LISTEN: UN Says Gambia Formally Reverses Withdrawal From ICC; Minnesota Officer Who Killed Philando Castile says He “Indeed Saw Gun” (BCNN1, 2/14/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

1. According to the Associated Press, the United Nations has formally received Gambia’s notice reversing its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, a spokesman said Tuesday. The world body received the letter from the tiny West African nation on Friday, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general. Gambia was one of three African countries that informed the U.N. chief last year they were withdrawing from the court that presses charges against alleged perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The others were South Africa and Burundi. Actual withdrawal from the ICC comes a year after notification.

2. According to Black America Web/NewsOne, St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez and his lawyers filed a 14-page reply asserting that the officer “indeed saw a gun,” during the July 6 encounter where Philando Castile was killed, the Pioneer Press reports. The claim obtained by the outlet, marks the first time Yanez’s defense has claimed the use of deadly force was triggered by a gun sighting. The memo further states, “The gun was accessible, and Mr. Castile reached for it.” A judge is expected to rule on the dismissal on February 15th.

3. According to NPR, Al Jarreau (jare-ro), a versatile vocalist who defied categorization for decades, died Sunday morning at the age of 76. Earlier this week, Jarreau had been hospitalized in Los Angeles “due to exhaustion,” according to his official Facebook page. In a statement posted on Jarreau’s (jare-ro-s) website, the musician was lauded for his compassion and caring for those around him. His manager, Joe Gordon, tells NPR that Jarreau (jare-ro) died surrounded by his wife, son and some of his family and friends.

4. According to Black America Web/EURWeb, an indie drama is in the works about the six black high school students in Louisiana who were initially charged with attempted murder in a 2006 attack on a white student. They came to be known as the “Jena 6.” The film, titled “Jena Six,” just picked up director Roger Donaldson and will begin production in April in New Orleans.

5. According to Collider, Oprah Winfrey is looking to re-team with The Butler director Lee Daniels for a remake of the Oscar-winning 1983 drama, Terms of Endearment. According to The Wrap, Paramount Pictures secured the rights to the project for Daniels to develop, with Winfrey in negotiations to star in the role of Aurora, the difficult mother originated by Shirley MacLaine. Based on Larry McMurtry’s novel of the same name, the original film scored 11 Oscar nominations, taking home five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress (Shirley MacClaine) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Nicholson).

6. According to Variety, an authorized documentary about iconic rapper Notorious B.I.G. — tentatively titled “Notorious B.I.G.: One More Chance” — is in development with Submarine Entertainment and ByStorm Film. The companies made the announcement on Monday at the Berlin Film Festival. The project will be directed by the Malloys (Emmett Malloy and Brendan Malloy) and made in collaboration with Notorious B.I.G.’s estate and his mother Voletta Wallace. Submarine and ByStorm Films will service as co-producers. The film will feature Biggie’s music and focus on the impact of his work around the world. Notorious B.I.G. — born Christopher George Latore Wallace — died in 1997 at the age of 23 in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. He only recorded two albums.

7. According to the Associated Press, the New York Knicks have reportedly lifted the ban on former player Charles Oakley from Madison Square Garden, a few days after he was banned from entering the building following a physical clash with security officials during a game at the arena. Oakley was arrested following the dust-up, which began when Oakley started shouting at Knicks owner James Dolan. The heated altercation was caught on camera. Madison Square Garden’s head of security was fired after the incident. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement on Monday that he and Michael Jordan were trying earnestly to resolve the dispute between Oakley and Dolan.