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Haitian President Jovenel Moise assassinated in his home

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Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has been assassinated in an attack on his home, according to a statement from the country’s interim prime minister, who called the killing a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act”.

A group of unidentified individuals attacked Moïse’s private residence overnight on Wednesday and shot him dead, interim Premier Claude Joseph said.

First Lady Martine Moïse was shot in the attack and was hospitalised, Joseph said. Her condition was not immediately clear.

“The country’s security situation is under the control of the National Police of Haiti and the Armed Forces of Haiti,” Joseph said in a statement from his office. “Democracy and the republic will win.”

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, was already in a precarious political situation before the assassination, having grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moïse.

Moïse, who was 53, ruled by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections and the opposition demanded his resignation in recent months.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the streets were largely empty in the Caribbean nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince, but some people ransacked businesses in one area. After the attack, gunshots could be heard throughout the capital.

Joseph said police have been deployed to the National Palace and the upscale community of Pétionville and will be sent to other areas.

He said some of the attackers spoke in Spanish but offered no further explanation.

The Dominican Republic said it was closing the border it shares with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.

‘Distressing and deteriorating’ situation

Haiti’s economic, political and social woes have deepened recently, with gang violence spiking heavily in Port-au-Prince, inflation spiralling and food and fuel becoming scarcer at times in a country where 60 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day.

These troubles come as Haiti still tries to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew that struck in 2016.

Laurent Dubois, author of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History, said there were still “a lot of details to be understood” about Moïse’s “shocking” assassination.

“There’s been an enduring political crisis worsening over the past several years,” he told Al Jazeera.

“Over the past months, in particular, there have been a lot of warnings coming from observers on the ground that the situation has gotten extremely distressing and deteriorating. This is part of that course of events but it is very difficult to understand exactly what transpired and also, worryingly, exactly what will unfold over the next couple of days in the wake of this.”

Moïse has faced fierce protests since he took office as president in 2017, with the opposition accusing him this year of seeking to install a dictatorship by overstaying his mandate and becoming more authoritarian – charges he denied.

In addition to presidential, legislative and local elections, Haiti was due to have a constitutional referendum in September after it was postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubois, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, said Moïse left “a mixed legacy”.

“Since his election, there have been continual problems and contestation of his legitimacy as president,” he noted.

“Adding to that, most recently the COVID crisis has been dealt with very poorly.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

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HBO Max Acquires Morgan Freeman & Lori McCreary’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN For Streaming Starting November 19

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Following the Gravitas Ventures day and date theatrical release, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the award-winning, critically-acclaimed film THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN. The film will debut on the platform Friday, November 19. Based on a true story, the film was directed by David Midell (NightLights), produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment, and executive produced by Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Gary Lucchesi of Revelations Entertainment, along with Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, which won a bevy of prestigious awards during its festival run, tells the heart-breaking true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed by the police during a welfare check after his medical alert device was accidentally activated. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and the overly aggressive policing tactics that make the news on an all-too-frequent basis, the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. ended at the hands of those who were sworn to “protect and serve.”

The film’s HBO Max debut date, November 19, 2021, is the 10-year anniversary of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s death.

While the title of the film gives away its tragic end, the real-time reenactment of Chamberlain’s final moments alive are a powerful reminder of how interactions with the police can, and do, end for many people of color, and people with mental health challenges, in the United States.

As a former behavioral therapist, and on the autism spectrum himself, director David Midell comes to this material with an added layer of personal experience. “Our goal all along has been to ask important questions about how our criminal justice system treats people of color, people in low-income areas, and people living with mental health challenges.

“I always say it’s bigger than my dad,” Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said. “It’s about all the lives that have been lost in this pandemic of killing black men, women and children. And I just hope that the film is…going to force a discussion.”

Producing partners Freeman and McCreary were incensed that the film could not find distribution, and immediately offered to help by using Freeman’s voice and Revelations’ brand to help amplify the story. “We simply could not stand by and see this film ignored. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s story, whose death in 2011 was largely ignored by the national media, deserves to be known by the world,” states Freeman and McCreary.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN comes at an important time in the national conversation about systemic racism and is a searing example of law enforcement’s sometimes callous and cruel treatment of people of color, echoing recent high-profile incidents involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, among countless others. THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN world-premiered at the Austin Film Festival and won the Audience Award and the Narrative Jury Award there. At the Urbanworld Film Festival last year, it claimed the Jury Award for best US Narrative, and continued winning at festivals, and led to an independent Spirit Award Nomination for David Midell in the “Someone to Watch” category.

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