, media reported Friday. The Japanese leader had been slated to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Thursday, police had fired live and blank rounds as thousands of demonstrators in Guwahati and elsewhere took to the streets, some vandalising property and torching vehicles.
The two demonstrators killed in the city were among around 20 people being treated in hospital, “a few” of whom had gunshot wounds, said Ramen Talukdar, a doctor at a Guwahati hospital.
Hundreds of passengers stuck at Guwahati airport were brought to the city on government buses with police escort in the early hours of Friday morning.
Several thousand troops have been drafted in to help police, who fired tear gas and charged demonstrators with batons, in recent days.
Security was increased at the Bangladeshi consulate in Guwahati after a vehicle in the consul’s convoy was attacked Wednesday by mobs, the foreign ministry in Dhaka said.
“They cant settle anyone in our motherland. This is unacceptable. We will die but not allow outsiders to settle here,” Manav Das, a protester told AFP on Friday.
“We will defeat the government with the force of the people and the government will be forced to revoke the law,” said local activist Samujal Battacharya.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), signed into law by the Indian president late Thursday, allows for the fast-tracking of applications from religious minorities from three neighboring countries, but not Muslims.
For Islamic groups, the opposition and rights groups, it is part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda to marginalize India’s 200 million Muslims. He denies this.
The US State Department on Thursday urged India to “protect the rights of its religious minorities,” according to Bloomberg.
But many in India’s northeast object for different reasons, fearing that immigrants from Bangladesh — many of them Hindus — will become citizens, taking jobs and weakening the local culture.
The chief ministers of the states of Punjab in the north and Kerala in the south also said that they would not implement the law, the Hindu daily reported.
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