.In separate incidents, customs officials on Monday detained seven people along with 12 gold bars weighing around 1.4kg at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, reports UNB.The detainees came from Saudi Arabia and landed at the around 3:45pm, said customs intelligence and investigation directorate (CIID) DG Moinul Khan.They are-Mosharraf Hossain, 49, from Munshiganj; Babul Miah, 29, from Brahmanbaria; Farman Ali, 29, from Tangail; Fazlul Haque, 46, from Meherpur; Rabiul Islam, 39, from Kushtia; Alam Miah, 37, from Narsingdi, and Abdullah Al Mahfuz, 48, from Feni district.The presence of gold worth about Tk 6.96 million was detected while they were crossing the green channel, said Moinul.
Prothom Alo IllustrationAn activist of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) was shot to death by some miscreants at no. 3 rubber garden in Kibukchhara of Bandarban sadar upazila on Thursday, reports UNB.The deceased is Joymoni Tongchongya, 52, a resident of the area.A group of five-six armed miscreants went to the area in search of PCJSS leader Ripon Tongchingya, son of Joymoni, around 7:00pm, sadar police station officer-in-charge Shahidul Islam said.Failing to find Ripon in the area, the miscreants opened fire on Joymoni, leaving him dead on the spot.On information, police and army went to the spot and recovered the body.
Share Photo via Twitter @G_GarciaMarquezAgents said they targeted about 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers.U.S. immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump’s presidency.Agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, broadening an investigation that began with a 4-year-old case against a franchisee on New York’s Long Island. The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores’ hiring practices.The action appears to open a new front in Trump’s sharp expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and plans to spend billions of dollars on a border wall with Mexico. Hardliners have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers.Derek Benner, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Associated Press that Wednesday’s operation was “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come” for employers. He said there would be more employment audits and investigations, though there is no numerical goal.“This is what we’re gearing up for this year and what you’re going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation,” said Benner, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.“It’s not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big medium and small,” he said. “It’s going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there.”Photo via Twitter @AmazingJDMAgents said they targeted about 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers.7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, with more than 8,600 stores in the U.S., didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.Though agents arrested 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally during Wednesday’s sweep, the action was aimed squarely at management.Illegal hiring is rarely prosecuted, partly because investigations are time-consuming and convictions are difficult to achieve because employers can claim they were duped by fraudulent documents or intermediaries. Administrative fines are discounted by some as a business cost.George W. Bush’s administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained nearly 400 workers. Last month, Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of what was the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking operation.Barack Obama’s administration more than doubled employer audits to more than 3,100 a year in 2013, shunning Bush’s flashier approach. John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under Obama, said significant fines instilled fear in employers and draining resources from other enforcement priorities.Trump is pursuing “its own kind of unique strategy” tied to its broader emphasis on fighting illegal immigration, including enforcement on the border, Benner said. Some workers may get arrested in the operations but authorities are targeting employers because they are job magnets for people to come to the country illegally.“We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they’re being compliant,” Benner said “For those that don’t, we’re going to take some very aggressive steps in terms of criminal investigations to make sure that we address them and hold them accountable.”Wednesday’s operation resulted from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in New York and Virginia. Eight have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages, and the ninth was arrested in November.Photo via Twitter @LaurenWFTSAgents said they targeted about 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers.In the 2013 investigations, managers used more than 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 people in the country illegally, knowing they could pay below minimum wage, according to court documents. The documents say 7-Eleven corporate office does automated payroll, requiring franchisees provide employee names and Social Security numbers to pay workers through direct deposit or check.The 7-Eleven stores served on Wednesday will be required to produce documents showing they required work authorization, which Benner said will become more common. Audits may lead to criminal charges or administrative penalties.In Los Angeles’ Koreatown, seven agents arriving in three unmarked cars closed a store for 20 minutes to explain the audit to the only employee there, a clerk with a valid green card. Agents, wearing blue jackets marked ICE, told arriving customers that the store was closed briefly for a federal inspection. A driver delivering cases of beer was told to wait in the parking lot.The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served. Agents said they would return Tuesday for employment records they requested.Neither 7-Eleven nor was its parent company, Seven & i Holding Co. based in Tokyo, was charged in that case.“Just as the IRS performs audits of people all the time of their tax returns, the same purpose here is to ensure a culture of compliance in this area,” he said.
With Election Day quickly approaching, advocates for the ex-offender community in Baltimore are ramping up to get the city’s share of more than 40,000 newly enfranchised citizens registered to vote.“There is an intense effort from re-entry organizations, Maryland Justice Project, Out for Justice, Communities United, Marion House and others. I don’t think the numbers (of registered ex-offenders) has caught up with registration efforts on the ground,” said Monica Cooper, Co-founder of the Maryland Justice Project.Image:AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, FileNeither the Baltimore City Board of Elections nor the Maryland State Board of Elections maintains data on ex-offender voter registration. Therefore, local grassroots organizations are left with the task of trying to keep tabs on the number of newly registered ex-offenders.Cooper said that she is looking for support from the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, the official voice of the Democratic Party in Baltimore City. Out for Justice and the Maryland Justice Project have reached out to the Committee with no response, lamented Cooper. “The effort should be to have high voter registration and voting turnout from everyone,” she said, hoping that the city’s Democratic Party would recognize the political power of the ex-offender community.A town hall meeting to discuss voter registration efforts on behalf of the ex-offender community is scheduled for Oct. 10. at 7 p.m. at the Maryland ACLU’s Baltimore office. “We are working with Communities United, Out for Justice, The League of Women Voters, Common Cause Maryland and Maryland Working Families to sponsor a night of voter awareness, education and registration,” said Toni Holness, Interim Public Policy Director for the Maryland ACLU.Kimberly Haven, executive director of Justice Maryland, is familiar with the lukewarm response of persons outside of the ex-offender community. “Nobody loses their citizenship as a result of incarceration,” Haven said.“The effort should really be on making sure that the person who is not incarcerated has the right to vote.” Haven, a former felon, was part of the coalition of grassroots organizations and that fought for passage of SB 340/HB 980, the legislation that restored voting rights to roughly 40,000 Maryland ex-offenders.State offices serving the ex-offender population are required to post notice of the legislation so returning citizens will be aware of their new eligibility. But Cooper and others said that there are still many that she serves who do not know their rights or the implication of their new found political power.“A segment of our population is struggling, just trying to keep their lights on. We’re trying to reach them and tell them your vote. We want the returning community to see themselves as a viable voting bloc,” Cooper said.The Prison Policy Initiative reports that more than two-thirds of Maryland’s Prison Population is from the City of Baltimore. Currently the District of Columbia and 13 states provide voting rights for citizens after their imprisonment has ended. Vermont and Maine permit current inmates to vote.
I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? -Sojourner Truth, 1851Sojourner Truth’s question still resonates in the persistent wage gap between Black women and White males in Maryland.Black women still earn a little more than 69 cents for every dollar earned by White male workers, according to the National Women’s Law Center. Even with a 30 cent per dollar wage gap between Black women and White men, Maryland ranks fifth in the nation in term of pay equity based on the organization’s state-by-state ranking. Idaho currently leads the nation in coming the closet to closing the wage gap paying Black women 89.1 cents for every dollar earned by a White man.“We’re not looking at anything new,” said Linda Loubert a political economist and interim chair of the Behavioral and Social Science Center at Morgan State University.Working for the state doesn’t help black women close the wage gap in Maryland. The average salary for Black women in state jobs is still $10,000 below the average salary for White men, according to the Maryland Office of Budget and Management’s (DBM) 2017 annual report.“Maryland was a slave state and even though we now have a large number of Black legislators who can develop laws for us, it’s just not enough. Closing the wage gap is unfortunately not at the top of the list of the many needs blacks have in this state. We have had to pick our battles,” said Loubert.DBM Director David Brinkley said his organization is working on closing the pay gap in state government. The DBM report acknowledged that Blacks and particularly Black women, continue to be disproportionately represented in lower pay grade jobs, contributing to the wage gap.In written testimony submitted to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee late last month, Brinkley detailed efforts being made by the state to close the wage gap.“The Department of Budget and Management and the rest of the Hogan-Rutherford Administration take the issue of salary gaps very seriously,” said Brinkley“To address the disparity issues, the state has expanded its current relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and professional organizations and its participation in job fairs that may be sources for African-American, Latino and other diversity recruitment,” Brinkley added.Officials at Bowie State University’s Career Development Center confirmed that the state has reached out to their school to connect with more students of color. “Yes, the department has conducted a career fair and has done career workshops to help prepare students for state jobs,” said April Johnson, director of Bowie’s Career Development Center.“Both Black men and Black women are over represented in the hourly wages categories and in lower pay grades,” said Loubert. While career fairs may help broaden exposure and outreach to Black women for entry level positions, Loubert said state government leaders must adopt a mindset that propels the state to move toward salary equity – at all levels.“It’s really hard for Whites to decide it’s ok for Blacks to make the same amount of money. That mentality still persists,” Loubert said.“Just to have a state job means that you have all these other benefits, that to some extent increase the wealth of Black folks, even though at a lower level.” She said that those in power may unconsciously convince themselves with the rationale that, “It’s ok, at least they have good jobs,” Loubert added.“You’ve got to get the state to recognize this and admit it.”Brinkley’s testimony at least signals that DBM is working on the kind of analysis that will help the state move beyond pooling women of color in entry level positions.“DBM will work with state agencies following a thorough analysis of this information to ensure that more women and minorities are hired into professional positions,” he said.
When Sony unveiled PlayStation Now — a game streaming service similar to Netflix streaming — at CES 2014, the gaming world knew that Sony was onto something big, but that the company likely wouldn’t be able to get it working perfectly right off the bat. We saw The Last of Us running just fine on a PS Vita, as well as on Bravia televisions without a connected game console; the service only requires a DualShock 3 or 4 controller. Unlike the name suggests, PlayStation Now is likely the future of video games, but the service won’t be perfect on release. Case in point, it has been revealed that Sony’s service will only stream PS3 games upon release.This news doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be able to play PS1 or PS2 games on your current-gen consoles. In fact, a Eurogamer report suggests that the PS4 will eventually be able to run those older libraries through software emulation. The report also suggests that Sony is working on a method to get those games running without any kind of blurry upscaling, which is prevalent when running themg on the PS3. In turn, this means that native HD resolutions are the goal.Considering these games can run on the PS3, and PlayStation Now runs PS3 games, nothing is really stopping PS1 and PS2 games from being streamed over the upcoming service. If anything is in the way, it’s Sony attempting to run everything with an HD resolution. If the company didn’t care about the blurry upscaling, then the limitation of only streaming PS3 games would be arbitrary.The report does not say that PlayStation Now will stick solely to PS3 games forever, so the PS3 library may just be phase one. A service like PlayStation Now certainly seems like the future of video games — however far off that future is — but despite the name, that doesn’t mean the future is soon. Streaming PS3 games from a Netflix-like service is certainly something that seemed out of the question as recent as just a few months ago, and now that’s the library Sony is most confident in pursuing, so that future could be sooner rather than later.
As the summer months slip by, our minds turn to school. Not only are new text books needed, but many of us need new laptops, software, and even clothes before the new semester begins. If you or your loved ones are starting school soon, there’s no doubt that you’re on the lookout for ways to save money. And even if you’re not a student, there’s no reason why you should pay retail with so many back to school sales happening. Check out today’s deals, and you’re bound to find a bargain that sparks your interest.Mystery Kohl’s coupons from Offers.comThe cost of clothes and accessories for the new school year can really add up, so today’s Kohl’s mystery deal is too good to pass up. With today’s code, you can save 20%, 30%, or 40% when you’re ordering on the Kohl’s website. And since they have a selection of awesome Pokémon shirts on offer for kids and adults, we can all join in on the fun.30% off all ThinkPads and other Lenovo laptops (Coupon code: SAV30THINKPAD)For the back to school season, Lenovo is offering up a massive discount on many of their best laptops. With today’s coupon code in play, you can grab a ThinkPad T460p 1080p laptop for just $727.30 or the sleek X1 Carbon Ultrabook for about $958. If you want to see more great Lenovo deals like those, check out our sister site TechBargains.Rosetta Stone levels 1-5 for $199Looking to get a leg up on learning a second language? You can grab Rosetta Stone right now for just $199 — $50 off the regular price. You can choose to learn Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic, and more. And considering that this software suite is PCMag’s editors’ choice, this deal is hard to pass up.Up to $300 trade-in event plus $100 off select smartphones (Coupon code: VZWDEAL)If you trade in your current smartphone to Verizon, you can get up to $300 toward a new phone. You could apply it to a new Galaxy Note 7, a Moto Z Force, or even an iPhone 6s. Better yet, you can also save an extra hundred bucks on select smartphones.25% off HP laptops starting at $599 (Coupon code: HPBTS2016NB)HP is discounting loads of different laptop configurations, and it’s worthwhile to take a look to see if any of them fit your needs. However, one model stands out in particular: the HP Pavilion 15 quad-core laptop with a discrete GTX 950m graphics card is only $589 when you use coupon code “EMRY9599” at checkout.Kohl’s: Up to 70% off cyber deals with a bonus 20% off (Coupon code: SCOREBIG)Clothes, accessories, and home items are getting some substantial discounts over at Kohl’s right now. For example, Nike shoes are being sold at up to a 25% discount, and Adidas shoes and benefit from the site-wide 20% off. Futons, sheets, backpacks, and more are all on sale, so this is a perfect opportunity to save big for the new school year.Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at email@example.com.For more great back to school deals go to TechBargains.
KOLKATA: A woman was allegedly beaten up by two co-passengers in a local train at Sonarpur. Later, Government Railway Police (GRP) arrested the duo. The complainant alleged that on Monday morning, she was taking her daughter to school. Around 10:30 am, when the train was about to enter Sonarpur station, the complainant tried to move forward as she had to get down. Two women were standing near the gate. As her way was blocked, the complainant asked them to provide space for them to pass. Hearing this, both the women used abusive language and asked her to make space for herself. When she tried to move forward, the complainant came in contact with one of the women standing there, which made the duo furious. They started beating up the complainant and pulled her hair. Though none of the co-passengers came to her rescue, some of them screamed as the train had already entered the station. Hearing their screams, some GRP personnel went to the compartment and were informed about the incident. Immediately, both the accused were detained. The complainant was taken to a local hospital and was treated and discharged. Later, she lodged a complaint with the Sonarpur GRP, following which the women were arrested.
I think we all know what “Stanford Bro” thinks. McCaffrey added two impressive touchdown runs that actually did count, including a 31-yard fourth quarter dash to put the game out of reach for Stanford.Christian McCaffrey is back at it! This time it counts. @StanfordFball leads @KStateFB, 17-0. https://t.co/IFH6ThLZ0b— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2016 This is how you finish in the 4th quarter. Christian McCaffrey does it again. https://t.co/iSyuIpDefc— FS1 (@FS1) September 3, 2016 After Christian McCaffrey singlehandedly destroyed Iowa in last year’s Rose Bowl, the nation was introduced to “Heisman Bro“. He was face-punchably obnoxious, but he wasn’t entirely wrong.McCaffrey rushed for over 2,000 yards, and added 600 yards receiving. He also handled punt and kickoff returns for the Cardinal in 2015. His stats screamed “Heisman!!!!!”, the voters screamed “Runner Up”.Last night against Kansas State, McCaffrey kicked off his 2016 sprint for the Heisman right where he left off. He flashed regularly during the Cardinal’s 26-13 win over the Wildcats with 126 yards on 26 carries and 201 all-purpose yardsThe highlight of the night was a McCaffrey punt return that was called back for an illegal block in the back. Can a play that didn’t count be the play of the year?Christian McCaffrey with an unbelievable 90+ yard punt-return for the touchdown with Gus Johnson play-by-play pic.twitter.com/xzfEPGOWzH— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 3, 2016 Advertisement
Hilton Surfers Paradise’sfirst birthday celebration has coincided with a major award win for the $700 million propertylocated on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The hotel was awarded the prestigious title of 2012 Hotel Management Awards ‘New Hotel’of the year at a gala dinner held in Sydney on Friday 7 September. The accolade comes just as the hotel is commencing a month long calendar of specialbirthday activities and events from 10 September – 10 October 2012 including an eveninghosted by celebrity Chef Luke Mangan. According to Hilton Surfers Paradise General Manager David Kelly the hotel’s BirthdayMonth program will provide locals and visitors with the opportunity to be part of thecelebrations and festivities to mark the occasion, and now it will also give them a chance toshare in the glory of the hotel’s first major award.”We are extremely proud to be voted the best new hotel property in Australia and believe thisis a real achievement for both Hilton Hotels and Resorts and the Gold Coast as adestination.”As we celebrate our first birthday month, this award shines the spotlight on everything thehotel has achieved over its first 12 months of operation.”We have successfully created a product that reflects the energy of Surfers and the style ofHilton, and would like to thank our customers for embracing the vision and team culture wehave at the hotel.”Since welcoming its first guests to the hotel in September 2011, Hilton Surfers Paradise hasprovided employment for over 300 team members, attracted over 130,000 visitors to SurfersParadise, and made a significant contribution to the local economy utilising local productsand suppliers throughout Salt grill, FIX bar, The Food Store and other areas of the hotel. The hotel was a finalist in 10 categories at the 2012 Hotel Management Awards including‘Australian General Manager.’ Marketing and Communications Manager, Chelsea Steberwas acknowledged as the ‘Communications Associate/Manager’ of the year, and the hotelwas also Highly Commended in the ‘Marketing Campaign’ category. A full program of activities and events for Birthday Month is available atwww.hiltonsurfersparadise.com.au/birthday. Book your accommodation prior to 26September to save 20% on rooms and dining at Hilton Surfers Paradise including Salt grillby Luke Mangan. Source = Hilton Surfers Paradise
Consumer Confidence National Association of Builders 2019-06-26 Mike Albanese The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that after months of growth, the Consumer Confidence Index dropped by 7.5% in June to its lowest level since September 2017.The Index fell to 121.5 in June from 131.3 in May, and the NAHB associated the drop to optimism waning on the short-term economy and labor market amid trade tensions with China and Mexico. According to the NAHB report, the consumers’ assessment of both current and short-term conditions weakened in June, with just 1.7% reported feeling “good” and 36.7% having a “bad” assessment. The share of respondents reporting jobs were “plentiful” decreased by 1.3%, and an increase of 4.6% was reported in those who jobs as “hard to get,” which is the highest since November 2017. “Though consumer confidence remained at a high level, the continued uncertainty, especially related to the recent escalation in trade and monetary policy may result in further volatility in the index,” the NAHB states. Drops in confidence, though, have not diminished the desire to buy a home. The NAHB states that the share of people who plan on buying a home over the next six months increased to 6.8% in June. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported last month that although 53% of buyers were actively seeking a home in Q1 2019, 46% said they were having issues finding an affordable home. The NAHB also reported that those not being able to find a home in their desired neighborhood was a barrier for 40% of potential buyers, and 38% said they couldn’t find a home with features they want.According to the report, the share of buyers who consider high prices the biggest hurdle fell 5 points when compared to 2018. The amount of people who couldn’t find a home in the proper neighborhood fell 2 points and there was no change for people who couldn’t find home with features they want. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Report: Consumer Confidence Hits New Low June 26, 2019 446 Views Share
24Jan Rep. Callton hosts Lakewood volleyball champs at state Capitol Categories: News State Rep. Mike Callton was joined in Lansing today by the Class B state champion Lakewood High School volleyball team, where legislators helped the Vikings celebrate their big win. Callton was proud to welcome the student-athletes to Lansing, where they enjoyed a tour of the Capitol and were recognized by all of the lawmakers present in the House and Senate chambers during session on Jan. 24.State Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, right, is pictured with the 2012 Lakewood High School women’s volleyball team. At left is head coach Kellie Rowland. The Vikings captured their first state title last November, and were honored at the Capitol on Jan. 24.“It was my pleasure to acknowledge this group of outstanding student-athletes for their excellence on the volleyball court and in the classroom,” said Callton, R-Nashville. “These young women have shown remarkable dedication and a strong work ethic all of the Lakewood community can be proud of.”The Lakewood High School champions made the trip to Lansing with head coach Kellie Rowland, where they were presented with a tribute signed by Callton and Gov. Rick Snyder.
19Apr Rep. LaFave announces plan to improve school safety in Michigan State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain today introduced a plan to help improve school safety in Michigan.LaFave’s measure would require schools to submit incident reports to a proposed statewide school safety commission. The reports would provide the commission with examples of how incidents and threats were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.“Our kids deserve the safest school environment we can provide, and this proposal is a step in the right direction,” LaFave said. “Good ideas to improve school safety could pop up anywhere in Michigan. This plan provides a way to share those smart strategies with every school in the state as quickly as possible.”LaFave’s proposal is part of a plan to create a statewide commission to review safety procedures in Michigan schools and provide resources to make security improvements in local districts across the state.The commission will evolve from a task force charged with making school safety recommendations. The commission will develop a system to audit safety procedures in Michigan schools. Grants would be distributed to make the highest-priority security improvements.The comprehensive plan calls for school inspections and evaluation of emergency procedures, funding for school security upgrades, expansion of Michigan’s OK2Say program, enhanced staff training, and other measures. Each school district would have a liaison to report to and work with the commission.“We all need to do our part to protect our kids, and this plan will help,” LaFave said. “I am pleased to work with colleagues from Marquette to Monroe to improve school safety and address other issues important to the great state of Michigan. This is a team effort.” Categories: LaFave News,News ###
State Rep. Greg Markkanen today welcomed President Donald Trump’s recently stated financial support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program of vital importance to the Upper Peninsula.During a rally in Grand Rapids last week, President Trump pledged to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million in the federal Fiscal Year 2020 budget.“This important program protects against invasive species, helps ensure fish are safe to eat, and that our water is safe for drinking and recreation,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “It helps protect our Upper Peninsula economy and our way of life. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is certainly worthy of this support.”Markkanen also applauded the efforts of U.S. Congressman Jack Bergman and the rest of the Michigan Congressional delegation for seeking full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.### Categories: Markkanen News,News 02Apr Rep. Markkanen welcomes President’s call to fund vital Great Lakes program
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 8, 2014; SFGate.comIn a strongly worded ruling, South Carolina circuit judge Michael Baxley has given the state’s Department of Corrections six months to formulate a plan on the way they manage inmates with mental illness. NPQ has done many newswires over the years on the fact that prisons and jails now hold more people with serious mental illness than hospitals, as well as a few on the ways in which that impacts both the prisoners and the prison system. A study done at Rikers about the use of solitary and violence on the inmates was particularly striking. The accounts of these incidents can be horrific: One example was cited where an inmate was placed in a restraint chair after he cut his abdomen; as guards continued to tighten the straps, his intestines bulged out of his body.The 45-page ruling called out, as at Rikers, the overuse of force and segregation. It also said that the state was underestimating the proportion of the prison population that was affected, possibly due to what were deemed inadequate diagnostic procedures. Baxley wrote, “The Court further finds this low, acknowledged percentage of mentally ill inmates at SCDC troubling because it indicates a high likelihood that there are hundreds of inmates with a serious mental illness at SCDC who are not receiving any treatment due to deficiencies in the screening and evaluation process used to identify and classify those with a serious mental illness.” Baxley called the case the most troubling of the 70,000 cases he has heard.The suit was brought by a nonprofit group called Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, which has previously sued the Corrections Department on behalf of mentally ill inmates. One of those, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, was kept for years in an isolation cell.During the trial, Corrections Department officials denied that prisoners’ constitutional rights were being violated. In his conclusion, Baxley wrote,“Rather than accept the obvious at some point and come forward in a meaningful way to try and improve its mental health system, Defendants have fought this case tooth and nail…The hundreds of thousands of tax dollars spent defending this lawsuit, at trial and most likely now on appeal, would be better expended to improve mental health services delivery at SCDC.”—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share35Tweet65Share6Email106 SharesOctober 30, 2017; Washington PostLast week, NPQ wrote about the intersection of the opioid epidemic and philanthropy. Since then, President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. Many accounts have emphasized the epidemic’s impact on rural whites—reasonable enough, given that overdose deaths are twice as high per capita for whites as for Blacks and three times higher than for Latinx people. But, as the Washington Post points out, lost in this discussion “is one demographic group that has been profoundly affected by the crisis: Native Americans living on reservations.”Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data shows that American Indians have heroin overdose rates nearly as high as whites and higher rates of opioid overdose deaths.There are many reasons why opioids have been so devastating to American Indian communities. One reason, of course, is that the epidemic itself has hit rural America hardest, and most American Indian nations’ lands are in rural areas. But, as the Post points out, intergenerational trauma related to systemic racism is another critical factor.An article from Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts, emphasizes the legacy of the so-called “Indian schools,” which were “a mid-19th century federal program that attempted to assimilate Native Americans into the rest of the nation’s culture by shipping thousands of Indian children to boarding schools across the country. Many of the children were abused and most lost their cultural identities.”Famously—or, better said, infamously—Col. Richard Henry Pratt, who established the Carlisle Indian School, arguably the best known of the boarding schools, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1879, said their goal was to “Kill the Indian, save the man.” By the 1880s, according to the American Indian Relief Council, “the US operated 60 schools for 6,200 Indian students, including reservation day schools and reservation boarding schools.” A National Public Radio profile in 2008 noted that, “For the tens of thousands of Indians who went to boarding schools, it’s largely remembered as a time of abuse and desecration of culture.”This may sound like ancient history, but, as the American Indian Relief Council points out, it was only in 1978 that the Indian Child Welfare Act put an end to this practice. Among the congressional findings in the bill was formal recognition that “an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families [had been] broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by nontribal public and private agencies and that an alarmingly high percentage of such children [had been] placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.”The Post quotes Gloria Malone, a substance abuse counselor at a reservation-based, long-term recovery house, who said all of her patients “struggle with the brokenness and sorrow of the past.”A number of Native American communities, such as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, have taken action. In particular, the Cherokee have sued Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and drug wholesalers “for knowingly flooding the tribal community with prescription opioids, fueling a deadly drug epidemic that has taken hundreds of lives and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”Many American Indian nations have devoted significant resources to improving care for those affected. A few of the examples that the National Congress of American Indians reports follow:White Earth Nation has not only successfully engaged law enforcement in decreasing the presence of drugs on the reservation, but they have trained over 100 tribal employees in how to treat overdoses, saving at least 16 lives in the past year. The Nation also has a Maternal Outreach and Mitigation Service, which has already helped 48 mothers, babies, and families with addiction and recovery.The Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) Recovery Services department, one of only two detox centers in Alaska, provides treatment to about 850 individuals each year. Services include detox, residential inpatient and outpatient care, screening, assessment, and referral. CITC works with Southcentral Foundation and plans to partner with Knik and Chickaloon tribal organizations and the Mat-Su Health Foundation.The Lummi Nation’s Healing Spirit Opioid Treatment Program offers medication assisted treatment, counseling, and accountability through drug testing when treating opioid dependence.In all of this, there is a determination to prevail in the face of adversity. As a Northern Plains tribal member notes, “There is common agreement that our community’s drug epidemic is rooted in historical and generational trauma. There is also common agreement that, as a tribe, we are strong and resilient and can create support…in order to heal the next generation.”—Steve DubbShare35Tweet65Share6Email106 Shares
Share29Tweet8ShareEmail37 Shares“2018/11/23, Ten days old, Asylum Seekers arrives in Tijuana, Mexico,” Daniel ArauzFebruary 16, 2019; New York Times, and February 14, 2019; Willamette WeekAs the border wall fight rages on, the Trump administration has quietly begun enforcing its Migrant Protection Protocols, forcing many asylum seekers, including families fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, to remain in Mexico throughout the duration of their asylum cases—a process that can take years. On February 14, the Innovation Law Lab (ILL), a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit, filed a lawsuit challenging the policy.ILL is a hub of resistance to the administration’s immigration policies, providing not only legal assistance to asylum seekers but harnessing technology to design systems to support attorneys around the country helping refugees protect their legal rights and pursue asylum cases.In their 2018 impact report, ILL uses powerful language to capture the meaning of the last year to an organization fighting for asylum seekers:2018 will forever be remembered for the federal government’s unrelenting attacks on the rights of immigrants and refugees—from separating parents and children at the border, to detaining asylum seekers in federal prisons, to reversing legal precedents that protected victims of gender-fueled violence, to attempting to close the border to those seeking asylum.In spite of the Trump Administration’s actions and propaganda, organizations and people across the country came together to fight back with every tool at our disposal. We bring this resistance with us into 2019. We will continue to fight for a future where immigrant detention no longer exists, where the right to asylum is respected, and where to the immigrant we can say, “welcome, you have come to the place where you belong.”Among its first acts of resistance for the New Year is this lawsuit, which was joined by five additional advocacy organizations and 11 affected asylum-seekers.“Since the enactment of the 1980 Refugee Act nearly 40 years ago,” the lawsuit points out, “US law has prohibited the return of individuals to countries where they are likely to face persecution.” The lawsuit argues that the new policy is a “violation of the humanitarian protections to which [the plaintiffs] are entitled under United States and international law.”The lawsuit goes on to claim that the Migrant Protection Policies not only endanger migrants but also make it far more difficult for asylum seekers to pursue their claims. According to pro bono asylum lawyer Alicia Curtis, who works for the Maine law firm Berman and Simmons, “Proving an asylum case is challenging, even for those who are able to enter the US and get legal representation.”“Asylum seekers need documentation to make their case,” continued Curtis. “It can take months to gather affidavits and other materials to corroborate their story.” She worried that living in border camps in Mexico, it will be very difficult for asylum seekers to find legal representation, obtain documents, communicate with people in their home countries who could help to establish their case, and receive notices from the US government for immigration appointments and hearings.The ILL and its plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. “The Trump administration is forcibly returning asylum seekers to danger in Mexico,” said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project in a joint statement. “Once again, the administration is breaking the law in order to deter asylum seekers from seeking safety in the United States.”The new US asylum policies are already having an impact, according to the New York Times. At least 1000 of the refugees who arrived in Tijuana in November as part of the “caravan” have returned to their home countries, frustrated by lengthy waits. Another 1000 have decided to accept temporary work permits in Mexico.Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, challenged the notion that this is a victory for those who advocate being tough on migrants. She worried, according to the New York Times, that Mr. Trump’s tough policies might “endanger people who need protection.”“It may look like it’s working in the short term,” said Brané, “but I don’t think it’s a long-term solution. It’s driving people further into the shadows and that’s exactly the opposite of what we want.”At this point, Mexico has accepted the Trump administration policies, but there seems little clarity about how Mexico will house tens of thousands of asylum seekers. The Guardian reports that in 2018, “93,000 people were given credible fear interviews—the first step in the asylum process.” And while overall border crossings are at historic lows, “the number of families and children crossing the border is at an all-time high.” With a backlog of an estimated million asylum cases, refugees could be waiting in Mexico for a very long time—or they may do what they’ve done in the past, risk their lives and future on an illegal crossing.—Karen KahnShare29Tweet8ShareEmail37 Shares
MTV is launching its Comedy Central channel in sub-Saharan Africa next week on DStv.It will roll out on December 6, at 7.30pm, on the Multichoice-backed pay TV platform, reaching 47 territories in the region. The channel will be English-language and have popular Comedy Central shows including South Park and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.Alex Okosi, senior VP & managing director, MTV Networks Africa said: “We are delighted to bring humour, smiles and laughter to viewers by adding Comedy Central to our existing portfolio of brands targeting kids and youth. Comedy Central enables us to deliver innovative content to adults while also offering a one-stop shop for clients targeting viewers from four 40-plus.”[ad_banner]
Google has received regulatory approval from Kansas state authorities to roll out pay TV services in Kansas City, according to local reports.Kansas’s approval follows that of neighbouring Missouri, which authorised Google to roll out the pilot service in the part of Kansas City in that state.