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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact usSee, in Nov 2021, Inner City Press' book "Belt and Roadkill," here

November 29, 2021

Colombia Junket of UN Guterres Trashed Bronx As Drug Riddled As Wife Gabs on Public Dime

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 26 – The United Nations under Secretary General Antonio Guterres has become a place of corruption and self-dealing, lack of transparency and censorship. 

Forget that Guterres has only made worse the conflicts and coups in Yemen, Cameroon, Libya, Burma, Nigeria and elsewhere. 

He takes the public's money for his person trips to Lisbon, from which his wife Catarina Vaz Pinto has yet to join him in his publicly-funded mansion in New York.

When Inner City Press asks his spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming how much this costs, in person than in writing after Guterres had Inner City Press thrown out, there is no answer. 

  Catarina Vaz Pinto has shown up in photos from Guterres' self-congratulatory junket to Colombia. See here.

 It gets worse - while in Colombia she pontificated on Instagram about "El Bronx," described as a once drug riddled neighborhood.

For years residents of the real Bronx, in New York City, have asked others not to call their most violent and poorest (or darkest) communities "The Bronx."

But tellingly faux NYC resident Guterres' wife, jet setting on the public dime, trashed the Bronx cavalierly. Why do these people get to take / steal the public's money to insult in, and to ban the Press that asks and not answer its questions? Limousine (or armored personnel carrier) pseudo Socialists. Basta.

November 22, 2021

False Arrest on Brook Avenue in The Bronx Is Sent to Section 1983 Mediation Panel in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 14 – Tiasha George sued the City for false arrest on 136th Street and Brook Avenue in The Bronx on June 4, 2020.                

     On November 12, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

 The talk was of sending it to the SDNY mediation panel, a/k/a the Section 1983 Plan.

The plan review is due by February 22, 2022.

The case is George v. City Of New York et al., 21-cv-6327 (Hellerstein) 

November 15, 2021

Fair Finance Watch raised a Bronx branch closing and now this, from Amalgamated: "Mr. Mathew R. Lee of Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch (“ICP”) submitted a comment in opposition of the merger on October 23, 2021. We appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns raised by ICP, each of which is addressed below. I. Branch Closures The commenter expresses concern regarding branches closed by the Bank, in particular its branch located at 94 Burnside Avenue, Borough of Bronx, New York, NY 10001 (the “Burnside Branch”). The branch closures noted by the commenter occurred in September 2020 and did not relate to the proposed merger. Importantly, the proposed merger will allow the Bank to enter into a new market area (the Chicago metropolitan area) and, therefore, there are currently no planned closures or consolidations related to the proposed merger.  With respect to the branch closures in 2020, the Bank has been very transparent with both its regulators and customers in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and regulatory guidance. Before a decision is made to close a branch, the Bank conducts a thorough analysis of a variety of factors and data points. The Bank’s process includes carefully considering the impact of a branch closing on communities and customers, and it ensures that decisions are made considering all the relevant factors, including the interests of both the local community and the Bank." Yeah.

November 8, 2021

Bronx VA Hospital Is On Religious Trial Amid Questions of $400,000 Pay Ceiling

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 4 – Moshe Wagh sued the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, says that at the Bronx V.A. Hospital he was paid disparate ages "on account of the fact that he is an Orthodox Jew."      

     On November 2 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger began a jury trial. Inner City Press went up to the 26th floor to cover it. 

 Wagh was in the plexiglass witness box, explaining on direct examination what the Sabbath is, and his two years of medical school in Mexico, two in Santo Domingo.   

Judge Lehrburger, after he let the jurors go, asked why he had not been told during summary judgment briefing of another doctor at the Bronx VA who is an Orthodox Jew. Wagh's lawyer said he dispute that the other is, in fact, an Orthodox Jew.

The Assistant US Attorney said if she had been on the case earlier, she would have made Judge Lehrburger aware.

At the end on November 3, with Doctor Schwartz leaving the stand, Judge Lehrburger suggested to the parties that they avoid cumulative presentation. Plaintiff's counsel asked to end on Friday at 4, for this client's religious observance. That's what the case is about.

On November 4 mid-day, Judge Lehrburger asked the lawyers about the pay scale. It emerged it imposes a maximum payout cap of $400,000 a year. To be less than the U.S. President? Judge Lehrburger pointed out that something can be considered, as required, but then rejected in full. Then he called the lawyers' lunch break.

The case is  Wagh v. Wilkie, 18-cv-7726 (Lehrburger)

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November 1, 2021

Lawsuit Against Ousted Bronx Pol Andy King Proceeds in SDNY With Discovery Extended

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 28 – Back in December 2020, with a legal filing full of misspellings asking to enjoin an election or its results, a dozen constituents of ousted New York City Council member Andy King asked a Federal judge for a restraining order. It was denied. 

  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni, in a proceeding covered by Inner City Press, asked how the plaintiffs had standing. (King's own lawsuit against the City Council for ousting him 48-2 for misconduct had already failed). 

  Judge Caproni declined to issue a preliminary injunction in Marchant et al v. De Blasio et al., 20-cv-10544 (Caproni).

 Then on April 12, fellow SDNY Judge Paul A. Crotty held a proceeding in the case King v. City of New York, 20-cv-8283 (Crotty). He gave King's lawyer Pamela Hayes two weeks to file more papers. She asked for three.

Judge Crotty said he was not inclined, but then relented. He gave three weeks but said if the papers are not in, he will dismiss the case. That case is King v. City of New York, 20-cv-8283 (Crotty).

On May 27, SDNY Judge Edgardo Ramos held a proceeding in a case against King, by former staffer Shana Melius for retaliation. The NYC City Council was refusing to produce documents unless ordered by a court. So ordered.

On October 28, Judge Ramos held another proceeding in this case. He was amazed that some discovery remained to be done, but gave a brief extension for it to happen..

This case is Melius v. New York City Council et al., 20-cv-5237 (Ramos)

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October 25, 2021

Bronx advocacy by Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press on the FOIA: "Re: Timely First Comment on Application by Amalgamated Bank (NY) to buy Amalgamated Bank in Chicago. Dear Regional Director Hughes and others at the FDIC:  

This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the FDIC's public comment period on the Applications by Amalgamated Bank (NY) to buy Amalgamated Bank in Chicago. 

  As the FDIC surely knows, Amalgamated Bank New York outrageously closed branches including at 94 Burnside Avenue in the South Bronx when its customers needed it most.   

  This caused Fair Finance Watch to look more closely. And Amalgamated is not what it pretend to be. In 2020 in New York Amalgamated made only 41 home loans to African Americans, while denying more (67) - compared to its 962 loans to whites, with FEWER denials to whites (577).   

That the Burnside Avenue closing has a negative impact is recognized even by state regulators: "October 7, 2020 (TR-CRB) AMALGAMATED BANK 275 Seventh Avenue (Fourteenth Floor, New York, NY 10001  In accordance with Section 28-c of the Banking Law, the Superintendent of Financial Services has found that the closing of branch office at 94 East Burnside Avenue, Borough of Bronx, City of New York 10453, will result in a significant reduction of financial services in the community affected."

The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved.   Please immediately send all requested information -- including a complete copy of the application, during the comment period -- and responses by e-mail to Inner City Press

October 18, 2021

AOC Cites Pro Publica Papers as Rep Huffman Says US Stays Onshore But SD FL DE Trusts

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon UN censors
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

NEW YORK, SDNY & EDNY, Oct 15 – The difference between retail and wholesale politics was again on display on August 27 and again October 15, in town halls to The Bronx and Queens.

On August 27 Inner City Press asked if  the Biden Administration is yet doing enough about bank redlining, and got an answer, below.

On October 15 Inner City Press asked about the Pandora Papers, US trusts and the United Nations, and did not. Inner City Press asked:

"AOC cited the Pro Publica Papers and Rep Huffman said the Pandora Papers don't show US billionaires going offshore. But they DO show foreign deposits using trusts in US states: South Dakota was home to 81 trusts being used by those studies; another 37 were in Florida, and 33 were located in Delaware. What do the Reps think should and can be done at this, at not only the state but also Federal level. And, if possible, what is their view / understanding of the nomination of Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency? What are her views / history on Community Reinvestment Act, and what SHOULD she do? Thanks, -Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press."

 Inner City Press also asked, again, about the UN banning a media from AOC's district. Watch this site.

October 11, 2021

Bronxite Peralta Beaten By NYPD Alleges Spoliation of Bodyworn Camera Video in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 6 – Manuel Peralta had finished his shift at a Bronx deli when at 4 a.m. in front of his building he was assaulted then arrested by undercover NYPD officers, he says. He sued.       

     On October 6 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Peralta says "it is clear that the video of the running body-worn camera was destroyed, or cut off, damaged, and purposely, to spoliation of the evidence to prevent access to the court." 

 Judge Woods inquired into the failure to train allegation.

The case is Peralta v. Vasquez et al., 21-cv-605 (Woods)

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October 4, 2021

In Taliban Support Trial of Hossain Cooperator Says FBI Told Him To Use Only His Work Phone As Juror 1 Stays

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Song I, II, III Pod Vlog

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 1 – Delowar Mohammed Hossain is on trial for attempted material support to the Taliban. The trial began on September 29, weeks after the Taliban again took over Kabul in Afghanistan. From the July 2019 Complaint:

HOSSAIN: "Pakistan is a country that support jihad... Pakistan has a good relationship with the Taliban of Afghanistan. If we look over there once we go there..."

  Then Hossain was arrested at JFK airport. He has been out on home detention and on the eve of trial asked to delay it based on racial disparities in the jury, because inactive voters were removed from the jury pool. Inner City Press will be reporting on the trial. On September 29  it began, not without difficulty, with the opening statements, live tweeting them here (podcast here, vlog I)

   On September 30, Inner City Press was told it could not be in the courtroom to see Cooperating Witness Number 1, but could listen in an overflow room two floors above.

 This continued on October 1, concluding in this, live tweeted here:

Federal Defender Dalack: This is a message from Delowar [Hossain] to me, on the day he met you in the mosque in The Bronx? Long interpretation. FD asks to show it to jurors. Suhair: This is the 2nd mosque. FD Dalack: Let me take a step back. Based on your direct

 AUSA: Objection. Misstates the testimony. Judge Stein: What day was it? Was it the first day you met the defendant? April 20, 2018? Suhail: I believe it was a different day. FD Dalack: You went to the mosque looking for someone at the request of the FBI, correct?

 Suhail: Yes. FD Dalack: And that the first time you met Delowar, correct? Suhail: We met at the first mosque. Then he sent me the address of the 2d mosque. FD Dalack: He texted you, correct? Suhail: No.

 [It's like, Who's on the first mosque?] Judge Stein: Approximately how many days between when you met him and Gov Ex 505 on the screen? Suhail: Perhaps uh, two weeks, three weeks, a little more or less.  Suhail: Three week or more. Maybe less. FD Dalack: The Arabic there says El Yom, which means today, right? Judge Stein: It says today? AUSA: Mr Dalack can't translate Arabic for us. Judge Stein: Just circle the areas. 

Suhail: It is possible I took a snap shot of this message to send it over to the FBI, like they asked. FD Dalack: Do you know how iMessage works? Suhali: What's iMessage? FD Dalack: It's the application we're looking at. AUSA: Objection.

FD Dalack: So this invites you to the mosque on Ward Avenue in The Bronx, right? AUSA: Objection. Judge Stein: I'll allow it. Interpreter: Could the court reporter read the question back? FD Dalack: Look at what I've circled

FD Dalack: Wasn't this the time of Friday prayers? Suhail: Could be. FD: What number did you text from? Suhail: Later on the provided me another phone, just to text with him. Not use personal phone. Use work phone, they tell me. FD: 9916 was your personal phone

 Judge Stein: Look away from the document. Is your recollection refreshed? Suhial: No. FD Dalack: OK. Judge Stein: Take the exhibit down.

FD Dalack: He wanted you to wake him from a nap when you got to the mosque? AUSA: Objection. Judge Stein: How much longer? FD: Several hours.

FD Dalack: You goal was to find him when you got the mosque, right, and wake him? Suhail: Yes. FD Dallack: You told the FBI about it? Suhail: Yes. FD: But they didn't pay you? Suhail: Not for this.

 FD: You called Delowar on May 17, 2018, right? Suhail: Maybe. FD: You wanted info for the FBI? [It's 5:03]

Day 3 vlog here

September 27, 2021

Savinon Who Sold Crack On Belmont Ave In The Bronx Gets 56 Months Still Unvaccinated

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 22 – Christopher Savinon was charged with selling crack, heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics on the Bronx' Belmont Avenue between East Tremont Avenue and East 179th Street.     

      On September 22 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held a sentencing proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 Judge Liman or his deputy asked if Savinon has been vaccinated against COVID-19. No, was the answer.

The Federal Defender said her office has a list of those not vaccinated, presumably waiting.

The guideline sentence was 70 to 87 months.

With the conditions of confinement amid COVID cited, Judge Liman imposed a sentence of 56 months, to be followed by fully five years of Supervised Release.

The case is US v. Savinon, 21-cr-233 (Liman) 

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September 20, 2021

Bronx Drug Defendant Faces His Rap Lyrics in SDNY Trial So He Wants $21,000 Settlement In

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 17 – Nicholas Joseph is charged with narcotics conspiracy in The Bronx, with a jury trial now ongoing on September 17.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel is managing the proceeding, which Inner City Press is covering.   

 The US Attorney's Office on July 23 filed a motion in limine seeking to show the jury some of Joseph's rap videos including "gang signs, gang colors and firearms" - and his lyrics.

Given the First Amendment, is this really necessary?

On August 24 a proceeding was held and Inner City Press covered it. Joseph wants a 2 to 3 week delay, citing the difficulty of access at Essex. The US Attorney's Office opposed.

On September 17, a cooperator Cruz was in the witness box, describing being arrested in Maine in 2019 and becoming a cooperator to try to get a time served sentence. The US Attorney's Office did play a rap video - which led the defense to argue to get into evidence the fact that the defendant got $21,525 in settlement money from the City. Judge Castel told the prosecutors to reach a stipulation to let this in. The trial will continue. Was the rap showing necessary?

The case is US v. Joseph, 20-cr-603 (Castel) 

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September 13, 2021

Man Charged With Sex Abuse At Bronx School Is Freed on $1M Bond, Can Return to Carolinas

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTROOM Exclusive, Sept 9 – In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 9, a detention hearing was held by Magistrate Judge Steward D. Aaron on a former Bronx school teacher charges with sexual abusing girls from ten to thirteen years old.

   Jesus Concepcion was arrested on August 7 in the Western District of North Carolina on a then-sealed indictment. In the month since, Concepcion has retained his own New York defense lawyer, affiliated at least in the docket with a private investigation firm.

 The indictment says Concepcion "a/k/a Mr. C singled out the Minor Victims for personal attention, he gave them money, clothing, jewelry and other gifts, and he provided them with alcohol... inducing several of the Minor Victims to engage in sexual activity with him."

 But no press release was put out about this case.

 Judge Aaron returned from a session with Pre Trial Services and said he would release Conception on a $1,000,000 bond, with travel restricted to SDNY, EDNY and Carolina.

This case is US v. Concepcion, 21-cr-479 (Preska / Aaron).

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September 6, 2021

Bronx Man Sued NYPD For Excessive Force, For Trial They Want Marshals To Hold Drugs

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK