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Out and about | Pleasanton Express

Out and about |  Pleasanton Express

  What is the interest rate I will be expecting when taking out loans to a direct lender when I have bad credit? 

The lenders offer a range of rates of interest. They calculate their rates based on a range of variables, such as the type of loan you’re seeking and the length of your loan. A lot of lenders will accept the loan application but will charge higher rates of interest for those with poor credit. Personal loans may be charged an interest rate that can range from 6 percent or 36 percent, installments directly from lender.

Singers from SouthTexas

Free concert on the 23rd of October at the 1st BaptistChurch of Pleasanton 400N. Reed St. at 6p.m.

Food and Learn online parent trainings

The event is held by the Atascosa McMullenSpecial Educational Cooperative. The event will be held the 25th of October, on Monday 2012 at 12:15pm. The subject is “Special assessment for schools The things parents should be aware of. For more information, get in touch with BrendaNelson at [email protected].

Jourdanton, 1st BaptistChurch FoodPantry

Distribution on Friday the 29th of October, beginning around 8:15 a.m. till the time where the items are given away. 515 Zanderson Avenue., Jourdanton.

Peacefor thePieces social group

This group hosts events or gatherings and also meetings geared toward families of disabled individuals from the local area. They help to boost confidence and socialization among those disabled at the highest stage, from infants up to those over 25yrs old. Contact Laura at 830-570-278 for more information.

FamilyCollaboration Council by Connections in the Jourdanton

They would like to hear ideas regarding ways to improve services within the community. A virtual meeting has been scheduled for close of November. You can contact [email protected]

CowboysStock Exchange FallFestival

The 31st of October on a Sunday, from 6:30 p.m. There will be activities, including makeup contests, costume contests , and prizes Live entertainment, as well as prizes offered through Marlon Sharp. Check out the official announcement of this event.

The primary forms are available! They are designed for use by users

Merry The Main at Pleasanton between December 3 to 4. The forms for vendors, the Bicycle ParadeIlluminated Christmas NightParade, River Park Wonderland and Little MissMerry on MainPageant are available on www.merryonmain.org.

Merry the MainTalent Show will accept audition videos

Submit your 1minute video to [email protected] for the details for future contest. Be sure to include your first name as well as date of birth along with the type for your video (voice comedy voice, voice, etc. ).Age categories are 5-10, 11-17 , or those aged 18 and over. Deadline for submission of video is on the 7th of November.

WildBill Christmas CowboyGallop

SouthCentral Texas Community CouncilFundraiser

The cost for tickets to the raffle is $10 which is equal to three tickets. The prizes will include gift card baskets as well as other prizes. Tickets are available at 1220 Ave. Simmons in the Jourdanton. You can also contact 830-767-2019.

A fun family time within GeorgeFarms

595 Allee des Mobil-Homes , located in Poteet. It is accessible to the public on every Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 30th from 10a.m. until at least 6p.m. The cost of 12 dollars includes for unlimited rides in the hay and wine tastings and many other activities or $5 admission (does exclude the pumpkin but it includes hay rides, unlimited wine tasting, and much more).

CoastalBend College OpenHouse

1411Bensdale Road in the Pleasanton. The 21st of October, Thursday between 5p.m. between five p.m. to seven p.m. Go through the facilities, see the classrooms and get meet the staff and teachers. Participate in a mixer that includes a chamber. Bring a book that you have just purchased to donate for at the AtascosaCo Juvenile DetentionCenter.

SAP JAM October23

The event will begin at 12 noon in the Pleasanton SkatePark. It’s organized by SanAntonio / PleasantonPartners for Progress. Show off your skating skills. You could win a cash prizes in the form of skates are provided. Drinks and food are also offered. You can join the party to register by phone BobByrd at 210-896-5525 and provide your expertise.

PercyMedina Scholarship Fund PokerTournament

The 23rd of October take place in St.Andrew’s ChurchHall in the Pleasanton between 6 to 11p.m. The evening will include a dinner and dancing, and auction silent. This is an auction that is silent. Texas Hold’em Poker event ticket is $100 per person (including food and drinks). 1. The cash award for First Prize cash prize: 1,000USD gift card. 2nd prize cash prize cash prize 500USD gift card, and third prize: an award-winning gift card worth 250USD. Tickets for dinner cost $25. To reserve a table, call Priscilla at 210-639-2553, or phone Gabe at 512-995-994.

SaferPath domestic violence shelter provides a watchful eye

The 28th day the month of October on Thursday, beginning at the time between 6:30pm and 715 p.m. at the AtascosaCounty Courthouse. Find out more about local police officials and the inspirational story of an individual who survived in DomesticViolence AwarenessMonth.

Dia delos Muertos exhibition “Recuerdame”

Cafeteria is located in Cafeteria located in the Memorial Annex situated in Leming. The event is free and open in the public. Vernissage Wednesday on hte 27th of October from 6:30p.m. between 8p.m. until eight p.m. The event will continue through October 28-30 beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 3p.m. Everyone is invited. Go to this section on the website for further details.

Cleaning-up at SanYsidro cemetery on 30th of October

The festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. Families and relatives at the cemetery are invited to participate. Lawn mowers and other tools are required. 

HalloweenTrick-or Treat at GeorgFarms

595 Allee des maisons mobiles in the Poteet on the Saturday of October. 30th of October, from 10a.m. to 6p.m. The cost for admission is $5. Children aged 2 and older are admitted for free. Bring your blanket or toy to enter at no cost. Costume contest and Halloween patch inside the Backyard Food and hay rides in the kitchen. There will be cash prizes, and much more.

PoteetFirst BaptistChurch , FallFestival

Saturday, 30th of October, 2013, 1305Amphion Rd. 5pm-8pm. Costume contest, games cart rides, as well as complimentary food and drinks until the all supplies are gone.

Halloween Trail in Pleasanton RiverPark

Sunday 31 October at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. It is run by PleasantonParks & Recreation. It’s an event that is free and includes food and Hay rides and games.

Cleansing of Dia delos MuertosCemetery

CharlotteCommunity Cemetery. Monday, r 1st of November, 4:00p.m. until 6:30p.m. Remember the lives of people who have passed on by donating food altars for time funeral services, and many other events. Bring a picture of someone you’ve been a part of. Everyone is asked to dress in disguise.

Noche delas Calaveras on 6th of November

MainStreet in downtown Pleasanton between 5 and 9p.m. Cultural festival that includes food and vendors of arts. Folklore performance and an altar competition, along with Catrina costume contest. Are you in search for sellers. If you’d like to know more about the process, contact 830-570-2782 , or 830-569-2163.

Meetings online for foster and adoption

It is run in conjunction with Belong. Meetings on November 6 in the evening, beginning with 6:30p.m. and on 13th of November at 10:00 a.m. Go to sjrcbelong.org to sign up.

the T1D annual 2nd WildBill PumpkinRace

Sunday, 7th of November GeorgeFarms 595Mobile HomeAlley in the Poteet. A fundraiser for diabetes Alert Dogs and StevieJayde Beddo. A fun 3K run, BBQ sales. Raffle of baked goods, sale of canning equipment Face painting, and lots more.

The 6th year for the The AtascosaCo.VeteransDay celebration.

Wednesday, 10th of November. Parade will begin at an estimated at 11:00a.m. at 1101Main St. in the Jourdanton. The line-up is scheduled to begin at 10:30am. Food and refreshments for Veterans and is available from the VeteransServices Bureau.

Atascosa Co. ThanksgivingDay

The event will take place on Thursday , 25th of November Jourdanton Community Centre. Jourdanton Community Centre 1101Campbell Ave.Free and hosted by Wayne Vaughn and Julie Hilberg. Anyone living in AtascosaCounty. The operating hours are the following times that are 12:00p.m. 1. p.m 2, 3, or 4. p.m. Take-out the pickup is available from 11:30 p.m. until 3.30 p.m. To book a table, make reservations, call 830-534-7083. Include the names of your guests and their preferred time. Maximum of 8 guests per table, or take-away reservations.

The Atascosa County Seniors’ Christmas Goal for Project 2021

This was known before as ACCEPT and has since shifted its attention to elderly individuals who need help. For those with any questions you can call (210-771-769).

FEATURED an event in Out&About, email Lifestyles editor LisaLuna at [email protected] or call our office at 830-569-6130.

Online payday loans near me for bad credit

Online payday loans for bad credit near me

Get 100% cash advance online even with bad credit. The best service for fast loans!

Online payday loans

Instant payday loans, easy guaranteed approval. A cash advance is an easy way to quickly get your hands on cash for emergencies or other needs. It will help you to deal with financial difficulties, for example online payday loans for bad credit if you have a bad credit history. The interest rate charged on the card and loan is the amount of interest you pay when you borrow money. This means you pay a fixed interest rate each month with a fixed amount you can repay each month.

These conditions mean that the rates differ depending on whether or not you make your payments on time. Your interest rate increases if the loan passes the due date, unless you get your money back at the end of the payment period. You can find payday lenders online without any prior approval. Student loans from $150 to $200, student loans online. Students pay interest on their loan for their first six months and then the government takes over. It’s a much better way to get credit cards and loans to go the distance. And you can get payday loans for many reasons. First of all, bad credit payday loans are available for all age groups, and some are for those going to college. The amount of interest paid on your account is set by the rate set by the lender.

How much money a payday loan will take

According to the Payday Loans Online website, pay off the first $150 of the loan, but the entire balance can be paid off. The money is usually returned to your bank account very soon after the loan is withdrawn from your account. The loan then becomes due again within one month of your initial payments. »

This may mean that you will need another $300 from your payday loan to pay off a payment of $150. However, it is much easier to pay off your original loan and then take out another loan, which will cost $150 instead of $300. This is because the original payday loan takes into account all the interest you have already incurred and will have to return the full amount of money you borrowed to pay you back any gains.

The best way to reduce accrued interest on a payday is to refinance your other loan. If you make an interest payment, it lowers your interest rate and lowers your monthly payment to what the borrower pays. This is called “loan forgiveness” because you will be forgiven for what the payday loan takes from your account, and any interest you have already paid will be refunded to you. You’ll also get better rates and greater credit protection on your payday loan at new interest rates.

How long does a personal loan last?

Payday loans come with an agreement that the payment will be refunded in full within 60 days or your money will not be debited. You’re usually responsible for taking out the loan, but you can get your money back if it’s paid off before your next payment. You can always get cash payday loans online for bad credit, moreover, the interest rate on these loans will be very low, which will get you out of financial trouble. Since payday lenders typically charge interest up front, a payday loan can last anywhere from 24 to 48 business hours. This makes cash advances less practical for many people who use credit cards. Also known as an auto loan, loan, installment loan, or car loan, there are many different types of payday loans, ranging from quick loans to longer term loans.

Instant payment. When you go online, you find instant payment when you go online. They make sure you’re not late or getting bounced checks with instant payments. The most common instant loans are short-term loans that require no credit check and the interest rate is 6% or 15%. Fast payment.

Payday lenders offer quick loans to people who frequently miss a financial payment due to a recent cash advance. This type of cash advance is popular with people who don’t always save on their credit card. They request payments within minutes, with payment due before your credit card or mortgage payment is due. Instant payments offer more flexibility and quick payment because they can allow you to use your credit card to pay off the debt while it’s still in your account.

These instant loans are used for small financial payments needed for day-to-day expenses such as paying bills, groceries, and clearing an unwanted balance. Instant loans are common loans for people who get a new line of credit to make paying off credit card debt a little easier. Interest rates are usually lower than other loans, so you’ll save on interest over time and can get a higher amount at the end of the loan period through interest.

Cash advance type

Types of Cash Advances and Fees A cash advance is a loan in excess of the principal to be repaid on the day it is received. Terms vary from a maximum cash advance of $100 to $2,500, with more expensive loans. Although a cash advance is easy to get for people who just need a quick loan to cover their needs, getting a cash advance for a more important purpose, like paying off a debt or buying a car, can be costly. expensive depending on the level of indebtedness, the duration of arrears, the seniority agreement and the cost of a certified letter confirming the transaction. In short, getting a higher rate on a longer term or more expensive loan can be more difficult, due to the higher interest rates and other fees available in these loan programs.

Cash advance Loan Interest rate

Typical variable rate cash advance loans typically carry interest rates of 0.6%. The highest interest rate on payday debt from this lender. Most people looking to get a payday loan online are looking for an instant cash advance.

Civil society turns to Europe to call for peace

More and more European citizens are turning to the EU institutions in Brussels to demand that they take a leading role in ending the conflict in Ukraine. Catholic journalist, Marco Tarquinio, tells Vatican News of a widespread expectation that Europe, which is based on values ​​of respectful coexistence and fraternity, will act for peace in accordance with the Pope’s calls.

By Gabriella Ceraso & Linda Bordoni

It is increasingly clear that not only is there no solution to the war in Ukraine on the horizon, but also that the conflict and the suffering it causes may soon fade from the spotlight and fall into the oversight.

This pushes civil society to mobilize from below, silently but concretely, in favor of a “European initiative” which would transform the EU into a protagonist in the peace process.

That is the aim of a 15-point peace plan to end the Russian-Ukrainian war published last week and presented Monday at the headquarters of the European Parliament’s Italian Bureau.

He proposes a negotiated compromise peace agreement which could be negotiated by France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Israel and would be followed by a cessation of all military operations and the withdrawal of all Russian military forces. of Ukraine outside the Donbass region.

The comprehensive peace proposal attempts to permanently resolve, rather than postpone resolution, all existing areas of contention between Russia and Ukraine in order to ensure that Russia will have no reason to resume hostilities against the Ukraine in the future.

It also addresses some of Russia’s most pressing security concerns while serving to enhance the security of NATO members by reducing the prospects of future conflict with Russia.

Marco Tarquinio is the editorial director of the Catholic publication “Avvenire”. He spoke to Vatican News about the highlights of the plan and Pope Francis’ repeated calls for peace.

Q: Civil society calls for a united Europe. What are the central points of this call to responsibility?

It is a call which springs from below but which intends to put pressure on those who have the political power and the possibility of influencing current events, and to steer them in a different direction from that undertaken so far, without neglect all available tools.

First and foremost, the role of the United Nations, where the European Union does not have the right to vote but is represented alongside its 27 members, including France, a permanent member of the Security Council, which must take the responsibility of promoting a mediation initiative. This is something that must also, and above all, take place in the General Assembly, where a large majority of the nations pushing in this direction have already gathered.

Then there would have to be the intervention of a peacekeeping force – a word that seems to have been banished from the current scenario – and a humanitarian corridor would have to be kept open at all times. This is important to avoid what has already happened in other conflicts in which the escape routes that preserve the human dignity of the person have been sealed once the emotion of the moment has passed.

The EU is then asked to intervene in the negotiations, both possible and necessary, and not only in the role of spectator. In this regard, the document takes into account that Italy is one of the countries that has already taken a step in this direction, a step that has triggered a series of dystonic reactions from the parties concerned, especially from Russia.

In short, he calls on Europe to “grow”. It asks it to equip itself with a common security system, interdependent of States and independent of other dimensions, endowed with a genuine security and defense organization endowed with two arms: a non-aggressive military and a non-violent civilian.

Coming back to the subject of an international framework, the other appeal is addressed to multilateral organisations. The United Nations of course, but also the OSCE which, according to a wish shared by the Holy See and the President of the Italian Republic, must become a reference and embody the spirit of the actions carried out. This, so that we do not rush towards the direction of Yalta, but towards that of the Helsinki agreements of 1975 which opened a new phase in relations between European states and for stability and peace in the world.

Q: Europe is currently bearing the brunt of the immediate consequences of what is happening in Ukraine. It is a Europe which funds the conflict with arms, but which has called for responsibility and the promotion of peace, multilateral solutions and conflict prevention in accordance with Article 21 of the EU Treaty. How can we make this item work? Why it does not work ?

This article does not work because Europe is broken, it does not agree on the direction to take. Despite an apparent unanimity at the start of the war, different sensibilities and tendencies emerged among the 27 member states. During the press conference, we expressed the wish that even if there is not absolute unanimity, there will be at least one initiative from the European institutions, to agree on an initiative for enhanced cooperation involving a few major countries .

A hint of this was seen in the joint mission to Kyiv by the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, the three great founding countries that gave impetus to the EU. We would like this to be reinforced, using the instruments indicated in article 21 – which is the translation of article 11 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic. It is the article quoted by many Italians, and by the Holy Father himself, who supported him during this crisis.

He says that “Italy rejects war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means of settling international disputes”.

This is a key point. Politically, we would like to see a strong and coherent initiative from the great European leaders who would thus respond to the feelings of so many people who today are not represented by what is happening in the public arena.

Q: Is there a disconnect between civil society and politics? And responding to the Pope’s call to each of us to ask what we can do for peace, can this proposal be of support?

I think the right path is the “simple” path, accessible to all thinking people with a heart. And it means organizing mobilizations from below, as is already done – less noticeable than in the past because there is a lack of large gatherings – but there are meetings in all regions of the country.

I know something about it myself, personally, as well as all the promoters of this initiative, which brings together people of different sensitivities, from different backgrounds, people of faith and those without faith, and this is very important. I think that together we have to constantly push and show governments that this disconnect between public opinion and those with the power to push buttons has to go, given the very complicated situation we have before us .

We are not talking about “wishes” from below or from above. We must find a way, together, to put pressure on the protagonists of the war, so that they choose a different path: one that puts an end to the suffering of the people, starting with the Ukrainian people, who are, at this stage , the one being attacked. Everyone can do their part, every drop in the ocean counts.

Q: Pope Francis’ positions on war, crises, weapons, common responsibility have been criticized and considered utopian. Is that the case? What are your thoughts on this?

The most serious thing is that they were also censored. I think that at this moment, above all, we must be grateful to Pope Francis.

For us Catholics, it’s simple; for so many others, it is just as easy to identify with the appeals he has launched with extraordinary efficiency and which point in another direction, one that, it seems, we do not want to see.

There is a road ahead of us that seems impossible to navigate. The Pope knows how to tell us this and he does so as a man of faith, as a First Citizen in a world that has no other First Citizens who know how to take initiatives for peace.

It is no coincidence that even the supporters of the appeal I have decided to join (the National Association of Italian Partisans, Arci, and the European Movement), wanted to launch an appeal to the Catholic world, by through the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, who undertook to receive it and hand it over to the Holy See.

This is because they all recognize in Pope Francis the highest, most credible and clear point of reference, at a time when other voices may have great interests in the conduct of mediations, but may -not be in the “general interest” to build a new level of security. , coexistence and mutual respect under the sign of fraternity, fundamental for us Christians.

‘The Impossible’: Ukraine’s Secret and Deadly Rescue Missions

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As was his custom before each flight, the veteran Ukrainian army pilot ran a hand along the fuselage of his Mi-8 helicopter, stroking the heavy carrier’s metal skin to lift him luck, as well as his crew.

They would need it. Their destination—a besieged steel mill in the brutalized city of Mariupol – was a death trap. Some other crews did not return alive.

Yet the mission was vital, even desperate. Ukrainian troops were pinned down, their stocks dwindling, their dead and the wounded are piling up. Their ultimate stand at the Azovstal factory was a growing symbol of Ukraine’s defiance in the war against Russia. We couldn’t let them perish.

The 51-year-old pilot – identified only by his first name, Oleksandr – flew only one mission in Mariupol, and he considered it the most difficult flight of his 30-year career. He took the risk, he said, because he didn’t want the Azovstal fighters to feel left out.

In the charred hell of this plantin an underground bunker turned medical station that provided shelter from death and destruction above, word began to reach the injured that a miracle might happen. Among those who said he was on the evacuation list was a junior sergeant who had been shredded by mortar shells, slicing through his left leg and forcing his amputation above the knee.

“Buffalo” was his nom de guerre. He had been through so much, but another deadly challenge loomed: escaping Azovstal.


A series of clandestine, against-the-odds, terrain-hugging and high-speed helicopter missions to reach the defenders of Azovstal in March, April and May are celebrated in Ukraine as among the most heroic feats of military bravery in the four-month of war. Some have ended in disaster; each became increasingly risky as Russian air defense batteries grew.

The full story of the seven supply and rescue missions has yet to be told. But from exclusive interviews with two injured survivors; a military intelligence officer who participated in the first mission; and pilot interviews provided by the Ukrainian military, The Associated Press has pieced together the account of one of the final flights, from the perspective of both rescuers and survivors.

Only after more than 2,500 defenders remained in the ruins of Azovstal had begun to surrender Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky first give wind of the missions and their mortal cost.

The tenacity of the Azovstal fighters had thwarted Moscow’s aim of quickly capturing Mariupol and prevented Russian troops from being redeployed elsewhere. Zelenskyy told Ukrainian television channel ICTV that the pilots braved the “powerful” Russian air defenses by venturing beyond enemy lines, carrying food, water, medicine and weapons so that the defenders of the factory could continue to fighting and evacuating the wounded.

The military intelligence officer said one helicopter was shot down and two others never returned and are considered missing. He says he dressed in civilian clothes for his flight, thinking he could blend in with the population if he survived a crash: “We knew it could be a one-way trip.”

Says Zelenskyy: “These are absolutely heroic people who knew what was difficult, who knew it was almost impossible. … We lost a lot of pilots.


If Buffalo had been right, he wouldn’t have lived to be evacuated. His life would have ended quickly, to spare him the agony he suffered after 120mm mortar rounds ripped open his left leg, bloodied his right foot and peppered his back with shrapnel during fighting in Mariupol. March 23.

The 20-year-old spoke to The Associated Press on the condition that he not be identified by name, saying he did not want to give the impression that he was seeking publicity as thousands of Azovstal defenders are in captivity. or dead. He had been on the trail of a Russian tank, aiming to destroy it with his armour-piercing, shoulder-launched NLAW missile on the last day of the first month of the invasion, when his war was halted.

Thrown next to the wreckage of a burning car, he dragged himself to hide in a nearby building and “decided it was better to crawl into the basement and die there quietly”, he said. -he declares.

But his friends evacuated him to the steelworks in Ilyich, which subsequently fell in mid-April as Russian forces tightened their grip on Mariupol and its strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov. Three days passed before doctors could amputate him, in a bomb shelter in the basement. He considers himself lucky: the doctors still resorted to anesthesia when his turn came to go under the knife.

When he returned, a nurse told him how sorry she was that he lost the limb.

He cut the awkwardness short with a joke: “Will they return the money for 10 tattoo sessions?”

“I had a lot of tattoos on my leg,” he said. One remains, a human figure, but its legs are also missing.

After the operation, he was transferred to the Azovstal plant. A fortress covering nearly 11 square kilometers (over 4 miles), with a 24 kilometer (15 mile) maze of underground tunnels and bunkers, the factory was virtually impregnable.

But the conditions were dark.

“There was constant shelling,” said Vladislav Zahorodnii, a 22-year-old corporal who was shot in the pelvis, tearing a nerve, during a street fight in Mariupol.

Evacuated to Azovstal, he meets Buffalo there. They already knew each other: Both were from Chernihiva northern town surrounded and shelled by Russian forces.

Zahorodnii saw the missing leg. He asked Buffalo how he was doing.

“It’s alright, we’ll be clubbing soon,” Buffalo replied.


Zahorodnii was evacuated from Azovstal by helicopter on March 31, after three unsuccessful attempts.

It was his first helicopter flight. The Mi-8 caught fire while exiting, killing one of its engines. The other kept them aloft for the rest of the 80-minute early morning run to the city of Dnipro on the Dnieper River in central Ukraine.

He would mark his deliverance with a round tattoo on his right forearm: “I did it so as not to forget,” he says.

Buffalo’s turn came the following week. He was ambivalent about leaving. On the one hand, he was relieved that his share of dwindling food and water was now going to others still able to fight; on the other, “there was a painful sensation. They stayed there and I left them.

However, he almost missed his flight.

The soldiers dragged him on a stretcher out of his deep bunker and loaded him onto a truck which rumbled towards a pre-arranged landing zone. The soldiers wrapped him in a jacket.

The helicopter ammunition cargo was unloaded first. Then the injured were taken on board.

But not Buffalo. Left in a back corner of the truck, it had somehow been forgotten. He couldn’t sound the alarm because the mortar fire had injured his throat, and he was still too hoarse to be heard through the whoop-whoop-whoop of the helicopter rotors.

“I was like, ‘Well, not today then,'” he recalled. “And suddenly someone shouted, ‘You forgot the soldier in the truck!’ »

Because the hold was full, Buffalo was placed across from the others, which had been loaded aboard side by side. A member of the crew took her hand and told her not to worry, they would go home.

“All my life,” he told the crew member, “I’ve dreamed of flying a helicopter. It doesn’t matter if we arrive, my dream has come true.


In his cockpit, the wait seemed interminable to Oleksandr, the minutes seeming like hours.

“Very scary,” he said. “You see explosions around and the next shell might hit your location.”

In the fog of war and with the full picture of covert missions still looming, it is not possible to be absolutely sure that Buffalo and the pilot who spoke to reporters in a video interview recorded and shared by the army were on the same flight. But their account details match.

Both gave the same date: the night of April 4 to 5. Oleksandr recalled being fired upon by a ship as they flew over Mariupol waters. A shock wave threw the helicopter “like a toy”, he said. But his escape maneuvers saved them.

Buffalo also remembers an explosion. Evacuees later learned that the pilot had evaded a missile.

Oleksandr propelled the helicopter at 220 kilometers (135 miles) per hour and flew as low as 3 meters (9 feet) above the ground – except when jumping over power lines. A second helicopter from its mission never returned; on the return flight, his pilot radioed him that he was low on fuel. It was their last communication.

On his stretcher, Buffalo had watched the field slip away through a porthole. “We flew over the fields, under the trees. Very low,” he said.

They arrived in Dnipro, safely. Upon landing, Oleksandr heard the injured call for the pilots. He expected them to yell at him for shaking them so hard during the flight.

“But when I opened the door, I heard some guys saying, ‘Thank you,'” he said.

“Everyone clapped,” recalls Buffalo, currently in rehab with Zahorodnii at a clinic in Kyiv. “We told the pilots that they had done the impossible.”


AP journalists Sophiko Megrelidze in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Oleksandr Stashevskyi in Kyiv contributed.


Follow AP coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

A thousand words about Ukraine: heroism, weapons and wheat – KyivPost

First line developments, prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the open question of German weapons supplyand the fear of an impending world famine.

Severodonetsk Zugzwang

Enemy forces continue to shell Donbass. They are breaking their backs to carry out Putin’s order to take Severodonetsk and expand their occupation to the administrative borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. The deadline was originally set for Friday, June 10.

Currently, military action is focused on a small area in the east of the country where its fate and the architecture of a new world order are being decided. There, fierce battles wreak havoc on both sides. The difference is that the Ukrainian soldiers know what they are fighting for when the enemy’s morale drops.

So what is obvious now?

Russian forces failed to meet the Kremlin’s strategic deadline. They failed to turn tactical gains like the capture of Popasna and Lyman into major operational breakthroughs. Ukrainian forces retained control of their supply lines to deliver ammunition, food, equipment and supplies to Lysychansk and Severodonetsk where the Russian invaders are locked in street-to-street fighting.

As the Russian offensive falters, Kremlin generals are feverishly looking for ways to sustain it. As in a game of chess, the Russian military command is in a Zugzwang: any movement could worsen its position.

Russian troops are physically unable to attack continuously for more than four weeks. Like their Ukrainian counterparts, they need rest and supplies, but the Russian generals cannot stop because “it is an order” given by Putin.

Another failure will cost them at least their ranks.

The Russian Chiefs of Staff are urgently trying to form an additional reserve battalion battle group (BTG). They are also redeploying troops to the epicenter from other sectors, weakening them and allowing Ukrainian forces to launch counterattacks. As the saying goes, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Long-awaited gifts by June

The situation in Severodonetsk is critical. There, the fate of the Donbass region depends not only on the heroic Ukrainian soldiers and the operational expertise of their commanders, but also on long-range heavy artillery.

On June 9, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov breathed a sigh of relief to Ukrainians. The long-awaited “gifts” from the West were already in Ukraine and some of them already on the front line. They largely include:

  • 150 artillery systems (Krab, Caesar, М109А3, М777 and FH70);
  • 240 Polish Т-72 tanks;
  • 250 armored vehicles (М113 ТМ, М113 YPR-765, Bushmaster, Mastiff, Husky and Wolfhound);
  • “Thousands” of anti-aircraft launchers (Stinger, Starstreak, Mistral, Piorun, Grom etc.); and
  • Anti-tank launchers (NLAW, Javelin, Milan, etc.).

These are not just promises but real weapons that are already in the front line or in the rear where Ukrainian soldiers are quickly learning how to handle them.

At the same time, it became clear that German weapons would hardly help the Ukrainian army in its counterattack – not because they weren’t good enough, but because there weren’t enough of them.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statements about the supply of modern anti-aircraft systems, Marder armored vehicles and Leopard tanks turned out to be little more than lip service. Hopefully soon Ukraine will receive seven (!) German PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers.

Lately, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have gathered reserves and used Western weapons and equipment more frequently in the most important frontline areas. By all accounts, they should be ready to launch a counter-offensive next month.

How Russia caused the world food crisis and how to overcome it

Prior to the Russian invasion, Ukraine was one of the world’s leading food exporters. The annual quantity of cereals and pulses exported amounted to some 60 million tons.

The main export routes were from its Black Sea ports to poorer African and Asian countries, some of which are critically dependent on Ukrainian supplies.

Since invading its neighbour, Russia has blockaded and mined Ukrainian ports. As a result, about 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain remains trapped. Ukraine has tried to export its crops by rail, but the throughput capacity of the railroads is too low.

Some countries are already on the brink of famine while others are experiencing unprecedented price increases. It was Russia’s war that caused this global food crisis. The Ukraine problem has become a global problem and the issue of Black Sea port blockages is now at the center of the concerns of the United Nations and many governments around the world.

In theory, there are two ways to unblock Ukrainian ports: military and non-military.

The military way is for the Ukrainian navy to demine the ports in cooperation with the navies of the countries concerned, then to form international escorts for the Ukrainian ships transporting cereals in order to protect them from possible Russian attacks.

But this approach risks internationalizing the war and involving other countries, which most governments oppose.

The non-military way involves diplomacy: a negotiated agreement whereby Russia participates in the demining of the Black Sea and guarantees safe passage.

Turkey would like to lead the negotiation process, claiming its role as a regional superpower and being on good terms with Russia and Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has pronounced a “positive” outcome of recent talks between Turkey and Russia, but both seem to have forgotten a basic principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.

Kyiv was left out of the process, details and results of the Turkish-Russian negotiations. Kyiv still has no guarantee that after the ports are cleared, Russia will not take the opportunity to take them or seize ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

Nevertheless, it is more likely than not that Ukrainian ports will be unblocked. This could be achieved through Russian-Ukrainian talks brokered by Turkey, France and Italy, whose governments have said they are ready to escort Ukrainian grain convoys and guarantee security.

Ihor Zhdanov is a co-founder of the Open Policy Foundation, a national governmental organization (NGO) in Ukraine.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.

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The Digital Republic by Jamie Susskind review – why the West was no match for the tech giants | Political books


AAs Marx might have said, a specter haunts the democracies of the world: the specter of technological power. For more than two decades, these democracies slept peacefully as a handful of global corporations gained a stranglehold on the most powerful communications technology since the invention of the printing press. The political earthquakes of 2016 rudely awakened these sleeping giants who suddenly realized that “technology was political”, that irresponsible power was loose in their world, and if they didn’t hold it back, they could find themselves as democracies in name only.

The years following this rude awakening saw a frenzy of legislative and regulatory activity: antitrust lawsuits, bills in the US, EU and UK (among others), congressional and parliamentary investigations , etc. Whether any of this leads to effective restraints on tech power remains to be seen, and this reviewer isn’t holding his breath. The question is not whether tech giants can be mastered: we know they can because Xi Jinping’s regime has held masterclasses in how to do it. The question for us is: can we liberal democracies do it?

All this to explain why Jamie Susskind’s big book is a welcome arrival on the scene. Its focus is unexplainable technological power and how it could be tamed. But unlike the many other works that criticize, for example, machine learning technology because of racial or gender bias or its environmental impact, Susskind raises the deeper question of why such powerful discriminatory technologies can be deployed. Why are democracies so intimidated by digital technology that almost anything goes?

He is struck, for example, by the way Joe Biden, when he was running for president, “started a petition ask Facebook to stop “paid misinformation” from influencing the election,” while on Capitol Hill, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi “plaintively asked advertisers to tell tech companies to curtail misinformation online.”

How did we get here – where public servants must advocate with businesses to protect the integrity of the democratic system? The answer is that for 50 years, liberal democracies have built a political system where the interests of corporations are systematically prioritized over those of citizens. The result is a world in which tech companies are allowed to wreak their “creative destruction” while government and civil society are expected to clean up the rubble, much like those Indian servants of the Raj who plodded after the elephants of ceremony have swept up their excrement.

The name Susskind gives to this servile mindset is “market individualism”, an ideology that sees society “as the product of a great contractual market between each of its members, a vehicle for the pursuit of individual advantage, without an overall pursuit of the common good”. This is what I would call neoliberalism, in the sense that Gary Gerstle uses it in his new book, The rise and fall of the neoliberal orderand Susskind no doubt had his own reasons for avoiding such an incendiary term.

But it’s a small downside. What matters is Susskind’s assertion that a society ruled by such an ideology can never bring the tech giants to heel. We need something better, and he knows what that is: a Republican mindset. Note the small r: this has nothing to do with the GOP, or even the IRA, but with a more venerable way of thinking about governance. To be a republican in this sense is, according to Susskind, to oppose all social structures that allow one social group to exercise inexplicable power (i.e. dominance) over others. Republicans “reject the institution of absolute monarchy, not just the flaws of certain kings. They fight for tenants’ rights, not just for more benevolent landlords. They demand legal protections at work, not just nicer bosses. And they oppose the very idea from someone with the power of Mark Zuckerberg, not Zuckerberg himself.

Susskind’s book is essentially an exposition of how anyone who subscribes to these principles would approach the task of curbing the power of the tech companies that now dominate our networked world. It begins with a succinct overview of how republicanism differs from market individualism and follows with a diagnosis of how digital technologies control our behavior, frame our perception of the world and increase the intrusions of markets in all aspects. of our lives. But he also points out that there is nothing divine about the political and economic system that allowed all of this to happen. It can – and should – be changed.

The rest of the book is about what we should do differently if we don’t want to live as slaves to technological power. It is about taking seriously the Republican principles of not tolerating irresponsible power, after which it presents a prospectus for a new system of Republican governance of industry. Accordingly, much of the second half of the book is about data governance, challenging the legitimacy of impenetrable machine learning algorithms, antitrust issues, the difference between free speech and algorithmic amplification, and related topics.

In other words, it may sound like a to-do list for political buffs, but Susskind’s gift for exposition means the reader rarely loses the will to live as he heads into the (extensive) bibliography. It also helps that he has a knack for the tell-tale phrase: the surveillance capitalists are the “Great Brotherhood,” for example; TikTok has “subtly marginalized unattractive and poor people”; we need “a market of ideals”; etc

But really, the most refreshing thing about this beautiful book is its ideological stance. The reason most current attempts to rein in technological power are doomed to failure is that its critics implicitly accept its legitimacy rather than be outraged by its arrogant brashness. It’s because they’ve been drinking neoliberal Kool-Aid for nearly half a century. Ideology, after all, is what determines how you think when you don’t know you think. It’s time to change, and The Digital Republic is a good starting point.

John Naughton is a columnist for Observer and chairs the advisory board of the Minderoo Center for Technology and Democracy at Cambridge University

  • The Digital Republic: Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century by Jamie Susskind is published by Bloomsbury (£25). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

China and the Middle East: towards rough waters

China could enter the choppy waters of the Middle East. Multiple crises and conflicts are likely to shape its relationship with major powers in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey.

The long list of pitfalls for China includes fallout from the war in Ukraine, strained US relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Turkish opposition to Finland and Sweden’s membership at NATO, the threat of a new anti-Kurdish Turkish incursion into northern Syria, and the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 international agreement that curbed Iran’s nuclear program .

Drowning out the noise, one thing that becomes apparent is that neither the Gulf states nor Turkey intend to fundamentally alter their security relationship with the United States, even if the dynamics in the Saudi cases Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey is very different.

Saudi Arabia recognizes that there is no alternative to the US security umbrella, regardless of any doubts the kingdom may have about the US commitment to its security. With President Joe Biden visiting Saudi Arabia next month, the question is not how US-Saudi differences will be covered up, but at what cost and who will foot the bill.

Meanwhile, China has made it clear that it does not wish and is not yet able to replace the United States. He also said that for China to engage in regional security, states in the Middle East should first get their differences under control so that conflicts do not spiral out of control. Measures to reduce tensions between Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt by focusing on the economy are a step in this direction. Yet they remain fragile, with no issues causing the differences having been resolved.

A potential failure of negotiations in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal could upset the plow. This would likely push Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to tighten security cooperation, but could threaten rapprochement with Turkey. It could also increase tensions in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, where Iran supports various political actors and militias. None of this is good news for China, which, like other major players in the Middle East, prefers to stay focused on the economy.

The dynamic with Turkey and Iran is of a different order. China may look on with glee at Turkey’s stonewalling of NATO, but even if Turkey seeks to chart an independent path, it does not want to sever its umbilical cord with the West rooted in its NATO membership.

NATO needs Turkey even if its center of gravity, for the moment, has shifted towards Eastern Europe. Likewise, Turkey needs NATO, even if it is better placed to defend itself than the Gulf States. Ultimately, the haggling will solve NATO’s most immediate problems due to Turkish objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

The threat of Turkey’s anti-Kurdish incursion into northern Syria would be an escalation that neither side, including China, wants. Not because it underpins Turkish opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, but because the Syrian Kurds seeking the support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the forces backed by Turkey and Iran could end up on opposite sides.

Finally, Iran. Despite the turmoil over the 25-year US$400m deal between Iran and China, relations between Tehran and Beijing are unlikely to fully blossom as long as Iran is under sanctions Americans. A failure to revive the nuclear deal guarantees that the sanctions will be maintained. China has made it clear that it is willing to push boundaries by violating or circumventing sanctions, but not to the point of turning Iran into another major sticking point in already strained US-China relations. China.

In a world where the bifurcation has been hastened by the war in Ukraine and the Middle East threatened by potentially heightened tensions in the absence of a nuclear deal, the Gulf states may find that increasingly the principle of ” you are with us or against us” becomes the norm. The Gulf states hedged their bets in the early months of the war in Ukraine, but their ability to do so may be coming to an end.

Already Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are beginning to make concessions on the issue of oil production, while Qatar is engaging with Europe on gas. The bifurcation would not sever relations with China, but would likely restrict technology cooperation and contain Gulf coverage strategies, including notions of granting military facilities to China.

Beyond the immediate geopolitical and security concerns, there are many other potentially problematic issues and powder kegs.

A major Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, recently challenged the increasingly aggressive tone of Chinese diplomacy. “China is doing itself a disservice…Chinese officials seem intent on undermining their own case for global leadership…Somehow Chinese officials don’t seem to recognize that their belligerence is just as off-putting…than Western paternalism,” the newspaper wrote. said in an editorial.

China’s balance, especially between Saudi Arabia and Iran, could become more difficult. A failure to revive the nuclear deal will complicate the already difficult talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran aimed at easing tensions. It could also fuel a nuclear, missile and drone arms race accelerated by a more aggressive US-backed Israeli strategy to confront Iran by striking targets in the Islamic republic rather than with US backing. United, for example in Syria.

While Chinese willingness to sell arms may be strengthened, China may find that Saudi Arabia and Iran become more demanding in their expectations of Beijing, particularly if tensions escalate.

A wild card in the pack is China’s crackdown on Turkish Muslims in its northwestern province of Xinjiang. A majority of the Muslim world turned a blind eye, with a few, like Saudi Arabia, openly endorsing the crackdown.

The interest in doing so goes beyond Muslim-majority states that don’t want to risk their relationship with a China that responds harshly and aggressively to public criticism. Moreover, repression in Xinjiang and Muslim acquiescence legitimize a common opposition to any political expression of Islam.

The problem for Muslim-majority states, especially those in the Middle East, is that the era in which the United States and others could get away with the application of double standards and apparent hypocrisy in the Adherence to values ​​could be coming to an end.

China and, for that matter, Russia are happy to benefit from the Global South’s reluctance to join in condemning the invasion of Ukraine and sanctions against Russia because the West refuses to enforce the universally, for example in the case of Israel or multiple violations of international law and human rights elsewhere.

However, China and Middle Eastern states are sitting in similar greenhouses. Regardless of how one judges the recent controversial statements by spokespersons of the ruling BJP party in India regarding the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim faith, criticism of Muslim states rings hollow as long as they do not also resist the repression of the Muslims in Xinjiang.

For some in the Middle East, judgment could come sooner and later.

Turkey is a state where the Uyghur issue in China is not just a show away from my bed. Uyghurs play a role in the domestic politics of a country that is home to the largest Uyghur exile community that has long supported the rights of its fellow Turks in China and still has strong swathes of pan-Turkism.

These are all things that could come to the fore when Turkey heads to the polls next year as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Turkish republic.

The question is not whether China will encounter rough waters in the Middle East, but when and where.

Author’s note: This article is based on the author’s remarks at the 4th Roundtable on China in West Asia – Entering the Void? hosted by the Ananta Aspen Center on June 14, 2022 and was first published by the Middle East Institute in Washington DC.

Latest Russia-Ukraine news: UN says civilian casualties top 10,000 | Russo-Ukrainian War

The dead include hundreds of children killed mostly in heavy shelling, missiles and airstrikes.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

An update on key developments:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin told an event in St. Petersburg that the country had resisted economic sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The executive arm of the European Union has backed Ukraine’s bid for EU candidate status.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv and offered to train Ukrainian troops.

Here are the latest updates:

Sale of US high-tech drones to Ukraine stalls: Reuters

The Reuters news agency reports that US plans to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine have been put on hold due to fears that sophisticated surveillance equipment could fall into enemy hands.

The technical objection to the sale of the weaponized drones came under further scrutiny by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration, which is tasked with protecting high-value technology from enemy hands, Reuters said, citing two people. familiar with the plan.

TikTok insists on whether it allows ‘pro-war’ propaganda

Republican United States senators have written to TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew over reports that the social media site allowed Russian state-approved media content but banned other videos.

“Recent reports indicate that TikTok… allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda. No company should be in a position to amplify the Kremlin’s lies, which fuel public support for Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine,” the letter reads.

The senators wrote that they were “deeply concerned” that TikTok “allows the dissemination of pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, which risks adding to an already devastating human toll for Ukrainians and Russians. “.

UN announces more than 10,000 civilian casualties

According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.

Some 4,509 people had been killed and 5,585 injured as of midnight in Kyiv (2100 GMT) on June 16, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in its daily update. The dead include 294 children, the OHCHR said.

“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher system bombardments, and air and missile strikes “, the statement said, adding that the actual numbers were likely much higher.

Read all updates from June 17, here.

Citizens have the power to address the global refugee crisis

Seeing the ever-increasing number of humans being uprooted and becoming so-called “refugees” due to armed conflict or other factors makes me wonder if we really understand what this phenomenon means and why it is happening. Indeed, the debate about how refugees are cared for in host countries comes after the seemingly terrible thing that forced the person, family or group (all equally deserving of rights and freedoms) to seek and to beg for refuge – why?

Perhaps we still don’t fully understand the globalized nature of the whole world, whereby even the most basic perceptions and actions in one country, for example, can have profound impacts on another or on the rest of the world.

The global refugee crises from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the Horn of Africa, for example, are worsening in part because in countries that are financially and militarily more powerful, common public perceptions about their role and responsibilities in these crises are not taken seriously enough.

Some six million Afghanss live as refugees around the world. Why was there this bloody military intervention in Afghanistan for 20 long years if it resulted in the same authoritarianism and the same displacement? The same question could apply to the crises in Ukraine, Iraq and many others.

Power circles in these so-called first world countries are spreading fears of the refugee crisis very well in domestic politics to secure their authority, but the level of their interference in other countries that cause this dilemma in the first place is never highlighted. And, ultimately, small donations and charitable support to vulnerable refugees are presented in every possible way to boost their charitable image.

Citizens of countries with considerable prestige and influence in the world must wake up, use their voting power choose the right politicians and promote policies of equality, non-military interference and pro-environmental action. They simply cannot remain immune to tragedies in distant lands caused in part or entirely by their own governments.

This vicious cycle, which lacks empathy, not only compounds the refugee dilemma, but further alienates humans in host communities from the stark possibility that they too may one day become refugees.

picture by Levi Meir Clancy

Crowdfunder launched for UK’s first community-run LGBTQI+ venue | London


Queer activists have launched a £100,000 fundraiser to open the UK’s first community-run LGBTQI+ bar after a property developer blocked its promise to fund a venue following the closure of the famous Joiners Arms.

Campaign group Friends of the Joiners Arms launched a crowdfunding initiative on Friday, selling shares in the proposed new bar and community venue for just £25 in a ‘fight back’ against the number of queer venues being lost to property development .

The move comes more than seven years after developer Regal London bought and closed Joiners Arms, an LGBTQI+ institution in Tower Hamlets, east London. The bar had a host of famous names among its regulars, including Alexander McQueen, Rufus Wainwright and Sir Ian McKellen.

The developer had promised to pay £100,000 to fund an ‘LGBT+ pop-up bar’ to give Londoners an inclusive meeting place during the demolition and redevelopment of the Joiners. However, he did not provide the money as work on a planned hotel on the site was delayed by the pandemic.

The Joiners Arms on Hackney Road, east London, had a host of famous regulars, including Alexander McQueen and Sir Ian McKellen. Photography: Jonathan Player/Rex/Shutterstock

Amy Roberts, Chair of Friends of the Joiners Arms, said: “London has lost so many of its LGBTQI+ spaces to property developers and rising rents, and we have fought back against that. It took eight long years, but the strength of our community prevailed. We are so proud to open a new queer space, in memory of the Joiners Arms, and are so grateful to the community for all the support we have had so far on our long journey.

By Friday night, the campaign had already raised nearly £14,000. But Roberts said the bar could not open if fundraising did not reach the £100,000 target.

“So we’re asking people to invest just £25 – although we’ll take more if you have it,” she said. “For those who can’t afford it, we’re also offering a ‘pay it forward’ scheme, to ensure that as many people as possible have a say in how this new queer space is run. “

Roberts said the campaign has received funding and support from the Foundation for Future London, Co-ops UK and social investment firm Reach Fund.

Campaigners are working with the Greater London Authority’s Culture and Community Spaces at Risk team to secure a site for the new venue for at least five years. It is hoped the space, which will host regular drop-in events for housing advice, HIV/AIDS testing and health awareness, will open by the end of the year.

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Steve Harrington, Director of Planning at Regal London, said: “We are truly disappointed that we have not been able to make rapid progress in restoring this iconic LGBTQI+ venue.

“The challenges of the past two years have had a catastrophic impact on the entire hospitality industry and as a result the hotel operator we had planned to take on the lease has fallen. We are working hard to find another partner in order to advance development.

“We would like to continue to work closely with the Friends of the Joiners Arms on their plans for the future. Our relationships with our neighbors and community groups are essential, and we will do all we can to support this important space to be created.

Man charged with arson, accused of burning down two houses near River Road

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Clean-shaven, dressed and seemingly calm and lucid, Adam Baxter made a radically different impression in court on Wednesday than when he was arrested a week earlier, naked and wrapped in a blanket after a night of destruction.

“Even in conversations I’ve had with him before, he seems lucid and alert,” defense attorney Mike Burns said. “I don’t know his whole story. But there was definitely something going on the day all of this happened.

Baxter is accused of deliberately burning down two homes Tuesday night, June 7, in eastern Jefferson County near River Road.

Burns said Baxter had no memory of what he was doing the night the owners say he was roaming the area in his underwear, stealing and causing damage.

Baxter, who had no criminal history, was released Wednesday on $50,000 bail with assurances that he would continue treatment for undisclosed mental health issues.

“If he gets the help he needs, I think that’s good,” Burns said. “Before that, he has hardly any background. So I guess the big question is what happened to make this happen? »

There are also lingering questions about how Baxter was initially released on his own recognizance hours after his arrest.

He was released from police custody when he was administratively released by the Department of Pre-Trial Services.

According to the Kentucky Court of Justice website, a state Supreme Court order “gives pretrial officers the power to release based on specific criteria without contacting a judge. The program is designed to expedite the bail of low to moderate risk defendants charged with non-violent, non-sex crimes.

Baxter has been assessed by a pre-trial expert as “at low to moderate risk of both non-appearance and further criminal activity,” according to an email from Leigh Anne Hiatt, public information officer for the Courts Administration Office.

Hiatt also said that “if Mr. Baxter had (originally) been charged with a more serious or violent charge, such as arson, he would not have been allowed to be released.”

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.

Sip whiskey and re-emphasize the new men’s social club


A glass of smoky, oaky whiskey and camaraderie with new friends is the atmosphere A League of Gentlemen, a new social club, wants to create to raise money for charity.

It’s a social club held at the Spring Mill Distillery on July 4 from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $100 and each attendee will receive a free sample of whiskey and a whiskey expert will talk about the tasting notes. The money raised will be donated to a local charity.

David Coccia, creator of the club, started volunteering 10 years ago. He was linked to a man named Andrew, who has autism and wanted to race. Coccia was part of the Guelph Victors and was happy to run or walk at 7:30 with his friend.

“It taught me that it is good to do good and to do good to be part of a community. As you get older, it’s very important to give a bit of your time,” Coccia said.

He had a conversation with his boss about giving back to the community and he suggested a social club as a way to bring people together to donate.

Coccia said there will be three charities to choose from, the food bank and Wyndham House are sure to be two of the options. There will be ballot boxes at the event and people can vote for the charity they want to donate to.

He hopes the event will take place twice a year.

“The hope is that it will be a cross section of different people,” Coccia said. He believes that connections are inevitable, whether professional or personal.

“I hope people can take advantage of the fact that they have done something good for their community.”

There will be no speeches or promotion of any person or company. It’s supposed to be a fun social event.

Guelph is no stranger to social clubs, 100 Men Who Give A Damn, called 100+ Guelph is a social group of men who get together and donate $100, raising $10,000. Coccia said it would be great to collaborate with them in the future.

“I want it to be a little more rooted in the community, both on the part of the charity, but also to help grow businesses in Guelph,” he said.

“I hope they get an idea of ​​what I get when I go hang out with my friend in the morning. It’s the feeling of doing something good.”

Brutal honesty meets ‘prudence’: Canadian and British parliaments analyze Afghanistan withdrawal

Certain times call for plain language. The assessment of the chaotic end of Western engagement in Afghanistan is one such moment.

The Canadian and British parliaments recently tabled committee reports on the war in Afghanistan and the tumultuous withdrawal of Western forces. Only one of them offers a startling example of the kind of brutal self-reflection that is supposed to be at the heart of our democratic system.

“The international withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a disaster in terms of its planning, execution and consequences for the UK’s wider interests,” the UK Foreign Affairs Committee wrote in its final report, published on May 22. 2022.

“It was a betrayal of our partners in the country and, worst of all, it undermined the security of the UK by encouraging our enemies to act against us.”

And those were just the first two sentences of a blistering 60-page report that unflinchingly dissected Britain’s evacuation efforts and how Afghanistan’s allies left it to its fate. .

Western military involvement in Afghanistan ended in August 2021 when allied nations, led by the United States, completed their withdrawal.

The two-week airlift that pulled Western troops out of the country brought with it scenes of despair and horror. At first, people desperate to flee the Taliban regime flooded the Kabul airport tarmac and some died after clinging to a departing plane.

“The former head of the armed forces told us the decision to step down was ‘strategically illiterate and morally bankrupt’, while the former national security adviser called it ‘poor policy, poorly implemented. ‘” says the UK Foreign Affairs Committee report. “This is an act of strategic self-harm.”

In this image provided by the US Marine Corps, a member of the Canadian coalition forces walks through an evacuation checkpoint during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, August 24, 2021. (Staff Sergeant Victor Mancilla/US Marine Corps/Associated Press)

The UK committee’s report, endorsed by members of the ruling and opposition parties, added that the decision to leave Afghanistan “damaged the reputation of the UK and its allies, and will affect the [U.K.] ability of the government to achieve its foreign policy objectives for the years to come”.

Imagine hearing that kind of candid assessment from Canadian parliamentarians or senior defense and security officials.

In fairness, two former Canadian generals, other former members of the military and representatives of humanitarian organizations gave frank and lucid testimony on the situation in Canada Special Committee on Afghanistan over the past few months.

“More caution”

But when it came time for a committee of Canadian parliamentarians to speak truth to power, the outcome was decidedly more restrained.

“While the exact moment at which Taliban ascendancy became inevitable could not have been predicted with certainty, the Special Committee believes that greater caution – and, therefore, a more proactive approach – was warranted in response. to Afghanistan’s clearly worsened trajectory,” it read. the assessment of the Special Committee on Afghanistan — buried on page 38 of its 86-page report, which was tabled without much fanfare last week.

While the phrase “greater caution” may sound like fight words for Ottawa’s bureaucracy, it’s probably cold comfort to the thousands of Afghans who believed in what countries like Canada were doing. in Afghanistan and who had to flee for their lives. Some of them are still at large.

“The testimonies highlighted the danger faced by those associated with the international coalition. Given the history of the Taliban and their long campaign against coalition forces and the Afghan republic, the risks were known,” says the Canadian parliamentary report.

A U.S. Marine checks a woman as she passes through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021. (US Marine Corps/Staff Sergeant Victor Mancilla/Handout/Reuters)

The call for “greater caution” may also be a bitter pill to swallow for tens of thousands of military and non-military Canadians whose lives have been forever changed by more than a dozen years of war.

“The Special Committee recognizes the complexities and dangers of operating the airlift from Kabul, and commends those who made it possible,” the Canadian parliamentary report said.

“At the same time, he believes that long before August 15, 2021, the risks associated with the Taliban should have compelled greater urgency and a more systematic policy and planning effort across the Canadian government to help people to get to safety before it becomes much more difficult to do so.”

No excuses

It’s a typical Canadian approach — polite and low-key — to a humanitarian disaster.

The report of the committee of the House of Commons of Canada dwells on the “mechanism [of] government” and its systemic failures while ostensibly avoiding judgment or pointing fingers – a stark contrast to the tone of the UK report

“There were systemic failures in intelligence, diplomacy, planning and preparedness which raise questions about the machinery of government, principally the National Security Council,” the UK Parliament report said. “The British government has failed to shape or respond to Washington’s decision to step aside, despite giving 18 months’ notice.”

The British report adds that while other allies found it difficult to predict the speed of the Taliban takeover, “the fact that it surprised many, including the militants themselves, does not excuse failures. of the UK, but rather makes it more urgent to identify where its intelligence gathering, analysis and planning has failed.”

You don’t find such a stark record in the Canadian report.

In fact, the Canadian special committee suggested that Global Affairs, the Department of National Defense and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada appeared to have taken steps to shield themselves from criticism.

“Some departments conducted an internal lessons learned exercise or after action review,” the Canadian parliamentary report said.

“However, the results of these exercises were not reported to the Special Committee, and it was not clear that a formal, comprehensive, whole-of-government review had been conducted.”

When the British committee found itself at a standstill – particularly on issues relating to the evacuation from Afghanistan of a British charity for homeless animals – it did not hesitate to challenge the British Foreign Office in its final report for lack of transparency.

“The FCDO has repeatedly given us answers which we believe are at best intentionally evasive and often deliberately misleading,” the UK report said.

Federal law interfering with aid delivery, MPs say

In addition to examining the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan refugees, the Canadian parliamentary committee heard from humanitarian groups that federal anti-terrorism legislation is impeding the delivery of aid to Afghanistan, where the economy is shrinking. has collapsed and where more than three quarters of the population will soon fall below the poverty line.

The Taliban is on Canada’s list of terrorist entities and the prevailing view is that indirect payments to Afghanistan in any form would risk violating the Criminal Code.

Canada is alone among its allies in not creating an exemption for charitable work.

This is where the House of Commons committee came closest to a warning.

“The Special Committee wishes to communicate that it does not believe that Canada taking its own policy, regulatory and legislative measures to facilitate legitimate humanitarian action would amount to legitimizing the Taliban,” the Canadian report said.

“The Special Committee, as stated, appreciates the complexity of this situation. However, it is concerned that many months have passed since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, when the needs of the population are known to be shouting.”

An Afghan carries food in a wheelbarrow during a distribution of humanitarian aid to needy families in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, February 16, 2022. (Hussein Malla/Associated Press)

That’s an understatement. As many as 23 million people in Afghanistan are now at risk of starvation.

International Development Minister Hajit Sajjan told the committee earlier this spring that he could not provide a timeline for addressing the issue, but assured MPs that Global Affairs Canada “is working with Justice and Public Safety to determine the best step forward”.

As Canada debates its next steps, the British parliamentary committee — in a flash of goodwill in an otherwise searing report — praised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government for sending officials to Kabul twice and having seized “every opportunity that presents itself to sit down with” the Taliban at the ministerial level outside of Afghanistan.

Johnson, according to the report, decided there was “no point” in the UK “staying away”.

Today’s Poor Campaign continues MLK’s fight for economic justice – People’s World

Participants in the southern leg of the first Poor People’s Campaign parade in Atlanta, May 10, 1968. The group was on its way to Washington, D.C. On June 18 of this year, Today’s Poor People’s Campaign will again bring a message of economic justice, voting rights and anti-racism in the nation’s capital. | PA

Co-chaired by the Reverend William J. Barber II and Liz Theoharis, the Poor People’s Campaign began in May 2018 with 40 days of coordinated action in state homes across the United States to address systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy. .

Now mobilizing for a “Mass Assembly of the Poor and Working Low Wages” on June 18, Today’s Poor Campaign is reviving the work of the original Poor People’s Campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , in 1968.

Billed as a “moral march on Washington and to the polls” for the November election, next weekend’s event will target lawmakers and urge them to confront what the Poor People’s Campaign calls the “moral, economic crisis and politics” facing the nation.

From the west coast to the east and every point in between, people are signing up for seats on the buses and joining the organization. And they bring colleagues, family, friends and neighbors with them to the nation’s capital. The massive march will take place, appropriately, on the weekend of June 16, which celebrates the democratic revolution that ended slavery and established black reconstruction in the South.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. displays the poster that was to be used in the Poor People’s Campaign, March 4, 1968. | Horace Cort/AP

The original Poor People’s Campaign was King’s last major effort before his assassination, the cornerstone of all his work on behalf of the racially and economically oppressed. King was instrumental in bringing together the workers’ and civil rights coalition that defeated key elements of the Jim Crow counter-revolution after Reconstruction. Then, as now, the forces of democracy and the far right clashed.

When King said, “I have a dream!” for more than a quarter of a million people in DC in August 1963, the terror of the KKK and the police in Alabama was still a fresh wound. As many as 1,000 Birmingham children walked out of school last May in protest against segregation, only to be met with fire hoses, police dogs, batons and arrests. But that action forced the Birmingham Truce Agreement, a package of anti-segregationist measures, followed by white supremacist bombings, civil unrest and heavy repression.

“We have… come to this sacred place to remind America of the fierce urgency of the moment,” King said then. “Now is the time to deliver on the promises of democracy.”

The current poor people’s campaign says it’s all over again. Today’s requirements have echoes of the past.

By the time of King’s speech in 1963, President John F. Kennedy had already been pressured to propose the Civil Rights Act. But it was blocked by a filibuster in the Senate. By November, three months after Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), NAACP, United Auto Workers (UAW), Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and other civil rights and labor organizations had gathered along the reflecting pools of the Lincoln Memorial – Kennedy had been assassinated.

Nevertheless, a year later, the movement behind King won the Civil Rights Act and the “great society” anti-poverty legislation. In August 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. But ten days before the pen was written to launch the war on poverty, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, escalating the United States’ war on Vietnam. It was then that King began to increasingly emphasize the link between racism, poverty and militarism.

“There seemed to be real promise of hope for the poor, black and white, through the anti-poverty program,” he said in 1967. “Then came the hoarding in Vietnam, and I saw that program broken and gutted.”

In November 1967, King announced the Poor People’s Campaign, with a plan to raid Washington the following May. The campaign called for $30 billion for a full employment program, guaranteed income and more housing for low-income people.

Four weeks before the planned mobilization, King was assassinated in Memphis. He was there for a march with mostly black sanitation workers, striking against unequal pay and working conditions after a horrific incident in which two sanitation workers were crushed to death.

The movement cried, but it pushed forward. The poor campaign continued under the leadership of King’s successor at the SCLC, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy.

Today’s Poor People’s Campaign leaders: Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. | Roll Call Tom Williams / CQ via AP

Corretta Scott King led a Mother’s Day protest in DC, kicking off two weeks of protests for an economic bill of rights. A six-week tent camp named “Resurrection City” was built on the National Mall. The UAW took out 80 buses for the 50,000-strong protests on “Solidarity Day,” which was held June 19-19.

On June 4, as thousands filled the National Mall, Robert Kennedy, the candidate most aligned with the civil rights movement, won the California Democratic Party primary. Later that night he was shot and killed. Twenty days later, over a thousand police officers came to the National Mall to evict Resurrection City, arresting hundreds of people. Six months later, the far-right forces behind Nixon, who denounced his campaign against “rioters” and promised more policing and protecting school segregation, would come to power after the November election.

Four decades later, labor and civil rights organizations across the country united to elect the country’s first black president, Barack Obama. What followed was both the racist Tea Party backlash that crippled Congress in 2010 and brought Trump to power six years later.

But a broad labor and left-wing struggle has also emerged to advance a democratic agenda – from Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and #Fightfor15 and a Union to Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March of 2017 and more recent fights for advocate for abortion rights. Struggles for LGBTQ equality have intensified, particularly in defense of trans people, and a growing new activism in the labor movement, increasingly led by young workers, is pushing labor campaigns forward across the country. The small-d democratic and socialist electoral struggles that supported Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Stacey Abrams are also part of this mass democratic movement.

This is the context of today’s Poor People’s Campaign.

Its leaders come naturally through their activism. Barber was born two days after the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. His parents moved to North Carolina when he was in kindergarten to join the school desegregation movement, and he’s been a fighter ever since. The church he leads, Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ, is a “123-year-old congregation founded by former slaves”.

“If you follow the James River from this town to the sea, you will find the place where my African American ancestors first set foot on these banks,” Barber told walkers from Richmond, Virginia. , in 2016 for the Fight for $15 convention. . They were in “the capital of the old Confederacy,” he reminded the crowd.

Behind him stood a statue of the Robert E. Lee statue, since removed and chopped into pieces after the massive Black Lives Matter protests of 2021. “My African American ancestors were brought here to work the land, to build this nation , but they didn’t pay anything for their work.”

He spoke of the reversal of the democratic gains of black reconstruction after the Civil War: “When African Americans first served in Southern legislatures, they built a movement with poor white people. … They rewrote the constitutions of all the Southern states,” and “banned unpaid labor, demanded equal protection under the law… That wasn’t the 1960s, it was the 1860s! Barber noted that they wrote into these constitutions the right “to the enjoyment of the fruit of your labor”.

“They knew that work without decent pay was nothing but a pseudo form of slavery.”

Theoharis began his activism in college to fight homelessness in Philadelphia after moving there from his hometown of Milwaukee. As a student, she became involved with a group called Empty the Shelters, a local affiliate of the National Union of the Homeless. After leading the creation of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice, with Barber, she became co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign in 2017.

“We cannot go back to normal,” Theoharis wrote in a statement to President Trump and Congress at the start of the COVID-19 emergency. “Now is not the time for run-off solutions. We know that when you lift from the bottom, everyone lifts. There are concrete solutions to this immediate crisis and to the longer-term diseases that we have been battling for months, years and decades before,” she said.

“We will continue to organize and build our power until you respond to these demands. Many millions of us have suffered for far too long. We will no longer be silent. »

The massive mobilization in Washington, DC, on June 18 will be proof of this refusal to remain silent.

Join CPUSA’s “500-Strong” delegation to DC on June 18th. Register here.


Cameron Orr

Latest news on the Russia-Ukraine war: live updates

Here are the updates from across the country:

Severodonetsk: Ukrainian forces withdrew from the city center after Russian troops stormed it, the Ukrainian military said on Monday, conceding that Moscow had had “partial success”. Pro-Russian separatist leaders in Luhansk said 300 to 400 Ukrainian troops were surrounded at the Azot chemical plant, a claim denied by regional governor Serhiy Haidai.

Sloviansk region: Russian forces are advancing towards this town in the Donetsk region and have made minor gains north of it. Russian troops sought to destroy bridges over the Siverskyi Donets River to disrupt the flow of supplies and reinforcements between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, but the destruction made it difficult for them to successfully attack Sloviansk due to difficulties in crossing the river , according to analysts.

Ternopil region: A Russian missile strike near Chortkiv in western Ukraine injured nearly two dozen people, including a child, local authorities said. Volodymyr Trush, head of the regional administration, said the city’s gas supply was cut off after one of the four missiles hit a gas pipeline. Military and civilian facilities were also damaged, he said. There has been no independent confirmation of the damage.

Mariupol: Ukraine’s prosecutor general said the deaths of 24 more children had been recorded in the now Russian-controlled southern town, bringing the confirmed number of children killed in Ukraine since the start of the war to 287. Civilian casualty figures are incomplete, authorities said. Meanwhile, the bodies of dozens of fighters killed while defending the Azovstal steel plant have not been found, said Maksym Zhorin, a former commander of the Azov regiment that formed the backbone of the defense there.

Mike Clark’s Business Bites: Which version of you do you choose to bring to work?


Are you a thermometer or a thermostat when it comes to conversations? Photo / Unsplash


Choose three words that describe you in your best light.

Set a daily alarm on your phone with these three words and when it goes off, take the opportunity to check whether you think, speak and act in accordance with these attributes.

This is a simple yet excellent tool for facilitating higher performance. (Oh, and it’s also very difficult!)

As part of my ongoing development, I recently completed a high performance coaching certification. It was intensive. It was next level and exceeded my expectations. Always a good thing when you invest a lot in something and commit to start at 4am for a week, thanks to the session broadcast on Zoom in California!

On the one hand, there was nothing new, and on the other hand, the format, structure and in-depth questioning were insightful, positively thought-provoking and powerful. Often it is not what we are taught or asked of us, but how.

In my training, I often use the analogy of being a thermostat or a thermometer. Thermometers read the temperature and a thermostat regulates the temperature. Some people are like thermometers – with every conversation they strike up, they adjust to the tone and character of the conversation. If it’s miserable and negative, they’ll add their perspective on the subject to the conversation. They often feel depressed and negative. If it’s a good conversation, then they feel uplifted.

A thermostat regulates the temperature. People like these understand that where they focus their words and energy, they will lead others to do the same. Be it positive or negative focus and energy.

Most people can relate to working with someone and doing the daily check-in by watching the person walk in to see what version of them is coming to work – the grumpy version, the happy version, the angry version and irritated, etc. Working with people like that is exhausting. The saying walking on eggshells is often used.

Which version of you do you choose to bring to work, home, sports, church, or a social group? You have the choice. It starts with deciding who we will be when we get out of bed each morning. It’s easy to get carried away by the negativity swirling around us. We can do a lot to make sure the best in us emerges every day.

To choose what we read, watch and listen to before going to bed and when we get up. Observing our thoughts, words and attitudes – for example the attitude that I ‘have to’ go to work versus ‘I have to go to work’. I like the simple three-word challenge – kind of like a thermostat, it lets you have a set point, a set point of how you’ll behave and who you want to be. When we are clear about who we want to be, we can focus on being that person every day and that is who we will become.

What are your three words? Set an alarm and present your best self every day.

• Mike Clark is a director, lead trainer and facilitator at professional training company Think Right.

Reviews | Russia punishes Jehovah’s Witnesses again and again

The headlines are full of stories about threats to democracy around the world and in the United States. Despots are multiplying, endangering freedom of expression, assembly and religion. But what is it really like to live in such conditions? A new ruling from the European Court of Human Rights paints a depressing picture of the experiences of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, who have been harshly punished for their beliefs.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian religion in which believers submit to the authority of a single God and avoid military service. They have existed in Russia since 1891 and have been criminally prosecuted for practicing their faith during Soviet times. After the Soviet collapse, they worshiped openly and were registered under Russian laws, reaching around 400 local congregations and 175,000 members. The Russian Constitution of 1993 guarantees freedom of religion.

In 2007, a shadow began to fall over them. A deputy attorney general has sent a circular letter to regional prosecutors identifying Jehovah’s Witnesses as one of several foreign religious groups that “quite often contribute to the escalation of tensions in society” and “engage in activities detrimental to moral, mental and physical integrity”. the health of their members. A cascade of persecutions, interrogations, disruptions, surveillance, arrests and sham lawsuits followed. Much of the pressure on Jehovah’s Witnesses was based on a sweeping law approved in 2002 against extremism. Hundreds of believers have been sentenced to pre-trial detention or imprisonment for “extremism,” and as of May 24, 88 were imprisoned. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia banned the group. After losing numerous court cases in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses turned to the European Court, which is part of the Council of Europe, a human rights organization to which Russia had joined in 1996.

The court’s 194-page ruling, issued on June 7, is filled with egregious examples of unjust persecution using the anti-extremism law. In a first case in Taganrog, Russia, the European Court found that a text prohibited to Jehovah’s Witnesses “did not insult, ridicule or slander” those who did not belong to the religion, nor encouraged violence, hatred or intolerance. The European Court ruled that “it is highly significant that no evidence of violence, hatred or coercion has been adduced” in the government’s case against the Taganrog congregation. Their religious activity and publications “appear to have been peaceful in accordance with their professed doctrine of non-violence”. Throughout this time, Jehovah’s Witnesses have faced legal proceedings against them. For example, the Russian Supreme Court did not allow them to present arguments in their defense; in other cases, congregations were not even informed of the charges against them.

The European Court’s decision will probably only have a symbolic impact; Russia was expelled from the council following the invasion of Ukraine, although it remains bound by the European Convention on Human Rights until September 16. The Russian parliament passed a law ending the Court’s jurisdiction. But the decision bears witness to what happens when innocent people are deprived of their rights and dignity by a police state.

Russia uses Soviet missiles against Ukraine due to lack of modern weapons

Since April, Russia has launched dozens of old Kh-22 anti-ship missiles across Ukraine, likely because it lacks more accurate modern missiles.

The UK Ministry of Defense said so in its latest information update posted on Twitter, reports Ukrinform.

According to the statement, since April, Russian medium bombers have likely launched dozens of Kh-22 heavy anti-ship missiles dating from the 1960s, primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers, against land targets due to lack of “means”. more accurate modern ones. missile.”

When employed in a ground attack role with a conventional warhead, these missiles are “highly inaccurate” and can therefore cause significant collateral damage and civilian casualties, the ministry said.

At the same time, British intelligence noted that Ukrainian air defenses were still deterring Russian tactical aircraft from carrying out strikes across much of the country.

Intelligence also said that as of June 10, Russian forces around Sievierodonetsk had not advanced south of the city, but “intense street-to-street fighting continues and both sides are likely to be suffering a large number of casualties”.

Russian troops tried to establish full control over the Luhansk region by June 10, but, according to Serhii Haidai, head of the regional military administration, the Russian command has already set a new deadline – the day of the Russia, which falls on June 12.

Reported end to Facebook’s ‘shady’ deals with news giants sparks call for a ‘truly fair market’


On Friday, press freedom and antitrust advocates derided Facebook and corporate media beneficiaries of the tech titan’s multimillion-dollar spending spree after reporting that the company was rethinking its investments in a context of increasing regulatory pressures and the abandonment of press partnerships.

“For years, Facebook has sucked advertising dollars out of newspapers and newsmagazines.”

The the wall street journal reports that Facebook in recent years has paid an average of more than $15 million annually to The Washington Postas well as $20 million for The New York Timesand more than $10 million in Log. The Log the deal is part of a larger $20 million deal.

“For years, Facebook has sucked advertising money from newspapers and newsmagazines,” Barry Lynn, executive director of anti-monopoly watchdog group Open Markets, said in a statement.

“Just as the U.S. government began looking for solutions to this problem, Facebook struck a murky multi-million dollar deal with America’s most influential newspapers, ostensibly as part of an effort to end regulation and continue to siphon off ad dollars unhindered,” he said. added.

According to “people familiar with the matter” interviewed by the Logit’s unclear whether Facebook will continue its deals with media companies as Meta, the social platform’s parent company, shifts its investments from news to “products that appeal to creators” and the Metaverse.

The Log also cites Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s disappointment with “regulatory efforts around the world to force platforms like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to pay publishers for any news content available on their platforms.” .

Facebook was so angered by a 2021 Australian law forcing major online platforms to pay publishers for links to local news that it temporarily imposed a blackout on Australian media, a move condemned by groups such as Access Now and Amnesty International.

Lynn said, “So it’s not entirely surprising to learn that Facebook wants to remove these payments, which clearly haven’t provided the regulatory protection that Facebook expected.”

He continued:

It’s surprising that the public is only now learning the details of Facebook’s payments to America’s biggest newspapers, three years after the fact. Facebook should absolutely pay for the news it shares on its platform. But the American people also need full transparency about all agreements between publishers who report the news and the tech giants we expect them to cover honestly and critically.

The Open Markets Institute is calling on news publishers to immediately disclose the amounts and terms of all their agreements with Big Tech, including any renewed agreements with Facebook and existing agreements with Google. We cannot allow our free press to be captured by technological monopolies. They already wield far too much power and pose serious threats to our democracy.

Open Markets also called the Time, Joband Log to “work constructively with Congress to ensure that the Journalism Preservation and Competition Act lays the foundation for a truly fair marketplace designed to ensure strong advertising support for every newspaper in the United States, not just the a few dominant players”.

Introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in February, the bill “creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print, broadcast, or digital media companies to bargain collectively with online content distributors (e.g., social media news companies) regarding the conditions under which content from news companies may be distributed by online content distributors.”

Google and Facebook have also been criticized for limiting traffic to progressive and independent news sites, many of which are struggling to survive amid relentless corporate consolidation.

“This is a classic example of the rich getting richer,” Jody Brannon, director of the Center for Journalism & Liberty, a program at the Open Markets Institute, said in a statement. “Facebook collects most digital ad dollars from stories by local journalists, so why can’t smaller newsrooms raise even fractions of those millions to better cover their communities?”

The Log The report comes as digital rights group Fight For the Future launches an “Antitrust Summer” campaign aimed at strengthening federal legislation to crack down on Big Tech monopolies.

NATO’s 2% spending target is an unnecessary burden

It’s like clockwork: like the NATO summit at the end of June in Madrid approachesthe allies debate spending too little on defense gets stronger. NATO Defense Ministers promised in 2006 to devote at least 2% of their country’s gross domestic product to their defense each year. Today, it has become a totem for the alliance, especially for Americans who insist that others spend too little. There is some truth in that, but there are far more pressing concerns for NATO than tracking that number. Leaders should ask tougher questions about how the money is spent and how the security burden can be shared, without obsessing over who is giving their fair share.

The commitment was reaffirmed in 2014 at the NATO summit in Wales by alliance leaders, as NATO states collectively failed to meet the 2006 commitment, thanks to decades of chronic underinvestment by European states in their armed forces, which, unsurprisingly, has led to significant capability gaps in their ability to carry out military operations. This, in turn, meant that the United States, which spends more than 3% per year, absorbed the lion’s share of the costs associated with securing Europe. As the argument went in 2014, the United States would be much more docile to continue investing in transatlantic security if NATO countries spent at least 2% of their GDP on defence.

Getting all NATO heads of state to agree to the 2% minimum target was a laudable achievement – ​​and one that might not have happened if Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine more early that year. But the 2% target has proven both operationally insufficient and strategically counterproductive. Ultimately, without some serious adjustments to the strategic debates, focusing on the 2% minimum target only seriously damages NATO’s relevance and public support for the alliance.

It’s like clockwork: like the NATO summit at the end of June in Madrid approachesthe allies debate spending too little on defense gets stronger. NATO Defense Ministers promised in 2006 to devote at least 2% of their country’s gross domestic product to their defense each year. Today, it has become a totem for the alliance, especially for Americans who insist that others spend too little. There is some truth in that, but there are far more pressing concerns for NATO than tracking that number. Leaders should ask tougher questions about how the money is spent and how the security burden can be shared, without obsessing over who is giving their fair share.

The commitment was reaffirmed in 2014 at the NATO summit in Wales by alliance leaders, as NATO states collectively failed to meet the 2006 commitment, thanks to decades of chronic underinvestment by European states in their armed forces, which, unsurprisingly, has led to significant capability gaps in their ability to carry out military operations. This, in turn, meant that the United States, which spends more than 3% per year, absorbed the lion’s share of the costs associated with securing Europe. As the argument went in 2014, the United States would be much more docile to continue investing in transatlantic security if NATO countries spent at least 2% of their GDP on defence.

Getting all NATO heads of state to agree to the 2% minimum target was a laudable achievement – ​​and one that might not have happened if Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine more early that year. But the 2% target has proven both operationally insufficient and strategically counterproductive. Ultimately, without some serious adjustments to the strategic debates, focusing on the 2% minimum target only seriously damages NATO’s relevance and public support for the alliance.

The 2% minimum target was largely designed as a political mechanism, for example to help defense ministries counter budget cuts imposed by finance ministers. But 2% is an input rather than an output metric. In other words, how that 2% is spent is considerably more important than whether countries are spending enough. Although there is heated debate about how much of Russia’s clumsy approach to its war on Ukraine is due to technological weakness versus Russian strategic incompetence, there is no doubt that some Defense investments must be rethought, including those needed for stronger territorial defence. including sea and air defense – of a soon-to-be-expanded northeastern NATO border.

With further Russian aggression likely and Afghanistan in the rearview mirror, there will be a new emphasis on territorial defense and deterrence. It’s more humane than expeditionary operations, and as any controller will tell you, people are surprisingly expensive. Yes, a number of European countries—including Germany— have decided to increase their defense spending in the wake of Ukraine, but how will these funds be used?

At the strategic level, the 2% minimum target has become even more problematic. Alliances are frameworks for communication and cooperation between states that go much deeper and wider than just security and defence; The benefits of NATO for the United States go far beyond military cooperation. Unfortunately, the 2% minimum goal reframes the conversation about sharing the security burden into a conversation about sharing the transactional costs. But the value of alliances is not measured in dollars and euros.

The danger of over-emphasizing a minimum figure that European partners might not be comfortable reaching is that it helps to make the United States look somehow cheated. Is it any wonder that after years of pounding Europe over the 2% minimum target, the former US president decided his country was benefiting from an unfair deal and nearly withdrew the US United of NATO? Support for NATO may be strong within the traditional foreign policy establishment, but in an era of rapidly changing US domestic politics, it is also potentially fragile.

The 2% minimum also ignores the non-military dimensions of contemporary security needs. Economic and political dynamics are critically important to a country’s security and, from the perspective of the public of NATO states, are perhaps even more important than military capabilities. European states have been at the forefront of dealing with challenges such as disinformation and cyber warfare – capabilities and experience that are vital but not fully reflected in military budgets.

This is undoubtedly the raison d’être of Article 2 of NATO: to emphasize that economic and political policies must reinforce the commitments of the military alliance. As a Chinese tech giant Huawei’s investments in NATO countries demonstrate, failure to take into account the security dimensions of commercial investments can have a negative impact on the alliance. The burden-sharing conversation needs to better consider the broader trade-offs and risks associated with choosing alliance security over commercial profitability. These costs of NATO’s engagement in Europe are rarely visible in discussions in Washington.

When NATO governments meet in Madrid, they will approve an updated “strategic concept”, a vision document on how the alliance views – and should prepare for – the current and emerging strategic environment. . Yet, in order to turn this concept into a meaningful and enduring political reality, the alliance must then have a difficult but necessary conversation about how to recalibrate burden sharing and embed this new understanding into any implementation guidance that she develops for the Strategic Concept.

Strategic and operational lessons learned from the war in Ukraine must inform the conversation about sharing security responsibilities – and allies may discover in the process that 2% is a necessary minimum but not a sufficient overall allocation of resources to respond. to the demands of tomorrow’s war. . But at the end of the day, if the 2% minimum rhetorical drumbeat continues, NATO is in very real danger of cutting off its nose despite its face.

This is not a theoretical question; the current high levels of public support for NATO may wane as the war in Ukraine continues and the political will of public opinion in NATO states begins to diverge. Russia will remain a threat to the alliance’s easternmost neighbors regardless of when the war in Ukraine is resolved, not to mention the myriad other security issues that NATO is tasked with. to raise. To deter Russia and defend Europe, NATO needs to have real strategic discussions about how to operate and modernize. Focusing solely on levels of dollars and euros spent misses the most important objective. No NATO country, especially the United States, can afford that to happen.

Letters: How to deal with the mental health crisis and crime in New Orleans | Letters

For too long, we have paid the price for not having a comprehensive, holistic plan to meet the needs of family, friends and fellow New Orleans residents with mental health issues.

There have been incidents where a mother killed her children and a policeman was killed in the face of a mentally ill person. Across our city, people with mental illness live under the freeway or beg at busy intersections.

If our leaders came together to create a mental health plan, we could provide more treatment and services, reduce prison costs and reduce crime.

For people with mental health issues, consider using the Phase 3 facility for inpatient treatment for those arrested for violent crimes and outpatient treatment for those arrested for nonviolent crimes. The vast majority are arrested for non-violent crimes, either because they stop taking their medication or because they have not had their mental health assessed.

Our leaders should use the sheriff’s office for admission and assessment; engage the district attorney’s office, public defender’s office, private defense attorney, and mental health court to assess charges and create a treatment plan and monitor with mental health case managers while cases come to an end result.

For people suffering from a mental health crisis who have not been arrested, ask mental health professionals at the New Orleans Department of Health, as well as NOPD Crisis Response Officers , respond to crisis calls and bring these individuals to the Phase 3 facility for inpatient or outpatient treatment.

But research shows the best place for mental health treatment is in a healthcare setting rather than a prison setting, so consider the new Veterans Hospital, University Medical Center, and LSU Medical School. as possible alternative sites.

Having a facility offering mental health treatment and services is one of the first steps in developing a comprehensive and holistic mental health plan for our city. If the Federal Court mandates such a facility, we have to think outside the box. And if some think phase 3 is a lemon, then turn it into a lemonade.


former criminal court judge

New Orleans

Review of possible financing installment loans 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Although Possible Finance can quickly offer small loans to borrowers with bad credit (or no credit), it charges higher APRs than some other personal lenders. Here’s how Possible Finance’s installment loans stack up against competitors.

Possible financing against upgrade

Upgrade offers personal loans starting at $1,000, so it might be a better option than Possible Finance if you need to borrow more than $500. In fact, you can borrow up to $50,000 with the upgrade and APRs start around 6% and go up to 36%. Since Upgrade’s rates are much more competitive than those of Possible Finance, it may be worth checking to see if you qualify for one of its personal loans before borrowing a Possible installment loan.

The upgrade requires a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify, making it a viable option for potential borrowers with damaged credit.

Related: Personal Loans Review Upgrade

Possible financing against SoFi

Possible Finance offers small loans up to $500, but SoFi funds personal loans between $5,000 and $100,000. SoFi’s competitive APRs start around 6%, but you’ll need to pass a credit check to qualify. SoFi requires a minimum credit score of 650. If you cannot qualify on your own, you may consider applying with a co-borrower, such as a spouse or trusted friend.

Related: SoFi Personal Loans Review

Possible financing against LightStream

Similar to SoFi, LightStream also offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the purpose of the loan, with competitive APRs starting in the low single digits. While Possible Finance finances short-term loans, LightStream allows you to repay your loans over two to 20 years. You must have a minimum credit score of 660 to qualify for a LightStream personal loan.

Related: LightStream Personal Loans Review

The power of an idea and a team

Ed. Remark: This is the latest in a series of articles on motherhood in the legal profession, in partnership with our friends at MothersEsquire. Welcome Sam Sliney to our pages. Click on here if you would like to donate to MothersEsquire.

I am a girl. Sister. Little girl. Aunt. The niece. Spouse. Aviator. Lawyer…and the list could go on and on. But my most precious and rewarding title is that of Mother. Also known as Mum, Mom and Mum to my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter. When I became a mother in 2017, after learning that I was pregnant with my son, I began to understand how difficult it is to be a mother, a lawyer and an aviator. I am a Judge Advocate (also known as a JAG) in the United States Air Force, which in plain language means I am an active duty attorney for the Department of the Army. ‘air. At the time, I was working as a prosecutor and managing the criminal file of the base to which I was assigned.

The Department of the Air Force and the Department of Defense have come a long way to support active duty women as they juggle career and parenthood. It’s crazy to think that it wasn’t until June 2, 1948, that women were officially “allowed” to serve in the military despite their immense contribution to the war efforts in the previous years. In 1971, women were allowed to serve while pregnant (although they had to meet certain “waiver” criteria). Previously, they had been immediately fired against their will for becoming pregnant because “pregnancy” was considered incompatible with military service (and therefore motherhood). We owe this victory in part to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Only seven years ago, all combat jobs were open to women. Again this year, the Department of the Air Force has made a dramatic policy change by offering female airwomen the ability to fly while pregnant during any trimester, provided it is medically safe and the commander supports the pilot’s decision to fly.

Between all of these milestones, there have been other monumental victories as the military has become a more inclusive workplace for women. Women and men now have up to 12 weeks of parental leave (if they wish). Women are excluded from temporary travel and deployment for 12 months after the birth of a child and have 12 months after the birth of a child to meet the physical standards and pass a physical fitness test to demonstrate compliance with the standards . In addition, women benefit from a comprehensive breastfeeding policy that requires a place of expression that is not a bathroom and a place to store breast milk. All of these steps have made it easier for women to serve through all phases of womanhood, especially pregnancy and parenthood, but we are still nibbling at the iceberg.

When I returned to work in 2018 after my parental leave, I noticed that the Department of the Air Force lacked the support needed to support women choosing to travel for work while balancing the demands of life. breastfeeding their children. As any lawyer would, I looked to the law to see what needed to be changed to provide this support to military and civilian employees. I quickly learned that this would require a change to the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR): the document that governs coverage of travel expenses for all uniformed service members and civilian employees of the Department of Defense. Another thing I quickly learned was that I had no idea how to change the JTR and would need help. A dear friend put me in touch with the Women’s Initiatives Team at the Department of the Air Force (WIT). WIT’s mission is to identify barriers to women’s service within the Department of the Air Force and Department of Defense that influence and impact women’s propensity to serve, and to advocate for the removal these barriers through policy change.

This singular connection not only gave my idea the momentum it needed to become a reality, but it also brought me to a group of people from all backgrounds and experiences who shared my passion for building a department. Inclusive Air Force to foster diversity, equity, and accessibility for all. I found my tribe. For that, I will be eternally grateful. I found something I didn’t even know I needed. I found listening ears to bounce my ideas off of, encouragement on bad days, and a family to celebrate big and small victories with. I hope everyone finds that sense of belonging at some point in their lives.

After nearly two and a half years of research and advocacy at all levels of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense and our uniformed services (Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Public Health and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), my seemingly small contribution to inclusiveness has become a reality. It was surreal. On April 8, 2022, the JTR was amended to provide, for the first time ever, uniformed military personnel and lactating civilian employees the opportunity to be reimbursed for the cost of transporting their breast milk when traveling on duty. temporary away from their baby until the age of two. This small step demonstrates a major step forward in supporting uniformed service members and civilian employees through all stages of life.

Ultimately, parents looking to advance in their careers shouldn’t have to sacrifice how they choose to feed their children because policies aren’t inclusive and don’t provide support. When it comes to parenting, #SupportIsBest. This mantra has driven our advocacy campaign throughout the Department of the Air Force and beyond. Now, this level of support is available across the Department of Defense and uniformed services.

As I reflect on these two plus years and look to the future, I am reminded of the power of like-minded individuals coming together to effect positive change and the impact even a few individuals can have. on a society, a culture, and the lives of others. I encourage you not to miss a problem. If something impacts your ability to succeed, I can assure you that it impacts others as well. Identify the problem. Find your tribe to help drive change. Build your team and race eagerly towards your goal. It will most likely take many hours, emails and phone calls, and the change probably won’t be quick, but believe me, it will be worth it. You may not be able to change the whole world, but you can make a change that will mean the world to someone else.

Sam SlineySam Sliney is a mother of two and the wife of an Army Green Beret. Since 2014, she has served in the US Air Force as a Judge Advocate (JAG). She is currently assigned to a Special Operations Forces (SOF) unit where she provides legal advice on a wide range of legal matters, including operations and international law. Sam is passionate about creating an inclusive Air Force and Department of Defense department to increase joint force lethality. Specifically, she advocates for equal support and accessibility for women during all phases of womanhood, especially pregnancy and postpartum.

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow to step down in June 2023 | New


UPDATE: June 9, 2022 at 2:25 a.m.

Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow will step down in June 2023 after just five years in office, ending a pandemic-hit term during which he oversaw a sweeping transformation of the University’s operations in due to Covid-19 and led the school through political unrest. of the end of the Trump era.

Bacow, who announced his departure Wednesday afternoon, will be one of the shortest Harvard presidents of the modern era, tying Lawrence H. Summers for the shortest term since the Civil War. Prior to his time at Massachusetts Hall, Bacow served on the Harvard Corporation, the university’s highest board, for seven years.

“There’s never a good time to leave a job like this, but now it feels right to me,” Bacow wrote in a four-paragraph email to Harvard affiliates announcing his departure on Wednesday. “Through our collective efforts, we have found our way through the pandemic. We have worked together to sustain Harvard through change and storm, and collectively we have made Harvard better and stronger in countless ways.

The Harvard Corporation and its new principal investigator, Penny S. Pritzker ’81, will lead the search for Bacow’s successor. In an email to Harvard affiliates on Wednesday, Pritzker and outgoing Principal Investigator William F. Lee ’72, who is expected to leave the board in late June, gave few details about the research process, writing only that they’ll reveal more “before long.”

Bacow, 70, was selected as Harvard’s 29th president in 2018 after quitting the committee tasked with finding a candidate for the job himself to consider for the job. In his first four years in office, he steered the school through one of its most tumultuous times – the Covid-19 pandemic – and championed some higher education issues at the National level.

Bacow’s presidency changed dramatically in March 2020 when Harvard emptied its campus at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, making it one of the first schools to send students home. Harvard has taken a largely conservative approach to handling the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, keeping most students off campus and maintaining strict public health protocols.

Bacow himself tested positive for the virus just two weeks after students left campus in March 2020 – the first of two bouts he has had with the disease.

Bacow also steered Harvard through the political headwinds of the Trump administration, which has publicly clashed with the school on several occasions.

In July 2020, shortly after the Covid-19 hit, Harvard sued the federal government over new federal immigration rules that would have barred international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from remain in the United States, prompting the Trump administration to finally reverse its guidelines.

Trump himself has taken aim at Harvard several times throughout his presidency. In April 2020, after The Crimson reported that Harvard was to receive nearly $9 million from a federal stimulus package passed by Congress, Trump called on the University to “repay” the money. Under pressure from an array of GOP lawmakers, Harvard ultimately said it would not accept any federal funds.

Bacow also led Harvard when he was at the forefront of the debate over the use of race in college admissions. A 2014 lawsuit challenging Harvard College’s race-conscious admissions policies is set to be taken up by the Supreme Court in the fall, casting doubt on the future of affirmative action in US higher education. During Bacow’s tenure, the school won a lawsuit in federal court in Boston against the anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions, as well as a subsequent appeal.

Under Bacow, Harvard took a major step in addressing its ties to the institution of slavery, acknowledging in a landmark report released in April that slavery “powerfully shaped Harvard.” When the report was released, the Harvard Corporation committed $100 million to repair the University’s slavery ties.

Bacow’s tenure was not marked by the controversy or tumult characteristic of the Summers era. But in September 2019, Bacow used the 13th Amendment to compare Harvard donors to slaves — a remark he later apologized for.

Bacow has often clashed with campus activists during his presidency — including students and alumni calling on the university to divest itself of its fossil fuel endowment. Bacow has for years expressed opposition to divestment, arguing that the University’s endowment should not be used for political purposes. But in a surprise move, he announced in September 2021 that Harvard would let its remaining investments in the fossil fuel sector expire.

Bacow also oversaw the end of a high-profile controversy that began under his predecessor, Drew G. Faust, who presided over an effort to sanction members of single-sex social groups on campus. In June 2020, Harvard dropped social group sanctions following a Supreme Court ruling on gender discrimination. The College first announced sanctions in 2016, seeking to bar members of final clubs and single-sex Greek organizations from receiving scholarships, athletics captaincies and leadership positions in after-school groups. The controversial sanctions were first applied to the Class of 2021.

Bacow’s tenure was also marked by the continued expansion of the Harvard campus into the Allston neighborhood of Boston, where the school faced intense opposition from residents and local officials.

The search for Bacow’s successor should begin soon. The last presidential search lasted seven months, while the selection of Bacow’s predecessor, Faust, took almost a year.

With Lee, the Society’s senior fellow, and executive vice president Katherine N. Lapp stepping down this summer, Bacow’s announcement coincides with a major senior leadership shakeup at the University.

“Like just about anyone who comes here, I was in awe of the place — its history, its reputation, and its impact on American higher education as a whole,” Bacow wrote Wednesday. “Fifty years later, I’m still in awe but for different reasons.”

“I have never been more proud to be part of this university than I am today,” he wrote.

—Editor Cara J. Chang can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @CaraChang20.

—Editor Isabella B. Cho can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @izbcho.

An ordinary opposition response to an extraordinary political situation

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is currently facing one of its biggest diplomatic crises following an international outcry over remarks against the Prophet by two official spokespersons for the ruling Bharatiya Janata party.

The pressure on the Union government was such that the BJP – which has made anti-Muslim rhetoric its main political pillar – was forced not only to remove the two spokespersons from their official positions, but also to provide multiple clarifications on the matter.

For a government that has mastered the skill of scoring political points even from its supposed failures, the situation it finds itself in right now is extraordinary.

But what should have been an opportune moment for the opposition to push the Modi government harder has been lost. Instead, the country has seen lukewarm – if not ordinary – responses that have failed to bring the BJP and its affiliates to the table.

The justification that opposition parties and sections of civil society have found in the controversy is perhaps natural, given how they have been outclassed by the BJP in terms of political tactics and strategy over the past few years. years. Yet the fact that their criticisms of the government have stuck to the same old rhetoric reflects both a lack of imagination and leadership within the ranks of the opposition.

Immediately after the Modi government’s diplomatic defense of blaming hate speech by prominent BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal on “fringe” elements, opposition forces were quick to lay the most obvious question: how can official spokespersons of a ruling party be dismissed as “marginal”.

But having struck at that very loophole, they seem to have missed what could have been a great political opportunity to effectively confront the saffron party in domestic politics.

While emphasizing that BJP spokespersons were not “marginal”, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders, as well as those from the Trinamool Congress, leftist parties and United Progressive Alliance voters ( UPA) denounced the Saffron Festival for inciting bigotry which has caused India’s isolation in the international arena.

“international pressure”.

Similarly, the critical section of civil society mostly mocked the Modi government and the BJP for bringing India into disrepute.

Indian minorities, who have been the biggest victims of the BJP’s exclusionary policy, have limited themselves to pushing the government harder to take legal action against Sharma and Jindal, despite the fact that their protests and demands have been mostly belied by the BJP’s use of state violence. -Governed States.

This cocktail of lethargy and longing in the opposition ranks stood in stark contrast to the clever doublespeak of the BJP and the Sangh parivar’s own “opposition” to the Modi government. Although caught off guard this time around, the BJP and Sangh reacted to the situation in a more concrete way.

As the Modi government touted the values ​​of plurality and diversity of the Indian republic in its official statements to deal with the international backlash, the BJP quickly reached out to him in make statements in the media claiming that all of its official spokespersons have been “warned” against criticism of any religion, its symbols or religious figures. The BJP top brass also said that “for no provocation (in TV debates or elsewhere) they cannot violate the party’s ideals.”

At the same time, the Sangh parivar unleashed an army of social media users to ridicule the Modi government, in what appeared to be an organized attempt to politically contain any opposition within the spectrum of the political right. The Hindutva foot soldiers have taken over social media platforms with a multi-layered campaign against the Modi government that to a large extent has diverted attention from any genuine criticism of the opposition.

Some said it was ‘cowardly’ of the BJP to have sacked its own spokespersons, others said it was ‘shameful’ that the Modi government bowed to pressure from ‘Islamic’ countries. “, while some have called for a boycott of Arab countries.

The biggest advantage of such a campaign is twofold.

The binary on the basis of religious affiliations that the BJP successfully created remains the most important knot in Indian politics. The “enemy” is always the Muslim. By emphasizing the backlash from Muslim-majority countries, Hindutva activists have once again advanced the misleading perception that any political assertion by Hindus in Hindu-majority India will only be countered by “Islamism”, of which every Muslim, regardless of nationality, is a follower.

Nuances like rivalries and conflicts within Arab countries or even Saudi Arabia and Iran – BJP bigotry has managed to put Riyadh and Tehran on the same page – get lost in the middle of a such cacophony.

By highlighting the diversity of viewpoints within its ranks and promoting its majority ideology even in the midst of a government crisis, the Sangh parivar has effectively kept its majority support intact. In fact, the narrative that the “Hindu assertion” that Modi initiated under his leadership in 2014 faces the greatest threat from Islamists – both inside and outside the country – has not only to harden among Hindutva supporters in the face of continued backlash from Islam. world.

The Sangh’s intransigent campaign parivar and the BJP’s soft and calculated moves have both positioned the Saffron Party as the most dominant political force, if all aspects of electoral choice are taken into account.

The opposition’s business as usual approach has only helped the BJP consolidate its political dominance despite the massive damage it has done to India’s democratic credentials internationally. This could have become an occasion where opposition parties and civil society could have offered an alternative constitutional and secular nationalism to the people of India by opposing it to the nationalism of the BJP. The occasion could also have been a good time to strike a chord with people.

The opposition never tires of talking about constitutional nationalism, but may have missed one of the most significant moments to drive home the point. Just last month, the Congress, in its vaunted Chintan Shivir, spoke of its intention to reach the people with its own brand of nationalism and contrast it with the “exclusive and divisive” nationalism of the BJP. But he was lazy enough to let a pivotal moment like this pass – when India is cornered globally by the sectarian politics of the BJP.

Over the past few years, we have seen strong advocacy for constitutional nationalism during the Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests and year-long farmers’ unrest.

But the same civil society groups that waved the flag of constitutional nationalism high during these protests resorted to informal or faith-based responses at a time when their vision of nationalism needed to be effectively communicated.

Only one opposition voice, that of Telangana Rashtra Samithi scion KTRama Rao, stood out in a series of uninspiring opposition responses.

The son of Telangana’s Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao – ‘KTR’ as he is popularly known – laid out his nationalist credentials in no uncertain terms by asking the Prime Minister a pointed question: why should India kneel before the international community for the sins of the BJP? spokesperson?

With the exception of KTR, no opposition leader attempted to construct a political narrative that could have challenged the exclusionary nationalism of the BJP. Rather than just rejoicing in what is indeed a rare “I told you so” moment, it was also an opportunity for the opposition to speak with a united voice and present an alternative cultural and political persuasive to the BJP.

If an opposition unit is to inspire Indians ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it can only be assembled at times like these, not when the elections are approaching.

To date, most opposition forces have realized that only by advancing an alternative vision of nationalism – a vision that the founders espoused after independence but which was never truly respected as a that old free India – that BJP’s brand may be diminished. But more often than not, they are ashamed of the political vigilance of the BJP.

The story tells how Mahatma Gandhi turned moments of crisis for the British government into opportunities to override social contradictions such as religion, caste and regional origin that could have derailed the struggle for freedom. Based on pure political savvy, he successfully mounted a self-respecting, non-violent pan-Indian nationalist movement. Opposition leaders today never fail to invoke him in their speeches, but none have shown the slightest sign of emulating his political model to confront the Modi-led BJP, which has made its exclusive references its greatest strength.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks at the DoD LGBTQ+ Pride Month Event (as delivered) > U.S. Department of Defense > Speech

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks at the DoD LGBTQ+ Pride Month Event (as delivered) > U.S. Department of Defense > Speech

Well, thank you, Shawn, for the very thoughtful and wonderful opening, and for the rather thorough and slightly embarrassing summary of my resume. But I really, really appreciate the depth of personal emotion and the rightful honor you bestow upon those who have gone before you.

I also want to thank you, ASD Skelly, for your two decades of service to the country as a Navy Flight Officer – and for your continued service today.

And thanks to [Rudy] Coots and the entire DoD Pride team for their hard work in making today’s event possible.

Please join me in a round of applause for [Rudy] and his team.


So, to the LGBTQ+ civilian and military members present today, and those joining us virtually – thank you, and thank you to your families and those who support you – for all you have given in defense of our nation.

This event, our 11th annual ceremony, has always had outstanding speakers representing the community, and today is no different.

In addition to ASD Skelly and Lt. Col. Fram, we will have the opportunity to hear from Air Force Undersecretary Gina Ortiz-Jones.

And I was honored to work closely with ASD Skelly and Undersecretary Jones. They are both stars for the DoD team and for the Biden administration. And their careers – like those of the many LGBTQ+ civilian and military members with us here who join us virtually – are a testament to the value of diversity within our ranks.

Pride Month is a time to come together to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ people like ASD Skelly, Lt. Col. Fram and Secretary Jones.

And it’s also a time to commemorate the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, a historic moment in the gay rights movement. As President Biden recently said, Pride Month is a time to remind the LGBTQ+ community that they are loved and cherished – deserving of dignity, respect and support.

You will recall that at the start of this administration, the President signed an Executive Order on “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in our Workforce”.

He called on the federal government to be a model employer, where all employees are treated with dignity and respect.

At the Department of Defense – the largest employer in the United States – we strive to be at the forefront of DEIA-related issues, including as they relate to LGBTQ+ people.

This morning I will discuss why and how we do this.

Above all, at DoD, we are committed to ensuring and promoting an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all civilian and military personnel.

We strive to make the Department of Defense the workplace of choice for all Americans willing and qualified to serve.

In doing so, we have established a solid foundation, where all staff are valued and have an equal opportunity to succeed.

It is the right thing to do, in accordance with the principles on which our country was founded.

But event more than that; recruiting, developing and retaining a highly skilled and diverse military and civilian workforce is critical to our success in combat.

From China and Russia to violent extremist organizations and cross-border issues like climate change, the Department of Defense faces a myriad of challenges today.

The department should not and cannot be a place that discourages exceptional LGBTQ+ individuals from pursuing DoD careers due to real or perceived barriers to entry or hostile working conditions.

Rather, we need an all-encompassing force that reflects the vast diversity and talents of the United States of America – in which all members enjoy dignity, respect, and equal opportunity.

This fosters the cohesion that is necessary for us to remain the preeminent military force in the world.

We know our troops are stronger because of brave individuals like Major General Leah Lauderback, who joins us this morning.

In a selfless career that spanned nearly thirty years, General Lauderback focused on intelligence matters, commanded from wing to squadron level, held a number of operations and performed a number of operational tours. Unsurprisingly, General Lauderback was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.

His service makes our country safer. Thank you, Major General Lauderback.


I didn’t make you get up.


It’s not just our flag and general officers who represent the best of America. Across the department, LGBTQ+ service members are making a real difference every day in defense of our nation.

This includes individuals like Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal recipient Sergeant Samson Gibbs, who is currently deployed with the 3rd Marine Air Wing – or Captain Gordon Herrero, who just earned a Master of Science in Operations Research – that’s very expensive for me – with a 4.0 GPA, while serving as a company commander overseas.

Our national security demands that the department be an institution that reflects a culture of inclusion – where individuals are attracted to serve, are valued, and can actively contribute to the overall success of the mission.

In September 2011, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, allowing LGBTQ+ service members and civilians to be authentic themselves in service to our country. And last September, we commemorated the tenth anniversary of that repeal.

I am so proud to have served on the leadership team of this department at these two historic moments.

Over the past decade, the department has undertaken a number of actions to advance the interests of LGBTQ+ civilian and military service members.

These include:

  • Revise the military equal opportunity policy to protect service members from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • codifying “hazing and bullying” as forms of harassment;
  • implementing a department-wide diversity and inclusion policy to promote a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture;
  • develop training requirements and curriculum on diversity and inclusion, including training to detect and respond to unconscious bias;
  • and last year I established the DoD Equity Team, now our Defense 2040 Task Force, to facilitate, inform, and advance DEIA progress enterprise-wide.

While we should all be proud of these real and concrete advances, we know that there is still work to be done.

And make no mistake, this is a priority for Secretary Austin.

We will continue to advance policies and programs to develop and nurture a diverse talent pool and create pathways for everyone in the DoD to realize their potential.

We know that organizational climates affect the experiences of our workforce. Specifically, it affects our warrior readiness. Accordingly, we are leading initiatives to enhance leader skill development and foster more effective and inclusive team environments.

We know we need to be nimble, yet deliberate in our approach. We need to consider thoughtfully and thoroughly how our actions today will contribute to a better tomorrow.

Therefore, the department is developing a DEIA Strategic Plan to guide and direct activities towards other DEIA initiatives within the Department of Defense.

Our plan is in the final stages of approval and will identify the priorities and goals that the DoD will focus on in the coming year.

Even as we move forward with our strategic plan, we must all keep in mind that progress on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility will not only be driven by policies and programs, they will also result from the individual actions we all take every day.

To that end, Secretary Austin and I are committed to holding leaders at all levels accountable for fostering climates of inclusion that support DEIA – including for our LGBTQ+ community. This is a critical preparation issue.

Individually, we must view each day as an opportunity to ensure that ministry reflects the nation we serve and defend.

Allow me to conclude by once again thanking our event organizers, our speakers, and our military and civilians for their commitment to our shared mission.

The dedication of our diverse community of LGBTQ+ service members and civilians to advancing our national security and their military and civilian colleagues, demonstrates total force unity – and America’s best.

America’s diversity is unquestionably one of our greatest strengths. Many here today have fought hard to overcome fanaticism and to be treated with the dignity and respect that is due to every human being.

Pride month is undoubtedly a time to celebrate our progress, but it is also a time for our department, our nation and our world, to recognize the challenges that remain and reaffirm our commitment to equality. for LGBTQ+ people.

Happy Pride Month and thank you.

Top Gun: Maverick Mystery – The F-35 is missing in a big way

Yes, the F-35 makes a very brief appearance. However, why wasn’t the F-35 the main fighter in Top Gun: Maverick? – Tom Cruise flies high in his latest film Top Gun: Maverick flew to a second big weekend and crossed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office. The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster grossed an estimated $86 million domestically in its second weekend — down just 32% from its record-breaking Memorial Day holiday weekend opening.

In the film, Cruise – whose character is now teaching a young generation of avid pilots – could be seen in the cockpit of a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. According Fortune magazinethe studio had paid up to $11,374 an hour to use the advanced fighter jets in the making of the film, but with the caveat that Cruise – an accomplished pilot in his own right – couldn’t actually touch the controls .

Pentagon regulations prohibit non-military personnel from monitoring Department of Defense (DoD) assets except small arms in training scenarios.

Why not the F-35?

The big question among aviation enthusiasts is why Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was in the cockpit of the Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 rather than the more advanced Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II. The simple answer is that the script called for the Super Hornet.

However, timing could be a factor.

The movie had been in development for yearsand a draft script was actually completed in 2012. However, Tony Scott, who directed the original Superior gun, sadly committed suicide the same year and as a result pre-production was put on hold. The script was reworked and production eventually moved forward, with principal photography taking place between May 2018 and April 2019. Additionally, scenes aboard the U.S. Navy ship Nimitz– USS class super aircraft carrier abraham lincoln (CVN-72) were shot down in August 2018.

At the time, the Navy only trained with the F-35.

Then there’s the fact that the F-35 is a single-seat aircraft, while the F/A-18 has a two-seat variant that could allow the actors to be filmed in the actual planes.

Pandemic delays

Additionally, there were several production delays and the film’s release was pushed back several times. Top Gun: Maverick Originally slated for release on July 12, 2019, but was delayed a year so some of the more complex action sequences could be completed.

Then the pandemic hit and Covid-19 saw many businesses – including cinemas – shut down. The film’s release has been pushed back as a result. Paramount first opted to move the release to December 2020 from a June opening, then opted to move it to Summer 2021. Conflicts and a busy release schedule cause it to be moved to May 2022.

So fans had to wait a little longer to see the movie, and in many ways, that was the wait.

If certain films – in particular the Warner Bros. sci-fi masterpiece Dunes – debuted at the box office as well as via streaming services, Paramount has taken another direction, producers say Top Gun: Maverick deserved and even needed the big-screen treatment for the full experience. The last James Bond movie no time to die faces a similar delaywhich had an impact on certain “product placements”.

However, the delay meant that the F-35 is only shown briefly in the film at the start on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, Maverick was unable to fly it. Given that Cruise (and therefore Pete “Maverick” Mitchell) was in his 50s when the film was made, perhaps it makes sense that he wasn’t actually in command of this most advanced aircraft – and of course there are all the classified F-35 goodies he would be allowed to see or touch.

CF-3 FLT 255 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower October 06, 2015. CBR Ted Dyckman was flying CF-3 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Lockheed Martin Photography by Andrew McMurtrie

Again, the star Navy pilot could be seen piloting the Fictional hypersonic “Darkstar” in one sequence, as well as working on a P-51 Mustang at the start of the film. Although Cruise could not pilot the Darkstar, he is able to take the P-51 at any time – because it owns this particular aircraft.

Today’s editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes regularly on military hardware and is the author of several books on military headgear, including A gallery of military hairstyles, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing author for Forbes.

Outside group pours money into Cumberland County DA Democratic primary

Jonathan Sahrbeck, the Cumberland County District Attorney, is running for re-election and takes on Jackie Sartoris in the June 14 Democratic primary. Ben McCanna / Personal Photographer

An out-of-state political action committee is donating $300,000 into the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Democratic primary election, a race that will effectively decide who becomes the top prosecutor in the busiest district in the United States. State.

The winner of the primary will run unchallenged in November, with no Republican or independent challenger on the ballot.

Jonathan Sahrbeck, who won the last election in 2018 as an independent, is now a Democrat and in the running for the party’s nomination against Jackie Sartoris, a Brunswick resident who works as an assistant district attorney in Kennebec County.

Sahrbeck launched his bid for reelection as a Democrat in the fall of 2021. He said he decided to join the party after talking to other Democratic district attorneys and learning he shared the same values.

But Sartoris questioned whether that change was genuine, citing the fact that Sahrbeck was a registered Republican for most of his adult life before the 2018 election.

Sahrbeck’s decision to switch parties is also being criticized by an outside group that has poured a huge amount of money into what is usually a low-budget election.

A political action committee funded by a $300,000 donation from Democratic national donor George Soros is acting independently of Sartoris but has amplified criticism in ads mailed to Cumberland County voters. The flyers call Sahrbeck a “flip-flop” district attorney who “only became a Democrat just in time to run for re-election.”

“I think it’s unprecedented to have an out-of-state political action committee come to Cumberland County and spend $300,000 on a local race,” Sahrbeck said. “I don’t like the precedent set by this money from out of state, which could have a very big influence on what happens in this election.”

Cumberland County District Attorney candidate Jackie Sartoris pictured in Portland last Wednesday. Gregory Rec / Personal Photographer

Sartoris said she had nothing to do with the Soros-funded ads, but sees them as an endorsement.

“They’ve apparently made a decision about who’s going to bring reform to Cumberland County,” Sartoris said. “And they decided that the race that I run and the policies that I want to establish, they support that.”

Cumberland County is the largest and busiest prosecution district in Maine, handling more defendants and victims than any other district in the state. Cumberland County prosecutors had just over 5,000 felony and misdemeanor charges pending as of May 23, 2022.

As the statewide struggles to deal with a backlog of criminal and civil court cases, Cumberland County reported a 59% increase in pending felony cases from May 2019 to May 2022. The county reported a 46% increase in pending misdemeanor cases over the same period. of time.

The Cumberland County District Attorney currently manages a county budget of $2.2 million, covering the salaries of approximately 30 county employees, office programs and supplies. The office also oversees 20 assistant district attorneys, all paid from the state budget.

Sahrbeck, who is 42, was one of those prosecutors. Joining the office in 2016, he oversaw Cumberland County’s Human Trafficking Unit under former District Attorney Stephanie Anderson, a Republican who held the position for 28 years. Prior to Cumberland County, Sahrbeck was a prosecutor in York County and various offices in Massachusetts. He earned his law degree from American University. His first prosecutorial experience was an internship at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in Maryland.

“There’s something about working as a prosecutor, and you’ve helped a victim, and that victim thanking you for the work you’ve done, it really touches your soul,” Sahrbeck said.

Sahrbeck raced in 2018 with Anderson’s endorsement. Originally he faced two opponents – Randall Bates, a Republican who dropped out of the race about a month before Election Day, and Democratic candidate Jon Gale, who dropped out a week before the election in the middle of sexual assault allegations and at the urging of the state Democratic Party.

Sahrbeck won with nearly 25 percent of the vote, according to results from the Maine secretary of state’s office. There were over 117,000 ballots that the Secretary of State’s office recorded as blank.

Over the past four years, Sahrbeck said he has launched a number of programs aimed at diverting those facing petty crimes from incarceration. This includes a restorative justice program, where participants who have admitted to a crime are allowed to make it up to their victims and avoid conviction, and a treatment court that connects people struggling with addiction, including veterans. fighters, with drug treatment instead of incarceration.

“I would much rather someone get treatment and recover outside of the criminal justice system,” Sahrbeck said. “Unfortunately, when there are so many systems that have let people down, they come into the criminal justice system and we have to use the tools that we have.”

Sahrbeck said he has also spent the past four years doing prevention and awareness work, through various committees where members work to promote access to mental health resources and addiction treatment in Cumberland County. Sahrbeck said he would continue that work if he won the primary and remained district attorney in 2023.

“I think we’re really starting to look at why someone is involved in the criminal justice system, and not just what they’ve done,” Sahrbeck said.

Around the same time Sahrbeck took office in 2018, Sartoris was starting as an assistant district attorney in Augusta. She was recruited by District Attorney Maeghan Maloney as one of many “non-traditional prosecutors”, Sartoris recalled, “who had a broader perspective than the idea of ​​just crime and punishment”.

“As a new prosecutor at the time, I could really see the need for change, and I was really looking forward to that change as a resident of Cumberland County,” Sartoris said. “I was really disappointed with the result we got. I really think Cumberland County was ready for change in 2018, and I think if they know about the race they will be ready for change now.

While in Augusta, Sartoris operated two of Kennebec County’s treatment courts.

Sartoris, who did not give her age and said it was irrelevant, worked primarily in environmental law until she joined Maloney’s office. Prior to graduating from the University of Maine Law School in 2010, she helped write Maine Wetland Policy for the Maine Department of Natural Resources. Sartoris was also a Brunswick alderman for several years and a candidate for the state House of Representatives in the 2014 Democratic primary. She lost that year’s race to current Rep. Ralph Tucker, D. Brunswick.

“I always thought if I got into criminal law, I’d probably be a defense attorney,” Sartoris said. “But I really like it. We have huge impacts on people’s lives. We have the opportunity to help people in times of crisis, both victims and defendants, to refocus on what they they will do next.

While Sahrbeck has said in interviews and public forums that he takes a role in community outreach and preventing future crime, Sartoris said she will focus more on developing specific publicly available policies on the way to sue people.

His policy suggestions include a monthly “crime fair,” where people who have been charged for the first time with low-level nonviolent offenses visit various tables advertising rehab options — like a job fair — and if they succeed in enrolling in certain programs, their charges can be dismissed months later.

Sahrbeck’s campaign raised $49,177 and spent $51,508, according to the latest financial reports submitted to the state last week.

Sartoris’ campaign raised $22,091 and spent $19,745.

Both candidates spent most of the money on direct mail to voters.

Residents of Cumberland County can vote before Election Day or at the polls on June 14. Sahrbeck and Sartoris are scheduled to participate in an online forum hosted by Maine Youth Justice on Monday.

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How the United States Arms Ukraine – 24/7 Wall St.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion into Ukraine on February 2On February 4, 2022, experts around the world predicted a quick Russian victory. During a briefing to members of Congress a few weeks earlier, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signaled that the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, could fall in 72 hoursrs if Russia decided to invade. After all, Russia’s defense budget is 10 times that of Ukraine. (See how Russia and Ukraine’s military spending compares to the world.)

These grim predictions have proven wrong. The Ukrainian resistance has so far contained the Russian offensive more effectively than many thought possible. Ukraine has ceded little ground and has even launcountuh offensives, pushing russian troops back to wards the border in some cases.

While the United States is not boundd by a trDetermined to defend Ukrainian independence, President Joe Biden appears to be doing almost everything in his power to support the resistance short of deploying US troops. The United States is not alone in providing military assistance to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.

In addition to issuingg unprececonomic sanctions shaken, Biden administration pledged about $3.4 ticketion in providing security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the invasion. Much of this assistance has been in the form of military equipment – ​​from helicopters and Humvees to artillery pieces and landmines. Here’s a look at the deadliest guns of all time.

Using press releases from the departmentent of Defense, 24/7 Wall St. identified the weapons that the United States supplies to Ukraine.

Going forward, it remains to be seen to what extent the United States might be drawn into the conflict. If the fighting spills over into one of the NATO member states thatt UK borderraine, the United States will be forced to engage militarily. Moreover, many fear that continued US military assistance to Ukraine will heighten tensions and lead to confrontation between countries around the world.two bigger corear superpowers – Russia hasand the UNUnited States. Here’s a glimpse of what a nuclear war would do to the world.

As the war enters its fourth month, when or how it will end, no one knows.

Click here to learn how the United States is arming Ukraine

Global pharma chief suggests pandemic ‘social contract’


Rich countries have engaged in hoarding vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving Africa scrambling for supplies. Keystone / Siphiwe Sibeko

The president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) says wealthy industrialized countries and the pharmaceutical industry must prepare for the next pandemic. A critic of vaccine nationalism, Thomas Cueni wants to ensure that the poorest countries have access to vaccines more quickly in the event of a crisis.

This content was published on June 5, 2022 – 14:50


What is needed is some sort of social contract, Cueni argues in an interview published by the German-language newspaper SonntagsZeitung. He says the industry is ready to reserve part of the production for the poorest countries. In return, rich countries must provide initiatives like COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility) with sufficient funding to purchase earmarked production.

Vaccination priority should be given to people who work in the health sector or who are over the age of 65, he said, i.e. 1% and 8% of the world’s population respectively.

“A desire by companies to reserve part of the production from the start for these population groups in the poorest countries in the event of a pandemic could be a game-changer,” he says.

Vaccine nationalism

Cueni notes that rich countries engaged in a kind of hedging at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. They ordered all the promising vaccines to make sure they have the vaccine that will eventually be approved. Then they hoarded the vaccines on a massive scale. “That vaccine nationalism was the big deal,” he says.

Africa, in particular, has been left behind. “Thus, by 2040, Africa wants to cover around 60% of its vaccine needs from its own production,” he notes. “But it doesn’t happen overnight, because you have to put in place a whole infrastructure.

The costs of a pandemic preparedness fund pale in comparison to the costs of the pandemic, he notes, citing calculations by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Such a fund would require around $20 billion. The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to cost $13.8 trillion by 2024.

Based in Geneva, IFPMA represents the biopharmaceutical industry worldwide. Cueni has led the organization since 2017, having served as general secretary of Interpharma, the association of research-based pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland.

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Find out more: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

What has Pakistan lost? – Daily schedules

As an ordinary Pakistani, my heart bleeds and it hurts. It’s not because there’s inflation and rising prices on a daily basis (although a fast approaching economic collapse is also a serious concern). On the contrary, I feel violated as a free human being. Fundamental human rights include your right to independence, right to self-determination, right to respect, right to freedom of expression, right to information, right to equal opportunity and right to demonstrate peacefully. As an educated person, I could already sense the deep-rooted hypocrisy and double standards in almost every department and sphere of life. The police favored the rich and punished the poor. Our judiciary being ranked so low internationally in delivering justice, past establishment interference in political processes, our political leaders being mostly corrupt, divisions in the education sector, double standards of the health system to such an extent that even in our daily lives, the parameter of social inclusion is very questionable. However, there was still an illusion of some degree of self-control. Over the past few weeks, Pakistan has faced an unprecedented violation of all these rights. This is why my heart is bleeding and for the first time in my life I feel a degree of helplessness like never before.

It is unfortunate that it is routine in Pakistan not to let any elected government complete its term. Overall, we are at the top of the list with the maximum number of extended martial laws. The political process never had a chance to mature. If a government is incapable, completing the term would be like facing political death. Politicians would know the consequences and deliver results accordingly. Moreover, if a government is capable, policies take time to produce results. In either case, a government would have to complete its terms. But it is an ideal scenario that requires that all pillars of governance remain well within their constitutional bounds and also that justice prevails.

In the fight of the giants, the Pakistani people, who are in reality Pakistan and who have a constitution to guide them, lose the race.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, a “mafia” culture has emerged. Since justice does not prevail, being above the law is common practice. A politician, if his party is in power, can break any law, commit any looting, kill people and rape as many women. If he is stopped on a road for an infraction, he can run over the police officer and kill the poor guy, but will not be punished. The media is a weapon of mass distortion – building and breaking narratives in any direction they want. Lawyers form gangs and even beat judges they disagree with. Sometimes innocent prisoners don’t get justice even after they die, but the justice system is busy taking suo-moto notice of unconcerned matters. He is protected by the power of contempt of court. The establishment is considered to be involved in activities beyond its functions, be it drought management, flood management, emergency management during other disasters, political decision-making internal or even non-military international decisions. While there is deep respect for their extraordinary help to the nation, there are still strong repercussions from their every move, internal or external. Bureaucracy is another demigod in Pakistan. The untouchables and the powerful. Those who actually run the country are never seen on screen. Parliament, judiciary, army, bureaucracy and media are the five main pillars of Pakistan. There is always a debate among ordinary people about who among them has the most power. Some believe that the judiciary comes first. Others say the military comes first, while others point to the media, bureaucracy or parliament. My question is: when will Pakistan come first? In the fight of the giants, the Pakistani people, who are in reality Pakistan and who have a constitution to guide them, lose the race. All my life I have respected my institutions and expected the best from them. Alas, my hopes have been dashed several times. So much so that it started to become a very rare and pleasant surprise to see an ordinary Pakistani being treated with respect and dignity.

In almost four years of Imran Khan’s PM-ship, I have, for once, felt respected, heard, safe and meaningful. Despite corona and rising prices, I was happy because I felt he represented me and my thoughts. Someone was there in those upper lobbies who understood me and other commoners like me. Someone who represented my feelings as a Muslim; who could finish more than two complete sentences in English without stuttering; who cared more about Pakistan and the Pakistani people than his own family. He fought for the economic betterment of my people. He was trying to reclaim our economic sovereignty slowly and steadily.

Imran Khan was not perfect. There were many policies over which there could be arguments and debates. There were still opportunistic politicians on his team that we were fed up with. But Khan spoke out in favor of humanity, international parity of human rights and self-respect and against vilifying any particular religion as terrorist, especially Islam. He took it upon himself to explain to the Western world what Islam really is. From the time I had begun to develop an understanding of the international power scenario, it was very difficult for me to see my country being treated as a third-degree global citizen. For all these years our so-called leaders representing us in international forums have been unable to say two sentences correctly, even with written documents to back it up, for a few minutes the speeches have been just lip service. air on ordinary matters and no mention of genuine heartfelt concerns, there seemed to be no connection between their words and our emotions. I felt so humbled to see their submissive body language and listen to their pleading words, seeking pleasure from their masters. As a citizen of an independent country, throughout my youth I felt like an economic slave to donors. The only discussion we could hear was who to please to get more aid and grants and what not to say and do to save us from anger. Therefore, I was so proud to be a Pakistani under the leadership of a person who had the courage to let me live with dignity, to be able to hear someone say what was in the hearts of millions of Pakistanis, those who could only wish someone will represent them and not their own selfish wimps. My question is what was wrong for a ruler to demand respect, dignity, honor and equality for his people?

Not only Imran Khan focused on redefining Pakistani relations internationally with other countries, including America and India, on the basis of an independent foreign policy. He also revived the concept of one Islam and one Ummah. He stood up for his love of the Prophet (PBUH) and Allah. There was no attitude of apology involved. His strength of character was very evident when he denounced their atrocities to the international community, which ended in a flashback. He was able to highlight the future consequences of their thoughtless actions and their blind gaze on human rights violations against Muslims around the world. For those asking what was the result? Allow me to highlight the double production of Imran Khan

First, it opened the eyes of the West who thought they could buy or bully people into keeping quiet. Second, it created a snowball effect of reactions from around the world showing the world that not only Muslims but people of all religions, races, colors and creeds agreed with him. The world is tired of a few elites ruling the world, twisting and turning events in their favor willy-nilly.

I, as an ordinary Pakistani, demand my basic human rights. I want our institutions to know that they are not bigger than Pakistan. Nobody should be the sacred cow. No one should be above the law. No one should cross the line and go beyond their constitutional jurisdiction. If peaceful public protests are ignored, the results could be catastrophic. Helplessness leads to anger and hatred. It leads to destruction. The only loser in this scenario (long awaited by our enemies) would be our dear Pakistan.

The author holds a PhD in Economics and is an assistant professor at GSCWU, Bahawalpur.

Defense and national security — The war in Ukraine exceeds 100 days

Russia’s war in Ukraine entered its 100th day on Friday, a bloody milestone that speaks to the resilience of Ukrainian forces in the face of a much larger enemy.

We’ll detail Ukraine’s position in the fight, as well as a senator’s suggestion to use retired military personnel to protect schools and Biden’s possible trip to Saudi Arabia.

It’s Defense and National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. A friend sent you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

100 days of war: where is Ukraine?

An unprecedented diplomatic campaign preceding Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine failed to prevent war. But the weeks of meetings, led by the United States, succeeded in repositioning the world order in one of the biggest shifts since World War II.

European nations, including Germany, Sweden and Finland, have abandoned decades of cautious military policy to join more fully with the United States and its allies in providing Ukraine with the military means to fight, impose far-reaching sanctions, strengthen their own defenses and work to sever energy ties with Moscow. .

While Ukraine and its supporters have declared victory in the battle for Kyiv, which US intelligence first predicted would fall within 72 hours, Moscow’s forces retain their advantages in the fight for the eastern territory of Ukraine.

Russia’s gains: Russia has taken control of a key port city, Mariupol, and is moving closer to dominating Severdonetsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Russia controls about a fifth of his country.

“We are now in a situation where, obviously, Ukrainians are going through a difficult period,” said Angela Stent, an expert on American and European relations with Russia. “I’m not saying the tide is turning, but it’s getting harder for the Ukrainians to sustain the counteroffensive.”

And its weaknesses: Bearing in mind Russia’s slow progress, the United States is stepping up arms deliveries, sending advanced rocket systems for the first time to help the Ukrainians repel Russian advances more effectively.

A turning point?: Zelensky, speaking at a European security conference on Thursday, said the struggle could reach a “turning point” if all nations increase their military, economic and political support for Ukraine.

“We are grateful for the help we are already receiving, to all those who help us. But the arms deliveries must be increased. Because it is on the battlefield in Ukraine that we decide whether freedom in Europe will be preserved for all nations without exception,” he said.

“Right now, these days, when Russia loses the war against Ukraine, the freedom of Europeans will prevail for decades to come.”

The transition of a leader: Ukrainian president’s remarks show his transition over the past 100 days from a militarily beleaguered and assassination-risk leader – who rejected a US offer to flee Kyiv as the assault began – to one vote powerful world.

Uncertainty reigns: There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the end of the war, with a negotiated solution of some sort appearing a long way off.

Ukrainian officials, grappling with the horrors of civilian deaths and alleged Russian war crimes — extrajudicial executions, rape and forced migration — are loath to come to the table or concede territory to the Russians.

“Russia attacked us. They are the ones who try to occupy as much as possible, to destroy and kill, to rape and torture. So we will defend ourselves and we will not surrender,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova told The Hill.

Read the full story here

Graham: ‘mobilise’ ex-servicemen

Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) on Tuesday called on retirees and former military personnel to step up security in schools following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week.

Graham wrote in a thread posted on his Twitter account that the United States has “hundreds of thousands” of ex-servicemen “who could bring a lot to the table” in protecting schools and that trained ROTC instructors should be able to carry firearms to make schools more sure.

Graham’s Thought: The senator also said he is working to create a certification process for ex-military personnel that will allow them to undergo safety training and prepare them to help schools across the country.

“It’s time to mobilize our retirees and ex-military who are ready to help secure our schools,” Graham added in a follow-up tweet. “Our schools are easy targets. They contain our most precious asset – our children, the future of our country – and must be protected.

A Growing GOP Push Graham’s remarks reflect a GOP-led push to make schools safer — and reject gun restriction proposals demanded by Democrats and gun control advocates — in the wake of the massacre of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde which killed 19 students and two teachers.

A redundancy: Texas officials and media said some of the security measures Republicans are calling for were already in place at Robb Elementary before the attack.

Federal programs designed to keep schools safe, such as the Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act (STOP), which provided more than
$125 million in school grants are in place across the country.

Learn more here

Biden says there are no definitive plans for his visit to Saudi Arabia

President Biden said on Friday he had no “direct plans” to visit Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but acknowledged the trip was a possibility.

The Hill and other news outlets reported earlier this week that Biden administration officials were preparing the ground for a presidential visit to Saudi Arabia later this month, but the visit was not finalized.

“I don’t have any direct plans at the moment,” Biden said Friday when asked by reporters, adding that he was focused on bringing “more stability and peace to the Middle East.”

A Travel Controversy: Biden did not respond directly on Friday when asked if he would meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also defended the possibility of such a trip as he pledged in 2019 to make Saudi Arabia a pariah on the world stage following the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A declassified US intelligence report released by the Biden administration last year said the Saudi crown prince approved of the killing of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi royal family.

“I’m not going to change my views on human rights, but as President of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can,” Biden said. “And that’s what I try to do.”

Other reviews: It’s unclear when Biden’s trip to the Middle East will be finalized, but it’s widely expected to take place later this month.

Israeli media reported Friday that Biden is expected to visit Israel on June 23 ahead of the trip to Saudi Arabia.

The travel plans have already drawn some criticism. An organization representing families and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks wrote an open letter to Biden on Thursday urging him to hold Riyadh accountable for the role Saudi officials allegedly played in those attacks.

Read the full story here

Also from The Hill: Biden sets the stage for a risky meeting with the Saudis


That’s all for today. Check out The Hill’s defense and national security pages for the latest coverage. See you next week!


21-year marijuana sentence leaves man stuck in jail, without parole

When he was a young boy, Jérémie loved to fish. He was taught the sport by his father, and Jeremiah would catch bass weighing over 10 pounds and sell his catch for full price to the people of his hometown.

He was a street smart kid who “knew how to hustle” – something his father taught him.

In high school, Jeremiah—whose name has been changed in this story to protect his identity—discovered another passion: soccer. He attended college on a football scholarship and played on the defensive line.

But for the past eight years, Jeremiah hasn’t fished, played soccer or watched his siblings grow up without him. He has been held by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) since he was sentenced to 21 years for trafficking 5 pounds of marijuana.

Jeremiah was on parole a little over a year ago. But it was refused.

The reason? Insufficient time served, said parole board.

Such denials are not uncommon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles (ABPP), which has a notorious reputation for denying parole to people in state custody, especially those who are black. . Despite extremely overcrowded prison conditions in Alabama and a nationwide trend to relax the harsh sentencing practices of previous decades, the commission has slowed its parole grant rate in recent years — and existing racial disparities have only widened. ‘accelerate.

Learn more about the series: Freedom Denied

The situation has only worsened a failing prison system, where deadly violence and unconstitutional conditions have led to an ongoing trial by the US Department of Justice. The SPLC is filing a separate lawsuit over the inadequate health care provided to those in custody.

The fact that Jeremiah was punished so harshly by the state — and denied parole — shows just how little has been done to reform sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders in Alabama, even though it is now legal to buy recreational cannabis in 18 states. Thirty-seven states allow it for medical purposes.

“They had me when I was a boy, but now I’m a man,” Jeremiah told the SPLC during an interview at a correctional facility. “This system was made for me. They want me to stay here for a long, long time.

A necessary evil

In the community where Jeremiah grew up, gangs and drugs were a way of life, so his father also taught him how to survive the dangerous streets where they lived.

The drug scene was inevitable in his hometown, so Jeremiah started selling marijuana at an early age. It was a necessary evil: Either understand the streets, the drug scene, or live in fear.

“Drugs were everywhere, and I had to be able to navigate that world,” Jeremiah said. “Is that okay? No. But I had to prepare. My mum had two jobs, so money was tight. I couldn’t be a kid anymore.

Prior to his sentencing, Jeremiah had big goals. He was studying to become an engineer and dreamed of a large family.

“I loved football and was preparing to earn a lot of money for the family I wanted,” Jeremiah said. “I needed financial security and the cost of living as a student was difficult to maintain. I needed an income to focus on my studies and the family I would create. And I wanted to be a successful engineer.

His dreams were cut short when he was only nine course units away from graduating.

Still in detention, Jeremiah spends his free time reading books about Warren Buffett and other business leaders to better understand the business world – a field he would like to pursue.

But he won’t be eligible for parole for at least two years.

fight his pain

Jeremiah’s ordeal began when a postal inspector seized a package containing marijuana. When Jeremiah walked out of his apartment one day, the local drug enforcement unit was waiting to arrest him.

“Everyone told me to prepare for three years [in prison]”, Jeremiah said. “I believed it.”

Eventually, he was found guilty and ordered to remain in ADOC custody for more two decades.

Jeremy was shocked.

“Everything has changed,” he said. “Nothing was the same. For eight years and since I heard this sentence, I have disengaged from my emotions. I study. I learn. This is how I fight this sentence.

learn from mistakes

The parole board protocols clearly state that once a person has served one-third of their sentence, they are eligible for parole.

The fact that Jeremiah was denied parole solely because he had not served enough time is against the rules, regulations and procedures of the parole board – further evidence that the parole system in Alabama is down and the ABPP is not even following its own rules.

Jeremiah is not only upset that he was denied parole, he feels like he was framed.

“They target me because I’m a black man,” he said. “I have not committed any offense in the last eight years, so I am qualified to be released. You have to be twice as smart as a white man when you’re here to get your freedom back.

In 2019, 34% of black applicants were granted parole by the ABPP, while 36% of white applicants were released. In 2020, only 16% of black applicants were granted parole, while 29% of white applicants were released. Last year, the parole board only released 8% of black applicants.

“To me, staying here when my white counterparts don’t doesn’t make sense,” Jeremiah said. “I’m just saying the system has to be fair. Give people the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.

Alabama’s broken parole system has, as the statistics show, gotten worse, not better.

In 2021, when Jeremiah was considered for parole, the ABPP reported that he granted parole in 15% of cases. So far in 2022, it reports a subsidy rate of 11%. If the ABPP does not fundamentally change before Jeremiah is paroled again, he faces the very real possibility of being denied parole again.

A higher purpose

Jeremiah faces tough odds – and he knows it.

Since being incarcerated, he has done everything the State of Alabama says he should have done to get parole. He has completed a significant program, has maintained a clean disciplinary record, and has demonstrated the ability and commitment to a productive, crime-free life upon release.

The cruellest part of Jeremiah’s time behind bars is when his family comes to visit, he said. He doesn’t want them to see him as a victim.

“Even though my mom and dad tell me to ‘stay strong,’ I’m in jail so I have to control myself and stay focused,” Jeremiah said. “But it was very difficult for me to witness the suffering of my family.”

Jeremiah remained resilient throughout his sentence. But it didn’t come without challenges – and lessons were learned.

“I’m looking at what might happen based on my decisions,” he said. “I wasn’t used to think; now yes.”

He also said that instead of viewing individuals in prison as “evil”, there should be a way for people in custody not to be defined by their prison sentence. There should also be a way for people like him to prepare for the outside world, he said.

“The work release is good, but people are not ready to be out,” he said. “They should prepare us for life outside from prison. We are part of the community and we need to be prepared.

Jeremiah still has big dreams for himself and has no intention of giving them up. He is continuing his education to learn about the business world and would also like to be an advocate for those who have been treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. He’s learned that his decisions and actions can profoundly affect others, so he plans to always do what’s right.

“I want a job and a family,” he said. “Money means nothing to me now. I’ve learned that I have a choice to say yes or no to things that come my way, and I want to make the right decision.

When asked what he wanted people to know about him, Jeremiah replied, “I’ve always been a loving person. I have never been violent; I have always eliminated my aggression by playing football. I feel like I’m interconnected with everyone. I have a higher purpose. My faith in God keeps me going – and my family. That’s what keeps me sane.

Top photo: illustration by Ryan Simpson

Learn more about the Freedom Denied series here.

How Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score: Everything You Need to Know — Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 — Santa Clarita Radio

By John Brown

Student loans can be a heavy burden on your shoulders. Not only do you have to worry about how you’ll pay back all that money, but you also have to worry about how that debt will affect your credit score.

Online lending platforms like take liquid may be an easier option if you want to get some quick cash. Because lending platforms like these offer access to a network of lenders who work with borrowers with varying credit scores, you’re more likely to find a loan with acceptable loan terms and interest rates. .

Whether you have pre-existing student loans or want to open one now and are curious about its effect on your credit score, you’ve come to the right place. This article will also discuss the steps to take to ensure that your credit score remains as high as possible.

How do student loans affect your credit rating?

Most often, student loans show up on your credit report as installment loans. Installment loans are loans that must be repaid in fixed monthly installments while revolving lines of credit are loans that you can repay in full at any time. The type of loan you have will affect your credit score differently. Specifically, student loans are part of the “credit mix” criteria on your credit report, which affects about 10% of your credit score calculation.

If you have an installment loan, the loan amount and your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. On-time payments will improve your credit score, while late or missed payments will hurt your credit score. The larger the loan, the more it will affect your score.

What can you do to improve your credit rating?

If you’re worried about how your student loan is affecting your credit score, there are things you can do to improve your score. First, make sure you make all your payments on time. This is the most critical factor in your credit score, so staying on top of your payments is essential. If you can, make more than the minimum payment each month. This will help you repay your loans faster and improve your credit utilization rate.

Another thing you can do is sign up for automatic payments. This way you never have to worry about forgetting to make a payment. Many lenders will also give you a small discount for signing up for automatic payments, which can be economical down the line.

Finally, don’t forget to monitor your credit utilization rate frequently. If it gets too high, pay off your debt as soon as possible.

Does paying student loans create credit?

Yes, paying student loans creates credit. As mentioned, on-time payments will improve your credit score, while late or missed payments will hurt your credit score. Remember, if one of your intentions with your student loans is to build your credit, you need to make sure you make all payments on time.

The most optimal way to pay off your student debt depends on your situation. If you can afford it, it’s wise to make larger monthly payments to help you pay off your debt faster and improve your credit utilization rate.

If you’re having trouble paying some of your loans, you can always request changes to your payment plan or sign up for a deferral to temporarily suspend your payments. It helps to know that changing the terms of your loan won’t hurt your credit as long as you manage your payments well.

The essential

Whether it’s your first time getting a student loan or you’re struggling to understand how your loan affects your credit score, we hope this article has provided some clarity. If you follow the recommended practices and monitor your loan more closely, things will be a little easier for you. There are several other ways to track your loan, but the steps mentioned in this article are a good place to start.

Authors biography :

John is a financial analyst but also a man with different interests. He enjoys writing about money and giving financial advice, but he can also dive into relationships, sports, games and other topics. Lives in New York with his wife and a cat.

Columbus Class of 1966 Graduates Encourage Others to Oppose Gun Violence | Local News


CEDAR FALLS — Wearing orange to bring gun violence to the forefront of the conversation — that’s what several Columbus High School alumni did on Thursday.

The social group was reacting to “mass murders” in Buffalo, Uvalde and now Tulsa. The classmates, all 1966 graduates, were also unhappy with Governor Kim Reynolds signing a bill authorizing a special deer hunting season for those with AR-15s. They had decided enough was enough.

Six of their 10 members used the time together to peacefully protest at the Whiskey Road Tavern & Grill while having lunch.

Pictured right, Cindy Hohlfeld, Linda Kelley, Linda Lynch, Terry Halbmaier, Judy Miller and Rose Canty met on Thursday at Whiskey Road Tavern & Grill in Cedar Falls


“I kind of lost it. I was sad and angry, and we just had to do something,” said Linda Lynch, of Lake City. “There’s no reason to own an AR-15 .”

They usually get together for food and fellowship at least once a year. During the pandemic, it was twice a year on Zoom.

Their Thursday rally took place just before the “Wear Orange” weekend, in honor of Hadiya Pendleton. The 15-year-old was fatally shot on a playground in Chicago a week after taking part in former President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade, according to online accounts.

People also read…

This year’s “Wear Orange” weekend comes days after Wednesday’s mass shooting at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which four people were killed. It also follows the deaths of 19 children and two teachers in a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, and the killing of 10 black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York by a white supremacist, all two last month.

WATCH NOW: Leaders call for community action to address gun violence

“We’re not going to stop to get out of this,” Waterloo Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said.

“I think people are afraid to talk about this stuff,” Lynch said. “Gun violence has become normalized and we have become desensitized to it.”

She urged people to be “outrageously brave” to bring about change.

Terry Halbmaier, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, wore a “More silence. ‘End Gun Violence’ T-shirt. She argued that 90% of people are actually against AR-15s being in the hands of ordinary citizens.

“We have to stand up and make ourselves known,” she said.

The classmates – who are now 74 and live in different parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana – discussed the changes they would like to see happen.

The most extreme would be to prohibit these “weapons of war” from being in the hands of average citizens.

They recognize that this is unlikely to happen because of politicians who pretend to make small changes to advance gun control in Washington when in reality they are acting on behalf of their constituents who use hunting to deer as an “excuse” to possess military personnel. style weapons.

NAME UPDATE: Man shot in the neck at lemonade stand, one was shot overnight

The shooting at a children’s lemonade stand Monday night in Waterloo is one of the latest two incidents of gun violence in a string of shootings over Memorial Day weekend.

“I don’t want kids to think school is a scary place,” Halbmaier said. “But turning it into an armed fortress isn’t the solution either, nor is blaming it on mental illness.”

Put your legislator on speed dial, have classmates advised, and go to a rally. Or when “Everytown for Gun Safety” asks you to send their message to five people, send it to 15.

The women had some ideas for what they will call to discuss with their representatives in Congress: Get rid of the bump stocks. Raise the legal age to purchase an automatic weapon to at least 21 years old. Implement red flag laws. Bring background checks. Create a universal database.

“We need prayers, but I think we’ll need a lot more than that,” said Linda Kelley of Cedar Falls.

June 3 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Gun violence is also still prevalent in the Cedar Valley.

Last week Anthony Jacobs, 27, was shot and killed in Waterloo. A week earlier, 26-year-old Ana Hellia Berinobic-McLemore was found shot dead in a car, also in Waterloo.

Two others were injured in shootings last week.

On Wednesday, community leaders called for action to address recent gun violence in the area. Law enforcement officials said they had arrested at least 52 people on firearms charges so far this year.

Waterloo Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said the violence would not be resolved by arrests. Former Chief and current Black Hawk County Supervisor Dan Trelka echoed Fitzgerald’s sentiments.

“We’re in a society today where not enough people are speaking out,” Trelka said. “We see it in our local violence. We see this violence across the country. There are clues. There is a behavior that these individuals exhibit.

Trelka suggested the key to stopping these tragedies is identifying potential shooters before they kill or injure someone instead of making anything illegal. In the case of the Robb Elementary shooter in Uvalde, Texas, he said the shooter was also breaking other laws — like driving illegally, having a gun on school property and shooting his grandmother.

“The right people just need to know about this behavior so we can try to prevent these tragedies,” Trelka said.

Harland & Wolff returns to action with its first new construction

Historic Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff has announced it has secured its first newbuild order since taking over from administration in 2019.

The shipyard, best known for building the Titanic, is returning to action after being acquired by London-based company InfraStrata. The yard announced on Wednesday that it had been awarded an initial contract worth around £8.5million to build 11 barges for British waste management and recycling company Cory, setting the stage for the first new project of the yard’s shipbuilding in nearly two decades.

Harland & Wolff said it would build the barges at its Belfast site, with the first set of steel to be cut within around eight weeks.

The schedule for the program calls for the construction of four tandem barges, with the entire construction program expected to be completed by mid-2023.

The fully fabricated barges will be delivered to Cory for transport of recyclable and non-recyclable waste from London on the River Thames.

Harland & Wolff Group CEO John Wood said: “With this hardware deal, we will open our extensive undercover manufacturing halls in Belfast and make full use of our new line of robotic welding panels.

“This contract gives us the opportunity to optimize our production flows in anticipation of other manufacturing programs in our pipeline and it demonstrates the variety of manufacturing work that our facilities are ideally placed to perform.

“I am delighted to have been awarded this contract with our new client, Cory Group, and look forward to working closely with them on their new barge investment program in the future.”

HMS Atherstone
In a separate announcement on Wednesday, Harland & Wolff also revealed that it had acquired the former HMS Atherstone from the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD). The yard said it intended to convert the decommissioned minehunting vessel for non-military use, discussions with interested parties have already begun.

Harland & Wolff, which primarily focused on overhaul, overhaul and repair work, is also competing for the MOD regeneration program for another decommissioned minehunter, HMS Quorn (M55), and said he believed the acquisition of HMS Atherstone would help de-risk the M55 regeneration program as the two ships share a number of spare parts and components.

“We can now significantly reduce the risk of the M55 regeneration program by using common spares and components for both ships, which has been acknowledged by the MOD and will certainly help conclude negotiations over the next few weeks,” Wood said.

“We can also use this platform as a base for other clients’ projects, which will be a valuable source of revenue for 2023.”

Ignoring student threats and attacks at school puts society at risk

What steps can we take to improve school safety?

A man called the radio show today to say design issues are compromising the security of the entrance gate to East Vally High School near Moxee.

In search of basic school safety measures

The facility has recently been renovated and expanded and looks great…BUT…according to the caller, who says he has family at school, the design of the building has created a problem air pressure that does not allow the reception person to lock the main doors of the school.

He says he’s spoken to the school’s resource officer and plans to take the matter to the school board meeting on June 13.

System Reviews Make Good Sense

Ensuring doors lock as expected is a reasonable expectation for a safe school. Every school, regardless of location, should take steps to ensure that all of its security systems are working as intended and that all staff members are aware of security protocols.

A safety review is just common sense in the workplace, but common sense isn’t that common or doesn’t work in some states…like California. As Washington becomes the California of the North in terms of progressive liberal policies, we need to make sure we don’t follow their lead on school safety.

Where did common sense go in California?

California State Senators have taken a step that common sense will make schools LESS SAFE.

Two days after the deadly attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed two teachers and 19 students, the California State Senate voted to end the requirement for schools to report students who commit or threaten to commit acts of violence at school.

As Mark Alexander writes in the Patriot Post:

The law in effect prior to the change stated: “Whenever an employee of a school district or county superintendent of schools is physically attacked, assaulted, or threatened by a student, the employee and any person under the direction or supervision of which the employee is employed who has knowledge of the incident aare required to promptly report the incident to law enforcement authorities.The Senate officially repealed this requirement.

The Californian liberal confuses social justice and security

The bill’s sponsor is Steven Bradford of Los Angeles who says reporting such violence hurts the student:

Our current system has resulted in alarming disparities in the type of students most likely to experience these harms. Black students, Latinx students, students of color, and students with disabilities are disproportionately referred to law enforcement, cited, and arrested.

Bradford’s political biography shows that “In 2013, Assembly Speaker John Perez appointed Bradford Chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Colored Boys and Men. Under his leadership, the committee considered numerous iinstitutional injustices that afflict young Black, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander men in California, which he continues to work on in the Senate”

So that’s where it all comes from.

Pipeline from school to prison?

The idea is to shield and shield the student from the consequences of their actions because – Racism. Threats, assaults and contacts with the police do not appear in the student’s file. So later, when the student goes to buy a legal firearm, there is no trace of violence or potential violence, no clear picture of the risk the student actually poses to the community. Blame it on the good intentions, but unverified unintended consequences of Barack Obama’s “PROMISE” program of hope and change.

So who deserves to be protected? The bullying students or the school community?

Common sense says the greatest good is served by warning society and the innocent school community, or so you wouldn’t think so, but then you’re not the ACLU… which says:

Once students come into contact with law enforcement, they are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to end up in jail or jail. These harms disproportionately affect students from marginalized groups: Black, Indigenous, and Latino students, as well as students with disabilities, are disproportionately referred to law enforcement, cited, and arrested.

No established social sciences

Here is the question that my common sense (and I bet yours too) leads me to ask: is it possible that the student’s own behavior, environment, upbringing, personality/morals/values ​​are what drives the student on the path that ends in prison or prison and not this first intervention with the police?

Bradford’s bill has now just passed the State Assembly, and if passed there, it will be sent to Governor Gavin Newsom.

WATCH: 50 Essential Civil Rights Speeches

Many speakers have made a lifelong commitment to human rights, but one of them tried to silence an activist for suffrage, before later signing important legislation on civil rights. Many have fought for the freedom of more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.

More than 6.8 million refugees have fled Ukraine, says UN

Ukraine promised not to attack Russian lands, says Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington DC on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid, Spain.

Blinken said NATO will adapt a new strategic concept to meet current and future challenges, strengthen the alliance and deal with the “new security landscape” in Europe amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin thought the war would divide NATO, Blinken said the aggression had “united us”. He said NATO allies are committed to supporting Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and independence.

President Joe Biden announced in a New York Times editorial that the United States will provide Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will allow them to more accurately strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”

These weapons include Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition.

Blinken said the United States will continue to supply Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win this war.

“Ukraine has in hand what it needs to defend itself,” he said.

He said the only “escalation” came from Russia itself, adding that the Kremlin could stop this war at any time.

The United States has been clear with Putin from the start about what it would do if Russia continued its aggression, Blinken said, adding that “we did exactly what we said we would do.”

He also said that the Ukrainians had assured that they would not use these long-range weapon systems against targets on Russian territory.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hold a joint press conference in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, DC on June 1, 2022.

Louisiana governor vetoes bill allowing high-cost installment loans

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill that would have allowed consumer lenders to offer short-term installment loans with triple-digit interest rates.

The bill sought to establish a new type of consumer loan of up to $1,500 and with terms of between 90 days and one year. Edwards, a Democrat, objected to the prices the measure would have allowed lenders to charge.

Edwards said the bill ‘aims to create additional loan opportunities’ for people with lower credit scores, but allows for ‘exponentially higher’ interest rates than people can get at a bank .

“While I am willing to support and sign a bill that reforms payday loans in a way that provides appropriate safeguards on interest rates and fees,” wrote Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, “this bill unfortunately does not meet that standard.”


“Despite the best efforts of the sponsor of the bill, I do not believe this bill adequately protects the public from predatory lending practices,” Edwards wrote in a statement. letter Tuesday explaining his veto.

The bill, drafted by Republican Senator Rick Ward, would have capped loan financing fees at 36% per year on any outstanding balance. But it also allowed monthly maintenance fees of up to 13%, insufficient funds fees, and underwriting fees of up to $50 for some larger loans.

In total, the fees could have reached the same amount a person originally borrowed, and consumer advocates said they would have resulted in annual interest rates of more than 300%. Several states have banned or weigh Prohibition of consumer loans with annual interest rates above 36%.

Ward, whose office did not respond to a request for comment, said the legislation helps give cash-strapped consumers another option for emergency credit. The bill passed with some bipartisan support in both houses of the state legislature.

But Edwards wrote in his letter that he “has a long history of opposing payday loan products that are designed to keep vulnerable people in debt.”

“While I am willing to support and sign a bill that reforms payday loans in a way that provides appropriate safeguards on interest rates and fees, this bill unfortunately does not address that. standard,” Edwards wrote.

INFiN, a Washington, D.C. trade group that represents payday lenders, said in a statement it was “deeply disappointed” with Edwards’ veto and that the bill provided “safeguards and guardrails essential for consumers.

The governor’s action “overlooks the kitchen table needs of consumers who value access to a range of affordable credit options,” Ed D’Alessio, the group’s chief executive, said in the statement.

Several consumer groups had called on Edwards to veto the bill, saying it risked adding another “longer and bigger debt trap” on top of the current payday loan laws of Louisiana, which allow loans under $350 and due in 60 days or less.

State wage laws already allow lenders to charge customers high interest rates, and the bill “would have made the situation worse,” said Jared Pone, policy adviser at the Center for Responsible Lending.

“We hope this veto will turn the tide and encourage Louisiana leaders to take the next step and cap annual interest at 36% to prevent predatory lending, as eighteen other states and DC,” Pone said in a statement.

Israel Folau: Tonga to impose social media restrictions before international rugby returns | Rugby Union News


Israel Folau was named in Tonga’s Pacific Nations Cup squad, three years after being sacked by Rugby Australia for homophobic comments on social media; Tonga coach Toutai Kefu said he was confident Folau would not cause problems for the team.

Last update: 01/06/22 07:46

Israel Folau played in Japan for the Shining Arcs club

Israel Folau will be a valuable addition to Tongan rugby but will have restrictions on what he posts on social media, head coach Toutai Kefu has said.

Folau, an evangelical Christian, will soon return to international rugby, three years after he was sacked by Rugby Australia following homophobic comments he posted on social media.

Former World Cup winner and Wallabies great Kefu said he has yet to discuss social media with Folau but is confident the 33-year-old won’t cause his team problems meanwhile.

“It’s probably the elephant in the room,” Kefu said. “Right now, [trust] is what we probably have to rely on.

“But I mean, we would have certain restrictions, like we always do in every campaign with all players.

“I’m sure we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Folau joined the Catalans Dragons in 2020 and there was controversy over his Super League debut after some Castleford fans said they were told to remove the rainbow flags.

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Folau joined the Catalans Dragons in 2020 and there was controversy over his Super League debut after some Castleford fans said they were told to remove the rainbow flags.

Folau joined the Catalans Dragons in 2020 and there was controversy over his Super League debut after some Castleford fans said they were told to remove the rainbow flags.

On the outside, Folau has only posted a handful of times to the more than 400,000 followers on his social media accounts since he was sacked in 2019.

While the post that triggered his dismissal remains on one of his accounts, the dual-code international has avoided controversy while restarting his professional rugby career.

Folau returned to rugby league in 2020 after being thrown a lifeline by the Catalan Dragons, despite opposition from rival Super League clubs and the governing body.

Folau scored five tries in 15 appearances for the Catalans before returning to Australia

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Folau scored five tries in 15 appearances for the Catalans before returning to Australia

Folau scored five tries in 15 appearances for the Catalans before returning to Australia

He played 15 out of a possible 17 games and agreed to a contract extension until the end of 2021. However, he did not return for the pre-season, with the Dragons allowing him to stay in Australia in order to attend “a personal family situation”. .

The Catalans have agreed to release the dual-code international in June 2021 to allow him to resume his career in Australia.

Folau, who has scored 37 tries in 73 Tests for the Wallabies, was named in Kefu’s squad last week for next month’s Pacific Nations Cup, which will feature hosts Fiji, Samoa and a team” A” Australian.

He will also be part of Tonga’s 2023 World Cup qualifier against an Asia-based side on July 23, to be held on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

Bristol's Charles Piutau (pictured) and Folau switched allegiance to Tonga

Bristol’s Charles Piutau (pictured) and Folau switched allegiance to Tonga

World Rugby’s decision last year to allow players to switch international allegiances paved the way for Folau to represent Tonga, alongside former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa.

Kefu is excited about what Folau and other seasoned internationals could do for Tongan rugby, which has long struggled to retain talent in the face of more lucrative opportunities overseas.

“I have known Israel for a long time,” Kefu said. “He’s going to bring his professional mindset, he’s going to bring a skill set that we haven’t seen in our environment.

“We are also going to have a good group of young players.

“Imagine their eyes when they’re in the room with people like Piutau, Malakai and Israel.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for these young people to learn.”

It’s time to tame Transnistria | CEPA

The Kremlin is doing everything it can to crush Ukraine, opening up opportunities for countries with an unwanted Russian presence.

Russia’s increasingly egregious military adventures are a horrifying experience for Ukraine and a shock to a once complacent European continent. And yet, the Kremlin’s behavior amounts to such overreach that it may have exposed itself to counteraction in its illegal colonial outposts.

Wherever Russia can, it grabs land from other countries, usually arguing that it helps Russian speakers living beyond the country’s borders. These so-called frozen conflicts have proliferated in Ukraine, but also in Georgia and Moldova, where the oldest puppet state is called Transnistria.

After the Russians failed to get a de jure veto over NATO enlargement in the 1990s and early 2000s, they figured out how to achieve a de facto veto. This is well described in How Russia keeps post-Soviet states in its orbit by Luka Jukic, who describes Russian efforts to trap countries in “seemingly unwinnable conflicts” that keep them “firmly aloof from Western institutions like NATO or the EU”. Although Russia failed to prevent the Baltic states from joining the two organisations, the Russians attacked Georgia in 2008 and occupied territory in Ukraine in 2014.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the security map of Europe so much that it is time to reconsider the fundamentals. The status quo in Ukraine is currently being forcibly renegotiated by the Kremlin, the outcome of which is unknown. Georgia, while also a candidate for EU and NATO membership, and also the target of Russian threats, is unlikely to redefine the terms of regional geopolitics. It is reasonable to assume that any attempt to take over the small Russian puppet states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is beyond its capabilities, even if the government wanted to act.

Moldova, on the other hand, is in a much better position. It is geographically separate from Russia, borders NATO ally Romania, with which it shares a language, and lies to the west collective consciousness just because of its apparent vulnerability (and of course because Russia regularly targets its pro-Western government with military threats.)

The history of Moldova, Russia, Transnistria and Romania is long and centered on historical borders and population movements over the past centuries. At the end of the Cold War, some small groups of ethnic Russians in former Soviet territory resented seeing the local ethnic majority in control. Russian forces on the bank of the Dniester River helped ethnic Russians form an illegal entity not recognized by any UN member state. In 1993, the international community agreed “facilitate the achievement of a comprehensive and lasting political settlement”, which is codified in the Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. This required the withdrawal of foreign (Russian) troops and respect for minority rights. Russia made no serious effort to honor the agreement for the next three decades.

Recently, Moldova has become more willing to fend off Russian malign activity. The Moldovan government has issued an official protest in response to the appeal of a Russian general claim on April 22 that linking its territory with Transnistria through occupied Ukraine was a key objective of the invasion.

Moldova should now go further and openly state that the Russians should leave Transnistria and that the region should peacefully integrate into Moldova. If Moldova takes the agreed benchmarks as a starting position and openly guarantees human and minority rights, it could gain support from a variety of international actors. European entities are already highlighting the situation: in March 2022, the Secretary General of NATO declared that in “Moldova and Transnistria, which is part of Moldova, there are Russian troops without the consent of the government in Moldova” while the Council of Europe has changed its point of view and designated Transnistria as a territory occupied by Russia.

The Military report 2022 says that before the invasion of Ukraine, the Russians maintained about 1,500 soldiers, while number of local forcesed some 4,500 to 7,500; because the Russians can only bring in reinforcements by air over the Black Sea or Ukraine, these forces are isolated and vulnerable to conventional military operations.

Moldova could expel Russians from Transnistria in several ways. The key to all of them is that the Moldovan government should make the decision to get rid of the Russians. Any outside help without an express request from the Moldovan government would play into Vladimir Putin’s hands and give him an information victory by allowing him to claim that this “proves” that his invasion of Ukraine was a response to the aggression carried out by the United States and based on NATO. against all Russians everywhere and therefore legitimate. Although very few would believe it, several states could use it as an excuse to end their opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Although there is no guarantee of success, there are three military options. The first two use the classic “hammer and anvil” approach. In the first case, the Moldovan forces would be the anvil and the Ukrainian forces could cross their border like the hammer. The second would be for the Ukrainians to mass forces on their side of the border like the anvil while the Moldovans attack the separatist forces in Transnistria. However, this last option presents two problems: the Moldovan army only has 5,150 active members, and this type of operation would force the Moldavians to make a contested crossing of the Dniester, a complex maneuver that would discourage the best modern armies. A third approach would be a simultaneous attack by the Moldovans and the Ukrainians.

The problem should not be solved by force. A non-military approach would involve European states and organizations supporting the negotiations combined with information and strategic communication operations aimed at convincing the Transdniestrian population to voluntarily join Moldova. The weakness is that it could take a long time and could miss the window of opportunity offered by the current situation.

Russia has clearly demonstrated its hunger for the land of sovereign states and its unwillingness to leave once established. Its war of aggression against Ukraine and its threats against Moldova paint a very clear picture casus belli, as is its illegal occupation. From the Moldovan point of view, any action would be perilous, but it is difficult to think that he will have any better chance of regaining his own territory. Moldova should openly accept the criteria established by the international community, call on the Russians to leave its territory and ask for help from other European states and institutions.

Alexander (Alex) Crowther is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He is a practical professor for cyber issues at Florida International University and conducts research for the Swedish Defense University.

Criminal court cases languish as pandemic backlog persists

EVERETT — Charged with second-degree murder in September 2020, Diane Kay Thompson has been awaiting trial for about 18 months now.

After being charged with her husband’s murder, Thompson’s trial was set for late December 2020. It was too early for a homicide trial, so the date was pushed back to June 2021.

Then it was pushed back to September 2021. Then again to January of this year.

Such delays are common in Snohomish County Superior Court, where violent crime cases can take years to resolve, forcing some defendants to spend more time in jail and families of victims to wait for the much-needed closure.

Many factors contribute to the blockages, including police reforms and other changes in state law. But none surpass the interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jury trials have been suspended twice in 2020, nearly stalling case resolutions. And even without formal breaks, trials are still struggling to get back on track.

“Granted, we’re in a different place with COVID now than we were a few years ago,” prosecutor Adam Cornell said. “But the impacts of the pandemic are still reverberating. The impacts of this slowdown have therefore persisted, that’s for sure.

There were 24 trials from January to April, according to state data. In the months leading up to the pandemic, Snohomish County Superior Court could complete as many trials in half the time. Last year there were 108, compared to 137 in 2020 and 248 in 2019.

Kathleen Kyle, executive director of the Snohomish County Public Defender Association, said lawsuits have seen a drop even in the past six weeks as lawyers and others have fallen ill in the latest wave of COVID.

“Luckily people are vaccinated… but they can’t come to work,” she said. “I worry about the pressure our system, myself included, is putting on our people to resolve these cases amidst this potpourri of variables we don’t control.”


As of last week, there were more than 1,400 criminal cases pending in Snohomish County Superior Court, according to the prosecutor’s office. These are cases where an accused has been charged and is awaiting trial. They do not include those awaiting sentencing or post-conviction cases.

Meanwhile, there are thousands of other civil and national cases that also need to be dealt with, presiding judge George Appel told the Daily Herald.

Of more than 1,400 criminal cases, nearly 270 involve allegations of violent crimes; nearly 200 for sex offenses and alleged crimes against children; and 170 for domestic violence offences.

A different tally of court staff shows that the total number of pending cases has more than doubled since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, prosecutors filed more than 1,400 adult criminal cases in Snohomish County Superior Court, according to state data. That was down from nearly 1,900 the previous year. Yet in 2021, lawyers solved more cases than the previous year: around 2,100 compared to 1,500.

In 2019, the last year unaffected by the pandemic, local prosecutors filed more than 2,500 felony cases. Nearly 2,800 cases were processed.

This decline matches statewide trends in the early stages of the pandemic. In the first 10 months of the pandemic, case filings fell by nearly a quarter and decisions by a third, according to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

But as deposits have fallen over the past two years, the severity of cases may have increased. The percentage of homicide cases in Snohomish County has increased each year of the pandemic, state data shows.

“The cases didn’t stop, but the resolutions did,” Cornell said, likening the problem to a “tsunami.”

In the special assault unit that deals with sexual offenses and crimes against children, the cases filed now and before the pandemic are roughly the same, Cornell said. But guilty pleas have dropped by half, forcing more cases to go to trial. When people didn’t have to worry about being convicted at trial and weren’t in detention as prison populations plummeted, they had less incentive to solve their cases, he said.

And defendants in nonviolent cases opt for alternatives, like drug court or diversion programs, much less often, Cornell said. He attributed this to those charged with crimes spending significantly less time in court due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Instead, these cases just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on,” the prosecutor said. “And they just aren’t resolved.”

Kyle, the public defender, attributed this to a lack of resources for these alternatives.

“No one was happy”

While the district attorney’s office says it used money from the county budget to hire more prosecutors, the caseload remains high.

Local prosecutors dealing with non-violent charges, like property crimes, sometimes juggle between 90 and 100 cases at any given time, Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Baldock said. For those pursuing violent cases, that number is lower. But in some cases, even those numbers soar into the 60s or 70s at a time. It’s too much, said Baldock.

Some public defenders have more than 80 open felony cases on their plates, Kyle noted.

“If you juggle 100 things, you hit those 100 cases fewer times than if you juggle 50 things,” she said.

Meanwhile, cases are becoming increasingly complex in the digital age, further clogging Snohomish County’s court system. For example, in 2017, Kyle’s office had seven terabytes of digital storage for surveillance footage, cellphone data, and other evidence. It was up to 31 terabytes last year.

The Superior Court should soon have more capacity to process cases. State lawmakers unanimously approved funding this year for two more Superior Court justices to help resolve pending cases. This will bring the county’s total to 17.

In Thompson’s case, she is not in custody awaiting trial, but the other defendants do not have the same luxury.

Alex Valdovinos, for example, has been held in Snohomish County Jail since March 2020 on $200,000 bond after prosecutors charged him with a shooting in Lynnwood that killed a 36-year-old man. His trial is scheduled for October, more than 30 months after his arrest.

Prosecutors fear that the longer the charges drag on, the weaker their case will be. Years after a crime, the memories of witnesses can flicker, for example.

“A criminal case is not like fine wine,” Cornell said. “It doesn’t get better with age.”

Meanwhile, Kyle argued that “the longer people are engaged in the system, the worse their outcomes are.”

At this point, Judge Appel thinks the local justice system can make progress.

Since February, 520 cases have been filed in Superior Court, Deputy Court Administrator Brittany Romero said in an email. Nearly 600 have been resolved, slightly exceeding the repositories.

“So that’s good,” Appel said.

Now Thompson, 65, is due to stand trial in December, more than two years after charges were brought against her. Baldock typically tells victims’ families that violent cases should take about a year to complete.

Defense attorney Caroline Mann said the delays were frustrating for everyone.

“No one was happy”

Rue Jake Goldstein: 425 339-3439; [email protected]; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Memorial Day marked with wreaths, speeches – and a mass surf honoring fallen warriors

On a memorial day when somber ceremonies took place at Bay Area cemeteries and former military bases, a very different tribute unfolded at a coastal beach near Santa Cruz.

In the bright morning sun at Capitola, James Gmachowski and three dozen other members of the Veteran Surf Alliance zipped up their wetsuits and peered out at the freezing turquoise ocean. They hit the water just as a helicopter hovered overhead towing a gigantic American flag.

“It’s time – let’s go!” yelled a surfer during a brief lull in the waves. “Paddle, paddle, paddle!”

Monday marked the fourth time that Gmachowski, a 35-year-old who served a decade in the military, joined other veterans from the Bay Area, Central Coast and Central Valley for a surf of the Memorial Day. They remember friends who didn’t come home scattering flowers at sea.

It was one of many events held in and around the Bay Area to mark the annual holiday, from a wreath ceremony aboard an aircraft carrier in Alameda to a program at the Presidio in San Francisco and remarks at the cemetery in San Jose by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panette.

Gmachowski is no stranger to the toll of the war. Before paddling out on Monday, he read the names of 14 soldiers from his infantry division who were killed while deployed in Iraq from 2006 to 2007. He still remembers details like how one One of these friends always told other soldiers to “heal themselves,” taking care of their physical and mental health away from the trauma of the front lines.

A similar philosophy is at the heart of the Veteran Surf Alliance, a 150-member volunteer-run group founded by Santa Cruz Army veteran Sean Meyer in 2018 that uses surfing to ease the transition to civilian life. Members regularly host group surfs, barbecues and camping trips around the Central Coast and Bay Area.

Dan Redmon, a Marine Corps veteran who grew up surfing the East Coast and is now the Aptos-based alliance president, cites preliminary research that has shown a reduction in PTSD symptoms in veterans who experience a “state of flux” when in the water. . The stress of an unpredictable natural environment, he said, becomes a unifying experience for people all looking to build a new life outside of the military.

“A lot of veterans come out, and they have PTSD, they have stress, they have anxiety, they feel isolated,” Redmon said. “Other people can kind of guide you through navigating what to do in the world, how to find a job, how to live.”

On Monday, about 100 veterans, volunteers and their family members gathered at Capitola with brightly colored surfboards, American flag cowboy hats and all sorts of camouflage paraphernalia for the paddle-out and lunch hosted by the Veteran Surf Alliance. Before entering, local dance instructor and hula school owner Lorraine Kinnamon presented a wreath of yellow flowers to remember the dead and vibrant red roses to honor the veterans still there.

“The fact that they’re taking these youngsters out in the water,” Kinnamon said, “I can’t think of anything more healing.”

Healing took different forms in other parts of the region.

In the Presidio of San Francisco, where 26,000 graves had small flags placed on them by volunteers, speakers honoring veterans included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Alex Padilla. Across Alameda Bay, about 150 people gathered on the USS Hornet to hear from service members who served on the carrier in World War II.

In San Jose, Panetta highlighted the global implications of a new “generation of warriors” defending Ukraine’s sovereignty after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s February invasion.

“This is a pivotal moment in our history,” Panetta told about 200 people gathered at Oakhill Memorial Park, where hundreds of small flags lined the graves of veterans. “In many ways, everything we fought for and died for is at stake in this war: the freedom of people to decide how they will be governed.”

Among those gathered at Oakhill was former Navy foreman Adam Martinez, 44, who drove his 1960 Buick LeSabre to the ceremony. He and other members of the Rod & Wheelers Car Club of San Jose lined the street with their vintage pickups, hot rods and roadsters dating back to the 1920s.

Martinez grew up in a strong military family — his aunts and uncles served in World War II and his father in the Korean War — so Memorial Day has always had a special meaning. This year, he has also felt the brunt of recent tragedies closer to home: deadly mass shootings in Southern California, Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas.

“It’s important that people come together today in these times to remember those American citizens who were victims of violence, not just war,” Martinez said. “It seems like we have our own personal war on gun violence.”

Back on Capitola Beach, while long-weekend tourists rolled around in their coolers and kicked off beach volleyball matches, Gmachowski returned to shore to change boards.

Being in the water helps him focus on new priorities, like his four kids and a career change to pursue psychology work with veterans — and to make the most of the time others he has. knew weren’t lucky enough to get.

“They wouldn’t want us moping around,” Gmachowski said. “We are here for a reason.”

Lauren Hepler and Lauren Hernández are the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected], [email protected] Twitter: @LAHepler, @ByLHernandez

BeReal is the latest trendy social media app trying to go mainstream


Be Real | Jessica Bursztynski

Popular social media apps come and go with frequency, as developers try to find the next big thing that will go viral with Gen Z users. Snapchat. Among the newbies that are gaining popularity and aiming to go mainstream is photo-sharing app BeReal.

Founded in 2020, BeReal invites users to take one unedited photo per day at a seemingly random time. The notification could arrive at 8 p.m. today and 11:48 a.m. tomorrow. Users then have two minutes to take and post a photo before it is marked as late.

After sharing, they can see what their friends have posted for the day and can comment or react with an emoji. If an image appears late, the application will note it for your friends, but you will not have any other penalties. The app uses both the front and rear camera to give users a candid view of what is happening at the moment.

“It’s silly but I feel like it serves a different purpose than Instagram or Snapchat,” Emily, a user of the app for about two months, told CNBC on the condition that we only use not his last name. “I have friends that I don’t communicate with on a regular basis, but I appreciate having a little window into what they do once a day, even if it’s just sitting at their computer or taking a walk.”

BeReal, which is based in France, hit the top 20 on Apple’s App Store’s list of best free apps this month, and finished fourth in social media, behind only Facebook’s top three apps. .

BeReal has around 10.7 million global installs to date, according to SensorTower. Its peak month came in April, when it hit 3.6 million, up 157% from March, the firm said. BeReal runs a middle and high school ambassador program, which is likely helping its user growth.

The app is free and there are no ads at this time, so the monetization strategy remains unclear, as is often the case with fledgling social media apps. Still, investors like what they see enough to pour cash at a valuation of more than $600 million, Business Insider reported earlier this month.

A spokesperson for BeReal declined to comment for this story in addition to sharing a general backgrounder on the app.

I downloaded BeReal to see what it was all about and to share my experience. The app only has three tabs, so it was easy to navigate right from the start. There’s a place to add friends, a general homepage with your friends’ photos and a discovery option and your profile page.

Your profile hosts your photo library

Be Real | Jessica Bursztynski

After downloading BeReal and choosing a username, the app prompted me to take a photo. It gave me two minutes so I had little time to think about my surroundings or what I wanted to do. I took a picture, backed up a bit and continued. It was basically a crash course in using the app. I then went to my profile to upload a profile picture.

The profile page hosts a calendar with my photos from the past month, so it’s a good way to look back on my daily activity.

It’s a social experiment

Jessica Bursztynsky | Be real

After creating my profile, I went to add friends. As you can see, few of my friends are on BeReal. The app is meant to be a social experience so your friends can see you at a random and candid time. You can upload your phone’s contact list to find friends, which I didn’t want to do for privacy reasons, or search for them by username.

You can only see your friends’ posts if you share yours that day, so there’s no hiding on the app. There’s also the option to comment on other people’s posts or react with a “RealMoji”, a selfie of you mimicking an emoji face.

You can still discover new people

Jessica Bursztynsky | Be real

If you want to see what others are doing around the world, you can tap on the “discover” tab on the homepage. I scrolled and saw people from places like Ireland, Turkey and Pennsylvania.

I’m not particularly interested in this feature, as I just prefer seeing photos of friends and sharing a bit of what I’m up to. If you’re worried about who can see your messages, BeReal makes accounts private by default so they’re only visible to your friends.

Because it looks less serious than most other social apps, I don’t feel the need to broadcast my messages to strangers around the world.

At the end of the line

For all its sudden popularity, I found the BeReal experience quite limited. I’ve been using the app for less than two weeks and haven’t benefited much from it as my group of friends seem more interested in Instagram and our group chats.

The app also looks quite glitchy. There was one day when I didn’t receive a notification, which I attributed to accidentally missing it. I posted my picture 22 hours late. But it happened again a few days later. I was with a friend who is on the app and his message never arrived either. We both ended up posting two hours late.

Some of the issues are forgivable considering how quickly the product developed. But they still interfere with a good user experience.

I still use the app and do my daily photo, but I can’t imagine I’ll be there much longer. I like to randomly send images in group chats, so I’m happy with this option.

However, I know BeReal has its fanatics and the platform offers a new way to stay connected. It’s not a bad concept – it’s just not for me.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Russian commander in Kherson bans Ukrainians from fleeing to pro-Kyiv regions

Russian forces have further intensified their bombardment of the last Ukrainian strongholds in the eastern Luhansk region, making their biggest gains in weeks and closing in on capturing the key towns of Syeveyerodonetsk and Lysyshansk.

In the face of Russia’s all-out assault on the Donbass, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on May 27 that he must hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to safeguard Ukraine’s sovereignty and existence.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how Kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Serhiy Hayday, the governor of the Luhansk region, said Ukrainian forces were engaged in a “fierce defence” of Syevyerodonetsk, which is two-thirds surrounded by Russian forces.

“Very powerful” shelling destroyed 90% of the city’s housing, Hayday added, also citing information he received from the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Stryuk.

Stryuk said earlier that at least 1,500 people had been killed in his town since the Russian invasion began in late February. About 12,000 to 13,000 remain in the city, down from a pre-war population of around 100,000, he said.

On May 27, Moscow-backed separatists also claimed full control of the important battlefield town of Lyman, some 60 kilometers west of Syevyerodonetsk, but Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied that the main railway junction fell, saying in a statement that its forces continue to counter the Russians are trying to invade it.

Lyman has been a frontline target as Russian forces push from the north, one of three directions from which they attacked Ukraine’s industrial Donbass region.

In its daily intelligence bulletin, the British Ministry of Defense said that while Russian ground forces continue to pressure the Syeyverodonetsk pocket with some success, Moscow appears to have moved old T-62 tanks in recent days. 50 years of deep storage to the theater of operations in the Donbass.

The report said the move proves Russia’s shortage of modern, combat-ready equipment. Additionally, “T-62s will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable to anti-tank weapons and their presence on the battlefield”, British intelligence said.

Zelenskiy, in a May 27 speech to an Indonesian think tank, said it would probably be necessary to talk to Putin to end the war.

“What do we want from this meeting?… We want our lives back… We want the life of a sovereign country back on its own territory,” he said, adding that Russia did not seem still ready for serious peace talks.

In response, the Kremlin blamed Kyiv on May 27 for a lack of clarity.

“The Ukrainian leadership constantly makes contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters.

Zelenskiy also accused Russia – which has said it will allow Ukraine to resume grain exports by sea if the West lifts some sanctions imposed on it for starting the war – of weaponizing the global crisis. of the food supply.

Zelenskiy has become increasingly critical of the West in recent days as the European Union slowly moves towards a possible Russian oil embargo while Ukraine’s military situation becomes increasingly difficult to ballast.

The embargo requires unanimity among the 27 members of the bloc, but Hungary opposes it, arguing that its economy would be seriously affected.

Zelenskiy blasted the lack of agreement within the EU. “How many more weeks will the European Union try to agree on a sixth package? He asked.

In Geneva, the human rights office (OHCHR) said in a May 27 statement that more than 4,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, although the actual number is probably much higher.

A total of 4,031 people were killed, including nearly 200 children, according to the OHCHR, which has dozens of observers in the country. Most were killed by high impact explosive weapons such as heavy artillery bombardment or airstrikes.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in the conflict.

Also on May 27, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that more than 6.6 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighboring countries and 2.9 million have gone to other European countries.

“According to the latest data we have … 2.9 million refugees have moved beyond Ukraine’s neighboring countries,” UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said during a briefing. briefing in Geneva.

The UNHCR said the largest number of Ukrainian refugees in non-neighboring countries were in Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy.

“They often arrive in a state of distress and anxiety, having left family members behind, with no clear plan for where to go, and with fewer economic resources and connections than those who fled earlier.”

Prior to the February 24 invasion, Ukraine had a population of 37 million in areas under Kyiv control, excluding Russia- annexed Crimea and areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists in the east .

With reporting from Reuters, AP, AFP, CNN and BBC

Brooke Teacher of Year, others recognized by the board | News, Sports, Jobs


A WINNING COMBINATION – Tom Bane, far right, Brooke County Teacher of the Year, was recognized along with members of the Brooke High School chapter of SKILLS USA for their outstanding performance in the West Virginia SKILLS USA competition. Along with Bane, far left, who was named State Councilor of the Year, are, left to right, Autumn Beatty co-counsellor Thomas Olenick, who won a bronze medal; Izabella Jordan and Alexis Woodling, who won gold medals and will compete in the national competition in June.

WELLSBURG — A Brooke High School teacher who applied his private sector work experience to help students prepare for the job market was among several staff and students recognized by the Brooke County School Board on Monday .

It was a good year for Thomas Bane, who was named Brooke County Schools Teacher of the Year and West Virginia SKILLS USA Advisor of the Year.

Bane, who teaches high school engineering, had worked as a computer programmer and financial analyst, among other things, in South Florida when he was attracted by a classified ad for a job teaching at a private school.

The Burgettstown native recalled learning math with Marge Cowden, a fourth-grade teacher at the old Eldersville Elementary School, and being able to help his classmates with their work.

“Thanks to his influence, I became an engineer and a teacher”, said Bane, now in his 23rd year of teaching.

After teaching in private school, he was able to use his workforce experience and graduate credits from Marshall University to secure career technical educator positions first in the county of Mingo, W.Va., and later Brooke High School, where he was employed for five years.

Since coming to school, he has served as an advisor for the school’s chapter of SKILLS USA, a national organization that encourages students to develop personal and professional skills that will serve them well in their future careers.

Under Bane and co-counsellor Autumn Beatty, the chapter became the first in West Virginia to be named a model of excellence by the national organization.

He said the honor is the result of the hard work of past and present students in the chapter.

Bane noted that about five members, mostly in the engineering program, worked to recruit others, bringing the club’s membership to 40 students enrolled in nine high school career preparation programs.

Members have participated in a variety of competitions at the regional, state and national levels.

At the SKILLS USA State Conference held at Fairmont State University in March, gold medals were won by Alexis Woodling, for his knowledge of first aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and Kyrsten Myers, for his knowledge of early childhood education.

The school’s other state winners were: Thomas Olenick, who won a bronze medal for technical drawing; and Izabella Jordan, who won a silver medal for medical terminology.

The categories reflect the wide range of vocational skills acquired by students in the group, which are incorporated into the school’s vocational technical training program.

But Bane said participating in this program also teaches students about leadership, teamwork and community service.

He said the Brooke SKILLS USA chapter ranks among the top eight in the nation for leadership training activities. He added that at a time when the pandemic limited most students’ school participation in virtual home schooling, members collected approximately 1,000 canned goods and toiletries for Urban Mission Ministries in Steubenville and partnered to the school’s Technology Students of America chapter to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway Program.

Bane said that as a teacher and counselor, he sees his role as a guide to help students master their skills and pursue their goals as a group.

“They make the decisions. My job is to help them along the way,” he said, adding “It’s all the kids. It’s my job to be their cheerleader.

Bane said he was honored to be named County Teacher of the Year by colleagues at Brooke High School, which he said has many dedicated and caring teachers.

Superintendent Jeffrey Crook and the school board also recognized Theresa “JT” Taylor, attending Brooke Primary North, as the District Service Staff of the Year.

The honor goes to staff who support school operations as secretaries, nurses, bus drivers and other non-teaching positions.

Jo-Ellen Connolly, principal of the school, said Taylor had shown a high level of care for the special needs students she had worked with at the school since 2013.

“She loves it so much. She is so passionate about children that she attends West Liberty University to get a degree in special education,” said Connolly.

“I would like to be a special education teacher” confirmed Taylor, who also worked as a substitute for the school district.

She said she became interested in working with students with special needs in her youth through a nanny who had worked with them.

The board also recognized Lorelei Costlow, an eighth-grader at Brooke Middle School who placed first regionally at the West Virginia Social Studies Fair and third among hundreds of students competing at the the state.

Ryan Garbin, his teacher, said Costlow and other middle school students were asked to give a lecture and visual presentation, as individuals or as a team, on any social studies topic and were asked to document their resources. .

He said there was a wide range of topics, from the Black Death, which was discussed by Costlow, to the history of women’s football, which was covered by fellow Brooke Middle students Andrea Bolen and Ivy Myers. , who also participated in the regional event, which involved schools throughout the north of the enclave.

Costlow included in his presentation a map mapping the many areas affected by the plague and a leather mask worn by doctors with a distinctive bird-shaped beak that contained herbs meant to filter infected air.

School officials also noted that Brooke Middle School was named a Distinguished Gateway School by Project Lead the Way, a national non-profit organization that provides a curriculum for schools designed to encourage students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Lead the Way project units include Automation and Robots, Building Computer Applications, Energy and Environment, Flight and Space, Green Architecture, and Medical Detectives.

Brooke Middle is one of 134 schools across the United States to receive this honor because it offers at least one unit for grades 6-8, over 50% of their students have participated in a unit during the 2020-21 school year, and at least 25 percent of their students have participated in two units.

The school’s participation in the program is coordinated by faculty members Keith Huntzinger, Amy Ludewig, Julie Dennis and Kim Nielsen.

Ludewig said, “We are very happy with this honour. We have worked with the county school board office to ensure that our students are offered a wide range of electives that will connect to building a strong foundation for high school, college, and careers.

In other business, the board accepted a $125,932 bid from Lauttamus Communications and Security to replace the electronic key entry system for all county schools. Steve Mitchell, the district’s building and grounds supervisor, said the current system will become obsolete.

The council also accepted an offer of $326,860 from Combustion Services and Equipment Co. to update the district’s computer-managed heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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Upcoming improvement at Texas Tech Memorial Circle, university says

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Texas Tech University is looking to continue honoring a legacy of dedicated military personnel with an expansion to Memorial Circle: a walk in honor of Texas Tech military and veterans.

The boardwalk will be located on the adjacent grassy area outside the east side of the Pfluger Fountain, between the two Medal of Honor monuments dedicated in 2018. The area will be surrounded by a brick walkway dedicated to all members of service who attended Texas Tech. As the first Purple Heart University in Texas, the feature will also include a gateway plaque honoring Texas Tech Purple Heart recipients or those wounded or killed in action.

The University says the new feature will integrate with existing Memorial Circle Medal of Honor monuments, retaining the full view of the Pfluger Fountain.

“During war and peace, the Red Raiders have served the nation with honor and distinction,” said Col. Lou Ortiz, USAF, Texas Tech Military & Veterans Alumni Network Board Member. “Many gave their lives and it’s important for us to always remember who they were, what they did, the values ​​they lived, and their service and sacrifice.”

Any Texas Tech alumni or affiliate who served in the military may be depicted on a purchased brick, paver or bench in the designated area. Non-military and the public can also sponsor a Texas Tech military or veteran, but all represented in the catwalk will be alumni or Texas Tech military and veteran affiliates.

The improvement comes as Texas Tech nears its centennial in 2023.

Memorial Circle, located near the main campus entrance, was established in 1948 to honor “All those whose service has brought honor to the college and the country.”

“The construction of the Military and Veteran Tribute Walk is versatile,” said Sierra Mello-Miles, director of military and veteran programs at Texas Tech. “It’s a great way for the Texas Tech community to remember that during the 1940s, pre-flight military training here at Tech was essential in establishing the strong military culture that still exists today. The Tribute Walk is a visual reminder that Texas Tech honors the sacrifices of those who have served and still serve in the armed forces.

To recognize a service member, a brick, cobblestone or bench can be purchased by visiting www.texastechalumni.org/VeteransTributeWalk.

Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Payday lenders want to offer larger loans. Critics say it is “designed to trap” low-income families. | Legislature

Is a $1,500 loan worth it if it costs you $1,500 more in interest and fees?

This is what payday lenders would be allowed to charge cash-strapped consumers in Louisiana if Gov. John Bel Edwards allowed it Senate Bill 381 become law.

The legislation would allow lenders to offer installment loans worth up to $1,500 over terms of three to 12 months, with an annual interest rate of up to 36% and monthly “maintenance fees” of up to reach 13% of the original loan amount. Loans over $400 may also incur a $50 underwriting fee.

The proposal, which has passed through the Legislature and is now on Edwards’ desk, would cap finance charges at 100% of the original loan amount, meaning lenders could charge up to $1,500 in fees on a loan of $1,500, for a total repayment of $3,000.

SB381 sponsor State Sen. Rick Ward, a Republican from Port Allen, dubbed the measure the “Louisiana Access to Credit Lending Act” and says the new loan product will help residents. from Louisiana living on paycheck to make ends meet in the face of surprisingly large expenses.

But critics say it’s a predatory product and that allowing payday lenders to make larger, longer-term loans with exorbitant fees will trap low-income Louisiana residents in cycles of debt.

“This harmful bill targets working Louisiana families who don’t deserve their scarce wealth stripped away by a machine designed to entrap them,” said Davante Lewis of the Louisiana Budget Project, which advocates for low-to-moderate income residents. “The governor should immediately veto this bill.”

The state’s current payday loan system allows lenders to offer a loan of up to $350, due on the borrower’s next payday. The maximum a payday lender can make per loan is $55. Ward’s proposal does not replace or reform this system. Instead, it creates a new product.

Lenders offering the new product described in SB381 would make most of their money from a monthly “maintenance fee” worth up to 13% of the original loan amount.

For a loan of $1,500, these costs would amount to $195 per month.

Alex Horowitz, consumer credit researcher at The Pew Charitable Trusts, said he had never seen such large charges.

“We find that the bill would expose consumers in Louisiana to financial harm, rather than create an affordable loan market like those seen in states that have successfully reformed their payday loan laws,” Horowitz written in a letter both Ward and Edwards.

Kenneth Pickering, who twice served as Louisiana’s top banking regulator, said he had no idea what the monthly maintenance fee even covered.

“Once a loan is on the books, there’s nothing to maintain,” he said, adding that the charges were “nothing but interest.”

Pickering, who represents the Louisiana Finance Association, an organization of more than 600 state-based lenders, told lawmakers, “These charges make this bill, in my view, a violation of our usury laws. in Louisiana”.

“The good alternative”

Ward says the new loan product is needed for Louisiana residents who can’t get a similar-sized loan elsewhere.

“As soon as someone comes up with an alternative, and I don’t mean an alternative that’s just a pie in the sky, but a viable alternative, I’ll be there to support it, but I haven’t got it yet. view,” Ward told his colleagues. “In the meantime, I think that’s the best we have to offer.”

But Stanley Dameron, whom Edwards appointed commissioner of the Office of Financial Institutions, told lawmakers there were plenty of alternatives.

“Some of the people applying for these loans might not qualify with your bank, but they certainly would qualify with a credit union or finance company,” Dameron said.

Get Louisiana policy details once a week from us. Register today.

Jessica Sharon of Pelican State Credit Union told lawmakers it’s a “myth” that there aren’t similar loan options available to people in financial difficulty. She noted that credit unions were explicitly created to help people of modest means.

“Our goal is to help people who are struggling with their finances, who have low incomes, low credit scores,” Sharon told lawmakers. “Not only are we against (SB381), but we know we are the right alternative.”

There are 165 credit unions in Louisiana and 133 specifically serve low-income populations, Sharon said, adding that many already offer installment loans, without having to charge a 13% monthly maintenance fee.

Ward argues the legislation would help those whose financial history has prevented them from opening a bank account. But Horowitz, with Pew, said payday loan borrowers are required to have a checking account somewhere.

“It’s not the unbanked,” Horowitz said. “They must have a checking account to get a payday loan.”

Horowitz noted that seven of the nation’s 12 largest banks have launched, or recently announced, programs to provide small-dollar loans to customers.

Local vs National

The Backing Ward proposition is a pair of out-of-state companies that together own dozens of Check Into Cash and ACE Cash Express locations across the state.

But not all payday lenders agree with the bill.

Troy McCullen of the Louisiana Cash Advance Association, which represents Louisiana-based payday lenders, said the new product was unnecessary.

“These loans are already available in Louisiana at a fraction of the cost,” McCullen said. “It’s greed and arrogance at the highest level.”

McCullen made similar comments four years ago, when Ward sponsored a different measure to allow payday lenders to offer longer-term installment loans. This measure failed to pass a House committee.

Pickering, with the Louisiana Finance Association, said another problem with SB381 is that it only gives borrowers one day to cancel the loan. He said it’s “a very short amount of time for anyone to reconsider”.

He also noted that the 100% cap on fees and interest does not include late fees or insufficient funds charges.

SB381 supporters include Community Choice Financial, an Ohio-based company that owns Check Into Cash, and Populus Financial Group, a Texas-based company that owns ACE Cash Express.

Finance America Business Group, a Louisiana-based company that owns the Cash 2 U storefronts, also supports the measure, as well as the Louisiana Payday Loan Association, which represents local lenders.

The bill rolled out of the Senate in April by a vote of 20 to 14, just enough to pass. State Sen. Gary Smith, whose wife, Katherine Smith, is a registered lobbyist for Community Choice Financial, was the only Democrat in that initial vote to support the measure.

“She never told me about it,” Sen. Smith said in an interview, adding that payday lenders are “the only place some people have to go to get a loan. They can’t go to a bank. They can’t go to a credit union.”

The measure passed the House by a vote of 54 to 35 in May.

The Legislature sent the bill to Edwards’ office on May 19. Under Louisiana’s constitution, the governor has 10 days after receiving a bill to sign it, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

Kinetix Group and White Swan Announce Global Partnership to Accelerate Identification of Underrecognized Diseases Through Social Listening


NEW YORK, May 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Kinetix Group (TKG) and White Swan have announced a global collaborative partnership to accelerate the early identification of common and underrecognized diseases and help alleviate the disease burden caused by delayed treatment.

The collaboration aims to improve quality of life by shortening the time it takes to correctly identify conditions and leveraging the voice of patients at risk of coming up against the “four walls” of healthcare through social listening and communication. ‘artificial intelligence.

“Partnering with White Swan gives our collective organizations the opportunity to change the conversation about how people define their healthcare journeys. It also allows us to influence and guide how adjacent healthcare actors identify, engage and activate around this unique information,” said Mindy OlivarezVice President of Innovation at TKG.

“We are excited to partner with TKG to amplify patient-centric insights, identify needs, and create improved patient journeys through our technology and analytics and TKG’s evidence-based solutions. This fits perfectly with our charitable mission,” added Miranda MapletonManaging Director of White Swan.

Although not exhaustive, initial focus areas will include:

  • Health mapping linked to patient preferences and patient diagnostic journeys
  • Training and education around pockets of rare diseases in the United States and around the world
  • Multi-stakeholder collaborations for unmet needs identified by social listening information

Both organizations are committed to exploring ways in which data can eliminate bias and improve healthcare delivery.

For more information on the partnership, please contact Mindy OlivarezVice President of Innovation at The Kinetix Group, at [email protected] Where Beth FordhamDirector of Operations at White Swan, [email protected].

The Kinetix Group

TKG enables life sciences companies to effectively engage with the healthcare system and paying customers by developing actionable strategies and solutions to reach the right patient, at the right time, with the right care. TKG also works directly with healthcare systems and payers to create and implement value-based delivery models for identified patient populations. To learn more, visit www.thekinetixgroup.com.

white swan

White Swan is a registered charity with a mission to improve health and well-being through artificial intelligence, technology and analytics. The organization leverages proprietary technology, algorithms, and cutting-edge data science capabilities to create tools and insights that enhance its holistic understanding of how to help patients and their physicians.

SOURCE The Kinetix Group

Kashmir separatist Yasin Malik sentenced to life in prison

Patiala: A special court in Delhi today sentenced Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik to life in prison. The National Investigation Agency had requested the maximum sentence of execution, while the defense had requested life in prison. “Two people were sentenced to life and five others were sentenced to ten years in prison. All sentences must be carried out at the same time. A monetary penalty of more than ten lakh rupees has also been issued,” said Umesh Sharma, a lawyer. . For various cases, various prison sentences and sentences were handed down. Yasin Malik now has the option of taking his case to the High Court.

Malik had previously pleaded guilty to all counts in a terrorist financing case, including those under the strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The degree of punishment in the case was decided by a special NIA tribunal in Delhi.

During the trial, Malik claimed that if he was a criminal, why would the Indian government, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, issue him a passport and allow him to travel and speak anywhere in the world?

Malik also said he has been following Mahatma Gandhi’s principles since he gave up arms in 1994. “Since then, I have been doing non-violent politics in Kashmir,” he said.

He even challenged Indian intelligence agencies to clarify whether he had been involved in terrorist activities or acts of violence in the past 28 years. “I will retire from politics and also from my hanging,” he added.

DVIDS – News – General Townsend visits East Africa and Angola to advance mutual security interests

U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, accompanied by the Command’s Senior Chief, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Major Richard Thresher, completed a trip to several countries in the East Africa region and Angola, May 11-20.

During his travels, he visited civilian and military leaders in Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda and Angola. The trip provided U.S. Africa Command leaders the opportunity to meet with civilian and military leaders from each country to emphasize the importance of partnership in addressing regional threats and achieving shared security goals.

The first leg of the trip was in Hargeisa, Somaliland, where Townsend and U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Larry E. André, Jr. Hearne met with Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland to discuss an expanded and enriched partnership.

Townsend also traveled to Berbera and Moghadishu, where he met with Somali Defense Force Chief Brig. General Odawa Yusuf Rage and the Force Commander of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya. Townsend also conducted a routine battlefield circulation and reconnaissance of joint service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

In Djibouti, Townsend presided over the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) change of command ceremony in which Maj. Gen. Bill Zana handed over responsibility to Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley.

“I came to Djibouti, the only permanent American base in Africa, to hand over command of CJTF-Horn of Africa from one great leader to another,” Townsend said. “Stability and security in East Africa is an important national security interest of the United States and no one has been more dedicated to it than Major General Bill Zana. The leadership of Bill at CJTF-HOA has been instrumental in achieving U.S. objectives in East Africa and maintaining our superb long-term relationships with our Djiboutian partners.I am optimistic for the future as Major- General Jami Shawley assumes command of the CJTF-HOA. I know she will continue our mission to keep pressure on terrorists and other malign actors in this region and will continue to engage with our African and international partners who are so critical to our collective success.

In Kenya, Townsend and U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Kenya Eric W. Kneedler met with Kenyan President Uruhu Kenyatta to discuss mutual security concerns and express their gratitude to Kenya for its continued security leadership and collaboration. regional. Townsend and Kneedler also participated in a pass and review at Kenya Defense Force Headquarters.

Townsend then traveled to Angola where he accompanied US Ambassador to Angola Tulinabo S. Mushingi in a meeting with Angolan President João Lourenço. It was the first trip for Townsend to Angola, which signed an agreement five years ago with the United States to deepen defense cooperation. During his visit, the leaders’ conversations focused on mutual security concerns, and Townsend welcomed the opportunity to find additional ways to strengthen relations with Angola.

The final leg of Townsend’s trip was to Rwanda, where he and US Charge d’Affaires in Rwanda Deb MacLean met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Townsend expressed appreciation for Rwanda’s longstanding partnership with the United States, including longstanding cooperation with the Rwanda-Nebraska National Guard State Partnership Program, as a demonstration of the Rwanda’s vision for a stable, secure and prosperous Africa.

Date taken: 23.05.2022
Date posted: 25.05.2022 03:58
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News18 explains | Debate around gun laws in the United States and who oppose gun control measures

As US President Joe Biden took to the podium in the White House briefing room and addressed the nation following the Uvalde school shooting in Texas, he urged citizens to ” stand up against the “powerful pro-gun lobby.

The US President said it was time to act.

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the gun laws of the right, conservative and far right of the American political establishment are a fundamental right enshrined in the second amendment of the American constitution.

Although the interpretation may be disputed, over the past decade conservative leaders, primarily in the Republican Party, have made it easier to buy and carry guns and rifles through legislation that even allows the “carrying without a licence” of firearms. Gun control activists say more people with concealed firearms in public places can endanger the safety of cops and communities.

The debate is this: anti-gun activists say introducing background checks and other rules can reduce gun violence and deaths (some stop short of calling for the banning guns because it could hurt electoral chances) while pro-gun activists say any such attempt is an attack on the Second Amendment.

Pro-gun activists are calling for looser gun laws in a bid to reinvigorate the far-right, especially ahead of the November election.

They also aren’t fighting for criminal background or mental illness checks, as they believe it’s a “time-consuming step for people who want to arm themselves to protect themselves,” according to a PewTrusts report. .

The Multimillionaire NRA

The most powerful pro-gun lobby is the National Rifles Association or the NRA. With its own political action committee and an annual budget of $250 million, it is the largest gun advocacy group in the United States. There are other advocacy groups, but none spend like the NRA – $3 million a year to influence gun policy.

The NRA also has a rating system for politicians – ranking them based on their perceived sympathy for gun rights on an A to F scale.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, late actor Charlton Heston and even former US President George HW Bush have been members of the NRA.

There are other gun lobbies, but none are as powerful as the NRA as they have the ability to change the outcome of the polls due to their proximity to Republican politicians and lawmakers.

A 2017 Pew Research Center report indicates that of all gun owners in the United States, 19% are members of the NRA. The majority of gun owners (61%) are Republican or lean toward the Republican party, while 77% of NRA members who own guns are Republican or somewhat Republican.

“Gun owners who say they belong to the NRA tend to own more guns, on average, than gun owners who don’t belong to the NRA,” the study says. from Pew, pointing out that some of these NRA members have more than four guns. .


More guns than people

According to a survey by a Swiss-based independent global research project, half of all privately owned firearms worldwide, for non-military purposes, are in the United States. The survey – Smalls Arms Survey – revealed that the number of firearms exceeds the total population of the United States – 393 million firearms for 328 million people.

However, lawmakers have not been persuaded to lower their stance on the issue despite these statistics. In 2021, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and Utah and 16 other states no longer require residents to hold a license to carry a concealed firearm under ” constitutional support”.

For example, the bill introduced by Wisconsin would prohibit local governments from banning guns on public transportation.

These measures do not reflect the wishes and feelings of the American public whose attitudes toward firearms are changing in the wake of an increase in violent crime using firearms.

Another Pew research report in 2021 found that half of Americans (48%) view gun violence as a very big problem. More than 80% of adult men in the black community say gun violence is a very big problem for the community – the statistic was higher than that of Hispanic and white men. While gun ownership is common among men who live in rural America and are white, the number of men (all ethnicities) who own guns in urban spaces is half of that number – 41% in rural areas compared to 20% in suburban areas.

(with contributions from Statista, Pew Research Center, PewTrusts and the BBC)

Read all the latest IPL 2022 news, breaking news and live updates here.

2 influencers share the benefits of taking a social media break


Do you ever turn to your phone when you’re depressed, anxious, or lonely, only to find that a few minutes of scrolling only makes things worse?

Does posting to your feed ever feel obligatory rather than joyous?

Recently, Healthline and several celebrities and influencers collaborated on a social media detox to explore the mental health benefits of taking a break from social media.

Here, Colton Underwood and Kelly Uchima share their experience unplugging from their streams and getting a much-needed break to watch the world through a 6-inch screen.

Colton Underwood is a former football player who found reality TV fame on “The Bachelor” and the Netflix series “Coming Out Colton.”

Underwood came out as gay in 2021, surprising fans by publicly sharing his story and embracing who he is. He grew up Catholic and struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, which he had been aware of since high school, he said in an interview.

After experiencing self-hatred, suicidal thoughts, and praying to be “cured” of his sexuality, Underwood finally found self-acceptance.

What detox was like

Asked about information gathered while attending Healthline’s social media detox, Underwood talks about being present.

“It’s so nice to be 100% present and in the moment,” he says. “I wasn’t afraid to take a picture or share my experience…I have to live it.”

Although the benefits are obvious, Underwood says the habit was hard to break at first, especially in the first few hours.

“I found myself browsing [my phone] in the reckless search for social applications,” he says. “It’s crazy how muscle memory works!”

Make new habits

After getting used to the change, Underwood says he felt an occasional twinge of FOMO (fear of missing out) but an overall sense of relief and calm.

“I spent my time going for walks, working out, cleaning the house and calling my family,” he says. “I loved my break.”

When asked if he would make social media breaks a regular thing, Underwood was enthusiastic.

“I think I’ll start doing it every Friday,” he says. “What a great way to reset and recalibrate in a very different way.”

Kelly Uchima (aka Kelly U) is a content creator who shares her experiences with eating disorders, depression, family trauma, and an abusive relationship. She inspires body confidence, self-love and sobriety, helping others on similar journeys feel less alone.

Uchima believes in healing, no matter how deep the trauma.

In her Therapy Thursday podcast, she shares lessons she’s learned from her own experiences in therapy and beyond, helping others implement the same tools in their lives.

What detox was like

After participating in Healthline’s Digital Detox, Uchima says she had a lot of different feelings.

“I felt 10 times more connected to myself but completely disconnected from the rest of the world,” she says. “It’s fascinating that such a healthy break can feel so isolating.”

Part of the challenge for Uchima was that she felt she wasn’t doing enough professionally.

“Since my full-time job is social media and content creation, it’s hard to take breaks and feel ‘productive’. I feel like I’m missing opportunities to post meaningful content , connect with my audience, drive engagement, or drive more brands with my production,” she says.

Although difficult, Uchima stuck to it. Eventually, she found her own tools to manage the urge to connect.

“When I notice my urge to pick up my phone just to stay busy, I pause and breathe,” she says. “It sounds corny, but it helps to reset, to check in with myself and ask, ‘What do you need right now?’ My answer is never “my phone”.

Instead, Uchima realizes that her needs tend to be simple when she slows down and checks in:

“So I pick one and do it!” she says.

She also noticed the deeper motives behind the urge to engage.

I’m often on the phone because I feel like I’m missing something,” she says. “I want to see the number of likes, comments and incoming messages, and I also want to scroll and see what other people are doing.”

Instead, Uchima walked out of the house.

Make new habits

“I was going out a lot more. More sunshine, more walks and trips to the farmers market for my two favorite things right now: avocados and raspberries. »

When asked how she felt following the challenge, she said she felt calmer, more present and more grounded.

“The biggest difference was my energy level. I felt more awake, aware and engaged with the people around me – especially myself,” Uchima says. The experience was “100% positive”.

As for plans for future breaks, Uchima is on board.

“Social media breaks are difficult but necessary,” she says. “I have no excuse except to take longer breaks more often. I feel more creative and inspired when I look at my screen a lot less. It’s a great achievement.

Want to try a social media detox? These simple tips can help you get started.

Create a phone-free space at home

Having a physical space designated as a phone-free zone can help you detach from your flow and cultivate peace of mind.

Similar to a mindfulness nook, this can be a nook in the living room with the comfiest chair where light just streams in, or a small nook in your bedroom where you can decorate with pillows and candles.

When you find yourself reaching for your phone, consider taking a break from your phone-free sanctuary instead.

Listen to music, listen to a podcast, solve a puzzle or just relax a little. Simply giving yourself the intentional space to relax in other ways can make all the difference.

Put your phone in a drawer

Similar to creating a phone-free zone, this strategy works by making a conscious effort to retrieve your phone.

Instead of in your back pocket or on your bedside table, giving your phone a new home in a drawer makes it a little harder to reach. This means that when the impulse arises, you have the opportunity to think twice.

When you do, you can check with yourself with these questions:

  • Do you really need your phone right now?
  • Do you have a particular reason for using it?
  • Are you just getting out of boredom?

Then you can decide if you want to take your phone out to see the light of day.

Install a social media tracking app

There are many apps that can help you track and limit your social media usage. Many of them have built-in limits that block the apps you choose once you hit your max time.

Unpluq is an application with a unique solution. Instead of requiring a password or blocking you from using your phone, Unpluq uses “distraction barriers” to prevent you from mindlessly using your phone.

These are actions that require a bit of investment to unlock specific apps so you have a moment to really decide if it’s worth it. Actions include shaking your phone, repeating a random pattern generated by your phone, or scanning a QR code.

Unpluq is even working on a Kickstarter for a physical key that needs to be near your phone for certain apps to be used.

Do it with friends

Instead of flying solo when you choose to take a break from social media, ask a few friends to do it with you.

Not only will this create a sense of togetherness and responsibility, but it can help you overcome FOMO when you feel isolated.

Instead of scrolling, you can schedule a group video call, coffee shop meetup, or board game meeting. Need advice on getting out of your shell? Try these tips.

Choose specific times to check your feeds

You can also designate specific times of the day for social media use.

Instead of scrolling during the morning meeting, set aside half an hour during your lunch break to check your diet without distraction. Maybe you still have half an hour to get home and another after dinner.

Alternatively, you can even block your calendar with times to check your stream. Set reminders, like a meeting or a date, and note if you actually want to use that time to scroll or if you’d rather do something else.

Keep it in airplane mode

Airplane mode can make your phone feel like you’re in a cloudless sky: no notifications shooting at you, no missed calls, and no voicemails to catch up on.

Notifications are designed to create a sense of urgency, but the reality is that you have to decide what’s important and what’s not.

Just deleting all that noise from your home screen can help you remember that your phone isn’t the boss. You are. You can turn off airplane mode and check your messages when you’re good and ready.

Make a plan that can get you excited

If you choose to take a complete break from social media, don’t put yourself at risk by leaving a huge gaping hole in your schedule. Instead, put yourself forward about the things you want to do instead of staring at a screen.

Plan to walk your dog to a new park, rummage through that book you’ve had on your reading list all year, or finally redecorate that bathroom. Even small things can be sources of joy.

If you shift your focus away from likes and comments and onto something inspiring, exciting, or fulfilling, you’ll have a much better chance of enjoying your social break – and sticking to your guns when it suits you. seems difficult.

Social media is just a part of life these days, but that doesn’t mean it has to control you.

It’s possible to use social media in a beneficial way that doesn’t take over your life or your sanity.

Healthy boundaries are essential, and you may find that they help enrich your life with more off-screen presence, flavor, and engagement than you realize.

Crystal Hoshaw is a lifelong mom, writer, and yoga practitioner. She has taught in private studios, gymnasiums, and one-on-one sessions in Los Angeles, Thailand, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares mindful strategies for self-care through online courses at SimpleWildFree.com. Follow her on Instagram.

New Laws, Lenders Improve Access to Affordable Small Loans | Personal finance

Annie Millerbernd

Inflation has already hit people particularly hard struggle to get gas in their tanks and groceries in their refrigerators. For many, a payday loan may seem like the only way to get the money needed.

In recent years, however, as more states impose restrictions on risky short-term lending, new lenders have emerged offering small, lower-cost loans, making it easier than ever before to find a loan. an affordable loan that won’t drag you into unmanageable debt. .

In some states, new laws mean better loans

There is currently no federal law for maximum interest rates on small dollar loans; instead, states decide whether or not to cap payday loan rates. Therefore, the cost to borrow a few hundred dollars often depends on where you live.

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In recent years, four states — Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio and Virginia — have passed laws that effectively reduce the cost of small loans and give borrowers longer repayment terms. A study by The Pew Charitable Trusts published in April found that even under the reforms, payday lenders were still operating, but with more secure loans.

Although some new lenders began doing business in these states once the laws took effect, the main impact was that existing payday lenders consolidated their storefronts and made their loans more affordable, says Alex Horowitz, director of research at Pew.

National banks and local credit unions step in

A bank or credit union may not have been your go-to for a small loan in the past, but it could be today.

Seven major banks have started offering or announced plans to offer small-dollar borrowing options with low annual percentage rates in recent years, Horowitz said, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Truist. These loans are available to existing bank customers nationwide, regardless of state interest rate limits.

Banks primarily rely on customers’ bank history rather than their credit scores to determine if they qualify for a small loan. The loans – which start from $100 – are usually repaid in monthly installments at annual interest rates no higher than 36%, the maximum rate an affordable loan can have, according to consumer advocates.

“The fact that banks start offering small loans could disrupt the whole payday loan market,” says Horowitz.

Local credit unions have membership requirements and maintain lower profiles than payday lenders, so they’re often overlooked by people who need cash fast, says Paul Dionne, director of research at Filene, a think tank that focuses on helping credit unions serve their communities.

But if you can walk to your local credit union, chances are you’ll qualify for membership, he says.

This is because credit unions often serve people who live or work in their communities. These organizations strive to provide financial inclusion by tailoring their products, such as loans, to better meet the needs of their customers, Dionne says.

“Credit unions are getting better at having the best product and not saying no and figuring out what’s the best fit for that person coming in,” he says.

Other Borrowing Options

Even in states where laws seek to ban payday loans altogether, people can find alternatives to risky borrowingsays Charla Rios, researcher on small-value loans and debt at the Center for Responsible Lending.

You may be able to work out a payment plan with your utility company or borrow from a friend or family member, she says. Here are some borrowing options to consider before getting a payday loan.

Payday advance. Some companies, including Walmart and Amazon, are giving their employees early access to a portion of their salary as benefits. It can be an interest-free way to borrow money if your employer offers it, but since the repayment comes from your next paycheck, it’s best to use it sparingly.

Cash advance applications. Apps like Earnin and Dave let you borrow a small amount of money, usually $25 to $200, before payday. They sometimes charge a fee for instant access to your money or ask for voluntary tips. They also take reimbursement from your next paycheck.

“Buy now, pay later.” For necessary expenses, a “buy now, pay later” loan allows you to purchase an item with partial payment only. You pay the balance in equal installments, usually over the next six weeks. This type of financing can be interest-free if you pay the full balance on time.

Low interest installment loans. Depending on your credit score and income, you may qualify for an installment loan with an APR below 36%. These loans have amounts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and are repaid over longer terms, usually two to seven years. Online lenders who often offer loans for bad credit prequalify you for a loan using a soft credit pull, which allows you to compare loans without affecting your credit score.

UK plans naval intervention against Russia in Black Sea

Britain is once again at the forefront of NATO’s escalating war with Russia over Ukraine. Monday the Time reported, “Britain is in talks with allies about sending warships to the Black Sea to protect freighters carrying Ukrainian grain.”

Foreign Minister Liz Truss discussed the plans with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. He explained that the participating countries “could provide ships or planes that would be stationed in the Black Sea and ensure the maritime passage of grain ships to leave the port of Odessa and reach the Bosphorus in Turkey”.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, right, is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, January 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, Pool)

Landsbergis said of Britain’s response to this proposal: “From my point of view, the British government is interested in helping Ukraine in any way possible.

A diplomatic source confirmed that Truss is in favor once practical arrangements are agreed, including “demining the port and supplying Ukraine with longer-range weapons to defend the port against Russian attacks”, according to Guardian.

These plans are already in motion. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Monday that Washington would supply Ukraine with Harpoon anti-ship missiles, through an agreement with Denmark. the Daily Mail reports that “a handful” of countries are willing to do the same, according to US officials and congressional sources.

Earlier this month, former senior NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis wrote for Bloombergon May 6, “It is worth considering an escort system for Ukrainian (and other national) merchant ships that want to enter and leave Odessa… The vast Black Sea is mostly international waters. NATO warships are free to move almost anywhere they want, including within Ukraine’s territorial waters and its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Conceding these waters to Russia makes no sense. Instead, expect them to become the next major front in the war in Ukraine.

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister said: “It would be a non-military humanitarian mission and is not comparable to a no-fly zone… We would need a coalition of willing countries, with a significant naval power to protect shipping lanes, and of countries affected by them”.

The “coalition of the willing” is the wording used to describe the imperialist-led alliance that carried out the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. A NATO-led naval intervention would be a military provocation deliberate, designed to create a pretext for a direct confrontation with Russian forces, carried out under the guise of a “humanitarian mission” to avert a global hunger crisis on which the imperialist powers do not lose a blink of an eye.

Strategic analysts have been more honest about what’s involved. Sidharth Kaushal of the Royal United Services Institute’s military think tank told the FinancialTimes“To maintain a functioning convoy system, one would have to have a huge Western fleet stationed in the Mediterranean to circle across the Black Sea” and risk “an escalating confrontation with Russian warships.”

On May 17, NATO launched a “vigilance activity”, Neptune Shield, involving 19 nations and centered on the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in the Mediterranean. The strike group includes the Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, the USS San Jacinto cruiser, five American destroyers and a Norwegian frigate.

The Eastern Mediterranean is permanently home to NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2, made up of 14 ships including 10 frigates and the HMS Diamond destructive.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba belligerently announced that war plans were being discussed behind the scenes, saying of the Russian presence in the Black Sea that there was “a military solution to this: defeat Russia”. . He continued: “If we receive even more military support, we can push them back…defeat the Black Sea Fleet and unblock the passage of ships.

A defense adviser explained to the FT the aggressive operations being considered, noting that “Russian diesel-powered submarines also have to resurface regularly, making them vulnerable to attack” and adding: “Destroy the Kerch Strait Bridge that Russia uses to supply Crimea could also leave Putin’s forces struggling with the same kinds of logistical problems they have faced elsewhere.

The incendiary nature of the plans under discussion arouses nervous reactions. Kaushal asks, “How many countries would want to risk their ships clashing with the Russian Navy? the Daily Mail quotes a US official who “said that no nation wanted to be the first or only nation to send harpoons, fearing retaliation from Russia if a ship was sunk with a harpoon from their stock”. the The telegraph of the day cites Foreign Office sources as saying “current talks do not extend ‘to the use of warships’ to help unblock ports in the war-torn country.”

But the trajectory of the NATO-Russia conflict is towards such clashes. Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London, writes in the new statesman, “Until now, the view has been that this would be an unduly provocative move, subject to the same apprehensions that led NATO to reject calls for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine.” But the Russian naval operation is an “aspect of this war…which is now in the spotlight, where the pressure could mount for a NATO operation.” If the war “goes on forever, it’s a problem that won’t go away… The great naval powers must anticipate”.

A NATO offensive in the Black Sea has been in the works for a long time, with the UK playing a leading role.

In June 2021, NATO conducted its largest-ever operation in the region, Sea Breeze, involving 32 countries, 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft and 18 special operations. The exercise was jointly organized by the U.S. and Ukrainian navies and directly targeted Russia, with the NATO statement announcing the operation reading: “NATO supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. NATO does not and will not recognize the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia and denounces its temporary occupation.

Just days before the start of Sea Breeze 2021, the British destroyer HMS Defender engaged in a major provocation by entering Russian-claimed waters off Crimea. The Russian armed forces fired warning shots and dropped a bomb in the warship’s path, later threatening that if something similar happened again they might bomb “on target”.

The Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender leaves Portsmouth Harbor Naval Base for exercises in Scotland, ahead of its deployment to the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Indo-Pacific region as part of Carrier Strike Group 21 from the United Kingdom. May 1, 2021 (WSWS Media)

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the British ship was acting in coordination with an American reconnaissance aircraft, “trying to find out the actions of our armed forces to stop a provocation”.

The region has clearly been largely prepared as a theater of combat with Russia. American media reported that the United States was critically involved in the Ukrainian strike that sank the Russian flagship the Moscow April 14.

That these measures are now being taken under the banner of alleviating a world hunger crisis is preposterous hypocrisy. This was underlined by former British Foreign Secretary and leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, in an opinion piece for the Time Tuesday, “Putin’s next move? A truce to divide the West”.

The Hague is urging NATO powers not to accept any Russian offers for peace talks, explicitly deriding calls to do so to avoid another catastrophic escalation in war or rising global prices.

“Ideally for you,” Hague writes of Putin, “Western commentators will say, ‘Hooray, we always knew he wanted an exit ramp’ and ‘All wars end by mutual agreement’ and discuss of how the cost of living crisis could be helped by your very generous offer to renounce the war you started. This is unacceptable to The Hague. What matters is not peace or hunger, but the pursuit of NATO’s war aims.

How Black Alabamans Won Freedom

(NewsNation) – The story of racial equality cannot be told without mentioning Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts in Alabama. A new book by Dan Abrams explores this pivotal moment through the lens of the era’s last civil rights pioneer – attorney Fred Gray.

Gray represented Parks at his trial and represented Martin Luther King, Jr. at his trial following the ensuing bus boycotts.

In “Alabama v. King,” Abrams and Gray recount how civil rights fighters used the justice system to dismantle segregation.

Below is an excerpt from “Alabama v. King,” available May 24.

At around 9:15 p.m. on January 30, 1956, twenty-seven-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. was advocating a nonviolent protest in front of about two thousand people in the cavernous First Baptist Church. Dr King told the captivated audience: “If all I have to pay is to go to jail multiple times and get like 20 threatening calls a day… I think that’s a very small price to pay for what we are fighting for. Little did he know that literally as he spoke that price was getting considerably higher.

A white supremacist had come to his house that night, walked up half the steps of his white clapboard house in a quiet neighborhood, and thrown a live stick of dynamite on the porch. His wife, Coretta Scott King, and a friend were in the living room, and their newborn daughter, Yolanda, was sleeping in a back room. When the dynamite exploded moments later, windows were blown out and parts of the house were destroyed or in ruins.

Upon learning of the incident, King immediately rushed home and was relieved to find his wife, friend and daughter unharmed. A furious and frightened crowd of about three hundred quickly gathered in support of the King family, and with the residual smell of explosives still lingering in the night air, Dr. King stepped out onto his porch. partially standing and said, “We believe in the law. and order. Do not take your weapons… We do not advocate violence. We want to love our enemies. With those words, a potentially explosive situation had been defused.

Local authorities never arrested the perpetrator, but less than two months later they arrested Dr King for organizing the peaceful protests he was championing the night his house was bombed. The trial that followed will introduce the young minister to America.

It had taken a series of extraordinary, unexpected and fortuitous events to place the young Dr. King in the spotlight of history. It was not a role he had pursued. “When Martin Luther King came to Montgomery in September 1954,” recalls Fred Gray, his friend and first civil rights attorney, who coincidentally had been called to the Alabama bar that same week, “he didn’t didn’t have civil rights in mind. In fact, the preacher before him had been kicked out of town because he was too liberal.

Fred Gray and Martin Luther King Jr. in Gray’s small office in 1956. They met there almost daily to plan Gray’s defense of Dr. King in the trial that would see the two men pioneering the movement that morally and legally, changed America forever.

But after civil rights activist Rosa Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, for violating a city ordinance by refusing to give up her seat on a crowded bus to a white person, a small group of black Montgomery citizens and ministers had urged a one-day bus boycott to protest the way black Montgomerians were treated on public transportation. The protest was scheduled for December 5, the day of Parks’ trial. “It was a long time coming,” recalls Fred Gray. “It was not just an isolated incident. We had long complained about the way black people were treated on the buses. But the bus company had done nothing at all. Initially, we would have contented ourselves with minor changes; but they just ignored us. They treated us like we had no rights. So when Ms. Parks was arrested, the community simply said, “This is it. We’re going to do something about it now. They’re going to respect us or we’re not going to keep taking their buses.'”

During her thirty-minute trial on December 5, Rosa Parks pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and violation of a local law. Fred Gray defended her. She was found guilty and fined $10, plus $4 in court costs. Gray immediately appealed the conviction. But by then the protest had begun.

Now, the concept of a citywide boycott has been seriously discussed for the first time. In 1953, a two-week boycott of city buses in Baton Rouge, Louisiana led to a compromise that made middle seats on buses first come, first served. “Unfortunately,” Gray recalled, “there were black leaders in Montgomery, including black ministers, who felt that before we filed a lawsuit to desegregate the buses, we should try to get the city to accept something less than that. Personally, I had no problem with that because I was sure the city was not going to be willing to make any deal. The city’s attitude seemed to be, if you give them a seat, they will take the whole bus.

Montgomery’s black community comprised only a small portion of the electorate – less than 8% of the city’s 40,000 black residents were registered to vote – and yet, in recent elections, those black votes proved key. of victory. Politicians needed those votes, so at least they had to act like they were listening. In 1954, Professor Jo Ann Robinson, president of Montgomery’s Women’s Political Council, a militant organization for black women, sent a letter to Mayor William Gayle, noting that “three quarters of the passengers on this public transport are black. If the niggers didn’t frequent them, they couldn’t function. She asked for various changes to the existing regulations. These included the right for blacks to be seated back to front on a first-come, first-seat basis and that “blacks should not be invited or forced to pay the fare up front and go at the back of the bus to enter”.

City officials agreed to other demands such as stopping buses on every block in the black section of town, as they did in white sections, rather than every other block. of houses. Officials also agreed to investigate allegations that some drivers were abusive. But the seats remained the insoluble problem. Generally, the front seats were reserved for whites, blacks sat in the back, but the sixteen middle seats had no permanent designation. Drivers were empowered to determine who would sit where, with the understanding that white people would always have priority. Each driver operated his bus essentially as a fiefdom; he could order seated black passengers to give up their seats to whites, and if they refused, they were subject to arrest.

Opinion: What is the Defense Production Act and why did Biden invoke it to end the baby formula shortage?

It said it would ask suppliers of infant formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to infant formula manufacturers and control their distribution if necessary.

You might well wonder what babies going without formula have to do with defense production, reminiscent of large warships and weapon systems. While using the Defense Production Act to force companies to make infant formula would certainly be a new use of the law, it wouldn’t be the first time the post-war law has been used in the US. beyond its original purpose of supporting national defence.

And in fact, the law is used much more frequently than you might think. But as a business professor who studies strategies for maximizing the efficient allocation of resources, I think when presidents invoke the law, it’s often more about political theater – showing the public that you’re doing something – than to solve the problem in the most effective way.

Scan Authority

The Defense Production Act was passed in 1950 and is modeled after the War Powers Acts of 1941 and 1942.

The War Powers Acts gave the President the power to control domestic manufacturing. For example, it helped the United States increase warplane production from 2,500 a year to over 300,000 by the end of the war.

In 1950, America faced the Korean War, and Congress feared that the growing postwar demand for consumer goods would crowd out the defense production needed to deal with China and the Union. Soviet Union, both of which supported North Korea in the conflict. There were also concerns about inflation during this post-war period.

The Defense Production Act gave the President – ​​who then delegated that authority to Cabinet members like the Secretary of Defense – sweeping powers to force manufacturers to manufacture goods and provide services to support national defence, as well as to fix wages and prices and even rationing. consumer goods.

“We cannot get all the military supplies we need now from increased production alone,” President Harry Truman told Americans in a radio address after the law was signed. “This expansion cannot happen fast enough. Therefore, to the extent necessary, workers and factories will have to stop manufacturing certain civilian goods and start producing military equipment.

The original law focused on “developing American military readiness and capability,” which limited the scope of the president’s authority.

Summoned regularly

Although the Defense Production Act only makes the news when the President dramatically invokes it, the government is using the law – or simply threatening to use it – to force private companies to prioritize government orders. The Ministry of Defense, for example, uses it to close around 300,000 contracts with private companies a year.

Congress must reauthorize the law every several years and has frequently amended it to expand or limit its scope. Over time, this greatly expanded the definition of national defense to include support “for national preparedness, response and recovery in the face of dangers, terrorist attacks and other national emergencies”.

The Department of Homeland Security invoked it about 400 times in 2019, primarily to help prepare for and respond to hurricanes and other natural disasters, such as providing resources to house and feed survivors. And Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, for example, both used it to divert electricity and natural gas to California during the energy crisis of 2000-2001.

The law has also been used extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump has used it to prioritize the allocation of medical resources, prevent hoarding of personal protective equipment and force General Motors to build ventilators. He also ordered beef, pork and poultry processing facilities to remain open during shutdowns to ensure protein supplies for the American population.

Biden, for his part, has also used the act many times before, mostly to fight the pandemic. For example, in March 2021, he invoked it to speed up vaccine production by ensuring additional facilities were up to snuff, as well as to speed up the production of critical materials, equipment, machinery and supplies. . In March 2022, it issued a directive aimed at increasing the supply of materials for large capacity batteries that are mainly used in civilian electric vehicles.

Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act to address the infant formula problem illustrates one limitation. It can be used to prioritize ingredients and crafting ability, but it’s not a magic wand. A president cannot by decree instantly bring to light a power that does not exist. And it’s unclear just how quickly that will end the formula shortage — given that the main issue is manufacturing issues that shut down production at a key factory, not just an ingredient shortage.

The law is widely used and has been very helpful, but it does not replace advance planning and preparation.

Erik Gordon is a professor of business at the University of Michigan.

This article is republished from The Conversation. Read the original article.

Seven Agencies Unite for New GOT7 EP


Boy band GOT7 poses during a press conference for their new EP “GOT7” on May 23. [WARNER MUSIC KOREA]

Boy group GOT7 showed they’re still proud and tall as a team during their comeback performance in Gangnam, southern Seoul, on Monday.

The group of seven – Mark, Jay B, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam and Yugyeom – are back with their new EP “GOT7”. The boy debuted in 2014 and released hit after hit, including ‘A’ (2014), ‘Just Right’ (2015), ‘If You Do’ (2015) and ‘Hard Carry’ (2016).

But after the release of a digital single in February 2021, the group members’ contracts with JYP Entertainment ended and they went their separate ways.

They however stressed that they are not disbanding and true to their word, after a year and three months they are back.

“We feel very lucky to be able to make a comeback as a full group of seven,” said Jay B. “We would like to thank each member’s agency for their cooperation in making this possible. We always said that the seven of us would come back, but it’s like a dream that it came true.

“We are so happy to be able to keep our promise and to thank our fans, who waited for us,” said Jinyoung.

“We wanted to keep our promise to the fans,” BamBam said. “Contrary to many people’s misunderstanding, GOT7 did not disband, and we wanted to prove it. So we took a break from our individual activities and will focus on the team for now.



The group’s comeback is an inspiration to K-pop groups even after the members’ contracts with their agencies ended. Each of the GOT7 members now belongs to a different management, but their new agencies cooperated for the group’s comeback.

“Our agencies were all so dedicated to us being active again as GOT7,” Jinyoung said. Sometimes I felt like they were more dedicated than us! It was not easy. But the technology is so handy these days that we were able to do online video call meetings and work on our album despite social distancing and some members being overseas.

The members participated in the production process, showing their eagerness to create their own music. The music and lyrics for lead track “Nanana,” a bright, relaxed number, were written by Jay B.

“Overall, this album shows a much richer variety of sounds,” Jay B said. “We used to prefer a very powerful style of music, but now we can enjoy songs that are relaxing and fun. [like ‘Nanana’] equally.

“To this day, it feels so natural to be a part of GOT7,” Yugyeom said. “We all started out as members of GOT7, and we’ve known each other for over 10 years, including our trainee days.”

“This [the hiatus] was a time to refresh and remember to never forget where we came from,” added Jay B.



Ever since GOT7’s contract with JYP Entertainment expired, securing the copyright for the group’s name has been quite a journey, according to Jay B.

“Trademark rights are such a tricky issue,” he said. “But [JYP’s] CEO Jung Wook happily agreed to hand over the GOT7 brand to us. I then contacted a lawyer, who told me that it is extremely rare for a brand to be passed on in such a friendly way. I would like to thank CEO Jung and producer Park Jin-young again. I collected all the necessary documents and member signatures, and realized that it was not easy at all. It made me humbled and grateful to the agency and the employees who usually do these things for us.

“We may not be able to be as active as before, but we want to continue showing up as a group between our individual times,” he added.

BY HALEY YANG [[email protected]]

False vanity and false friends

When 12 members of Charlie Hebdo were gunned down for their alleged blasphemous depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, the freedom-loving masses around the world, especially in the West, were quick to identify with the French satirical magazine. An attack on the Hebdo has been presented as an attack on freedom of expression, even if the magazine has been stigmatized even in France for its “resolutely provocative” insistence on the right to controversy, despite the risk of stirring up racial tensions. We have not seen such a rush to defend freedom of expression when Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering the actions of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank, or when its bearers were attacked, causing the death of the coffin containing the slain journalist. fell at his funeral. The contrast can be interpreted as a lesson in realpolitik, that the rules are different for the strong and the powerful. It is also a lesson in hypocrisy which he does not lack.

At the India Today conclave, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar exposed the hypocrisy of the West saying, “You are using the dichotomy of democracy and autocracy…You want the truthful answer, c is hypocrisy. Because you have a set of self-proclaimed guardians of the world, who find it very difficult to accept that someone in India is not seeking their approval. Recently ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tried unsuccessfully to echo a similar sentiment, but unfortunately for Khan, his country lacked the democratic infrastructure and authoritative voice of his cousin on the other side. from the border to assert themselves. His miscalculated trip to Moscow threw his story on the wrong side of history. Sri Lanka made a similar mistake by aligning itself too much with the Chinese bloc – it must now return to the IMF for a bailout.

Will Durant, the American philosopher who wrote The Story of Civilization, aptly puts it: “History records that men who can manage men manage men who can only manage things, and men who can manage things. money manages everything.” Let me give an example of managing men with money, which is relevant to this article on hypocrisy.

The British government recently signed a controversial £120million pact with Rwanda to send asylum seekers 4,000 miles from their country. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has a history of silencing political opponents and violating human rights, reportedly accepted the offer to present himself as an ally of the West. Bangladesh also received a similar offer. A World Bank report has earmarked a $2 billion fund to integrate Rohingya refugees into their host countries. Bangladesh said no to the suggestion to “extend (to) the Rohingya the right to own land, property, businesses, election and mobility rights and equal employment rights such as ‘exerted by Bangladeshi citizens within the framework of the integration process’, according to our foreign policy. Minister (Anadolu Agency). Earlier, we heard of Saudi Arabia pressuring Bangladesh to issue passports to 54,000 stateless Rohingya refugees living in the kingdom.

Again, Bangladesh said no.

Any act of defiance is not taken lightly by the “guardians” of the world order. A determined attacker may see a flurry of keys thrown at their development work. In extreme cases, there may be military actions. But generally, there is a mix of hard diplomacy and soft power that characterizes non-military acts of coercion. The capillarity of power means that some of these acts are enacted by their regional or local actors. The influx of Rohingya refugees, for example, has been used to manufacture China’s connectivity to the Bay of Bengal via Myanmar. The idea of ​​religious intolerance was used to cause a butterfly effect across the border to argue for pushback. History is rewritten to justify the settlement and resettlement of migrants. The dominant discourse in the West Bank finds its strange echo in Assam or Arakan.

As the Russian-Ukrainian war forces a realignment of the West and its allies in world politics, we are witnessing an orchestrated rupture between democracy and development. Sanctions are imposed on Western-created machines that were created to curb radical terrorism. One of our security forces has been sanctioned by the West for its abuse of power in limiting human rights. I am not condoning their actions, but merely sharing my observations of the consequences. Trained cats caught mice for their masters; now there is a new rule for big cats because there is a new demand from dogs. Apparently, as part of the sanction, their overseas assets will be frozen and their travel restricted. Fair enough. But where were you when the money was laundered? Why offer lucrative visa programs or second home options to entice the corrupt mass into singing to your tunes?

The West needed the influx of cash from the developing world to help its economy – Russian oligarchs, corrupt businessmen, politicians and civil and military bureaucrats from the developing world to siphon off the money to their “quick” accounts. So faced with an internal crisis, they will not waste a moment to throw these imported fortune hunters under the bus.

The West will sing your praises as long as you serve its purpose. There is little comfort in the cues that are presented to us daily to give us a false sense of comfort. The proverbial cunning fox will praise the crow’s singing prowess to entice it to drop its cheese from its beak. Only in our case, the cheese is our natural resources such as gas, access to our port or our maritime and road routes for regional connectivity, or our generosity to welcome a displaced population. And slingshots aimed at the crow, in case cajoling doesn’t work, can include a food ban, currency manipulation, document leaks, immigrant workers or export items.

With Pakistan and Sri Lanka providing examples of the consequences of a “determined aggressor”, we need national unity more than ever. We need to know who our friends are. A true friend will praise to encourage, while a false friend will flatter to deceive. We must learn to present ourselves to protect ourselves against false flattery. We must equip ourselves with the language to offer a true and multidimensional view of Bangladesh. This is something that has been done by the two main regional players: India and China. If we aspire to join the next league, we need strategic investments in international communication that will go through realpolitik.

Doctor Shamsad Mortuza is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).

Daniel Gore charged with Milana Li’s murder

Milana Li appears in a police photo.

An Oregon miner has been charged in the death of a sixth-grade girl who disappeared earlier this month.

On Monday, May 9, 2022, the 13-year-old mother Milana Li reported that her daughter was missing. The next day, the girl is found dead. Her body was found in a small stream in Westside Linear Park near the southern border of Beaverton, Ore.

The victim was last seen alive around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2022 – the day before he disappeared – at his apartment in the Neighbors Southwest neighborhood, located near the Westside Park trail, according to Portland, ABC affiliate Ore KATU.

The day after the horrific discovery, the Washington County Medical Examiner determined that Li had died by homicide. His precise cause of death has yet to be made public by authorities at the time of this writing.

The girl’s grandmother mourned her passing and remembered her life in comments to Portland CBS affiliate KOIN.

“I never see her angry, she was always smiling ‘ok grandma, ok grandma'” Lydia Li mentioned. “Pain . . . this pain is not possible to describe, you have to go through this pain. I don’t want anyone to go through this.”

Lydia Li told the TV station that her granddaughter had recently experienced a growth spurt. While on a shopping spree, Milana Li was happy enough to have new clothes to choose a set consisting of a t-shirt and jeans. But his family bought him more than that.

She died before she had the chance to wear them.

The victim leaves behind two brothers and sisters, including a 5-year-old sister.

“Milana was for her, mom, like a second mom,” Lydia Li told KOIN. “She took very good care of herself and Milana was a responsible girl.”

The victim attended Conestoga Middle School. Major Zan Hess addressed the loss in an email to students and their families:

Dear Conestoga Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you devastating news that is impacting the Conestoga community. Yesterday we told you that 6th grader Milana Li was missing. A few hours ago we learned from the Beaverton Police Department that Milana had been found dead. Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. We don’t have any other information at this time.

Our hearts break for Milana’s loved ones, including her family and friends. We ask that you keep them in your thoughts tonight.

Tomorrow we will announce the passing of Milana in the first half. We will have additional counselors at the school to support students and staff. If you choose to speak with your student before school tomorrow, feel free to use this resource.

There are no words to express the sorrow of losing a child. Know that my staff and I are here for all of you and your students.

Beaverton police initially classified Li’s disappearance as a runaway case.

“Milana Li’s murder is deeply distressing to her family, friends and the entire community,” the Washington County Juvenile Department said in a news release. “Our thoughts are with Milana’s loved ones and everyone affected by her death.”

While the Beaverton Police Department reportedly declined to release the name of the accused, citing his status as a minor, Washington County officials confirmed his identity in their Friday announcement.

Daniel Gore16, is charged with Li’s murder.

Details are currently scarce on how investigators linked the defendant to the murder. In a Friday statement to KATU, the BPD said it “received dozens of investigative tips from community members and followed up on numerous leads.”

Washington County noted that Gore was on probation for numerous nonviolent offenses with the Youth Department at the time his alleged victim was killed. “These charges included robbery 2, arson 2 and criminal mischief 2,” the county noted.

The county went on to note that Gore was released on probation by a court after a series of “evaluations.” But, the county said, authorities were against his release.

“It is these assessment findings, along with recommendations from prosecution and defense attorneys, that inform the court in setting probation terms,” the press release continued. “For Daniel Gore, these conditions included his release to his home under the supervision of his parents. As the media reported, prosecutors in this case recommended that the minor be kept in custody and not released.

Washington County Assistant District Attorney Dustin Staten told the judge Brandon Thompson that the state intends to try Gore as an adult, according to a report by online media Patch.com.

The defendant is currently due back in court on June 3, 2022.

[image via Beaverton Police Department]

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]

McKinsey & Co. worked with a Russian arms manufacturer as it advised the Pentagon

Russia has fired more than 2,000 missiles at Ukraine since its invasion in February. The engines for many of these missiles were made by a huge state-owned company called Rostec, and that company’s executives have hired global consulting giant McKinsey & Co. in recent years for advice.

At the same time, McKinsey was advising the Russian defense conglomerate, but not on work directly involving weapons, the company was performing sensitive national security contracts for the Department of Defense and the US intelligence community, according to an NBC News investigation. .

McKinsey has come under scrutiny in Congress for its work with state-owned companies in China, with lawmakers questioning whether the company should be awarded national security-related contracts given its extensive presence in China. . McKinsey is also accused of ignoring potential conflicts of interest when advising both opioid manufacturers and opioid regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration.

By doing consulting work with a company like Rostec, McKinsey has placed itself in a potentially risky position, given its work with the US government, according to Scott Blacklin, former head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia and chairman of the consulting firm Blacklin et Associés.

“It’s really hard to understand how an American consulting firm…would want to be involved in sensitive areas of the Russian defense, intelligence, or science establishment. And when you talk about Rostec, you’re talking about all these mixtures,” Blackline said.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, DN.H., told NBC News that McKinsey has displayed a “pattern of behavior” in its overseas and Washington boards that has raised “serious concerns about conflicts of interest”.

“Whether it’s the drug addiction crisis or working for state-owned companies in places like Russia and China, I’m deeply concerned about McKinsey’s choices and the fact that the U.S. government continues to contract with McKinsey despite these potential conflicts,” the senator said. mentioned.

But the firm, which is headquartered in New York, says it does not view its recent work in Russia as posing a conflict with its advice for the Pentagon and other federal agencies. When asked by NBC News, a spokesperson for the company, Neil Grace, said McKinsey had strict rules and firewalls to protect against conflicts of interest, and that its overseas work was separate from his work in Washington.

“As we have previously stated, McKinsey complies with all applicable US contract laws, including those relating to conflicts of interest,” Grace said. “When we serve the U.S. government, we do so through a separate legal entity with separate operating structures and separate information technology where appropriate.”

Regarding McKinsey’s advice to Rostec, Grace said, “Our previous work for Rostec’s subsidiaries has not been on weapons systems. This work has been on fundamental business and operational topics of the type on which we regularly advise our customers all over the world”.

“For example, our work for a subsidiary involved buses used in mass transit systems,” Grace said. “It would not be fair or accurate to describe this work as benefiting the Russian military.”

McKinsey also provided global helicopter market research and advice on a commercial aircraft engine project, he said.

To examine McKinsey’s potential conflicts of interest, NBC News reviewed federal contract documents, court filings, company statements and Russian media reports, and interviewed experts, lawmakers and officials. former civil servants.

Federal laws require companies to disclose any potential conflict of interest and show how they plan to resolve the potential conflict. In four federal contracts obtained by NBC News, for the Department of Defense, Navy and Customs and Border Protection, McKinsey did not identify any potential conflicts of interest due to its work with state-owned companies in Russia.

U.S. authorities have not charged McKinsey with violating federal contract laws related to his work in Russia or China, and there are no allegations that McKinsey harmed U.S. national security because of of his work with governments hostile to the United States.

In its work related to opioids, McKinsey faces accusations that its employees may have shared inside information gleaned from FDA regulators with pharmaceutical companies. McKinsey denies these allegations and denies any wrongdoing.

In the case of his advice in Russia and Washington, it is unclear whether McKinsey staff shared information between the accounts and there is no evidence that this happened.

About a week after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, McKinsey and the two other consultancies that make up the industry’s so-called Big Three, Bain and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), declared that they were withdrawing from Russia and suspending commercial operations. But McKinsey and the other two consultancies chose not to step down in 2014, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea. The international reaction at the time was not as severe and there was no corporate exodus.

McKinsey had promoted his work to 21 of the nation’s top 30 companies. And according to a 2020 bankruptcy court filing and documents filed this week in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy proceedings, the company has done consulting work for Russia’s largest bank, SberBank, VTB Bank and state energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft, all of which are closely linked to the Kremlin. . (The value and duration of McKinsey’s consulting work for these companies was not disclosed.)

McKinsey isn’t the only management consulting or accounting firm to have worked with state-owned companies and other large corporations in Russia.

But the company’s work with one of Russia’s most powerful and politically connected players in the Russian defense industry seems to set the company apart.

Rostec is a massive defense conglomerate that dominates Russia’s military-industrial complex. It oversees hundreds of companies and manufactures a range of weapons and military hardware. The company’s subsidiaries produce military attack helicopters currently operating in Ukraine, engines for the deadly cruise missiles currently raining down on Ukraine and Russian naval frigates, as well as electronic warfare systems and vision goggles nocturnal.

In the aftermath of Russia’s capture and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014, the company’s subsidiaries have sought to build power plants in Crimea and take over defense manufacturers to cement regional ties. with Russia, according to the British government. McKinsey’s ties to Rostec date back to at least 2010, according to several reports in Russian media. In 2015, they were hired to implement a “large-scale reform” at Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Rostec which manufactures a range of civilian and military helicopters.

Rostec’s CEO is Sergei Chemezov, a strong supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin who served as a KGB officer with him in Dresden during the Soviet era. Spain recently seized a $153 million superyacht linked to Chemezov, Reuters reported.

Rostec has “unlimited public funds and the ability to capture whatever it wants in the Russian landscape,” Blacklin said. “It’s a bit like the Pentagon and the CIA deciding to partner with Raytheon, Lockheed and Cisco Systems.”

Rostec did not respond to a request for comment.

Russian state-owned companies are tightly controlled by the Kremlin and are regularly plundered by government officials, according to Bill Browder, an outspoken critic of Putin who once ran Russia’s largest foreign investment fund.

Community calendar | Maribyrnong Bay and Hobsons


Want to list your event? The Community Calendar is made available free of charge to nonprofit organizations to keep the public informed of special events and activities. Send article details to Star Weekly Community Calendar, Corner Thomsons Road and Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, 3042, or email [email protected] by 9am Wednesday the week before publication .

Bollywood dance fitness

A vibrant and entertaining dance suitable for beginners. He gives a full body workout while dancing to the beat of joy with the powerful nature of Bollywood music. Fusing classic Indian steps with folk, Latin and hip-hop styles, it offers a fast and lively dance workout that’s ideal for enjoyable group exercise. Classes are held every Tuesday at the Braybrook Community Hub, 6:15-7:15 p.m. until June 21. Cost: $54 or $45 for the concession.

■ www.trybooking.com/BYUFN

meditation for longevity

Meditation for longevity is a journey of awareness and self-care that increases joy and fulfillment in life. Classes are held Fridays at the Braybrook Community Hub, 10:30 a.m., June 3-24. Cost: $32.

■ www.trybooking.com/BYUNA

Heritage walks

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through historic Williamstown and surrounding suburbs with guide John. Walks start at 9.20am every Tuesday outside the Visitor Information Centre, Nelson Place.

■ John, 0418 377336

Wednesday walking group

The Williamstown Community Center offers a regular walking group on Wednesdays that walks around the area, from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. New members are welcome. This activity is free and includes morning tea.

■ 9397 6168

All Aboard Club

The All Aboard Club has been around for 85 years. It’s a social club that works for charity, with speakers, theater and travel. It meets in the rooms of Williamstown City Hall at 1:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Welcome new members.

■ Wendy, 0421 747 040

Toastmasters Club

Do you want to develop confidence in communication, competence with language and clarity in writing? AeroSpeakers Toastmasters Club would like to invite all residents to join them on the first and third Thursday of every month to help develop their public speaking, communication and leadership skills. The group meets at the Laverton Community Hub, 95-105 Railway Avenue, Laverton from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

■ Vince Camilleri, 0413 734 707

Community lunch and morning tea

Holy Trinity Anglican Church of Williamstown will host a free community tea and lunch every Friday at the Nelson Place Parish Center. Morning tea starts from 10am. Tea and coffee will be served, along with a variety of fun activities like knitting, board games and puzzles. Lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m., with take-out available. Registration and vaccination status are required.

Altona Book Sale

The Friends of Altona Library hold a monthly book sale the first Tuesday, Friday and Saturday of each month at the rear of the Altona Library 123 Queen Street Altona, access via the Coles parking lot, 10am-1pm library. hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/community/friends-of-libraries

women’s choir

The Willin Wimmin Choir welcomes new members. They meet every Wednesday of the term from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Christ Hall Church in Douglas Parade, Williamstown. There are no auditions and members do not need to know how to read music.

[email protected]

walking group

Residents of Altona Meadows and Newport are invited to participate in a Heart Foundation walking group that meets on Wednesdays and Fridays. The group walks for 60 minutes, and it’s a great way to socialize and be active at the same time. Members must register with the Heart Foundation to join.

■ Ian Watson, 0411 566 862, or www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Community/Whats-On/Altona-Meadows-and-Newport-Heart-Foundation-Walking-Groups

Williamstown Craft Market

Commonwealth Reserve comes alive on the third Sunday of the month for the Williamstown Craft Market. The market has over 50 stalls showcasing everything from handmade crafts, local produce and food vendors. There will also be live music. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Diabetes Support Group

The Westgate Diabetes Support Group meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Altona Bowling Club at 10 a.m.

■ Elaine, 0415 030 996

Musicians welcome

Do you play trumpet, flute or low brass? The Hobsons Bay City Band is looking for musicians to join their community band. Rehearsals are on Mondays from 7.30pm at Newport Lakes Primary School, Elizabeth Street, Newport.

■ Roger Lewis, [email protected] or www.hbcb.org.au

Combined Probus Altona North

The Altona North Combined Probus Club meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Altona Sports Club. Includes a speaker, organized trips and outings and a friendly atmosphere.

■ Lesley, 0414 481 442

Club Rotary Point Gellibrand

The Rotary Club of Point Gellibrand meets at the Customs House Hotel, 161 Nelson Place, Williamstown, the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 6 p.m. for a dinner meeting at 6:30 p.m. The club has great speakers and needs energetic and enthusiastic new members who want to make a difference in their community. Visit our website to find out more about our projects and community work via www.rotarypointgellibrand.com.au.

■ Pam, 0418 347 691 or [email protected]

mouth organ

The Yarraville Mouth Organ Band meets Friday nights at 203 Williamstown Road, Yarraville. Good music, friendly atmosphere. Everyone is welcome.

■ Heather, 9399 2190

friendship group

The Altona Day View (Voice Interest and Education of Women) club meets at 11 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Altona RSL. The club is always open to new members, and anyone interested is encouraged to get in touch today and see what all the fuss is about.

■ Janet 9394 6522 or 0412 010 176.

Relax at Sunbury

Are you between the ages of 12 and 18 and want to engage with other young people, participate in activities such as quizzes, games, art, music, contests, personal development and more? Chill Out Sunbury is for you. It’s free and it happens every Wednesday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm at the Sunbury Youth Centre, 51-53 Evans Street.

■ bit.ly/3lmVgVh

Sunbury WOMEN’S Badminton Club

Get involved with a welcoming, fun, and social group of women who have been making women’s badminton known since 1999. Social games are Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to noon, and team competitions are Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Eric Boardman Reserve, Wilson’s Lane.

[email protected]

Come and chat

Dive into deeper topics and enjoy intriguing conversations by joining the Table 8 discussion group. The common thread in the months to come will be benevolence. Chats take place every Tuesday from 10.30am to 11.30am at the Macedon Lounge, 40 Victoria Street, Macedon.

■ Carol, 0431186575

Badminton fun at Sunbury

Sunbury Badminton Club has new extra playing time on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to noon. All are welcome at Clarke Oval Stadium, 49 Riddell Road, with equipment provided and coaching available. Playing for the first time is free.

[email protected]

Sunbury Family History and Heritage Society

If you fancy learning more about Sunbury and even your own family history, why not check out the Sunbury Family History and Heritage Society, which meets at 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Sunbury Senior Citizens Centre, 8 O ‘Shanassy Street, Sunbury.

■ bit.ly/3jvM6oJ

Lancefield Park Race Launch

Strap on your runners and join the revival of the Lancefield Park 5K Run, which takes place every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. at Lancefield Park. No need to be fast – participants can go at any pace. Meet at 62 Chauncey Street, Lancefield, and don’t forget to sign up.

■ bit.ly/3IEDB4L

36 Viggo Mortensen Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

Mortensen’s big breakthrough came with his starring role in 2001’s first entry in the now iconic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. When a young hobbit (Elijah Wood) stumbles upon the ancient ring of power, he teams up with a coalition of friends (plus a wizard, a few knights, a dwarf, and an elf) to destroy the ring and prevent it. to fall. in the hands of the dark lord, Sauron.

As part of the most commercially and critically successful film trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring” was a pop culture phenomenon, earning $897.7 million (via box office mojo) and winning numerous accolades, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (for Ian McKellen), among other accolades. It has also earned a distinguished place on the American Film Institute‘s of America’s 100 Greatest Films (the only “Lord of the Rings” film to make the list), and was later selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Mortensen played the Dúnedain ranger, Strider, in what became his most famous role. Strider is a man on the run from his alternate identity of Aragorn, the heir apparent to the throne of Gondor. Ashamed of his ancestors’ past mistakes and unsure of his abilities to lead, Aragorn retreats into his persona as Strider, a humble and capable knight who sees himself more as a foot soldier than a king. This character arc was explored and developed more fully as the series continued.

Russia says its Zadira laser weapon destroyed a drone in Ukraine

Russian armed forces used a laser weapon against a drone in Ukraine, the Kremlin Deputy Prime Minister told a local television channel on Wednesday.

“Our physicists have developed and are now mass-producing laser systems,” said Yuri Borisov, adding that this system used in Ukraine destroyed the drone “in five seconds”.

This is the first time Borisov, a senior civilian official who oversees Russia’s defense sector, has said a new weapon has been used in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday that the assertion reflected Moscow’s desire to find an alternative to missiles. According to Zelenskyy, Russia has fired more than 2,000 missiles since the invasion began on February 24, with the majority hitting civilian infrastructure and providing no strategic military advantage.

Borisov seemed to admit this, noting that a laser weapon offered economic advantages over the use of the expensive missiles fired by his Tor and Pantsir anti-aircraft systems.

A senior US defense official said on Wednesday that the United States had seen nothing to corroborate Russia’s claims that it used laser weapons in Ukraine. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the US military assessment.

The laser system, which would have been on an armored truck, was nicknamed Zadira, which loosely translates to “Bully” in English. Defense officials first discussed the weapon at the Army 2017 defense exhibition in Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Defense signed a contact in August 2017 with the Russian Federal Nuclear Center for research and development of the Zadira-16. The center, based in Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region, is part of Rosatom State Atomiс Energy Corp. and is known for producing the first Soviet-era nuclear bomb.

Russia also claims to have another laser system in its arsenal, called Peresvet, named after an ancient Russian warrior. Moscow has been tight-lipped about the system, but Borisov noted that the main difference between the two is that Peresvet “blinds” an enemy system, while Zadira destroys it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin first spoke about Peresvet in his State of the Nation address in March 2018. He said then that by creating such complex technology, Russia was “several steps ahead”. on other countries.

“Any armed conflict is used to test etc. new weapons and equipment, overtly or covertly, and the conflict in Ukraine is certainly no exception,” said Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Center for the Analysis of strategies and technologies. in Moscow, Defense News said.

During the current war, Ukraine used Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, which proved effective against Russian tanks. Russia’s answer to the TB2 fleet is its Okhotnik combat drone, which is expected to be delivered to the Russian military by 2023, Sergey Chemezov, the head of defense conglomerate Rostec, told Putin on May 18 during a a televised meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The National Bank of Coxsackie offers commercial electronic loans

COXSACKIE – In a variation of the national trend towards online mortgage offerings, Coxsackie National Bank has launched a digital lending platform for small businesses.

With the NBC Express Now program, small businesses can digitally apply for installment loans or lines of credit through this platform and the entire process from application to financing can be done online.

“You wouldn’t really set foot in the branch,” said Nicole Bliss, NBC’s vice president and chief human resources officer.
“We thought it would be a good addition” to what the bank already offers, she said.

They are considering small business operators, such as contractors who may need a new truck or equipment, but are also busy, using the remote lending platform.

The new system is not for mortgages.

NBC has branches in Albany, Greene, and Schoharie counties, but some of their business customers are in remote or rural sections, as well as other counties, including Columbia.

“We understand that time is an invaluable resource for small business owners, and we want to make the process of getting a term loan or line of credit easy, quick and hassle-free,” said the NBC Chief Credit Officer Charlene Slemp in a statement. on the new platform, which went live in March.

The bank has branches in Glenmont and Coxsackie in the immediate capital area.

While remote or contactless commerce transactions in general have been boosted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bliss said the new platform didn’t really stem from that.

Loans Vs. Line of Credit: Which is Right for You?

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When you need or want to buy something that exceeds your available funds, it is common to borrow money from elsewhere. If you cannot get it from your friends and family, the next practical solution is to request the funds from a bank or lender. However, most consumers are unaware that there are several borrowing options, including a loan or a line of credit. Ultimately, the differences between these financial products help you determine which is best for your situation.

What is a loan?

A loan is a specific dollar amount provided by one person, business, or financial institution to another person or business in exchange for a promise by the borrower to pay interest and the balance of the loan in full on the agreed date. This is a fixed amount of money earned for one-time use. There are many types of loans, including mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, student loans, payday loans, and installment loans. A little research on the Internet can help you discover what is the difference between a payday loan and an installment loan or the difference between a mortgage and a home equity construction loan.

What is a line of credit?

A credit line is a form of lending in that it is financing from one person or entity to another. However, lines of credit are a fixed sum of money that can be used as often as the borrower needs (or until the account is depleted).

What is the difference?

While the definitions of loans versus lines of credit give you an overview of their differences, let’s dig a little deeper into how these financial products vary.

  • Frequency of use – The most significant difference between a loan is their frequency of use. A loan is non-revolving, meaning you can only use the borrowed amount once. You must then repay the loan in full and apply for another one if necessary. A line of credit is revolving, which means you can use the amount borrowed, pay off the balance, and use it as many times as you want.
  • Need of the borrower – Although personal loans can be used for any purpose, other loans are for a particular need. For example, a mortgage is used to buy a house, an auto loan buys cars, and student loans finance tuition. On the other hand, you can use a line of credit to finance anything.
  • Increased interest – As soon as you receive a loan, interest begins to accrue. However, a line of credit does not earn interest until you start spending from the account.
  • Refund – When you accept a loan, you must start paying the balance plus interest immediately until you meet your obligation. With a line of credit, no payment is required until you have spent the money. Plus, you only pay for what you use with a line of credit instead of owing the entire balance.

Which should you choose?

How do you know if you need a loan or a line of credit? Here are two factors to consider:

  • Financial needs – The first thing to consider is why you need the money. If you are trying to buy a house, a car, or pay for college, a loan may be the best option, as you can apply for specific loans that will pay you larger lump sums to acquire those important investments in life. However, if you live paycheck to paycheck and want a financial cushion, often need extra cash for purchases or day-to-day expenses (i.e. ideal.
  • Affordability – While having debt can be a good thing, too much debt can cause problems. Therefore, you want to select the most affordable borrowing option. For example, a bank may offer lines of credit at 12% APR or 1% monthly interest. However, a personal loan can range from 10% to 36%. You don’t have to worry about paying off a line of credit if the balance is zero; however, once you take out the loan, you must pay the required interest rate and the balance in full. If you’re trying to save money and avoid getting too deep in debt, a line of credit might be a better option.

When you find yourself in a traffic jam or simply want to make a major purchase in your life, applying for a loan or line of credit is often the fastest way to achieve your goals. I hope the information provided above has given you a better understanding of their differences, benefits, and common uses so that you can decide which is best for you.

7 smart ways to use an installment loan for your financial needs

An installment loan is the first thing that comes to mind whenever we need money. It is a type of loan that is repaid in equal monthly installments until the full amount is paid off. It offers flexibility and competitive rates and can be used for various financial needs.

The term of the loan depends on the amount you have borrowed, but is usually a few months to a few years. Borrowing limits are also generally higher than other types of loans, such as revolving lines of credit or payday loans. But when can an installment loan be a good idea? Here are seven situations where it can help:

Emergency expenses

You can get an installment loan if you need funds immediately to cover bills, an emergency expense, or something else that needs immediate attention. An emergency expense, such as your car breaking down or the unexpected death of a family member, can be devastating to your finances.

Suppose you need an installment loan to cover an emergency expense, such as expensive medical bills. In this case, you can take out a loan from CreditNinja to get the money you need the next business day. You don’t even have to worry if you have bad credit because they offer installment loans for people with bad credit.

Vacation or trip abroad

The thought of planning a fun getaway can be exciting. But too many people let their vacation dreams turn into financial nightmares when they don’t have enough money to travel.

If you dream of an adventure abroad or just want to take your family somewhere nice for the weekend, you can use an installment loan to cover the costs. This way you can have fun without worrying about how you’re going to afford your vacation.

start a business

Another smart use of an installment loan would be to start your own business. Loan funds can be used to purchase supplies for your business or pay for initial marketing costs, such as advertising.

With an installment loan, starting a business is easier than ever. You’ll have the cash you need to get your business up and running in no time.

Debt Consolidation

If you’re having trouble paying off your credit card or other debts, you can consider consolidating loans into lower interest payments. Considering that debt consolidation is one of the most common reasons for getting a personal installment loan, it’s a great way to pay off your debts.

Also, a personal loan usually comes with a lower interest rate than many other loans, such as credit cards. So if you’re looking for the best way to get out of debt, an installment loan can be a great option.

Improve credit score

A good credit rating is essential when people are looking to borrow money from financial institutions. Your credit score is built by your financial habits, such as paying your bills on time, keeping loans and lines of credit open for an extended period of time, and using your credit limit.

Taking out an installment loan can help you build a strong credit history and improve your credit score. However, its realization will necessarily require a certain level of financial discipline.

Car costs

Unscheduled maintenance and repairs to your car will put you in a position to need immediate cash. The best type of installment loan to get is either a car loan or a personal loan if you are looking to buy or repair a car.

The only difference between a car loan and a personal loan is that car loans have lower interest rates than the latter and use your vehicle as collateral. The decision is yours, so carefully consider the pros and cons of each type of loan if you ever need one for your car in the future.

Household appliances

You may need or want to upgrade your appliances and furniture from time to time. But if you don’t have cash, an installment loan can come in handy. This will allow you to purchase the necessary items without saving for a large purchase.

With an installment loan, you can spread the cost of your purchase over several months or even years. You won’t have to empty your savings account all at once or make a large purchase on your credit card.

Final Thoughts

An installment loan can be a great financial tool to help you out in a variety of situations. But as with any loan, you must understand the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line. So be sure to choose the right loan for your needs and take the necessary steps to ensure you can make all payments on time. With these tips, you can build a better financial future for you and your family!

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2 CSU students selected as Udall Scholars


Hatch is also a member of the CSU Native Women’s Circle, a group created to enhance social, collective, individual, and cultural support for the women of the Native American Cultural Center. She is also part of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) CSU Chapter.

Since joining CSU, Hatch said he has encountered significant obstacles. However, she said her community at home and at CSU played a key role in helping her persevere.

Hatch explained that the scholarship will allow her to further her education and develop her consensus-building skills through her involvement with the Indigenous and scientific community on campus, while embracing her intersectional identities as a Diné woman and scientist. .

“As an Indigenous woman in science,” said Hatch, “I hope to develop consensus between Indigenous and Western perspectives to achieve my career goals and bring about meaningful and meaningful change in health care, research and science. Education to Centralize Indigenous Equity.

Aidan Lyde
liberal arts college

Aidan Lyde

Lyde, a student majoring in political science and international studies, hopes to one day be involved in environmental and water policy in the western United States, and he notes that there are a multitude of environmental and human factors. which will exacerbate water resource problems in the future.

Lyde, who was also a finalist for a Truman Fellowship, got a boost through an internship at the US Department of the Interior, where he conducted research on the Colorado River Basin.

“In many ways, this research experience clarified my passion for water and environmental policy and reinforced my desire to enter public service,” he said. “I have become deeply passionate and knowledgeable about water issues in the western United States because I have spent countless hours researching and synthesizing information from hundreds of scientific, government and academics.”

Lyde’s first foray into climate activism came in 2019 as a student at the University of British Columbia when he marched for the Global Climate Strike in Vancouver. He walked out of class and joined tens of thousands of other students, activists and citizens to demand climate action.

At CSU, he is the CFO of the University Zero Waste Team, a student-run organization dedicated to reducing waste on campus. Since 2021, he has also volunteered weekly at college sporting events and campus activities to divert hundreds of pounds of recycling and compost from landfill.

The top seven drivers of consumer installment borrowing with credit cards

DUBLIN, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The “Installment Loans: Fintechs Gain Ground on Installment Loan Forecasts $212 billion report has been added to from ResearchAndMarkets.com offer.

The report explains the situation of consumer installment loans in United States and how fintechs and financial companies are now overtaking banks and credit unions when it comes to installment loans. Additionally, this research examines how companies are offering integrated financial products such as CCaaS to enable customers to offer their own credit card product. Using four assessment criteria, general guidance is provided for those seeking a relationship with a fintech provider.

“Banks used to dominate consumer lending, with installment loan products priced well below credit cards, but that’s no longer the case,” he said. Brian Riley, author of the research report. “Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) was a wake-up call for credit card issuers. BNPL was a revamp of a merchant funding model used long ago by companies like GECC (now Synchrony) and Household Finance Corporation (acquired by Capital One) Now fintechs are moving in the same direction with installment loans,” Riley says.

Highlights of the research note include:

  • Consumer Debt Trends in the United States
  • Trends in Fintech and Financial Companies vs. Financial Institutions
  • Why banks and credit unions should define the consumer lending space, not follow fintech trends
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for Established Banks and Fintechs
  • Comparison of revolving and installment loan products
  • Consumer survey data on installment loan users and top fintech lenders

Main topics covered:

  • Summary
  • Household debt in United States
  • Unsecured Installment Loans: Defining the Space
  • Reasons why consumers choose non-traditional lenders
  • Installment Loans: Risks and Opportunities for Financial Institutions and Fintechs
  • What financial institutions should do
  • What Fintechs and Traders Should Do

Figures and tables

  • Figure 1: Consumer debt in United States totals $15.6 trillion in all warranty classes
  • Figure 2: Unsecured personal loans in the United States will reach $212 billion by 2025
  • Figure 3: Fintechs and financial companies overtook banks and credit unions in terms of market share between 2016 and 2021
  • Figure 4: Range of consumer credit products
  • from unsecured revolving and installment loans to secured loans
  • Figure 5: Nearly a quarter of cardholders surveyed said they use an online lender
  • Figure 6: Top seven drivers of installment borrowing by credit card consumers

Companies cited

  • Credit Acima
  • To affirm
  • American Express
  • Before
  • The bank rate
  • Mixing laboratories
  • Bread
  • Capital one
  • City
  • Discover
  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • World FIS
  • FICO
  • Fiserv
  • GECC
  • HFCs
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Jack Henry
  • Klarna
  • loan club
  • LightStream
  • MasterCard
  • NerdWallet
  • Opportunity
  • Prosper
  • Bank of Regions
  • Rocket companies
  • SoFi
  • Synchrony
  • TSYS
  • Truist
  • Trans Union
  • Improve
  • Reached
  • Visa
  • well Fargo
  • worldpay
  • Zopa

For more information on this report, visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/v23opm

About ResearchAndMarkets.com
ResearchAndMarkets.com is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, top companies, new products and the latest trends.

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SOURCE Research and Markets

American foreign policy is a danger to the world

Nicholas Ourusoff spent several semesters teaching in Russia and Kazakhstan beginning in 1990. He lives in New London.

In a year-end poll, WIN and Gallup International polled more than 66,000 people in 65 countries and found that 24% of respondents said the United States “is the biggest threat to peace in the world.” world today”. Pakistan and China were next with 8% and 6%, respectively, while Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea were all tied at 4%.

President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken promote a “rules-based world order.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese President Xi Jinping asked, “How is this different from international law based on the rules of the United Nations Charter? All 193 members of the United Nations are signatories to the United Nations Charter, widely regarded as a legal and binding international treaty.

The answer is: the United States is committed to the rules of the United Nations Charter, but only when appropriate; otherwise, the United States acts as if it is above the UN Charter, usurping the moral authority of the UN Charter.

The United Nations was established in 1945 to end the scourge of war and secure peace. The Charter of the United Nations recognizes the right of a member to the military defense of its territory against aggression by another member, until a ceasefire and the maintenance of peace can be arranged. . Otherwise, the UN Charter commits to resolving conflicts non-violently through diplomacy.

It prohibits mob-style bullying – “If you don’t do what me and my friends say, we’ll beat you up!” Only the United Nations Security Council is empowered to impose sanctions!

The United States has twice been convicted of a “crime of aggression” by the United Nations World Court, for its support of the Contras against Nicaragua in 1986, when it was also ordered to pay reparations (we we never did and we intensified our support for the Contras) and for his invasion of Iraq (2003-2011).

President Biden promised “diplomacy not confrontation”. But unauthorized punitive sanctions, to force an adversary to go “my way or the highway,” are a mainstay of American foreign policy, but they are not diplomacy.

We have seen Secretary of State Antony Blinken reject Russia’s two existential security demands. He simply threatened crippling sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine. Against the advice of several of our most prominent leaders, we violated Russia’s security by interfering in Russia’s relations with Ukraine as well as in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Two strategic partnerships with Ukraine, in 2008 reinforced on September 21, 2021, nor reported in our main media, commit American support to a reinforced entry of Ukraine into the EU and NATO.

Stop fighting now! Save Ukrainian lives. Escalation risks provoking a nuclear conflict. Accept what is, make it better. Focus on recovery, reconciliation and diplomacy, as well as the existential threats of climate change and nuclear conflict.

Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney The Defamation Trail Explained


The wives of two British soccer superstars are at the center of a libel case in London this month. In 2019, Coleen Rooney, wife of soccer star Wayne Rooney, accused Rebekah Vardy, wife of fellow soccer star Jamie Vardy, of leaking stories about her to the tabloids. Vardy denies the accusation and is currently suing Rooney for defamation.

As the BBC wrote, “Forget The crown. The only British drama you need right now is the real-life feud between two Wags – wives and girlfriends of football stars – which is currently playing out in the UK High Court. “

Here’s everything you need to know about the case.

What is a “WAG”?

Ashley Cole’s girlfriend Cheryl Tweedy and David Beckham’s wife Victoria Beckham at the 2006 World Cup.

Ross KinnairdGetty Images

Wag is the oft-used but sexist acronym for ‘wives and girlfriends’, referring to the wives and girlfriends of British football stars. As the BBC explains, “on the fringes of a professional soccer field, these women might as well be royalty.”

The OG of this group was Victoria Beckham. As journalist Elizabeth Paton explained to New York Times“The phrase made headlines in 2006 at the FIFA World Cup in Germany, where a group of British WAGs – all frosted hair extensions, vaguely orange limbs and barely there outfits – staged a sideshow of champagne-running and partying exploits in historic Baden-Baden. Their leader was Victoria Beckham (or Posh Spice, as she was still known), with a loyal clique of lieutenants made up of pop stars , beauty therapists, fitness instructors and a fresh-faced 20-year-old named Coleen McLoughlin, star player Wayne Rooney’s teenage sweetheart.”

Who are Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy?

coleen rooney and rebekah vardy
Coleen Rooney (in red) and Rebekah Vardy (in England shirt) sit next to each other during the Euro 2016 competition.

John CatuffeGetty Images

Coleen Rooney is more established, the wife of Wayne Rooney, a former Manchester United striker, and Rebekah Vardy is more recent on the scene, the wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. Wayne and Jamie played together for the England men’s national team.

wayne rooney and jamie vardy from england
Wayne Rooney (L) and Jamie Vardy (R) on Team England, June 2016.

Shaun BotterilGetty Images

What does “Wagatha Christie” mean?

In October 2019, Coleen Rooney took to her social media to share that someone had leaked stories about her and her family to the press. She explained that she blocked everyone from seeing her private stories on Instagram, except for one person, and posted a series of fake stories, to see if they would end up in the Sun. They did, and Rooney felt justified in sharing who leaked, writing, “This is…Rebekah Vardy’s account,” an instantly iconic line.

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His detective skills earned him the nickname “Wagatha Christie”, a portmanteau of “WAG” and the famous British crime novelist Agatha Christie. It was coined by Phoebe Roberts:

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“It was this amazing story with the ending dot dot dot,” Roberts told the BBC. “There was a lot of drama in it. So, I was just like, this is a mystery novel or something, and that’s where I found Wagatha Christie.

“It’s probably my only good joke I’ve ever done, so I’m glad I can share it around me,” she added with a laugh.

What is a defamation lawsuit?

Vardy denied Rooney’s claims, writing on his own social media, “I’m not funny but I don’t need the money, what would I get selling stories about you.”

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In June 2020, Vardy filed a civil defamation lawsuit, claiming she was not personally the source of the leak. “Mrs Vardy doesn’t actually know what happened, she doesn’t know how this information got to the press, all she knows is what she did and she knows it didn’t happen. wasn’t her,” her attorney said, according to the Independent.

What happens in court?

coleen rooney and rebekah vardy libel trial day 3
Rebekah Vardy arriving in court, May 12, 2022.

Dan KitwoodGetty Images

The civil trial began on May 10 and is expected to last seven days. “I didn’t divulge anything,” Vardy told the High Court in London on the first day of the trial, per Reuters. “I did not give any information to a newspaper.”

It’s possible that Vardy’s agent, Caroline Watt, was responsible for the leaks. According to BBCwatt” lost her phone in the North Sea after being hit by a wave before Ms Rooney’s team could see WhatsApp messages that could potentially help her case.” Watt denied being the source.

Rooney’s lawyer said of Watt’s possible involvement in the leaks: “Just because you’re not the person getting your hands dirty doesn’t mean you’re not also responsible.”

We will update this as the trial continues.

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Cyber ​​defense without national level defenders will always fail

The 1991 US National Research Council unclassified report “Computers at Risk – Computer Security in the Information Age” clearly states the problem:

We are in danger. More and more, America depends on computers. They control the supply of electricity, communications, aviation and financial services. They are used to store vital information, from medical records to business plans to criminal records. Although we trust them, they are vulnerable – to the effects of poor design and insufficient quality control, to accidents, and perhaps most alarmingly, deliberate attacks.

Three decades later, the sole superpower has become accustomed to being the target of deliberate cyberattacks. Ransomware hit the big cities from Baltimore to Atlanta, local Governments, hospitals, and particularly difficult schools. Even the third-tier powers directly attack the American homeland.

At Christmas 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), the California-based entertainment company employing over 9,000 people, was to release the film. The interview. The plot of the action comedy revolves around the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruiting two incompetent American artists to assassinate Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) judges the beheading plot intolerable, terrorism and an act of war and predictably mercilessly threatened reprisals. But this time, the backward and isolated state found a way to project power into the United States.

Cyber ​​attackers then stole terabytes of data, erased and rendered inoperable thousands of SPE computers in the US, UK and elsewhere. SPE did not comply with the hackers’ demands and continued with plans to publish The interview. Next, the cyber attackers released SPE’s internal emails, payrolls and business plans, along with four never-before-seen films. As you might expect, the Western media rejoiced on the gossip doxed from SPE emails. The authors threatened to publish confidential data and personally threatened 3,800 US PES employees. While SPE had yet to decide the film’s fate, on December 16, North Korean cyberattackers threatened physical attacks on American cinemas showing the film; AMC Theaters and most major theater owners quickly declined to screen the film. Now Sony has decided not to release the film, effectively giving in to North Korea. Despite President Barack Obama speakerDPRK publicly downgrades dissuaded United States.

Iran, as North Koreais openly hostile to the United States while lacking the ability to project economic or military power within the United States. Iranlike North Korea, demonstrated efficient use cyber Power. For example, a US Department of Justice (DoJ) Indictment released on March 23, 2018, describes how several Iranians organized the Mabna Institute in Tehran to target more than 100,000 professors at 320 universities, including 144 in the United States and 176 in twenty-one other countries. The small team had achieved global reach using known tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), such as Phishing and password spray, without performing significant R&D. The Iranians then used the thousands of credentials (including 3,768 accounts at American universities) stolen to obtain $3 billion worth of Western intellectual property. The perpetrators aided the Iranian national effort on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and profited from the sale of the stolen data and credentials. Further away, Iran and North Korea to have leveraged ransomware to hit the American country.

What do these attacks and the more recent wave of ransomware have in common? A foreign adversary planning a destructive attack on America’s heartland faces domestic-grade defenders on land, sea, and air. A foreign adversary launching a direct cyber attack on a non-military target will encounter none.

Why has this lack of state-level defense become the norm? Lack of abilities cannot be the reason. After all, the United States has unrivaled intelligence and military forces, global operational experience, great outreach, and large budgets. Moreover, Americans own cyberspace with an excellent innovation system and an elaborate industrial base. Current logic asserts (rightly) that a military approach is not suitable for defending civilian targets against cyber threats. However, the defense and military establishment can abuse it to escape the burden of change. A recent report from the Congressional Research Service “Introduction to Defense: Operations in Cyberspacesuccinctly describes the federal cybersecurity organization. The primary advocate, the Department of Defense (DoD), will only assist the nation in the event of a cyber emergency. Put simply, it’s only after things get really tough that the fighters will take over and lead America to victory. The DoD shouldn’t be bothered with the boring day-to-day security of movie studios or hospitals. The flaw in the logic is that even if the DoD succeeds, it will be too late.

Pervasive insecurity is the result of poor adaptation of strategic defense in times of peace. Thus, national cyberpower debates must refocus on a non-technical question: how to stimulate and guide effective change in defense missions, strategies, doctrines, forces and organizations. This challenge is not new.

Contrary to witticisms, serious research attests that states and militaries are preparing for future wars. Maladaptation rarely manifests itself by denying that reality is changing. The military are big bureaucracies and, like Harvard professor Stephen Peter Rosen wrote, “almost everything we know in theory about large bureaucracies not only suggests that they are difficult to change, but that they are designed not to change.” The adaptation of strategic defense in peacetime usually fails because defense organizations are unwilling, unwilling, or unable to really change their ways.

For more than six decades, social scientists have established military adaptation Scholarship. Although an overview is beyond the scope of this article, I offer only a sampling of studies addressing the lingering issues that now plague cybersecurity.

Azar Gat studied the mechanized warfare theories in the air and on the ground, demonstrating that technology alone does not drive innovation or its course. Frederic A. Bergerson’s Groundbreaking Political Science Study Explain the revival of U.S. Army Aviation 1942–1970: A few militant reformers who opposed the policy but worked to change it from within the military organization generated a crucial defense adaptation. Finally, Rosen identified that military innovation stems from new avenues of promotion for young officers.

Theoretical stagnation is the root cause hampering America’s cyber insecurity. None of the branches of defense accepts a new and challenging mission: to defend the homeland against foreign cyberattacks. Moreover, radical innovation in cyber defense will not emerge on its own. Instead, academics and policymakers should leverage the defense innovation scholarship to ensure adequate security.

Lior Tabansky, Ph.D., is Research Development Manager at the Blavatnik Center for Interdisciplinary Cybersecurity Research, Tel Aviv University (TAU).

Picture: Flickr.

Historian Publishes 2 New Books in Black History Series


Jeremy Houston, the founder of Miss-Lou Heritage Group and Tours, recently released volumes four and five of his ongoing black history series on the people of Natchez.

In 2016, Houston began writing true stories about black people in Natchez who achieved great things in their lives, called “Straight Outta Natchez.”

His goal, he said, is to preserve history and speak to African Americans about their heritage – not stories of “people picking cotton,” but free people who influenced history, art and culture.

This was less than a year after the release of the movie “Straight Outta Compton”, which centers on the lives of famous NWA rap artists Dr. Dre, Easy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella.

Back then, “They were putting ‘Straight Outta’ everywhere,” Houston said. “I wanted to use it, so I took it and ran with it.”

Less than six years later, he published the fourth and fifth books in the series.

He published “Straight Outta Natchez Volume IV: Women of Black Natchez” and “Straight Outta Natchez Volume V: Leaders of the New School” last month.

As its name suggests, the former centers on black women who lived during Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, and beyond.

Among them are Daisy Newman, renowned opera singer and founder of the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra; Nellie Jackson, best known for owning an illegal brothel in Natchez and contributing to multiple charitable causes; and Artimese West, the first alderman of the Black Natchez.

“They were important to the essence of what Natchez is today,” Houston said.

Volume V takes a more modern twist, spotlighting six people who are still living and continuing to do “good work,” Houston said.

These include Jamar White, one of the youngest people to run for political office in Natchez’s history. In 2020, White stood for Natchez Alderman Ward 1 as an independent against his former teacher, Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, aged 21. Although he lost the election, Natchez did not see the last of him. He has since founded a summer camp for young men, Restoring Manhood, to be held in June at Bob M. Dearing Natchez State Park.

Another man highlighted in the book is Barney Scoby Jr., who was honored as National Park Service Ranger of the Year in 2015. The book is also about Justin Hamilton, a defensive linebacker from Natchez who has graduated and went on to play in the NFL. for the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

Natchez’s modern women are also featured in the fifth volume, including Chantel Marsaw, founder of the organization “It Still Takes a Village” which aims to help young people who have lost a parent. It also highlights Jackie Marsaw who started a social group ‘Grieving Mothers and Others’ for parents who have lost a child and who leads many other social and charitable causes.

Houston said he also plans to release a children’s coloring book called “Color the Heritage of Natchez” this summer.

“I hope these books will be a source of inspiration and motivation for the young people of Natchez,” Houston said. “I hope to get into the schools and introduce the kids to these great people who also grew up here. … Some have helped change not only Natchez and Mississippi, but the United States and the world.

The books are available for purchase on amazon.com and could soon be sold in Natchez stores this summer, he said.

Lawmakers want state control of gun sales background checks | Government and politics

DOVER, Delaware (AP) — Delaware lawmakers have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make state law enforcement officials responsible for background checks for gun purchases.

A bill tabled Friday would resurrect Delaware’s gun transaction approval program, which was eliminated more than a decade ago when lawmakers voted to rely on the national instant gun verification system. federal government criminal history, or NICS.

The vote came amid concerns that Delaware’s background check system could provide NICS with information about people with mental illness who are prohibited from buying or owning firearms. The bill authorized state agencies to provide this information to NICS, created a federally mandated program allowing people previously deemed mentally ill to restore their eligibility for firearms ownership, and abolished the system. State’s existing background check as redundant.

Lawmakers now want to return responsibility for background checks of gun transactions in Delaware to the state’s Bureau of Identification. The SBI would be the point of contact between arms dealers and federal databases verified by the FBI. The SBI would thus become responsible for determining whether a person is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under federal or state law, and would be able to search other databases other than NICS to make this decision.

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“Reinstating FTAP will help us identify people who would otherwise be banned but may have been missed by NICS, such as someone convicted of a domestic violence offense,” said Larry Mitchell, the project’s lead sponsor. law, in a press release. “This will make our background check system stronger and more thorough and provide more protection for residents.”

Proponents of the bill also note that anyone with an outstanding warrant is prohibited from purchasing a firearm, but the NICS only identifies those for whom extradition through the state borders is sought, to the exclusion of the vast majority of misdemeanor warrants. FTAP would be able to check local databases to identify these people.

Legislation requires that the new FTAP system be operational within one year of the bill’s enactment.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Two California Air National Guard Space Squadrons Support US Space Force > Air National Guard > Article View

Two California Air National Guard Space Squadrons Support US Space Force > Air National Guard > Article View

Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. — “Welcome to Space Country” greets base visitors arriving through Vandenberg’s main gate. Located on California’s central coast, Vandenberg SFB is home to a variety of space operations, both military and civilian, and is known to light up the night sky during a launch.

Two California Air National Guard units also call Space Country “home” while performing tasks that directly support the nation’s space mission and defense. The 148th Space Operations Squadron (SOPS) and 216th Space Control Squadron (SPCS) are both part of the 195th Wing – an Air Guard wing with a unique mix of missions encompassing space, cyberspace, military intelligence and combat communications.

The 148th SOPS performs 24/7 command and control of the constellation of Milstar and Advanced EHF satellites, a mission system that provides the most secure communications networks for the highest levels of the Department of Defense, including the President of the United States and combat commanders around the globe.

“We [the 148th] make sure all equipment with the Milstar is working properly,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Herrera, a radio frequency technician with the 148th SOPS. “For any kind of radio frequency that goes up to the satellites, we make sure the signal is secure and all the equipment on the ground is working properly as a unit.”

They’re an essential part of the mission because if the equipment isn’t working properly, space operators aren’t able to do their jobs and people downstream won’t have secure communications, Herrera said.

“The 216th SPCS is one of five Space Electromagnetic Warfare (Space EW) units that rapidly deploy to nearly anywhere in the world to provide flexible space-based capabilities in a tactical environment to support global and theatrical campaigns,” said the 2nd Lt. Soren Dietrichson, a space operations officer with the 216th SPCS. “For the 216th and space control squadrons in general, our mission is offensive and defensive space control in space. Basically, we ensure that our fighters and geographic fighter commanders have access to communications in space and deny our adversaries the same [access].”

More and more, the space becomes more and more contested, Dietrichson said.

The US Space Force was created on December 20, 2019, when the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, creating the first new branch of the armed forces in 73 years to meet a need for military service focused solely on the pursuit of space superiority.

“With the technology that our adversaries are building, it’s important for us to have a separate arm to ensure funds are allocated directly to [the] space [mission]”, Herrera said. “We see that their technology is becoming more advanced and that our assets in space need more protection. Having a space force is important to maintaining our dominance in space in the future.

Without the presence of the Guard, there would be a critical void that would exist in the support needed for combatants in this area, Dietrichson said.

“The preponderance of the total force trained for our specialty (approximately 60%) falls under the Air National Guard,” Dietrichson said. “In our ranks are people who bring invaluable and relevant expertise through their work for civilian employers and their graduate education. They all offer unique experiences and perspectives that allow our unit to perform at an exceptionally high level. »

The 148th and 216th still operate as part of the Air National Guard, supporting both state activations and federal missions, and continue to be ready for activation at a moment’s notice.

“The Guard brings value to the space mission with continuity, expertise and reliability,” Dietrichson said. “Knowing that you have people who have been there for many years in a way that you couldn’t have anywhere else in this set of missions, makes the Guard an essential part of what we do in space in general. .”

Russian émigrés fleeing Putin’s war find freedom in Armenia cafes | Russia


Ihe days after Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in late February, Vladimir Shurupov, a cardiologist from the Siberian city of Tomsk, felt he couldn’t breathe properly. “I had panic attacks, I couldn’t eat or sleep. I just knew that I had to remove myself from this place, from this atmosphere, ”he said.

Shurupov, 40, had been a silent critic of Putin’s government for years but had never attended a protest of any kind, fearing unwanted attention or arrest. At the start of the war, disgust with the regime is added to the fear of being sent to the front. “If there had been a mobilization, I would have been called up as a military doctor, and this is not a war I would be prepared to fight in,” he said.

Shurupov discussed with his wife and two sons that perhaps they should try to leave the country. The family had minimal savings, but he was able to sell his car for cash and buy four tickets to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Just two days after first discussing their departure, they flew from Tomsk to Yerevan. After receiving Schengen visas, they traveled to Bulgaria. They never intend to return home.

Vladimir Shurupov and his wife, Rita. Photography: handout

The Shurupov family are among hundreds of thousands of Russians who have fled the country since the war began on February 24. Putin called these people “traitors and scum” and said their departure would help “clean up” Russian society.

Many are journalists or opposition activists, whose work has in fact been criminalized by increasingly draconian wartime laws in Russia. Others are businessmen fleeing sanctions. Some simply did not want to be part of a society where pro-war sentiments are so strong. Shurupov estimated that out of 30 colleagues at his hospital, only three opposed the war.

Some of those who left in the days following the invasion have already decided to return, but many are determined to start a new life abroad, at least until there are political changes in Russia. .

“I don’t want to live behind another iron curtain. I just felt there was no future in Russia,” said Valery Zolotukhin, 39, a literature and theater scholar who came to Armenia with his wife and seven-year-old daughter. “In Russia, you live in the fantasy of a few people… They have created an imaginary world and you are forced to be part of it.”

A century ago, after the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, millions of emigrants fled to Istanbul, Prague and Harbin. Today there is an echo of this process as the cafes of Vilnius, Tbilisi and Yerevan are filled with Russians in the early stages of building a new life.

Many Russian emigrants have settled in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, as no visa is required Photograph: Karen Minasyan/The Guardian/AFP

Armenia is one of the most popular destinations, as no visa is required. It has also created favorable conditions for IT companies, leading to the relocation of thousands of Russian tech professionals over the past two months.

“In the beginning, you were walking down the street and seeing all your friends from Moscow, and people from St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod that you normally only see on Zoom calls,” said Maya Gorodova, former business manager of startups. Russians, who created a coworking space in Yerevan with a view of Mount Ararat from the windows.

The current 70 tenants are all recent arrivals from Russia, and Gorodova has received calls from Russians in Belgrade, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv and Bali, she said, asking for advice on setting up new workspaces. for immigrants.

The exodus of tech professionals is likely to be a blow to Russia, which in recent years has become a highly digitized economy. But opposition to the war, fear of possible mobilization and the loss of contracts with foreign customers due to sanctions have combined to push many out.

At Hummus Kimchi, a new restaurant run by a team of transplanted brothers and sisters from Moscow, newcomers to Yerevan discuss their upcoming moves. Some have their eyes set on the UK Global Talent visa and have paid agents thousands of pounds who promise to write their forms to match the Home Office checklist. Others note that Germany offers citizenship within five years to incoming IT professionals.

Aleksandra Paravyan and her brother Dmitry at their cafe, Hummus Kimchi, in Yerevan.
Aleksandra Paravyan and her brother Dmitry at their cafe, Hummus Kimchi, in Yerevan. Photograph: Karen Minasyan/The Guardian

“Of course, these are all reserve options,” said a young tech professional, sipping a craft beer. “Let’s hope Putin dies soon and we can all go back.”

For many of those who left, emigration was the last moment in a lifetime of fierce opposition activity, including arrests and searches. For others, it was the start of a political awakening.

A woman in her 30s, who did not want her name published, said she had always opposed Putin but was too scared to attend protests or post on Facebook. On the second day of the war, she wore clothes in Ukrainian colors to work, and her colleagues began to insult her. She realized that no one in her social group shared her revulsion at the invasion.

“It’s impossible to talk to any of my friends, I’ve started chatting with a few of them and I feel like they just press the C command, the command V. They all repeat the same phrases,” she said.

She also left behind a longtime boyfriend who works in the Russian security services. Previously, they hadn’t discussed politics much, but before leaving, she wrote him a long letter outlining her opposition to the war. They haven’t spoken to each other since.

“In the short time here, I have met more people who think like me than in recent years in Moscow. And I realized that here I stopped always calculating what to say based on who I’m talking to. I feel so much freer,” she said.

Many Russians in Yerevan spend long hours in the city’s cafes and bars, wondering if there was a way to stop Putin sooner and if they should have done more. Some remain worried about the repercussions at home and speak in mealy euphemisms of “unfortunate events” or “the Ukrainian situation”. Others are eager to express their wholehearted support for Ukraine.

Elena Kamay ran street markets in Moscow, loved by the city's so-called 'creative class'
Elena Kamay ran street markets in Moscow, beloved by the city’s so-called “creative class”. “We lived in a bubble,” she says. “And now it’s all over.” Photograph: Karen Minasyan/The Guardian

In Moscow, Elena Kamay ran Lambada Markets, which held street markets popular with the city’s so-called “creative class” that has sprung up over the past decade. Stalls sold vintage clothing, local designer items and other handicrafts. “Of course it was all just a facade, we were living in a bubble. And now it’s all over,” she said.

Kamay moved to Yerevan in early March and, like many, reflected on the past decade from today’s perspective. She acknowledged that working in Moscow involved “making a deal with your conscience”, although she said she had participated in anti-government protests since 2011.

Recently, she said, she had reread messages she had exchanged with Oksana Baulina, a Russian activist and journalist who left Russia two years ago and was killed by a Russian airstrike in kyiv in March while she was reporting. “I always thought she was a bit exaggerating when describing her views on Russia and the political system, but it turns out she was right all along,” she said.

Elena Chegodayeva also arrived in Yerevan in March and a few weeks later set up a school in a downtown apartment. The 50 students and 20 teachers have all recently arrived from Russia. Chegodayeva said she has been thinking about the concept of collective responsibility since the start of the war.

“We are all Russians and we will have to take responsibility for this, just as the Germans had to do after the war,” she said. “On the other hand, I was two years old when Putin was elected, so what more I could have done is not entirely clear.”

Chegodayeva, 24, said she lost part of her college stipend for arguing with her professor over whether annexation of Crimea was illegal, and received dawn visits from police in his apartment after taking part in demonstrations. She said the case of a St Petersburg artist who faces 10 years in prison for replacing supermarket price tags with anti-war slogans showed protest in Russia was now futile. She will only return to Russia “if there is a revolution in the air”, she said.

Rather than trying to persuade people to stay, Putin celebrated the exodus of hundreds of thousands of educated, anti-war Russians. In a grim video address in mid-March, Putin slammed those who have moved abroad or backed the West in its ongoing battle with Moscow.

Moscow teacher Elena Chegodaeva runs a school for Russian children from an apartment in Yerevan
Elena Chegodaeva, a teacher from Moscow, runs a school for Russian children from an apartment in Yerevan. Photograph: Karen Minasyan/AFP

“Any people, and especially the Russian people, are able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors, and just spit them out like a fly flying into their mouths,” he said, using the one of the toughest languages ​​of its two decades in task. There would be a “natural and necessary cleansing of society,” Putin said, which would benefit the country in the long run.

The question now is whether those who have left will gradually disconnect from Russia or form a powerful opposition to Putin and his regime from abroad, rallying to political forces such as the opposition leader’s associates. imprisoned Alexei Navalny, most of whom are now based in Vilnius.

“For 100 years, the understanding of emigration was that people quickly lost contact with Russia and did not understand it, so no one believed that political emigration could have a chance to play a role in Russian politics” , said Andrei Soldatov, a co-author with Irina Borogan of a recent book on the history of Russians outside Russia.

Now, however, the Internet opens up very different possibilities. “The country is still connected to the world. So many Russian journalists have left the country and are still in contact with their audience, and this is an absolutely new development for the Kremlin,” Soldatov said.

Before trying to change the regime, many emigrants first try to change the minds of family members who support the war and who stayed behind, refusing to leave.

Shurupov hopes his mother will eventually join the family in Europe, but so far she is resisting. “I couldn’t convince her of the war and she doesn’t want to leave. For me, it’s a real tragedy. »

Francis the Pacifist – Where is Peter

When is it good to kill another human being? The only correct answer, that offered by the Church, is “never”. As Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. But if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other too. (Mt 5:38-39). Or, as the Catechism states, “The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life.”

But too often the Church – by which I mean all Christians – has been content to answer theoretical questions about just war, capital punishment and self-defence, and to avoid questioning our own failures to build peace in order to avoid killing altogether.

Today, Pope Francis questions our attitudes and actions, helping to orient us towards the more radical demands of peace. In the face of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Francis has maintained a decidedly “pacifist” line, condemning the logic of war and the horrors of this particular conflict, in part by failing to align the Vatican with one military strategy or another. Francis opposes war and violence, period. For example, while he clearly supported Ukrainian men, women and children who have been devastated by war, he also chose not to explicitly condemn Russia for the invasion. This has been a source of frustration for many. Massimo Faggioli, a longtime defender of Pope Francis, criticizes relates the position of Francis. Francis’ stance and actions stand in stark contrast to calls to help Ukraine with weapons or air support, as footage from the eastern European country reveals the devastating consequences of Putin’s decision. After the invasion, conservative Catholic commentators also Continue for advance the the theory of just war.

Since World War II, according to mainstream opinion, there have been decades of unprecedented peace and economic growth, as nations have worked together to advance democracy and freedom around the world. But this rosy narrative covers the reality of our recent past. Wealth has not been equitably distributed, either between countries or within them, which has led to historical inequalities and social conflicts. Nor is there real peace, as innocent people around the world continue to be injured, killed, displaced and terrorized in endless military operations, religious conflicts, undemocratic repressions, genocides, etc.

The so-called peace of the past decades is paradoxically buttressed by the continued rise of armies, bellicose rhetoric and the specter of nuclear or chemical warfare. At any given time, tens of thousands of innocent people could be ruthlessly murdered for military victory, or for whatever reason. Meanwhile, wealthier nations can afford the weapons of war that protect their economic or strategic interests at home and abroad, while poorer nations are often left at their mercy, fighting each other. for scraps. History reveals that any peace based on a tenuous balance between fear and self-interest will eventually crumble, letting fear and self-interest drive leaders and peoples toward war and conflict.

Francis has rejected this view and the promise of peace based on the calculation of power, instead pleading for the hard work of “reconciliation and forgiveness.” As he explains in Fratelli Tutti, “It is not easy to overcome the bitter legacy of injustice, hostility and mistrust left by conflict. This can only be done by overcoming evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21) and by cultivating the virtues that promote reconciliation, solidarity and peace” (243).

Like pontiffs before him, however, he has found himself caught in the crosshairs as Catholics attempt to resolve apparent conflicts between patriotism or moral outrage at injustice with the radical teaching of the Church on War and Peace. This was especially true in the post-9/11 era when President George W. Bush continued the war on terror with an invasion of Iraq. Famously, Pope John Paul II did not approve of the American invasion, declaring in 2003: “War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity. This witness was criticized; for example, despite his status as papal biographer and closeness to the late pontiff, commentator George Weigel actively opposed the advice of the pope, instead defending the more dominant conservative position at the time in favor of “preventive war”.

Francis himself has been consistent in his call for peace, even urging victims of war to find non-violent solutions. This was not an easy lesson for people to accept. In 2013, Francois condemned both the use of chemical weapons in Syria as well as military interventions aimed at ending their use. In response, Robert Christian, founding editor of Millennium, written in 2014 that Francis’ position on Syria was wrong, saying, “The principle of solidarity calls on all nations to act to end the mass atrocities being perpetrated in Syria today.” This may require the use of force.

And just this year, Francis invited two colleagues and friendsa Ukrainian and a Russian, to walk together during the Via Crucis as a sign of solidarity, but there was a uproar, including criticism from leading Ukrainian Catholic prelates. More specifically, they asked about prayer language it was arguably not aligned with Ukrainian sentiment about the war and glossed over the evil of the Russian invasion. The language was eventually dropped for the event itself, though it is still available on the Vatican’s website.

Francis is not alone in his radical stance on peacebuilding. For example, Dr David Cochran wrote provocatively and persuasively for America on the subject of the morality of war. Cochran quotes the words of Francis in Fratelli Tuttiwhere Francis questions the very concept of “just war”, a theme that Francis recently returned with lots of reviews and condescending explainers. As Francis wrote,

We can no longer think of war as a solution, because its risks will probably always outweigh its supposed benefits. Under these conditions, it is very difficult today to invoke the rational criteria developed over the course of previous centuries to speak of the possibility of a “just war”. Never again war! (258)

If there is no “just war”, then aren’t pacifists just naïve? This is the question that Doug Girardot posed in a recent America article. He replies: “It is not a principled excuse for cowardice, as detractors might describe it. Instead, it’s a hope for a future that, with God’s grace, is truly possible. Separately, Cochran also suggests that the type of pacifism advanced by Francis may be more pragmatic than theological, noting:

Perhaps the best argument against the continued place of just war theory in Catholic teaching is not that it is necessarily wrong in theory, but that it misunderstands the realities of war and peace today. today. Since the non-military alternatives increasingly emphasized in Catholic teaching are more effective in practice, keeping war theory sanctioning war alone may do more harm than good.

Concretely, then, what to do? Does Francis’ position mean that Ukraine should simply allow an invading Russia to take, kill and annex whomever and whatever it wants? Of course, there is a right to self-defense, and as Francis writes in Fratelli Tutti, “If a criminal has hurt me or a loved one, no one can stop me from seeking justice and making sure that person – or anyone else – will not hurt me. more harm, or to others. That is quite right; forgiveness does not prohibit it but requires it” (241).

But the question must be asked in response: how and to what end? Does the build up continue and the strengthening of NATO’s military capabilities is it based more on the principle of peacebuilding or on the principle of realpolitik? Is the nuanced and sober moral analysis regarding self-defense compatible with the stockpiling of devastating military weapons and the deployment of dehumanizing rhetoric? Readers may find it useful to know that, as Cochran writing“Researchers have found that nonviolent methods of noncooperation and disruption are two to three times more effective than military methods in defeating oppressive regimes or foreign occupiers, regardless of the brutality of the adversary.”

Of course, these issues are ultimately not ours to resolve unilaterally or on behalf of those who live and fight in a war zone. They simply point to a harsh reality. Cochran sums it up like this,

Circumstances that make war or abortion seem necessary, no matter how serious, still do not change the wrongfulness of murder. While this analysis may commit Catholic ethics to a position on war that most people would view as extreme and dangerous, moral consistency may well require it.

We know that peace will not reign when military superiority has been achieved, but only when the hearts of many are converted, when they see their enemy as a brother instead, and when they refuse to participate in the manipulative schemes of the greedy and power. hunger. Francis writes in Fratelli Tutti, “What is important is to create processes of encounter, processes that build a people that accepts differences. Let’s arm our children with the weapons of dialogue! Let’s teach them to fight the good fight of the culture of encounter! (217). Anything that opposes this conversion of heart must be rejected as both counterproductive and contrary to the Gospel.

Image: Francis prays with the wives of Ukrainian soldiers, Vatican News.

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Daniel Amiri is a Catholic layman and financial professional. A graduate in theology and classics from the University of Notre-Dame, his studies coincided with the pontificate of Benedict XVI, whose vision, in particular the framework of the “encounter” with Christ Jesus, strongly influenced his thinking. He is a husband and father of three beautiful children. He sits on the parish council and also enjoys playing and coaching soccer.

Francis the Pacifist

‘Candy’ Episode 4 Recap, ‘Cover Girl’ – Surprise Guest Star [Spoiler]

‘Candy’ Episode 4 Recap, ‘Cover Girl’ – Surprise Guest Star [Spoiler]

Hulu’s Candy The episode 4 recap revolves around Candy’s (Jessica Biel) husband, Pat Montgomery (Timothy Simons), but Justin Timberlake’s entrance overshadows his performance. Luckily, Simons loved working with the singer-songwriter. Find out what role Timberlake played in the latest True Crime episode alongside his wife, Jessica Biel.

‘Candy’ Episode 4 Recap: Pat Montgomery Is Fully Supporting His Wife, Candy Montgomery

Episode 4 of Candy on Hulu opens with Pat finding out about Candy’s affair with Allan Gore (Pablo Schreiber). He blames himself and gives her a card and flowers. Next, viewers watch as he testifies in his trial that “she is a non-violent person.”

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‘Candy’ Episode 4 Recap: Justin Timberlake Plays Deputy Steve Defbaugh

Candy Episode 4 shocks fans with a surprise appearance from Justin Timberlake around minute 6:00. A deputy receives a phone call in a dark room and slowly gets out of bed. Viewers don’t see the person is Timberlake until they search the closet for their clothes. Then he looks directly at the camera, but he’s still unrecognizable, because fans of pop icon NSYNC love him. He has a black mustache and an 80s haircut.

In the next scene, he gets out of a police car as Deputy Steve Defbaugh. He has a southern drawl and his hair is combed, but the sideburns are showing. He begins taking photos at the crime scene to determine what happened to Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey).

His fellow officer moves evidence while he takes pictures and finds out what happened. Timberlake’s character is puzzled by the fact that the murderer barely cleaned himself up, left the murder weapon behind, but took the time to take a shower.

RELATED: Why Jessica Biel’s ‘Candy’ Was Filmed In Georgia When It Happened In Texas

The day after Betty Gore’s death

Candy slowly gets out of bed the next day in episode 4. She seems to be in pain. Later that day, Betty and Allan’s daughter, Christina, is still at their home. Pat begins to invent jokes to make the children laugh.

Allan returns home to see reporters at his house. When giving his testimony to the officer, he admits Betty had an affair but claims he never did. The deputy writes down Candy’s name. Since there is no forced entry, it appears to be someone they knew.

Candy and Pat bring Christina home and Allan tells her the news. Candy wraps Christina in a too long hug with Allan. Afterwards, Miss Elaine (Jamie Anne Allman) visits Allan and tells him to get a lawyer.

RELATED: Jessica Biel’s ‘Candy’ on Hulu Review: Violent ‘mundane’ details capture the viewer in this bingeworthy true crime drama

After Elaine’s visit, Allan starts to worry that the police might suspect him, so he calls the deputy and throws Candy under the bus! He reveals all his dirty secrets, explaining that he took out a large sum of money and that he was having an affair with Candy. When the deputy asks why he ended this, Allan tells him that Candy was in love with him and Allan made up with his wife.

‘Candy’ Episode 4 Recap: Candy Montgomery Tries to Cover Up What She Did to Betty Gore

Later in episode 4, when Candy and Pat are about to have sex, the deputy calls to ask Candy to get off at the train station. At the station, Candy tells the officers that she ended the affair with Allan because she had taken her course. They notice that his fingernails are broken. They take pictures of his hands, take his fingerprints, and take pictures of his feet and shoes with blood on them.

‘Candy’ Episode 4: Raúl Esparza as Don Crowder and Jessica Biel as Candy Montgomery | Tina Rowden / Hulu

RELATED: ‘Candy’ on Hulu’s ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ Episode 2 Recap – Creator Opens Up About Betty’s Anger [Exclusive]

Timberlake’s character, Deputy Steve, asks Candy if she killed Betty Gore and if she would take a polygraph test. Then, Pat celebrates Father’s Day with his children and Candy. Meanwhile, Allan was using too much detergent and had bubbles coming out of his dishwasher. The local news station reported that a friend was a suspect, so Candy cut off her flip flops and threw them in the trash.

On Monday, Candy goes to her lawyer friend from the church, Don Crowder (Raúl Esparza). He insists that she not take the polygraph because her nerves are already broken. On Tuesday, Candy helps at Allan’s house for the funeral. The baby starts crying and she has several flashbacks. Allan notices that Candy’s shoes are the same size as the hole in the linoleum floor.

Pat Montgomery tries to swing a request 41 times

On Wednesday, police found a fingerprint in Candy Episode 4, which makes Pat believe they can put the whole ordeal behind them. Meanwhile, Candy confesses to Don Crowder that she did it. He’s excited about the fantastic self-defense case he’s about to put together.

Although Pat stayed by Candy’s side, he wonders if she could have killed Betty when he notices her cut-up flip flops in the trash. So he goes to the garage and grabs an axe. Pat feels his weight and tries to swing the ax on a tree stump. After hitting the stump 10 times, he looks exhausted. At 32, he no longer seems able to continue. He is physically exhausted and out of breath, although viewers often see him jogging throughout the series.

Justin Timberlake reappears in the latest episode of Candy on Hulu Episode 5, airing at 9 p.m. PT on May 13, 2022 on Hulu.

RELATED: ‘Candy’ on Hulu: Episode 3 Recap, ‘Overkill’ – The Candy and Allan Affair

Personal loans used to buy cars secured Oportun’s $400m ABS

Oportun Issuance Trust, 2022-A, aims to raise $400 million from capital market debt, by issuing notes that will be secured by auto-securitized installment loans.

Oportun, Inc., sponsoring the asset-backed securities (ABS) deal, which is secured by non-preferential loans. The agreement has a renewable period of 24 months, according to Morningstar | DBRS. During the revolving period, eligible receivables will be sold to the trust subject to concentration limits and eligibility criteria. This structure is a change from the previous transaction, the Oportun 2021-C.

In support of the 24-month renewable period, there is a required Overcollateralization (OC) amount of 2.25%. If the trust does not maintain the required overcollateralization amount, the renewal period will end and the bonds will amortize sequentially.

The deal will issue notes across four classes, and DBRS plans to assign ratings ranging from “AA” on the $289 million Class A notes to “BB” on the $11.2 million Class D notes. of dollars, DBRS said. Based in San Carlos, Calif., and certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Oportun serves consumers who it believes are underserved by mainstream and mainstream financial institutions for a variety of reasons.

Oportun Inc. and MetaBank created the loans in the collateral pool. PF Servicing will serve as the repairer and administrator of the agreement, while Systems & Services Technologies will serve as the backup repairer, according to DBRS.

For credit enhancement, Oportun Issuance Trust, 2022-A, has a fully funded reserve account, equivalent to 0.25% of the original principal note balance, DBRS. Initially, the amount of the additional cost required is equivalent to $9.2 million, according to DBRS. The notes will also benefit from subordination in the form of class B, C and D notes, as well as an excess spread. The notes will bear fixed interest rates, to be determined at the price transaction. The deal is expected to close on May 18, DBRS said.

Oportun has disbursed over $4.9 million in loan funds, totaling approximately $12.0 billion in credit granted. Among Oportun’s outstanding loans, balances range from $300 to $11,000, with an initial weighted average (WA) term of approximately 35 months (compared to the industry’s secured personal loan balance of $2,525 to $20,300, with terms of 24 to 66 months).

DVIDS – News – Fire and Emergency Services Academy Graduation Boosts Fleet with Reserve Support

Seven students graduated from Commander Naval Reserve (NR), Naval Installations Command (CNIC) Fire Academy aboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis on April 29.

The Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) program aims to train and equip Naval Reserve personnel as a firefighting force capable of rapid mobilization in the event of a natural or man-made disaster , as well as providing relief and support for routine basic functions. It was founded in 2007.
The course takes place every year. It lasts nine weeks and qualifies graduates with six major certifications: First Aid, Hazardous Materials Awareness (HAZMAT), HAZMAT Operations, HAZMAT Mission-Specific Competent Personal Protective Equipment, Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, and Aircraft Firefighting and rescue. These graduates will also receive Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) 786B: Shore Base Airport and Aircraft Firefighter.
“This training builds the future strength of Naval Reserve firefighters,” said Anthony Pena, Senior Air Boatswain’s Chief, CNIC F&ES Military Firefighter Program Manager. “Students enter scenarios that challenge their natural instinct to save themselves and are encouraged to focus on saving others. The skills acquired during this course can be used from the first day of their operational career.
This year’s class includes a mix of staff who report to NR F&ES. Because this year’s class was smaller than in previous years, the students received almost one-on-one facilitation and more hands-on training time during the actual burns and hands-on evolutions, resulting in a significantly higher performing team and unified.
Graduates join the more than 150 NR Sailors capable of augmenting fire stations on installations around the world. Each is assigned to one of four detachments reporting to NR CNIC F&ES Head Office or NR Europe, Africa, Central F&ES/Air Operations Unit. Unit locations have been strategically chosen to best equip fleet concentration areas and support any Department of Defense (DoD) installation worldwide.
This year, nine additional students joined the latter part of the Academy course, to participate in the Aircraft Firefighting and Rescue course only. Many of these students were catching up on their training and certification impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The certifications obtained are reciprocal on the civilian side, allowing NR F&ES personnel to work in military and civilian fire stations. Graduates often attain firefighting positions in civilian fire departments across the United States in their spare time.
This was the 5th consecutive year for it to be housed in Naval District Washington at Naval Support Activity Annapolis. The ongoing working relationship has strengthened the bonds between the instructors and NR F&ES management and has allowed both parties to better manage processes and support.

The NR CNIC F&ES program now has over 190 tickets, and growth is expected to continue as support requests come in from around the world. Graduates are prepared to support emergency request signals, positioned to support a variety of contingent situations. NR CNIC F&ES is always looking for qualified or highly motivated personnel to join the team – to answer the call “Ready Now. Anytime Anywhere.”

Date taken: 29.04.2022
Date posted: 05.11.2022 06:07
Story ID: 420369
Location: DC, United States

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WHO chief’s remarks on China’s COVID-19 policy blocked on country’s social media


LONDON: An annual celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr returned to the British capital this weekend after a two-year break due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Eid in the Square, hosted by the Mayor of London, is held annually in Trafalgar Square to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and attracts thousands of Muslim and non-Muslim attendees. This year’s event was the 17th.

“A lot of people twist the religion of Islam and many Muslims are often demonized,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Arab News. “The great thing about the month of Ramadan is that Muslims, like me, show non-Muslims what our religion is – charity, compassion, decency – and Eid is about bringing people together and celebrate this important holiday.”


As the threat of the pandemic recedes, Khan said authorities in London want to see more events reflecting all religions. Easter and Vaisakhi celebrations have already taken place in the square this year, and it will host Diwali and Hanukkah events in the coming months.

“It’s really important for us to realize here in London, for me diversity is not a weakness but a strength,” Khan said. “But also that we don’t just tolerate Muslims, we respect them, we embrace them, we celebrate them.

“I strongly believe in integration, but I also understand and respect the religious backgrounds of different people, and I think it is possible to be a proud Brit, a proud Londoner, someone who is proud to be of Pakistani or Asian descent, and a Muslim.”


The first day of Eid Al-Fitr fell on Monday, May 2 this year, but Eid in the Square was held on Saturday, May 7 so that more families and other visitors could attend. The event included live Islamic-inspired music, comedy, art, poetry and other cultural performances, as well as a feast of food stalls featuring cuisines from around the world.

Many people wore Eid carnival costumes and other entertainment included family activities such as calligraphy, storytelling, mehndi (henna body art), face painting, science and drama workshops and a variety sports activities.

Ayham Jaaron, a 42-year-old university professor from Palestine, was celebrating Eid in the UK for the first time and traveled to London for the event from Loughborough in Leicestershire with his wife and two children . He said he was proud to be part of Britain’s Muslim community, a society that promotes values, tolerance and equality.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the Muslim community to come together and celebrate with other people and also enjoy the family atmosphere,” he added.

His wife, Yasmin Abu Alhla Jaaron, a 32-year-old researcher working on a doctorate, said she was impressed to see Muslims from diverse cultures and backgrounds celebrating together, and touched that non-Muslims also joined. to them to share the special day. She added that because she is studying abroad, she cannot join her own family to celebrate Eid, but an event like this brings everyone together “so it’s like a big family. I am very grateful for that.

Zia Rahman, 50, a Pakistani Muslim who recently moved from Germany to London, brought her nine-year-old son to Eid in the Square. He said he did not expect such turnout and a wide range of family activities.

Eid in the Square is hosted by the Mayor of London and held annually in Trafalgar Square to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (AN Photo/Hasenin Fadhel)

“In Germany, I didn’t experience that; we are a small Muslim community there,” he added. “But here there are a lot of people from different cultures and also with different beliefs, so it’s nice to see them all celebrating together.”

His son, Ameen, said he enjoyed the event and said it was the first time he had had such an experience, although he found it strange to see so many Muslims living in a non-Muslim town.

Mariem Bouchaala, 32, a financial consultant from Tunisia, also said she had never attended an event like this before and did not expect so many people. She was joined by friends from several countries including Spain, Colombia and India and said the atmosphere “reflects the cultural part of London”.

Ahead of the celebrations, and in partnership with Eid in the Square, for the first time ever, the London Eye observation wheel on the bank of the River Thames has been lit up with a crescent moon to celebrate the Eid holiday Al-Fitr.

Respecting the territorial integrity of Syria, the only way out of the crisis

Speaking at the 6th conference in support of the future of Syria and the region held on Tuesday evening in the Belgian capital, Brussels, Gholamhossein Dehghani said that respect for territorial integrity and Syria’s sovereignty is the only possible way for peace, dialogue and a political solution to the crisis. as well as the reconstruction of Syria with a focus on the Syrian government.

While explaining Iran’s position on the Syrian crisis and the need to find solutions to the crisis, he attacked Western countries’ approach to the Syrian crisis.

Turning to terrorist groups in Syria, he said that terrorist groups must completely leave Syria.

Dehghani pointed to the dual approach of some Western countries towards extremist groups which divide them into good and bad terrorism and added that there is no good or bad terrorism and such a narrow division leads to expansion of the crisis and the endangerment of global security because terrorism cannot be limited to a specific region.

While listing Iran’s humanitarian measures in Syria such as building schools, health and treatment centers, coronavirus-related aid, and helping rebuild economic and industrial infrastructure in the country, the Iranian envoy condemned the international community’s silence in the face of the Zionist regime’s atrocities on non-military centers in Syria.

Dehghani called these actions a clear violation of the UN Charter.

The solution to the Syrian crisis can only be achieved through a comprehensive approach that covers all aspects of the problem, including the end of illegal sanctions, the return of all Syrian refugees, the cessation of Zionist attacks on Syria and the increased humanitarian aid to that country, he added.


Los Angeles lawmakers debate repeal of law banning detention of 17-year-olds in adult facilities

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (KALB) – The Senate considered Senate Bill 418 on Monday, May 9, which seeks to automatically detain 17-year-olds as adults, citing an increase in youth crime.

The proposed bill seeks to repeal the Raise the Age Act, which was passed with bipartisan support and came into force in 2020. Opponents of the bill have said 17-year-olds are children and housing them with adults, as to whether the offense was non-violent or violent, was dangerous.

Sen. Stewart Cathey (R-District 33), author of SB 418, said an increase in youth crime nationwide necessitates change.

The bill was passed by a Senate Judiciary Committee in late April, with the support of Attorney General Jeff Landry and Iberville Parish District Attorney Tony Clayton.

Landry suggested that the Raise the Age Act was hastily thought out, leading to lingering problems within the system it was meant to help. To that end, Landry said the current law creates exceptions that are more onerous for prosecutors and victims. Instead, they want there to be a rule about charging 17-year-olds as adults, not an exception.

Rapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell noted that the exception makes prosecutions more difficult. Although a bipartisan group of lawmakers in 2017 passed the law during Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration, Terrell suggested the measure was premature. Instead, Terrell said the law has overburdened the juvenile justice system.

“We are woefully underfunded and inadequate, not just in Rapides Parish, but across the state,” Terrell said. “[There is] underfunded and understaffed juvenile prosecution, juvenile detention, and we need to do something about it.

On the other hand, the bill has many fierce opponents, such as Rachel Gassert of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, who said the data does not support repeal.

According to statistics from Datalytics, the murder rate in Louisiana increased by 68% in cities in 2020. Those under 18 accounted for only about 4.4% of these offenders, down from the previous two years. after the Raise the Act was passed. in force.

They said lawmakers must consider ways in which the juvenile justice system can better serve its purpose, instead of repealing what it hoped to preserve.

“I think we should be focusing on more socio-economic issues as they relate to minors,” said Jermaine Harris, defense attorney for Rapides Parish. “You know, what’s going on at home, what’s going on at school, you know, after-school programs, youth sports. You know, focus on schools that offer trades and vocations to kids who aren’t going to college. I think we should put some money on these things.

On both sides, there are those who stick to the 2017 reasoning behind the Raise the Age Act, that 17-year-olds are minors in all other societal systems, and the juvenile justice system should work. according to this understanding. People on both sides, including Terrell, Harris and Gassert, said the facilities should fundamentally operate differently.

“Someone has to teach this youngster how to live, how to find a job, teach him a trade, solve his addiction problem, solve his mental health problem, solve all these things so that he can be a citizen, so that ‘It can be productive, so they don’t do it again,’ Terrell said.

“We shouldn’t excuse and place minors in adult facilities because there can be issues with juvenile facilities,” Harris said. “I don’t think that’s a valid excuse. I think we should do what we can to make sure this system works and these facilities work in the juvenile system.

Bill SB 418 was returned to the calendar after a brief debate in the Senate.

Cathey’s bill is just one bill in a larger conversation about juvenile justice reform that figures prominently in this legislative session.

For example, Turkey Creek-based Sen. Heather Cloud (R-District 28) has a bill to restructure juvenile justice facilities. SB 323 would create a three-tier system based on several factors, including the offender’s threat, which would range from low to high.

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Ukraine needs humanitarian aid, refugee assistance and arms

The Daily Hampshire Gazette is credited with encouraging lively debate about the war currently raging in Ukraine. Back and forth, some commentators have encouraged Russia’s occupation of large parts of eastern Ukraine, spoken out against military aid, complained that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected Russian invitations to negotiate and accused the Ukrainian government of allying with neo-Nazis to suppress Russian sympathizers. Others have argued that the United States should end sanctions against the Russian economy that seek to punish that country’s aggression.

There are good reasons to disagree. Foremost among the arguments for continued military aid are: the capture of Crimea and the Donbass region by Russia in 2014; his invasion of Ukraine in February; and the death and destruction he now visits upon this country, which we will examine below.

These are all flagrant violations of international law and of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits member states from using force against other states. These outrages, in our view, provide ample justification for the United States and NATO countries to support Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance and to maintain economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, his oligarch allies, and his government.

What about Zelensky’s alleged reluctance to negotiate with his opponents? Among its demands for a peace deal, Russia wants Ukraine to agree to remain militarily neutral, permanently cede Crimea to Russia and grant regional autonomy to Donbass, which sits on the Russian border. While the Ukrainian leader has indicated that his government will accept neutrality, he refuses to cede vital parts of his sovereign territory to Russia in exchange for Putin’s promise of peace.

Based on the Russian president’s broken promises to the Ukrainian government before and during the war – such as his assertion that Russia had no intention of invading – this decision is well made. Prior to World War II, Hitler made a similar promise in the Munich Agreement of 1938. In the negotiations leading to the agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain attempted to avert war with Germany by accepting the Nazi occupation of the Czech Sudetenland in return for peace. We know how it happened.

It is now 84 years later. As we have become familiar with the rules-based order that was established in post-World War II Europe, it is difficult for most of us to truly understand what it was like to live in a Europe occupied by the Nazis and suffer Hitler’s murderous assaults. However, it is easy for Ukrainian civilians to imagine this kind of reality, as they endure Russia’s bombardment of their cities and many of the humanitarian evacuation corridors it has agreed to honor.

Putin’s army has also committed mass murders and starved civilians, bombed hospitals and schools, and driven millions to flee the country. We can add to these war crimes the Russian army’s use of large-scale rape as a weapon to terrorize civilians, a fact verified by Ukrainian and international organizations. If the Russian military is not committing what is technically described as genocide, it seems to be trying hard to do so.

Echoing Putin’s wartime propaganda about the “denazification” of Ukraine, some American commentators complain about the presence of neo-fascist elements in that country’s society and military. They accuse military aid of supporting far-right forces. The fact that extremists exist in Ukraine, however, does not define it any more than the neo-fascist elements active here define the United States and its military.

Other critics of military aid have accused President Zelensky of using militarist propaganda to foment his military and Ukrainian civilians into a hateful fury toward Russia, almost as if he was responsible for the invasion. The truth is that the Ukrainian people do not need to be incited to oppose Russian aggression. From frontline soldiers to territorial defense forces to the thousands of civilian men and women who volunteer to help the military, Ukrainians are fighting for their survival and for their country’s freedom.

As the war in Ukraine unfolds, European countries such as Moldova, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania, which were once part of the Soviet Union or its Cold War allies, fear being a future target of Putin’s expansionism. To the north, mostly neutral Sweden and Finland are so worried that they, as has been widely reported, are likely to apply for NATO membership. It is not surprising that these nations think they could be next if the Russian military succeeds in Ukraine.

Time and time again, Putin has demonstrated his determination to control or destroy countries he believes should be within Russia’s geographic sphere of influence. We shouldn’t stick our heads in the sand like Neville Chamberlain did when Nazi Germany invaded a European neighbour. Ukraine deserves our undivided support during its darkest hours.

Glenn Ruga is the executive director of the Social Documentary Network and former director of the Center for Balkan Development. Rob Wilson is a retired nonprofit director. He has volunteered on humanitarian aid projects in the United States and abroad. Michael Kane is a retired economic development specialist. He has been active in many efforts to bring peace as well as social, racial and economic justice and is a member of the Valley Syrian Relief Committee. Deborah Shriver is a retired water resource consultant. She now volunteers with organizations that provide humanitarian aid and pursue peacebuilding, social and environmental justice and is a member of the Valley Syrian Relief Committee.

Newtown chef helps raise over $50,000 for World Central Kitchen, among Danbury area highlights


CityCenter Danbury’s “Taste of Danbury” event finale will take place this month.

For only $25, attendees can enjoy a variety of delicious meals from four different downtown establishments

More information and ticket purchase is available at https://citycenterdanbury.ticketbud.com/tastes-of-danbury-may.


Immaculate Engineering Team Wins National Merit Award

Danbury Immaculate High School’s Brave engineering team received the 2022 United States Design Viability Merit Award at the virtual International Real World Design Competition in Washington, DC

The team members were: Nikolas Badinelli, Danbury resident and Class of 2022, Paulina Garcia, Danbury resident and Class of 2022, Carolyn Jandura, Redding resident and Class of 2022, Mario Perez, Newtown resident and Class of 2022, Nicole Radllif , New Fairfield resident of the class of 2024, Ava Viola, resident of Sherman and class of 2023, and Yipeng Simon Zhao, resident of Danbury and class of 2024.

Jeanine Antonios, school counselor at Immaculate High School, led the team. The Technical Director of Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Engines mentored the members.

The team was challenged to present their design evolution and final design, which included the processes used to determine the viability of the specifications for the creation of their N-21 BE Eagle drone, controls, operations center , ground control station operations and safety. measurements, delivery capabilities, unforeseen events and business model.

The challenge is also an annual competition that provides high school students with the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a team environment.


Family Resource Fair

Various organizations are hosting a free 2022 Early Years and Community Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Danbury Sports Dome.

The Center for Action Learning/Community Agency of Western Connecticut is hosting the event in conjunction with Danbury Public School District, Latinos for Educational Advocacy and Diversity, United Way, Danbury Senior Resources Council and Parent Leadership Training Institute.

The event aims to provide information and resources on how to access services and programs that benefit all children and families in the community.

Participants will have the opportunity to collect and exchange information from different organizations in the community.

Agencies will provide information on child care services, kindergarten enrollment, special education services, summer camps, dental health services, food assistance services, family support, etc.

There will also be workshops, resource tables, face painting, children’s activities, music, arts and crafts, games and raffles.

New city

The school holds an annual spring meeting and auction

Fraser Woods Montessori School held its annual spring gala and auction fundraising event, “Let’s Get to Know Aquila,” on May 1.

This year’s fundraiser supported the school’s Fund-A-Need campaign. This time the money will go to a new manufacturing lab, which will include 3D printers and a laser cutting machine.

The lab is intended to equip students in kindergarten through eighth grade with the tools to design, invent, and create independently. It will cultivate an environment that encourages students to apply fundamental knowledge to unique challenges. Additionally, it will encourage students to develop a growth mindset that they will carry into all their future endeavours. Above all, it is also a space where our students have fun. I

New city

Chef helps raise over $50,000 for World Central Kitchen

Newtown Chef Plum recently hosted a celebrity chef beer dinner to benefit the World Central Kitchen.

The April 25 event raised more than $50,000 as chefs from the Food Network television network came together to support the crisis in Ukraine.

The celebrity chefs, known for heating things up on the network, teamed up with the Boston Beer Company and whipped up a six-course dinner complete with beers, all to benefit the World Central Kitchen.

The chefs were: Chef Plum, who is also from PBS and National Public Radio, as well as Jeff Purazzi, who is the co-host of the Plumluvfoods podcast, Nick Calias from the Hotel Colonnade TV show on the Food Network, chef Michele Ragussis, who is also a Food Network judge, Robert Sisca, who is a chef and partner at The Banks, and Himmel Hospitality Group’s Bistro du Midi venues, and Adam Young, who is a pastry chef on the Food Network.

The 65-person dinner took place at Boston’s Tap Dance Hall and was hosted by Chef Plum after a chat with Jamie Mcdonald on WNPR radio’s “Seasoned.”

New city

The organization will organize a fundraiser for Ukraine

The Western Connecticut Music Teachers Association is hosting a free festival and fundraiser at the Newtown Meeting House for Ukraine from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, titled “Young Musicians For Ukraine.”

The Meeting House is located at 31 Main St. in Newtown.

The event will feature live music by students under the age of 19.

There will also be performances that will include musical works by composers Chopin, Grieg, Albeniz, Beethoven and other composers. A jazz band will also perform.

All donations will be used to protect and restore lives in Ukraine and other countries where families have been displaced.

Cash donations to the United Nations Refugee Agency, United States, for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, will be accepted at the event and online.

Donations can be made at https://fundraise-for-refugees.funraise.org/fundraiser/young-musicians-for, for Ukraine.


Mental health programs available

The Housatonic Valley Health District will be offering two-hour sessions to learn about promoting positive mental health and addressing feelings of anxiety, stress, and loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To raise awareness about mental health, the Housatonic Valley Health District will begin hosting “Coping During Times of COVID-19” programs in the community.

Topics will include general mental health information, facts and myths about mental health, how to promote positive mental health through a healthy lifestyle, tips for beating stress, tips for coping with stress and COVID-related anxiety, and supporting the senior community with the effects of the COVID pandemic.

To attend the program virtually, people can join the Housatonic Valley Health District from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. To register for the virtual program, visit hvhd.us/event/coping-during-times-of-covid-19/.


The church will support World Central Kitchen

Christ Church Roxbury is hosting a benefit tag sale event for the nonprofit World Central Kitchen from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The event will take place in the parish hall of the church at 4 Wellers Bridge Road in Roxbury.

Call Roxbury resident Dona Murphy at 860-354-6760 with any questions.


Local carer receives national carer of the year award

Local Southbury carer, Kay Madlingozi, a Certified Home Health Worker, from BrightStart Care Southbury, received the Carer of the Year award. She has been recognized for the exceptional care she continues to provide to her clients and for her commitment to health care.

She was named the BrightStar Care North East Region winner, but the national home care and medical staff franchise chose to award all regional winners with national recognition due to the challenges caregivers faced. over the past two years.

Madlingozi was nominated for the honor by one of her client’s family members for the unparalleled empathy, care and patience she provided to her client during the 3½ years she was her certified caregiver.


Social Justice Group Host Speaker

The social justice advocacy group, Justice Southbury. has scheduled the fourth session of its speaker series, on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion

This interactive Zoom conversation will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m.

The speaker for the May 15 session is Aunrée Houston, former vice president of marketing operations for HBO’s programming sales division. Currently, Houston partners with companies to develop and improve workplace culture, diversity, equity and inclusion policy, and talent management.

A self-proclaimed “Fairness and Equality Futurist,” Houston will present a “DEI Empowerment Talk” to Judge Southbury’s audience. DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.

To receive the Zoom link to attend, email [email protected]


Institute of American Studies Announces New Quilt Project

The Institute for American Indian Studies has announced a new community quilt project for the month of May.

The project, titled “Blocks of Hope and Healing,” is a way to support and bring attention to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people, MMIWG2.

The concept of the community-made quilt will be used to honor and remember the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people.

The institute invites the public to be part of the global movement by participating in two upcoming quilting workshops.

The first workshop will take place on Saturday, at 11 a.m. Saturday. The second workshop will take place at 11 a.m. on May 22.

The Institute for American Indian Studies Director of Education, Darlene Kascak, will lead the workshops. She is from the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.

Participants who do not complete their quilt packs during the workshops can complete them at home, provided they return them to the institute before June 1st.

All participants are invited to donate $25 to the National Council for Native Women’s Rights. Donations can be made at https://www.niwrc.org/donate.

Call 860-868-0518 or email [email protected] to reserve your section on this community quilt, register for one of the quilt workshops, or if you have any questions about this initiative.

Whatever Putin says on VE Day, his operation failed

Image: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

The Kremlin’s plan was to defeat Ukraine a few days before the end of February. Instead, Putin faces Victory Day on May 9 without a win.

Although the Kremlin claims that the “special military operation” is on the right track, the initial plan to take control of the whole country and the scaled-down plan to capture the south and east have so far present failed. While “phase two” of the war saw limited gains for Russia in some areas, its army was pushed back elsewhere. A long-term attrition war – involving further large-scale losses of men and equipment – seems likely, with little or no chance of Russia achieving its main objectives in Ukraine and beyond.

Unsurprisingly, Putin now seems intent on producing some sort of result that he can present as a clear success in Ukraine. Speculation that it will focus on Mariupol, destroyed by the Russian invasion, has been fueled by reports that rubble is being cleared to allow for a victory parade. The determination to finally seize the Azovstal complex, despite claims last month that Putin had ordered the attack to be abandoned and even though troops mired in fighting there are urgently needed for Russia’s attack on eastern Ukraine – suggests that Ukraine’s outright defeat there is a political priority.

But a triumphant parade through the Mariupol desert looks like a bad throwback to 10 weeks of fighting, the death of perhaps more than 20,000 soldiers and the greatest damage to Russia’s economy since the nightmare of the 1990s.

One option is for Putin to simply declare “mission accomplished” in Ukraine, regardless of his war aims and the actual situation on the ground. The Kremlin has tightened its grip on the media and people who speak accurately about the war now face up to 15 years in prison. This means that government propaganda is now the only version of war information available to many Russians. If Putin says the Luhansk and Donetsk regions have been “liberated” or that southern Ukraine has been “denazified”, Russian mainstream media will not dispute these claims if the fighting continues. Even if there is no broader declaration of victory, the Kremlin risks portraying its catastrophic failure in Ukraine as a success reminiscent of the noble sacrifice and triumph of the Great Patriotic War.

In the longer term, however, this approach will be unsustainable as propaganda clashes with reality. Whatever claims the Kremlin and docile media make about the conduct of the war, and whatever Putin claims about victory, the staggering Russian casualty rate will tell a different story. Just as in the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the growing gap between what Russians are told and what they know from their own families and communities about the dead and wounded is likely to erode the credibility of government claims. This could precipitate the abandonment of public support for the war and for Putin himself.

Other areas of discontent become visible as the war drags on with no prospect of success. The discontent of the rich and powerful in Russia has been moderate so far, but the erosion of their wealth and the disappearance of key elements of their way of life who originally bought their consent to Putin’s authoritarian regime creates risks for him.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s continued failure to make significant gains in “phase two” of the invasion, two other states where Russia has significant influence, Moldova and Belarus, have emerged as more prominent features. rumor and analysis.

A series of incidents in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria – host to a small Russian military presence since the collapse of the USSR – has raised concerns that the Kremlin intends to use the region either to launch an invasion of southwestern Ukraine, or to destabilize Moldova and signal its desire to extend the war. Given the enormous difficulties of attacking Ukraine from Transnistria, this may be disinformation, intended to persuade Ukraine to deploy troops to its border region rather than to the east (although an attempt to undermine the Moldovan government by non-military means is more likely).

The announcement by the Belarusian government of combat readiness exercises have raised questions about whether he is finally pressured into joining the war after previously refusing to get involved. A Belarusian invasion would limit Ukraine’s ability to lead forces into the fight in the east, which would greatly benefit Russia. But the decision would be unpopular, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (dependent on Russian support since the stolen 2020 elections) is far from safe.

If Russia is indeed using the threat of military action from Transnistria and Belarus as a means of reducing the forces Ukraine can deploy to fight in the east, it is yet another sign that the Kremlin is pulling all the stops. levers within his reach to try to improve his situation. Threats to target NATO arms deliveries, escalating threats in the Baltic if Finland and Sweden join NATO, and even media personalities’ suggestions of a nuclear strike on the UK failed to stop the flow of military aid to Ukraine and the prospect of NATO. expansion. The refocusing of the war on the south and east did not bring victory any closer. Whatever Putin announces on VE Day, the ongoing military, diplomatic and economic disaster of the war will continue to put victory in Ukraine beyond reach.

Priority Automotive’s Dennis Ellmer honored as first Norfolk citizen – The Virginian-Pilot

He is the son of a Marine and 1 of 5 children who grew up on a small ranch in Ocean View where the children shared a bathroom. There was no air conditioning so on hot summer nights the kids spilled out onto the porch.

If you wanted ice cream or go to the movies, you were told to go out and make some money, whether that was shining shoes, delivering newspapers or selling Christmas trees for the Knights of Columbus. from Ocean View.

Dennis Ellmer learned how to make money before he was a teenager and didn’t let his humble beginnings deter him from dreaming big.

As a senior at Norview High School (class of 1971), he was already delivering the morning and evening paper and selling auto parts at the Southern Mall in Norfolk.

As an adult, he sold motorcycles, then cars – and he was pretty good at convincing people that yes, they needed new wheels.

He got married, had three kids, and was selling cars in northern Virginia in 1998 when he was offered the opportunity to buy a car dealership in Chesapeake.

With the blessing of his wife, Jan, he mortgaged his house, borrowed every penny he could, and bought Jimmy Kline Chevrolet and Toyota. If the business failed, he would have had to start all over again at age 45.

“I was done” in case of failure, he said.

But it worked, and Ellmer grew that little batch into the Priority Automotive Group, which now has 20 car dealerships across Hampton Roads and across the state.

Priority is a $2 billion company that employs over 2,500 people. Inside Business has consistently ranked Ellmer among the 20 most influential people in Hampton Roads.

Yet Ellmer never forgot his humble roots, and as his business flourished, he shared his wealth with the community.

More than ten years ago, he revived the Charity Bowl football game. The game and a golf tournament have helped him raise $4 million for children’s charities over the past five years, including The Joy Fund, sponsored by The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press.

The 2022 Charity Bowl will add another $850,000 to that total. All money goes to help 45 charity groups that help children in need.

It was largely because of his charitable work that the Norfolk Cosmopolitan Club recently honored Ellmer as its first citizen.

He was made the First Citizen in 2019, but due to the pandemic Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander was unable to put the First Citizen Medal around his neck until April 23 at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club .

“I’ve worked with Dennis on a number of initiatives, and he always asks what we need and says he and his team will figure out how to do it,” Alexander said.

The event drew several hundred people and some state and regional leaders, including former Governor Bob McDonnell, Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron, former Dominion Chairman Brian O. Hemphill and Sheppard W. Miller III, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation, who read a letter from Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Miller recalls a phone conversation with Ellmer after a snowstorm last winter.

“He was sweeping snow from cars in one of his lots,” Miller said. “You don’t get where he is by not doing that stuff. The governor often says there’s no giving up on this guy.

Ellmer shed some light on being born from the so-called wrong end of the trail during his low-key and humble acceptance speech.

“I’m the first guy from Norview High, from Ocean View, to be First Citizen,” he said. “I didn’t want to talk about it until the end of the evening because they could win.”

Several tables away, Judy Boone was beaming. Boone founded and still runs Judy Boone Realty, the dominant player in Ocean View and one of the area’s largest real estate agencies.

She grew up two doors down from Ellmer and discovered the value of location, location, location when she set up a lemonade stand in front of her house. She didn’t sell much lemonade until she moved to Cape View Avenue, a thoroughfare.

“A few years ago I asked Dennis, ‘Can you believe what we’ve accomplished?’” she said. “He was like, ‘Judy, we didn’t have much, but it was fun to make money and we were loved. “”

Ellmer spoke fondly of her parents, Lewis and Georgianna. Lewis fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars and for a time was missing and presumed dead in Korea. Shortly after the war ended, he arrived at his parents’ doorstep after being released.

“They thought he was dead,” Ellmer said.

Ellmer attended Holy Trinity Catholic School until enrolling at Norview and was an outstanding athlete. Robert Roussos, a longtime Norfolk lawyer and former classmate from Norview High, played with him on several of these teams, including the Ocean View Aces football team.

Ellmer was, of course, captain of the defense at linebacker.

“Dennis was the guy who got along with everyone, who cared about everyone,” Roussos said.

This care was shown when he started working on an idea several years ago to train non-violent criminals to become car mechanics. He built a $2 million training facility in Chesapeake, worked with Republicans and Democrats to change a state law so nonviolent felons could conduct state inspections, and started partnerships. with Tidewater Community College, Tidewater Tech and the Norfolk Sheriff’s Department.

Ellmer pays their tuition to go to school. Nearly 100 graduates of the program now work at Priority, with most earning more than $50,000 a year and one earning more than $100,000, Ellmer said.

The idea was born from a trip to Fiji, when he and his wife, Jan, had lunch with their guide and asked him how he had learned so much about his country. He said he got out of jail learning to be a tour guide.

He met Jan almost five decades ago after she chose his face from a friend’s wedding album. Tony Cerza, another local car dealer, set them up on a blind date and they immediately hit it off. They have been married for 44 years.

“She was the core of our rock family,” he said. “We moved nine times in our first 25 years and it was difficult for her. I wouldn’t be here without her.

The Ellmers have funded scholarships for ODU students and donate generously to March of Dimes. He had twin sisters who died shortly after birth and said with today’s technology they would live.

“Dennis has done so many things like this to help people, most of them that no one really knows, that it would take a scroll for you to name them all,” said former Norfolk W. Councilor Randy Wright, who was co-chair of the First Citizen committee that selected Ellmer.

Noting the long list of former First Citizens, including former Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, attorney Vincent J. Mastracco Jr., philanthropist Josh Darden, and the late Peter G. Decker Jr., a lawyer who was also a philanthropist , Ellmer said “tonight we stand on their shoulders. They led by example and showed people like me how to do our part to make this place better.

“A prize like this is not a destination. It is simply a milestone in a journey that continues,” he said. “I promise you I’m not done. I’ll wake up tomorrow looking for other ways to make Hampton Roads a better place.

Minium is a former pilot from Virginia and a reporter for the Daily Press.

EU proposes toughest sanctions yet as Russia steps up offensive in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities braced for an expected escalation in Russian attacks ahead of the VE Day holiday on May 9, while officials on both sides said the civilian evacuation of a beleaguered steel mill in Mariupol was complete, although that the fate of the remaining fighters there is unclear. .

Ukrainian officials said on May 7 that all women, children and the elderly had been evacuated from the massive Azovstal steelworks that had been under attack for weeks by Russian forces amid the ruins of the port city.

“The President’s order has been carried out: all women, children and elderly people have been evacuated from Azovstal,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement on social media.

“This part of Mariupol’s humanitarian mission is over,” she added without giving further details.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy later said a “second stage” of the evacuation would now take place, with the evacuation of the injured and medical personnel.

He said work would continue on May 8 to secure all humanitarian corridors to allow those in and around the city who wish to leave to exit. He added that Kyiv was trying to get the last fighters out of the steel mill, but it “was extremely difficult”.

Fears are growing that a final and bloody showdown between Ukrainian fighters and Russian troops could break out if the defenders are not allowed to be evacuated from the factory.

The evacuation of the Azovstal steelworks has intensified over the past two days, even as Russia has continued to batter the facility and the strategic city, which now lies mostly in ruins.

Russia is seeking to complete its takeover of the region and build a land bridge between Crimea – which it illegally annexed in 2014 – and territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Mariupol has suffered the worst fighting in Ukraine since Russian troops were forced to retreat around kyiv and other northern towns.

Prior to the weekend, around 200 civilians were hiding in the massive steelworks along with around 2,000 Ukrainian defenders.

The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are desperately trying to organize evacuations from the site.

Russian officials also later released a statement saying the civilian evacuation of the steel mill was complete.

The fate of the fighters remains uncertain.

Russia, meanwhile, claimed that its Iskander missiles had destroyed a cache of Ukrainian weapons that had been supplied by the United States and Europe and that high-precision missiles had destroyed Ukrainian planes at airfields in Artsyz, Odessa and Voznesensk regions.

Oleskiy Arestovych, one of Zelenskiy’s top advisers, claimed on May 7 that Ukraine had made advances on the battlefield in the east, just two days before Russia held ceremonies to mark the Victory Day, the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s May 9 speech will be closely watched to see if he announces a general mobilization or other major strategic shift, aimed at turning the tide of the war, which is now in its 73rd day.

The Council of Europe’s top human rights representative deplored Moscow’s actions during its invasion, saying every Ukrainian who suffered human rights abuses at the hands of Russia deserves justice.

“Each of them deserves justice and must not be forgotten,” Dunja Mijatovic said in a statement after a four-day visit to Kyiv, adding that the scale of human rights violations was “amazing”.

In the first weeks after the February 24 invasion, Russian forces were thwarted in their attempts to seize kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, suffering heavy losses in personnel and equipment. The commanders then withdrew the units from areas near kyiv and repositioned them in Donbass.

Russia’s last official tally of its military dead was 1,351. Western officials, however, say the toll is at least 15,000, and Ukrainian officials say the tally is over 20,000. Zelenskiy said the last month that between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, although this figure is considered an undercount.

The Ukrainian General Staff, meanwhile, said in its daily assessment that Russian activity was relatively calm overnight, limited to military reconnaissance and artillery fire.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Near Izyum, where there was significant back-and-forth, drones were repeatedly detected over defense positions, according to the report. Kharkiv was also hit by artillery.

Kherson, which is located in northern Crimea, well outside Donbass, has been contested for weeks, despite Russian forces claiming control of the region’s main city and a senior Russian politician surrendering. in the city of Kherson on May 6.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on May 6 that its forces were continuing to advance towards positions in the Donbass and had destroyed an ammunition depot in Kramatorsk and shot down two Ukrainian warplanes.

On May 7, the ministry said its forces struck 18 Ukrainian military installations overnight, including three ammunition depots near the port city of Odessa. He also said that the Russian forces destroyed a stockpile of military equipment from the United States and European countries near a station in the Kharkiv region.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, quoted by Russian media, said that “a high concentration of weapons and combat equipment delivered by the United States and Western countries, as well as the military personnel of the 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, were eliminated”. with operational and tactical missile systems Iskander” near railway stations in the Kharkiv region.

It was unclear exactly what the weapon was, or when it might have been delivered, and the claims could not be independently confirmed.

Ukrainian military officials confirmed on May 7 that at least four Russian cruise missiles had been fired at the Odessa region and the city’s main airport. Local officials said a curfew would be in place in the area from 10 p.m. May 8 to 5 a.m. May 9.

Ukraine’s successes against Russian forces are due in large part to major arms supplies from the United States and Europe – armaments that increasingly include offensive armaments like heavy artillery, howitzers and tanks.

Russia has repeatedly warned NATO that its arms supply convoys could be targeted, but has so far taken no steps to do so.

Russian forces had closed in on the last contingent of Ukrainian troops standing in the vast tunnels and bunkers of the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian officials said on May 6 that several dozen civilians had been evacuated from Azovstal, while at least 50 others were believed to have left early on May 7 before Vereshchuk’s announcement that all women, children and the elderly had left the site.

Separately, the Ukrainian military said on May 7 that it had destroyed a Russian landing ship near Snake Island in the Black Sea, hitting it with an armed drone. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

In mid-April, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, sank near Snake Island after being hit by what was believed to be a Ukrainian missile. Russia denies a missile strike, saying only that a fire on board sank the ship.

For the first time since the invasion, the UN Security Council approved a brief resolution expressing its “deep concern” over the situation in Ukraine.

However, the text, which was adopted on May 6 with the vote of Russia, did not mention a “war”, a “conflict” or an “invasion” – as many members of the Council call the military action of the Russia – or a “special military operation”. as Moscow calls it.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine,” it read.

With report by AP and dpa

Grease 2 is better than Grease and it’s the hill I’ll die on


In 1971, the musical Fat written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey stormed Broadway. The 50s nostalgia was just taking off and Fat certainly capitalized on that. The story is about the senior year of 1959 at Rydell High. A new transfer student from Australia and a stereotypical good girl, Sandy, has fallen in love with the leader of tough street gang the T-Birds, Danny. How the hell could they ever make it work? A movie followed in 1978 and became one of the greatest musicals of all time. With the star power of John Travolta like Danny and Olivia Newton John like Sandy, it wasn’t a big surprise.

The hit spawned a sequel in 1982 and now that the 40th anniversary is approaching, it’s time to celebrate Fat 2. Fat 2 wasn’t exactly the shot that Fat was (okay, it was a colossal box office failure), but there was no way it would live up to the popularity that Fat had. Fat is an iconic musical that has rightfully earned its place in musical theater history. However… is it a better movie? The answer is no. That’s right, Fat 2 is better. This is why this is the hill I choose to die on.

RELATED: ‘Grease 2’ Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary With a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook

The casting

The cast of Fat 2 may have some big names in hindsight, but at the time they were relatively unknown. The biggest names back then were 60s idols, Tab hunter and Connie Stevens as well as a few appearances from the 1978 film (although Didi Conn mysteriously disappears mid-run.) It certainly didn’t help the box office numbers, even though it was the first major role for many actors’ careers. Some of their careers have become famous like Michelle Pfeiffer and Pamela Adlon (Billed as Pamela Segall) and some didn’t. Either way, it’s incredibly fun to watch raw new talent before fame seeps into their careers.

It’s hardly surprising that Pfeiffer shines above everyone else with what we know now. But there are a bunch of performances that are impressive besides his. Lorna Luft (Judy Garland‘s other girl) like Paulette who may seem like a blonde bombshell, but the one who wouldn’t stand up for nobody’s shit was a revelation in 1982. And let’s not forget the twins Liz and John Sagal (the little sisters of Katey Sagal) who became the infamous Doublemint Twins as well as the star of their own sitcom, Double Trouble. A group of memorable actors who, even though they were still too old to be believable as high schoolers, still passed off as friends.

The music

Fat had the advantage of having the hit Broadway musical as its source, so there was a contingent of fans who were going to show up no matter what. There were no results in Fat 2 which topped the Billboard charts, but there are some great songs. Composer Louis Saint Louis wrote all the original music. Give the soundtrack another listen on your favorite streaming service.

“Reproduction” is a pure and simple banger. Led by Tab Hunter as substitute teacher, it’s a clever (if not quite obvious) song filled with double meanings about the process of breeding flowers and animals and yet somehow exploring the concept of consent. And the group’s big number “Score Tonight” (another filled with understatements) is fun with an infectious hook. I also challenge you to try and get “Girl For All Seasons” out of your head once you’ve watched the movie. Believe me, it will never go away. And when it comes to the “I want” songs, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” doesn’t even hold a candle to “Cool Rider.” Pfeiffer should be commended for her scale work alone, but talk about a female anthem for the ages. If you don’t sing and do her choreography at the end while she states the title of the song, what are you even doing?

The T-Birds and the Pink Ladies

The T-Birds from the first movie are really intense. The birds in Fat 2 are hilariously uncool. They have the jackets, they have the girlfriends, but they are NOT cool. And it works! Sure, they’re a little too laid back about the murder when they think they accidentally caused the death of the mysterious motorcyclist, but it all works out. Isn’t that all that matters? They even use the tutoring (cheating agreement) services of Michael (Maxwell Caulfield) and Johnny is kind enough to give some advice on the bike. T-Birds don’t take themselves seriously, which makes them a whole lot more fun.

Conversely, the Pink Ladies seemed to be exactly what Rizzo (Stockard Channing) envisioned in the first film. Stephanie seems less interested in adhering to feminine norms as she repeatedly wants to wear pants, clearly a big social no-no for 1961. The defining moment of Fat This is when Sandy appears in pants at the very end of the movie. A gesture that Stephanie makes in the first ten minutes. She also has no interest in continuing her relationship with Johnny (Adrien Zmed) simply because they are “meant to be together”. She wants something different. (She wants a date that’s cool!) And when Johnny moves on to Paulette, Paulette is going to make him work for it and make her a priority and not just arm candy. This is the future of female empowerment that would soon come.

The message

No one changes who they are to be with someone. Stephanie fantasizes about a cool rider, of course, and when Michael hears this, he decides to learn to ride a motorcycle. Does he change who he is or just broaden his horizons? Because when Stephanie and the rest of the school find out that Michael is the mystery guy, she’s thrilled because she had already fallen in love with Michael. So now she has it all in one. She didn’t change, and he learned new skills on top of his mediocre piano skills and writing prowess. The T-Birds already love it. Although they’re (inexplicably) stunned that it’s him, they’re thrilled to have a new friend to add to their group. And Stephanie and Michael are a real power couple that doesn’t get blown away by the end. They did this in the middle of the film, as it should be! Overall, it sends much better messages, including being yourself, taking control of your own life, and reversing gender roles through female empowerment that was quite ahead of its time in 1982.

Fat will go down in history as one of the most popular musicals of all time. But try this one again with fresh eyes. Leave your expectations and preconceptions behind and stand up for him for what he was trying to do. Is it perfect? Not far from here. But it was too harshly criticized for not being an exact replica of its source material. It’s its own thing and it should be celebrated. He never takes himself too seriously, and he shamelessly knows exactly what he is. So now that a little time and distance has passed, give Fat 2 another blow.

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Lessons Taiwan learns from Ukraine

The more I got to know her, the more I came to think that Wang Tzu-Hsuan exemplifies some of the best qualities of young Taiwanese I have met here in Taipei: open-minded, serious but not too serious, spontaneous and thoughtful. At 33, she is different from most surgeons in Taiwan – who are usually older and male – and when many of her medical classmates sought more lucrative careers in the United States, she chose to stay, out of a sense of duty. When she’s not busy in the OR or meeting patients, we chat about food or drink and talk about what’s going on in the world, which for us in Taiwan, where pandemic rules still ban foreign visitors, seems quite remote.

I was surprised when Wang told me during dinner at a local Japanese restaurant izakaya restaurant that she had decided to expand her skills from her usual thyroid, liver, pancreas and bowel surgeries to include trauma, namely gunshot and shrapnel wounds. Gun and bomb violence is almost non-existent in Taiwan, but after spending her whole life without worrying about the possibility of China attacking her homeland, she said she started thinking how she could help if the worst happened. “Although the threat from China has always been there,” she said, “it always seemed so distant to us.”

No more. Seeing the devastation that Russian bombs and missiles wreaked on once-quiet Ukrainian towns, Wang approached local volunteer groups to determine how to prepare a generation of surgeons who had never experienced war for the realities of conflict. The Chinese Communist Party seeks to annex Taiwan, which it claims although it has never ruled it, and to eliminate Taiwanese identity. With a densely concentrated population roughly the size of Florida on a mostly mountainous island that is somewhat larger than Maryland, any attempted invasion by China would result in significant civilian casualties.

Wang is not alone either. Many Taiwanese view the current reality of Ukraine as something that could happen to their homeland. A number of Taiwanese friends and interviewees told me they would stay and fight, while others described family plans to obtain citizenship elsewhere, just in case. The former Taiwanese army commander called for the formation of a territorial defense force to deter China’s ambitions. The war has also intensified political discourse, and Taiwanese politicians are using it to rationalize their view of China: for President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party, it justifies the past five years of arms purchases from states United while developing largely unofficial diplomacy with other democracies; For many in the opposition Kuomintang party, an on-and-off enemy of the Communists over the past century, heightened concerns over an attempted invasion of Beijing highlight the risks of getting too close to Washington.

Taiwan and Ukraine both democratized in the 1990s after years of brutal authoritarian rule. Today, these two young democracies, along with those in Central and Eastern Europe that share similar histories, are most directly affected by expansionist pushes from Russia and China. While the “threat to democracy” posed by the Beijing-Moscow alliance is more ephemeral in older, more established democracies like the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, Ukraine, it manifests itself in widespread death and destruction. In Taiwan and in the European countries of the former Soviet bloc, it is viscerally destabilizing.

Indeed, if there is a frontline in the emerging global clash between democracy and autocracy, it is at the borders of these young democracies, where peoples and governments are changing their behavior in real ways and making tangible sacrifices to maintain their freedoms – from a peacetime surgeon in Taiwan preparing for conflict, to countries neighboring Ukraine donating weapons to help fight Russia.

Whether Ukraine and Taiwan get the support they need to remain sovereign is likely to be a defining geopolitical question for this generation, extending beyond regional political dynamics. Countries in Europe and Asia seem to see this clearly now – note how quickly the Biden administration enlisted Asian allies such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and even Singapore to sanction Russia for its invasion from Ukraine. Their willingness to worry about distant Ukraine suggests they believe they might one day seek similar support from Europe, should China come into conflict with any of them.

The vengeful violence that Vladimir Putin unleashed against Ukrainians has not yet arrived in Taiwan, but it has nonetheless shaken the collective conscience. There were multiple protests outside the de facto Russian embassy in Taipei, a solidarity march through the center of the capital and a rush to send money and non-military aid to Ukraine. Tsai’s move to sanction Russia and cut it off from crucial Taiwanese semiconductors is perhaps the most divisive she has had with a major power. (For his part, Putin said in a joint statement with President Xi Jinping on Feb. 4 that Russia considers Taiwan “an inalienable part” of China.)

Just as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fueled fears here in Taiwan that a Chinese attack could be more a matter of when that if, the Ukrainian response from the whole society also inspired the Taiwanese to think that if Xi made a move, it would not necessarily end in Chinese victory. “I think Ukraine showed us all a lesson that people in their own country should be prepared to fight for their democracies and their freedom, if it really comes down to it,” Albert Wu, a historian who moved from Paris last year, told me. “Their bravery and resilience was a true inspiration to all of us.”

Ukrainians I know who live here have made similar observations. “I hear from Taiwanese friends that Ukraine is also fighting for Taiwan, and that means a lot,” Oleksander Shyn, a university student living in Taipei, told me. “Because if Ukraine loses, and if the Ukrainian people end up in Putin’s hands, that might inspire China to do that here. So while most people in the world wish us peace, many Taiwanese wish us victory.

The Russian invasion has awakened many of Taiwan’s leaders and its people from a collective slumber, a less than urgent attitude to the threat from Beijing rooted in decades of a poorer China ill-equipped to pull off what would be the biggest amphibious invasion ever. But China’s rapid economic development and resulting naval development are tipping the balance in favor of Beijing.

Last month, Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng proposed extending military conscription for men from the current four months to one year. In a survey conducted in mid-March by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, 75.9% of respondents supported the idea. A senior lawmaker from Tsai’s ruling party floated the idea of ​​imposing compulsory conscription for Taiwanese women for the first time.

Attitudes are also changing at the diplomatic level, with a growing realization in Taiwan and Central and Eastern European countries that the threats they face are part of a global struggle. In recent months, Taipei has seen a flurry of visits from lawmakers from Lithuania, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia, all of which became democracies in the 1990s after being controlled by Moscow. Along with this there was a visit from Jakub J