Four killed in Coxs Bazar road crash

first_imgRoad Accident logoFour people were killed and another four injured in a road accident in Chakaria area of Cox’s Bazar on Saturday.Of the deceased, one is Ali Akbar, 22, from Ukhia upazila of the district.A Cox’s Bazar-bound bus knocked a Chittagong-bound microbus in Gayalmara area of Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway around 7:00am, said Chiringa highway police sub-inspector Nasir Uddin.”Though the bus driver managed to control the bus, the microbus rebounded to one side of the road. Meanwhile, another Cox’s Bazar-bound microbus collided with the previous microbus while trying to overtake the bus,” he added.The accident left three people dead on the spot while another one succumbed to his injuries on the way to the upazila health complex.The injured were admitted in the upazila health complex, said Nasir Uddin, adding that police seized the three vehicles.last_img read more

10 killed as Venezuela vote turns violent

first_imgA man walks past a burning barricade after clashes broke out in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: ReutersA wave of bloodshed swept Venezuela Sunday as troops cracked down on violent protests against elections to choose the members of a powerful assembly that President Nicolas Maduro has tasked with writing a new constitution.Protesters attacked polling stations and barricaded streets around the country, drawing a bloody response from security forces, who opened fire with live ammunition in some cases.At least 10 people were killed, prompting the United States to threaten further “strong and swift” sanctions on Maduro’s government.Senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on Venezuelans to continue defying the deeply unpopular Maduro with new protests against the election and the “massacre” he said accompanied it.“We do not recognize this fraudulent process,” he said at the close of voting, calling for nationwide marches Monday and a mass protest in Caracas Wednesday, the day the new “Constituent Assembly” is due to be installed.Maduro has decreed a ban on protests during and after the vote, threatening prison terms of up to 10 years.The socialist president is gambling his four-year rule on the 545-member assembly, which will be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress and rewrite the constitution.But the unrest fueled fears that his insistence on convening the assembly—despite months of demonstrations and fierce international criticism—would only plunge the country deeper into chaos.Ten deadProsecutors said 10 people were killed in violence around the vote, bringing the death toll in four months of protests to some 120 people.Those killed included a candidate for the new assembly, a regional opposition leader, two teenage protesters and a soldier in the western state of Tachira, which saw some of the worst violence.In eastern Caracas, seven police were wounded when an improvised explosive targeted their motorcycle convoy.National guard troops used armored vehicles, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters blocking roads in the west of the capital.Soldiers also violently moved against protesters in the second city of Maracaibo, in the west, and Puerto Ordaz in the east.The opposition had called for a boycott and mass demonstrations against the election, which it condemned as a bid to install a dictatorship.“This constituent assembly is being born in a bloodbath. It is born illegitimate,” said Nicmer Evans, a prominent socialist turned Maduro critic, alleging widespread irregularities.Maduro vote glitchMaduro kicked off voting by casting his ballot in a west Caracas polling station.“I’m the first voter in the country. I ask God for his blessings so the people can freely exercise their democratic right to vote,” he said. He was accompanied by his wife, Cilia Flores, a candidate for the new assembly.He got a technological snub when he scanned his ID card at the polling station and the screen spit out the words, “This person does not exist or the ID was canceled.”Maduro, whose term is meant to end in 2019, describes the election as the most important in Venezuelan history.“I have come to vote to tell the gringos and the opposition that we want peace, not war, and that we support Maduro,” said voter Ana Contreras.Turnout will be key to determining the legitimacy of the election.But that will be difficult to ascertain, as most voters will be able to vote twice: once by region and once by social or industrial sector.According to polling firm Datanalisis, more than 70 percent of Venezuelans oppose the idea of the new assembly—and 80 percent reject Maduro’s leadership.“The people are not going to give up the streets until this awful government goes,” protester Carlos Zambrano, 54, told AFP in western Caracas.Venezuelans also protested in Miami, Madrid and various Latin American cities.The number of Venezuelans living abroad has soared as the once-booming oil producer has descended into a devastating economic crisis marked by shortages, runaway inflation, riots and looting.US sanctionsFear of the violence worsening has rippled across the region, and beyond.The US, the EU, Canada and Latin American powers including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico have condemned the election.“Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship,” tweeted US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley.Britain’s junior foreign minister Alan Duncan also described the vote as a “sham,” as did many experts.“The vote means the end of any trace of democratic rule. Maduro’s blatant power grab removes any ambiguity about whether Venezuela is a democracy,” said Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue research center.Several foreign airlines, including Air France, Delta, Avianca and Iberia have suspended flights to Venezuela over security concerns.The US has ordered the families of its diplomats to leave after imposing sanctions on 13 current and former Venezuelan officials.It threatened further sanctions against Caracas.“We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of today’s flawed election,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.last_img read more

US considers Catalonia integral part of Spain

first_imgThe United States considers Catalonia an “integral part of Spain” and supports Madrid’s measures to keep Spain “strong and united,” the State Department said Friday after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence.”The United States enjoys a great friendship and an enduring partnership with our NATO ally Spain,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.”Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united.”Nauert added that the United States and Spain “cooperate closely to advance our shared security and economic priorities.”Catalan lawmakers voted earlier to declare independence, as Madrid vowed in turn to “restore legality” and quash the region’s secessionist bid.The Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona passed a resolution to “declare Catalonia an independent state in the form of a republic.”last_img read more

Krishak League man stabbed dead

first_imgA member of local unit of Krishak League was stabbed to death allegedly by some miscreants at Baburbazar in the municipality area on Thursday.The deceased was Abul Khayer Masum, 45, son of late Abdul Mukith of Bahirchapra village in sadar upazila and aFakhruzzaman Jewel, additional superintendent of Netrakona police, said the miscreants stabbed Abul Khayer with sharp weapon indiscriminately around 6:30pm, leaving him severely injured.Later, locals took him to Netrakona Sadar Hospital where physicians declared him dead.He might have been killed over establishing supremacy in the area, the police siuper added.last_img

Kushtia1 BNP candidate Bachchu sent to jail

first_imgBNP candidate for Kushtia-1 constituency Reza Ahmed Bachchu. Photo: UNBA Kushtia court on Wednesday sent the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s candidate for the Kushtia-1 constituency Reza Ahmed Bachchu to jail in a case filed on allegation of the possession of illegal firearms and explosive.Kushtia district and sessions judge Arup Kumar Goswami rejected the bail petition of Bachchu after he had surrendered before the court, said public prosecutor Anup Kumar Nandi, reports news agency UNB.The decision came amid the country’s principal opposition BNP’s allegations of filing fake cases against their leaders and activists across the country and their arrest and harassment.The BNP candidate was on an eight-week interim bail, Anup added.Bangladesh’s next parliamentary election is scheduled to be held on 30 December.last_img read more

IS attacks kill more than 150 in Syria

first_imgRemains of a suicide bomb are seen in Sweida, Syria on 25 July 2018. — ReutersA string of suicide blasts and raids claimed by the Islamic State group killed more than 150 people in southern Syria on Wednesday, in one of the jihadists’ deadliest ever assaults in the country.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks hit several areas of the largely government-held southern province of Sweida, where IS retains a presence in a northeastern desert region.They came almost a week into a deadly Russia-backed regime campaign to oust IS fighters from a holdout in a neighbouring province of the country’s south.IS claimed responsibility for the violence, saying “soldiers of the caliphate” attacked Syrian government positions and security outposts in Sweida city, then detonated their explosive belts.The Britain-based Observatory said three suicide attackers set off booby-trapped belts in Sweida city, as other blasts hit villages to the north and east. A fourth suicide explosion hit the city later.”IS fighters then stormed villages in the province’s northeast and killed residents in their homes,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.The suicide blasts and raids killed 156 people including 62 civilians, the Observatory said.The remaining 94 dead were pro-regime fighters, most of whom where residents who had picked up weapons to defend their villages, it said.Sweida, whose residents are mostly from the Druze minority, has been relatively insulated from the war that has ravaged the rest of the country since 2011.”It’s the bloodiest death toll in Sweida province since the start of the war” in 2011 and one of the deadliest ever in Syria, Abdel Rahman said.The violence also left 30 IS fighters dead, including the suicide attackers.The jihadists captured at least three of the seven villages they targeted but clashes were ongoing Wednesday, the Observatory said.- Abandoned shoes -State media confirmed the attacks had killed and wounded people in Sweida city and villages to the north and east, but did not give a specific toll.SANA published images of the attack’s aftermath in Sweida city, showing the remains of a victim sprawled on a staircase near a damaged wall.Abandoned shoes lay in the middle of the road among fruit that had spilled out of cartons.The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Syria Ali al-Zaatari condemned the “terrorist bombing in Sweida city today,” saying all civilians should be protected.And the Russian foreign ministry said the IS attacks “confirm the need for energetic and coordinated efforts by the international community to eradicate this universal evil from Syrian territory”.State television said the army was targeting IS in the province’s east.Despite pro-government forces ousting the group from urban centres in eastern Syria last year, surprise IS raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied fighters.The jihadists still hold some territory in Syria’s south, including in Sweida and another isolated but larger patch in neighbouring Daraa province, to the west.That pocket is held by Jaish Khaled bin al-Walid, a jihadist faction whose 1,000 fighters have pledged allegiance to IS.After ousting non-jihadist rebels from most of the country’s south, President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his Russian allies are now closing in on the IS pocket in Daraa province.SANA said the IS attacks on neighbouring Sweida were an attempt to relieve pressure “on IS remnants facing their inevitable end in the western Daraa countryside”.- Desert holdouts -On Wednesday, Russia-backed regime forces pressed their heavy bombardment of the IS-held pocket in Daraa.At least 41 civilians have been killed in air strikes on the jihadist holdout since July 19, the monitor says.Fierce clashes between the two sides have killed 49 regime fighters and 67 jihadists.Syria’s south is ostensibly protected from fighting by an internationally brokered ceasefire since last year, but violence has dramatically risen in recent weeks.Last month, Assad launched a lightning assault that battered rebel areas in the south and brought most of Daraa province under his control.He then moved onto Quneitra, the neighbouring province which borders the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.On Tuesday, a Syrian military source accused Israel of firing at one of its warplanes as it carried out operations against jihadists in Quneitra.Israel’s army earlier said it had shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had infiltrated Israeli airspace, risking another escalation around the sensitive buffer zone.The Damascus regime has long accused Israel of backing IS and other anti-government factions.IS overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but has since lost most of that territory.More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.Deadliest attacks in Syria since 2011A series of Islamic State group attacks in Syria on Wednesday killed more than 150 people, in one of the deadliest assaults ever by the jihadists.Here is a recap of the most fatal jihadist attacks to hit Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.- 2011– December 23: Suicide bombers blow up two vehicles at security premises in Damascus, killing 44 people, including civilians in the first major attack since the start of the uprising.- 2012 — May 10: Fifty-five people are killed and more than 370 wounded when two blasts hit a Damascus highway during morning rush hour.- November 28: A double car-bombing in Jaramana near Damascus kills 54 and wounds 120.- 2013 — February 21: At least 83 people are killed when four attacks rip through Damascus, including a car bomb that explodes near ruling Baath party offices.- March 21: A suicide bomber inside the Iman Mosque in Damascus kills at least 49 people, including a prominent pro-regime Sunni cleric.- 2014 — February 14: At least 47 people die when a car bomb explodes in a rebel-held village in the southern Daraa province.- April 29: At least 100 people, mostly civilians, are killed by twin attacks in Homs targeting a majority Alawite neighbourhood. Assad is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam. The attacks are claimed by the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.- October 1: Twin attacks outside a school in Homs kills 55 people including 49 children.- 2016 — February 21: Twin attacks strike a majority Alawite district of Homs, killing 64 people. Hours later an attack near a Shiite shrine south of Damascus kills 134 people.- May 23: More than 170 people, mostly civilians, are killed by seven near-simultaneous bombings in the predominantly Alawite coastal cities of Jableh and Tartus.- September 5: A series of blasts in government-controlled areas kill at least 48 people. The deadliest attack in which at least 35 people are killed is a double bombing in Tartus.- 2017 — February 24: Attacks near Al-Bab in the north kill 83 people including 45 civilians. The attacks come shortly after rebels seize the town from the jihadists.- February 25: A suicide assault on two security services in Homs kills between 30 and 42 people. The bombing is claimed by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.- March 11: A twin attack in Damascus claimed by Fateh al-Sham Front kills 74 people including 43 Shiite Iraqi pilgrims.- April 15: A suicide attack during an evacuation operation from besieged zones kills 150 people including 72 children, many from the towns of Fuaa and Kafraya.- November 5: A car bomb attack in the northeastern Deir Ezzor province kills 75 civilians.- 2018 — July 25: A string of suicide blasts and raids claimed by IS kill more than 150 people in the southern province of Sweida.last_img read more

Beijing denies internment of 1m Uighurs

first_imgPolice patrolling a night food market near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China`s Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region — AFPChina vehemently denied Monday allegations that one million of its mostly Muslim Uighur minority are being held in internment camps, insisting all ethnic groups in the country are treated equally.A Chinese official told a UN human rights committee in Geneva that tough security measures in China’s far-west Xinjiang region were necessary to combat extremism and terrorism, but that they did not target any specific ethnic group or restrict religious freedoms.”Xinjiang citizens, including the Uighurs, enjoy equal freedom and rights,” Ma Youqing, the director of China’s United Front Work Department, told the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.During the first day of China’s review before the Geneva-based committee on Friday, one of the 18 committee members, Gay McDougall, voiced deep concern at “numerous and credible reports” that China had turned the region into “something that resembles a massive internment camp.”She cited reports from rights groups that upwards of one million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities are being held in counter-extremism centres, while another two million “have been forced” into reeducation camps for “political and cultural indoctrination”.- ‘Completely untrue’ -Ma, who was among around 50 high-level Chinese officials answering questions from the committee Monday, insisted that “the argument that one million Uighurs are detained in reeducation centres is completely untrue.”Chinese authorities have long denied the existence of such camps despite mounting evidence from both official documents and testimonies from those who have been held in them.Ma also flatly denied McDougall’s claim that the region had been turned into a no-rights zone”, saying this was “completely against the facts.””There is neither deliberate targeting at a particular ethnic minority, nor suppressing or restricting the rights or the freedom of religious belief of the Uighur people,” he said.McDougall appeared unimpressed by Ma’s comments.”I heard a flat denial of allegations about detentions in the Uighur area,” she said.”You said I was false on the million, well, how many were there? Please tell me. And what were the laws on which they were detained?””We have to have more than a denial of allegations,” she insisted.China has stepped up a crackdown in Xinjiang against what it calls Islamic extremism and separatist elements but many Muslims in the region accuse Beijing of religious and cultural repression.In a region that shares borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, Muslims face regulations banning beards and veils as well as the distribution of unauthorised Korans.But China’s state-run Global Times newspaper insisted Monday that the tough security measures in the region had prevented it from turning into “China’s Syria” or “China’s Libya”.The Global Times defended the crackdown in an editorial, accusing the West of trying to “stir trouble for Xinjiang and destroy the hard-earned stability in the region”.”The turnaround in Xinjiang’s security situation has avoided a great tragedy and saved countless lives,” the newspaper wrote in its English and Chinese editions.last_img

2 children drown in Chapainawabganj

first_imgTwo children drowned while taking bath in a pond in Jinarpur village of Gomostapur upazila in Chapainawabganj on Tuesday, reports UNB.The deceased are Naim, 4, son of Shahidul Islam of Jinarpur village, and Siam, 5, son of Mizanur Rahman of Mastarpara village of the upazila.Officer-in-Charge of Gomostapur police station Jasim Uddin said the cousins drowned while taking bath in a pond near their houses.Locals later took the boys to the upazila health complex where physicians pronounced them dead.last_img

Young activists push interfaith gathering to act on climate change justice

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Eric J. Lyman,Load Comments,VeggieTales to mount latest revival on Trinity Broadcasting Network Tagshomepage featured Religions for Peace Religions for Peace World Assembly Top Story,You may also like We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — On the eve of the 10th — and the largest and most cosmopolitan yet — Religions for Peace World Assembly, young participants in the forum said they are pushing more senior representatives to be more active in addressing issues such as global warming and terrorism.The young activists are among  the 1,000 attendees, including representatives from religious groups, governments, multilateral organizations and nongovernmental groups, hailing from more than 100 countries, gathered for an international, interfaith event this week.Organizers said high-ranking officials from more than a dozen major faiths plus various indigenous groups will make the trip to the historic town of Lindau, nestled on a small island near the shore on the German side of Lake Constance.The assembly will run Tuesday through Friday (Aug. 20-23). But before its formal launch on Tuesday, organizers hosted two special assemblies: one focused on the events for the youngest participants and one for women.An aerial view of Lindau, Germany, on Lake Constance. Photo by Edda Praefcke/Creative CommonsAfterward, representatives from both events gathered for an informal roundtable to discuss their goals for the coming days. For the youngest, the topics to be discussed in Lindau — peace, terrorism, climate change, sustainable development, migration — will have a direct impact on their lives for decades.“We are the ones who will live with the consequences of the decision the world will make,” said Meera Santosh, a 25-year-old activist from Myanmar.RELATED: International interfaith gathering: ‘We must work together or we will all fail’Santosh said that while the desire to help foster positive change is common, it is difficult to know how to do it.“That is what makes a forum like this so valuable,” she said. “I really only know what is happening in my country, in Myanmar. But here I can share experiences and learn and grow and make new contacts. We all come out ahead.”Santosh said it was helpful that participants from her generation come into the process with “fresh eyes” that can help them see challenging problems in a new way.Opening ceremony participants of the Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly on Aug. 20, 2019, in Lindau, Germany. Photo by Christian Thiel/Religions for PeaceThe first Religions for Peace World Assembly took place in 1970, a generation before most of the youth representatives were born. The assemblies take place at irregular intervals at locations spanning the globe, giving added weight to the event.The theme for this edition of the world assembly is “Caring for our common future: advancing shared well-being.” Organizers said that process includes religious representatives “confronting their own moral and social responsibilities … to pave the way for peace on the basis of common values.”RELATED: Woman chosen to lead Religions for Peace as others urge greater female visibilityAccording to Uruguayan Marcelo Leites, 33, another youth representative, the goal means striving for innovative, cross-border collaboration on the world’s biggest challenges.“We’re looking to create a movement,” Leites said. “It’s a movement of collaboration and dedicated to long-term thinking.”Activist Ela Gandhi, a former member of the South African Parliament and the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India, said the goal of working with the young activists participating in the assembly is not to hand the problem off to a new generation.“Our intention is to help prepare a new generation while we are still working for justice ourselves,” said Gandhi, trustee of Gandhi Development Trust and a co-president of Religions for Peace. “They have to do better than we do. They have to learn from what we do and move forward.”The Ring for Peace sculpture at the 10th Religions for Peace conference in Lindau, Germany. Photo by Christian Flemming/Religions for PeaceAgatha Chikelue, a nun and co-chair of the Nigeria Women of Faith Network, agreed.“These things we learn, they are not for us,” Chikelue said. “I did not come here for myself, and what I learn from this conference will not reside only in me. What we learn has to be shared. This is how we grow.”Another participant in the women’s assembly, Layla Alkhafaji, a former member of the Parliament in Iraq, said events such as the Religions for Peace World Assembly were invaluable for shaping a new generation.“This is not about handing something off. It’s a gradual process,” Alkhafaji said. “I hear people say, ‘They are not ready yet, they are not ready.’ But we can always say that. How will these young people become ready? They have to gain experience and sometimes they will fail. But that is what this process is about. People learn by doing. It’s the only way.” By: Eric J. Lyman Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith By: Eric J. Lyman Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! By: Eric J. Lyman Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Catholicism Cardinal Pell’s appeal verdict due but may not be final word Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Eric J. Lymanlast_img read more

Texas Federal School Accountability Plan Gets Mixed Reviews From Experts

first_img Share FILE PHOTO |CAMILLE PHILLIPS | TEXAS PUBLIC RADIOExperts say parts of Texas’ federal school accountability plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education in March are promising, but they also have some concerns.Anne Hyslop, who helped write the Every Student Succeeds Act as an education department official under the Obama administration, said Texas is to be commended for being one of only a few states using a competition to distribute federal school improvement funds.ESSA gave states greater responsibility and flexibility to hold schools accountable than the previous version of the federal education law, No Child Left Behind. As part of that flexible responsibility, states were required to submit accountability plans to the education department.“Whenever you are using funds competitively, I think you just get stronger plans. People take the process more seriously, because they know that they have to have a strong application in order to get access to those critical resources,” Hyslop said.However, both Hyslop and Chad Aldeman, a principal with the nonprofit consulting firm Bellwether Education Partners, said they believe Texas’ state accountability rules could conflict with ESSA because the state plan lets schools create additional accountability standards.“The federal law requires that states set up a uniform accountability system,” Aldeman said. “That’s not a uniform system, and so the ratings that the state gives to schools and to districts won’t be perfectly comparable because of that.”Hyslop and Aldeman also said Texas’ final ESSA plan didn’t have enough detail on the state’s A-F accountability rankings. The Texas Education Agency released its final A-F measures on Monday, after the U.S. Department of Education approved Texas’ ESSA plan.Camille Phillips can be reached at or on Twitter @cmpcamillelast_img read more

California Rejects Border Duties For Troops

first_imgAPFILE – In this April 10, 2018, file frame from video, a National Guard troop watches over Rio Grande River on the border in Roma, Texas. The deployment of National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border at President Donald Trump’s request was underway with a gradual ramp-up of troops under orders to help curb illegal immigration. (AP Photo/John Mone, File)California has rejected the federal government’s initial plans for National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration enforcement, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press.The state informed federal officials it will not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras to report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, operate radios and provide “mission support,” which can include clerical work, buying gas and handling payroll, according to officials with knowledge of the talks who spoke condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.California Gov. Jerry Brown elicited rare and effusive praise from President Donald Trump last week after he pledged 400 troops to the Guard’s third large-scale border mission since 2006.The governor’s commitment allowed Trump to boast support from all four border-state governors and helped put the president above the lower end of his threshold of marshaling 2,000 to 4,000 troops that he wants as a border security mission to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.But the Democratic Brown conditioned his support by insisting that California’s troops have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. He was not specific about jobs his troops would or would not perform or how he would distinguish between immigration-related work and going after criminal gangs and drug and gun smugglers.California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said Monday that the state was awaiting a formal response from the administration and had no additional details beyond the governor’s proposed agreement released last week that includes a ban on immigration enforcement.Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, did not immediately answer detailed question about California’s rejection of specific guard duties.Talks between U.S. and California officials about the duties the California troops would perform soured Friday and over the weekend after state authorities told federal officials that they would not participate in vehicle maintenance and the other jobs outlined for an initial phase across the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the U.S. officials said. The other border-state governors — all Republicans — have openly embraced Trump’s plans.The state’s position infuriated some federal officials because the restrictions California officials wanted to impose on what the state’s troops would not do were considered onerous, the officials said.Brown last week characterized his decision to contribute troops as a welcome infusion of federally-funded support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers. According to one U.S. official, the California Guard has suggested assigning about 40 troops to marijuana eradication across the state. Sharelast_img read more

Analysis Another Mass Shooting And A Fresh Chance To Act

first_imgREUTERS/Jonathan BachmanTen roses left in memory of the victims killed in a shooting at the Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe on May 20, 2018.Poke around on the internet and you’ll turn up article after article about guns and government and politics — the arguments that sprout every time there is another mass shooting.This is another chance to fix things. It’s discouraging that we and our political leaders have blown so many chances, but here’s another one.We’re either going to work things out or get used to things as they are.This is about the Texas shootings last week at Santa Fe High School and six months ago at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, but it’s also about the state’s slow Hurricane Harvey recovery, especially for people waiting to get back into their old homes or into new ones.It’s about the frustratingly persistent contracting snafus at one of the biggest government agencies in the United States, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.It’s about the fouled up property tax and school finance system that the Texas Legislature can’t seem to solve without orders from a high court — orders that, in the most recent litigation, never came.It’s about the dangerous guard shortage at the Telford Unit of the Texas prison system, where there are at least 200 fewer guards than the current number of inmates requires.Unresolved election laws, from voter ID to redistricting to aging electronic voting machines. Low turnout. Rising tuition at public colleges and universities. Transportation. Immigration.These are problems we all know about — that we’ve known about for a long, long time. They’re the regular content of political campaigns, legislative arguments, court fights and protest rallies.If Texas is a family, this is the big jar full of chores sitting in the kitchen. We know what’s in it. We just can’t seem to stop bitching at each other long enough to reach in, pull one out of the jar, and get to work.Last Friday’s shooting in Santa Fe is the newest of these and seems to have roused top officials in Texas, at the very least, into new rhetoric. “Thoughts and prayers” have given way to “we must do something,” even among those in leadership positions who are better known for their hardline defense of gun laws than for their active responses to prevent future mass murders.“We need to do more than to just pray for the victims and their families,” Gov. Greg Abbott said on Friday. “It’s time in Texas than we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again in the history of the state of Texas.”Ours is a reactive form of government. Things happen. Officials say stuff. The public either bears down or goes quiet, waiting for the next spin of the wheel, for the next thing to happen. Elected officials watch the public for signs of what has to be done. They are remarkably responsive and quick when the public is focused and demanding. They are also sensitive enough to public opinion to know when they’ve done all they need to do.Sutherland Springs brought a new round of promises of action — so far without action. Now Santa Fe has spurred a new wave of promises.It would be easy to note that the state hasn’t done a lot to stop these kinds of shootings after previous incidents, but that’s not a particularly effective way to change the world. It’s easy to blame the elected officials, but it’s worth looking at the public, too — to wonder if we’re the real reason for the official reactions.Cynicism is easy. The harder thing is to be optimistic in spite of recent history, to take the governor and others at their word — to pull this particular problem out of that jar of problems facing Texas and to get to work on it.If the pain and shock of losing innocent Texans in churches and schools spurs us to do something this time, to demand changes on top of all those thoughts and prayers — before the Santa Fe High killings begin to disappear into modern history like Sutherland Springs and Parkland and thousands of other man-made disasters — maybe we can get a result this time. Maybe that would show everyone how make a turn on other problems.If government officials can make progress on knots as difficult, divisive and expensive as gun laws and mental health issues, maybe they’ll find more to do than to provide pastoral care, than providing sympathy and trying to make us feel better with speeches.Maybe they can work their way to the bottom of that jar. Sharelast_img read more

Houston Only Top US Hotel Market Not Seeing Growth This Year

first_img X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:54 Share Listencenter_img Florian MartinHotel ZaZa Memorial CityA revised market forecast by hotel research firm STR has the U.S. hotel industry experience record-breaking performance levels this year. With one exception: Houston is the only Top 25 market where no growth is expected in revenue per available room.That’s because Houston hotels had a huge boost in occupancy after Harvey, as displaced residents and out-of-town contractors needed places to stay, said Carter Wilson, vice president of consulting and analytics with STR.“Because you had such a tremendous lift in the third and fourth quarter last year, we don’t obviously expect that to happen again this year,” he said. “And without that lift, it’ll just post as a decline compared to the prior year.”For 2019, Wilson said, the Houston hotel market should be growing again, though probably not as much as other markets.He said Houston is still dealing with too much supply after the oil downturn. last_img read more

Mayor Turner Judge Ed Emmett

first_img 00:00 /16:40 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listencenter_img X Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett talk about working together to respond to Harvey, how previous storms helped prepare them, and the lessons learned from Harvey.Part 2 of 10-part series, “Stories from the Storm”. More at This article is part of the Stories from the Storm podcast Sharelast_img

Full Show Phillip Aronoff Candidate Interview And Developing The First Artificial Heart

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /50:32 Listen Xcenter_img On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: Houston’s hosting the state’s latest battle against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program tomorrow. The federal court hearing will weigh the Lone Star State’s request to end the program. We consider what’s at stake for DACA recipients.We begin our series of interviews with candidates running in the November election with a conversation with Republican Phillip Aronoff, who’s running to represent Congressional District 29.Also this hour: We learn how the first fully functioning artificial heart was developed. Texas Monthly writer Mimi Swartz chronicles it in her new book Ticker: The Quest to Create an Artificial Heart.And we take a behind-the-scenes look at Houston’s 311 call center.We offer a free, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

Fort Bend County DAs Office Fires 15 As Middleton Succeeds Healey

first_img Listen Courtesy of the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s OfficeFort Bend County’s new district attorney has fired 15 staffers. The move comes as Democrat Brian Middleton reshapes the office, following 26 years under Republican DA John Healey.Those let go include 11 of the county’s 70-plus prosecutors, along with two investigators and two other staffers.“We conducted a thorough review of the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office staff with one objective,” said First Assistant District Attorney Ibraheem Khawaja. “And that’s finding the attorneys and staff that will help bring Brian [Middleton] and his administration about the criminal justice reforms that he promised the voters. The process began with all positions being required to reapply for employment at the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.”The DA’s office notified the 15 staffers last Friday that they were out of a job. Khawaja says the office will announce their replacements soon. X 00:00 /00:42 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

Maxine Pryor Dies at 65

first_imgMaxine Pryor, sister of Rosa ‘Rambling Rose,’ died following a long illness. (Courtesy photo)Maxine Delores Pryor, sister of AFRO columnist Rosa ‘Rambling Rose’ Pryor, died on Dec. 5 following a long illness.Born on Sept. 2, 1951, Pryor graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore in 1971. She worked at several of Maryland’s top hotels as a hostess and was a member of Wayland Baptist Church in Baltimore. Pryor was a fan of the Ravens, visiting casinos and spending time with her family.She leaves behind two children Ty and Wayne, nine grandchildren, three sisters, two brothers, eight nieces, five nephews, two brothers-in-law and a sister in law.Services were held at Joseph H. Brown, Jr. Funeral Home on Dec. 14.last_img

Despite Trump Hogan Holds Steady in Maryland

first_imgBy Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, syoes@afro.comDonald Trump, the leader of the Republican Party, has left a trail of incompetence and a phalanx of scandal that grows almost daily, that is unrivaled in the history of the U.S. presidency. Yet, Trump’s ineptitude, unhinged behavior and historically low approval ratings as the GOP standard bearer, has not knocked Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan off his political stride, according to the results of the latest Goucher Poll (the poll is conducted by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College).Hogan continues to be one of the most popular U.S. governors of either party with a 69 percent approval rating, while 21 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, Trump’s approval in Maryland is an abysmal 25 percent (more than 10 points under his average national approval), with a 70 percent disapproval.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)It’s no secret Hogan has strategically kept his distance from Trump, even before he captured the presidency. I wrote about Hogan’s rebuke of the then GOP nominee in this column in May 2016:“I’m not a Trump fan,” Hogan told the Associated Press back in March. “I don’t think he should be the nominee. At this point in time, I have no idea who the candidates are going to be or who I’m going to vote for,” he added. And in reference to the GOP Convention in Cleveland…Hogan said, “I don’t even want to be involved…It’s a mess. I hate the whole thing. I don’t think we have the best candidates in either party that are being put up. I don’t like the things that are going on, and I’m sick of talking about it, because it’s not anything I have anything to do with.”Two years later, Hogan’s anti-Trump protestations seem to have paid off politically for the governor according to the Goucher Poll.Hogan is seen as a moderate by a majority (51 percent) of Marylanders, while only 26 percent believe Hogan is a conservative and nine percent say Hogan is liberal.According to Goucher, almost half of respondents (47 percent) think Hogan has distanced himself from Trump “about the right amount” compared to 27 percent who believe Hogan has distanced himself “too little” from Trump and nine percent say he has distanced himself “too much” from the 45th president.But, how does the Hogan/Trump dynamic in Maryland translate to his support against the men and women who are determined to face the Maryland governor in the November election? According to the Goucher Poll, Hogan holds a comfortable lead over all of his Democratic challengers.Gov. Hogan holds a 13 point lead over Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, 44 percent to 31 percent. Hogan holds the same lead over former NAACP President Ben Jealous, 44 to 31.Hogan leads Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (45percnet to 28percent); leads Montgomery County Sen. Rich Madaleno (45percent to 27 percent); former senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alec Ross (46 percent to 26 percent); businessman Jim Shea (47 percent to 27 percent); and former policy director for Michelle Obama, Krish Vignarajah (45 percent to 25 percent).However, the Goucher Poll offers some hope for all of those Democrats vying to challenge Hogan; in all of the possible matchups against the governor, at least 22 percent of voters remain undecided.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a political scientist to realize the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial debates (Hogan is running unopposed in his party) are going to be brutal with candidates jockeying to separate themselves from the pack and invariably toss as much Trump mud on Hogan as possible in the process.Ultimately, there is more than six months between now and the General Election in November, an eternity in politics, especially in these volatile times.Sean Yoes is the Baltimore editor of the AFRO and host and executive producer of the AFRO First Edition video podcast, which airs Monday and Friday at 5 p.m., on the AFRO’s Facebook page.last_img read more

Robys WalkOff Single Sends Cards to 87 Win Over No 2423 Kentucky

first_imgOnce again the Wildcats answered, this time courtesy of Lauren Johnson’s RBI double which tied the game at 4-4. Watch Live Full Schedule Roster The Wildcats jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after walks to Jenny Schaper and Abbey Cheek set the table for Katie Reed’s two-run single. Roby’s walk-off single in the seventh marked the second time in as many home games that the Cardinals have upset a ranked opponent in the bottom of the seventh. On April 8, the Cards used a walk-off double by freshman Rebecca Chung to upend No. 3/3 Florida State. The seventh inning saw two more Kentucky runs as Vick started the frame with a single and scored on a double by Johnson. Schaper’s sacrifice fly brought the score to 7-7 for the third tie of the game. Story Links In the home half of the inning, Funke singled, Melton reached on an error and senior Megan Hensley delivered an RBI hit to put the Cards on the scoreboard. One out later, freshman Rebecca Chung laid down a bunt single which saw Melton safe at the plate to tie the game at 2-2. UL 8 – Kentucky 7 Next Game: GEORGIA TECH 4/19/2019 | cont. 10 a.m. Sunday Matchup History Louisville countered with two runs in the bottom of the second as sophomore Maddy Newman drew a leadoff walk and scored on Celene Funke’s tenth triple of the season. Funke crossed the plate on an error to push the Cards ahead 4-3. In a back-and-forth game that featured four lead changes and two ties, the Cardinals snap a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats and bring the overall series record to 20-20. Head coach Holly Aprile postgame interview Live Stats The University of Louisville softball team named its field Don Dobina Field at Ulmer Stadium to honor the legacy of local softball coach, donor and UofL alum Don Dobina. The ceremony took place in a pregame ceremony. Tonight’s attendance, 1,254 was the sixth largest in program history. The series between Louisville and Kentucky is now tied 20-20. Louisville now has five wins against ranked teams on the season (No. 15/17 Michigan, 2-1, No. 24/19 Virginia Tech 7-5, No. 3/3 Florida State 2-0 and 10-9, No. 24/23 Kentucky 8-7) Louisville now has a school-record 80 stolen bases as a team – the previous record was 68, set in the 2010 season. Funke leads the team with a .336 batting average, 39 runs and 10 triples. Hensley holds onto the team lead with 34 RBIs. Roby leads the team with an 11-1 record and a 1.67 ERA. Watson has a team-best 120 strikeouts in 114.0 innings.INDIVIDUAL NOTES Preview TEAM NOTES: center_img Kentucky regained the lead with a run in the second after Bailey Vick singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch to put the Wildcats back on top 3-2. Funke led the Cardinals offensively, going 4-for-5 with three stolen bases and tied a school record with four runs. The speedy centerfielder also connected on her 10th triple of the season and currently leads the nation in that statistical category. Don Dobina Field Dedication Ceremony UofL will return to action this weekend when the Cardinals play host to Georgia Tech in a three-game ACC series starting Friday at 6 p.m. The Cards regained the lead with a three-spot in the third, capitalizing on singles by Funke and Melton and an RBI triple by Hensley make the score 7-4. “It was a great game to play,” said UofL head coach Holly Aprile. “I think our fan support is awesome and it is just so much fun to play in this park. In the last inning, we had our fast part of the lineup up… and a great job by (Celene) Funke and Sidney (Melton) to get themselves on, and then Roby came up with that big at bat.”  Photo Gallery Roby (11-1) picked up the win in the circle after giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out one in 3.2 innings of relief. She helped her own cause at the plate, finishing the game with a 2-for-5, two RBI performance. Sophomore Danielle Watson posted her second save of the year. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Redshirt Taylor Roby’s two-out single in the seventh plated junior Celene Funke and lifted the University of Louisville to an 8-7 win over No. 24/23 Kentucky Wednesday night at Don Dobina Field at Ulmer Stadium. Kentucky began to chip away at the lead with Alex Martens’ two-out solo home run in the fourth. ACC Network Extra Autumn Humes (9-8) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and striking out three in 52. Innings of relief. Lauren Johnson paced the Wildcats, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Taylor Roby and Celene Funke postgame interview After Kentucky (26-18) scored two runs in the top of the seventh to knot the score at 7-7, Funke and redshirt senior Sidney Melton delivered back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second for Roby, who sent an 0-1 pitch into centerfield. Funke sprinted home from second for the game-winning run. Charley Butler is on a season-high nine game hitting streak Sidney Melton Melton has reached safely in the last seven games With her stolen base, Melton pushes her season total to 23 – a career high for her. She also stands tied for third with Audrey Rendon (2007) on Louisville’s single-season list and needs four more to tie Rendon (2008) for second. Melton has 56 career stolen bases, good for third on Louisville’s all-time list. She needs four more to tie Jennifer Esteban (2010-13) for second.  Celene Funke With her triple in the game, Funke moves into a tie for first with Audrey Rendon (2005) on Louisville’s single-season list with 10. She also takes sole possession of the NCAA’s current triples lead. Funke now has 12 career triples, placing her fourth on Louisville’s all-time list. She needs one more to move into a tie for third with Courtney Moore (2004-07). Funke’s four hits and runs were a career high and tied a school record. With a career-high three stolen bases in the game, Funke moves her season tally to 21 and stands fifth on Louisville’s single season list. She needs two more to catch up with Melton in a three-way tie for third. Megan Hensley   Hensley extends her career RBI total to 163 and stands fifth on Louisville’s all-time list. She needs two more to tie Alicja Wolny (2010-13) for fourth.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Stranger Things Lego Playset Flips Into the Upside Down

first_img Popular on Variety For Netflix, it’s another bid to capitalize on the popularity of the Duffer Brothers’ 1980s-set supernatural show through licensing deals. Other merch extensions include a new video game, clothing and accessories, vinyl character figures, and a Monopoly “Stranger Things” edition.On the real-world side of the Lego toy, the Byers’ house features a front porch with furniture, living room, dining room and Will’s bedroom. The living room includes the iconic alphabet Christmas light display — which actually lights up — along with other elements, like a bear trap to catch the Demogorgon.The Upside Down version of the house mirrors the same rooms but with a dilapidated, vine-covered look. Also included in the playset is Chief Hopper’s police truck, which has a removable roof and a pumpkin (a reference to the mysteriously blighted pumpkin patches in season 2).In Will’s bedroom, the model includes details like his boom box, bed, desk, desk lamp, drawings and movie posters. The attic space includes a Mind Flayer drawing and a wizard hat for “Will the Wise.”Accessories include Lucas’ slingshot and flashlight, Dustin’s walkie-talkie and compass, Mike’s flashlight and walkie-talkie, Hopper’s coffee mug, Joyce’s flashlight and drawing of “Will the Wise,” and Eleven’s waffle.By the way, Eleven’s blond wig can be removed to reveal a bald head, a Lego rep confirmed, who added, “It’s not entirely smooth, though, as she has a stud atop her head in order to attach the hairpiece.”Lego’s Upside Down playset measures 12 inches tall, 17 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The toy is recommended for ages 16 and older. In a no-brainer toy tie-in, Netflix and Lego are introducing a “Stranger Things” playset: a recreation of the Byers’ house that flips over to reveal the dim underworld of the Upside Down. With a list price of $200, Lego’s Upside Down playset is positioned as a premium collector’s item. The product comprises 2,287 individual pieces, including eight Lego Minifigures of the show’s principal characters: Eleven (complete with an Eggo/Lego waffle), Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Will Byers, Joyce Byers, Chief Jim Hopper — and the Demogorgon.The Lego set goes on sale June 1, 2019, a month ahead of the “Stranger Things” season 3 debut on July 4. (It’s available May 15 to Lego VIP rewards-program members.) Lego and Netflix last week teased that a “Stranger Things” toy was on its way in tweets last week.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more