Thailand urged to help Rohingyas avert new wave of boatpeople

first_imgRohingyaThailand faced mounting calls on Thursday to stop pushing migrants back out to sea amid fears an exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar could spark a new wave of boatpeople.Fighting in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state has forced about half a million Rohingya to seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh since August, prompting concerns they could be targeted by people smugglers and human traffickers.Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have been fleeing strife for decades.Neighbouring Thailand was a popular transit route by boat and land until a 2015 Thai police crackdown led to ships full of migrants being abandoned at sea.“Thailand urgently needs to set a regional example by adopting humane refugee policies,” said Audrey Gaughran from Amnesty International as the group released a report accusing Thai authorities of failing to protect refugees.“Instead of callously repelling people fleeing unimaginable horrors, the Thai government should ensure safe passage for those seeking international protection in Thailand,” said the global issues director.Campaigners say the Rohingya are likely to start travelling after the monsoon in late November when the water is calmer.Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said last month his government is “preparing to receive” people fleeing Myanmar and send them back “when they are ready”.But the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), a military unit dealing with national security, recently told local media it would continue to prevent refugees from entering Thailand. The ISOC did not reply to a request for comment.In an open letter this week, campaign group Fortify Rights urged Thailand to abandon its “push back” policy.“Thailand’s leaders should be doing all they can to stem the violence in Myanmar and prepare to provide protection to refugees fleeing the attacks,” executive director Amy Smith said.Thailand does not recognise the status of any refugees or recognise the Rohingya as legitimate migrant workers.last_img read more

3 killed in AL factional clashes

first_imgMap of NarsingdiThree people were killed and 100 others injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League over establishing supremacy in Nilakkha union of Raipura upazila in Narsingdi on Friday, reports UNB.Two of the deceased are Sohagh Miah and Maram Ali, local residents.Zakir Hasan, additional superintendent of police, said former union parishad chairman and former Raipura upazila AL vice-president Abdul Haque and present union parishad chairman and union AL president Tajul Islam had long been at loggerheads over controlling the locality.As a sequel of the previous enmity, the supporters of both the AL leaders locked into a clash around 3pm.Equipped with firearms and fishing spears (teta), they attacked each, leaving three people dead on the spot and 100 others injured.On information, police rushed in and tried to bring the situation under control.However, sporadic clashes continued till filing of this report around 8pm.The injured were taken to different hospitals, said Mohsin Alam, officer-in-charge of Raipur police station.He also said additional policemen were called in to bring the situation under control.Earlier, a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinee was shot dead during a clash between two AL groups at Bashgari of the upazila in the early hours.The deceased is Tofazzal Hossain Rana, son of local Abdullah Fakir.The OC said supporters of former Bashgari union parishad chairman and ex-union AL president Shahed Sarkar and current chairman Sirajul Haque, also an AL leader, attacked each other and exchanged gunfire from around 9pm till midnight on Thursday.After a short interval, they again exchanged gunfire early Friday.Tofazzel, who came out of his home to respond to the natural call, sustained bullet injuries to the head around 6am during the gunfight.Later, he died on the way to Narsingdi hospital.last_img read more

Aid postponed amid relentless assault on Syrias Ghouta

first_imgRussian soldiers stand next to a truck on 8 March 2018, at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region, as they wait for authorisation to allow UN and ICRC aid trucks to enter the rebel-held enclave. AFPAid agencies postponed a convoy of vital food and health supplies to Eastern Ghouta on Thursday, as the Syrian regime pressed a relentless ground and air assault against the rebel enclave.Dozens of people, including many children, were treated overnight for breathing problems and symptoms that medics said were consistent with chlorine attacks, which Western powers have repeatedly warned would not go unpunished.New air strikes on the town of Zamalka killed at least seven civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, bringing the total number of dead in the offensive to more than 900.The aid trucks were meant to bring relief to war-weary civilians living under government siege for five years and now facing a deadly Russian-backed assault.The fighting has prompted international outrage, culminating in the UN Security Council demanding an immediate ceasefire, aid deliveries and evacuations.But with bombardment continuing, a joint convoy between the United Nations, International Committee of the Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent planned for Thursday could not go through.“The convoy for today is postponed, as the situation is evolving on the ground, which doesn’t allow us to carry out the operation in such conditions,” ICRC spokeswoman Ingy Sedky told AFP.It marks the second time this week that aid operations have been disrupted by military developments, with food deliveries cut short Monday due to bombardment.Ghouta is home to around 400,000 people under siege and is the last opposition-controlled zone on the capital’s outskirts.The Syrian army and allied militias began a fierce bombing campaign on February 18 against Ghouta, followed by a ground offensive.Breathing difficultiesThe campaign has so far recaptured half of rebel-held territory, according to the Observatory, a Britain-based monitor.Towns and villages have fallen in quick succession in recent days, with regime forces on the verge of cutting the remaining rebel-held territory into two isolated pockets.AFP’s correspondent in the town of Hammuriyeh saw motionless bodies lying in the streets on Thursday after a night of ferocious bombing.On Wednesday, volunteers from the civil defence group known as the “White Helmets” were seen trying to douse flames burning two men lying dead on the street next to a motorbike after a strike.Dozens of civilians were treated in the town for breathing difficulties late Wednesday, with medics reporting symptoms consistent with a toxic attack.Doctors at one facility treated at least 29 patients with signs of exposure to chlorine, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supports hospitals in Eastern Ghouta.It said victims were suffering from shortness of breath, wheezing, and redness of the eyes.Several families were seen trying to reach fresh air late Wednesday on the roof of a four-storey building in Hammuriyeh, after air strikes on their neighbourhood.Parents had stripped their children down and were spraying them with water, fearing toxic substances had been absorbed into their clothes.“I’m going to suffocate,” two children screamed as rescue workers carried them down from the roof for treatment.‘Not authorised’ by SyriaRegime forces have been repeatedly accused of using chlorine on Eastern Ghouta in recent weeks, which both the government and Russia have staunchly denied.Government troops have imposed a siege on Eastern Ghouta since 2013, and deliveries of food and medicine to the zone require permission from all warring sides.The UN’s humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) in Damascus told AFP the convoy could not go through Thursday because it had not received permission from Syrian authorities.“Today, the UN and partners were not able to return to Douma in east Ghouta because the movement of the convoy was not authorised by the Syrian authorities due to security reasons,” said spokeswoman Linda Tom.The UN Security Council on 24 February demanded a 30-day cessation of hostilities but the resolution has done little to bring relief to civilians.Bombardment has continued and on Monday a long-awaited aid delivery was cut short after heavy air strikes.Nearly half of the food aid on the trucks could not be delivered, and the UN said Syrian authorities removed some medical and health supplies from the trucks.The UN’s top body met behind closed doors on Wednesday for three hours in an attempt to shore up the ceasefire.UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura briefed the meeting and offered to help broker a deal with Russia to allow fighters in Eastern Ghouta to leave, a diplomat said.Rebel groups operating in Eastern Ghouta have so far refused to discuss evacuating the enclave and have been firing rockets and artillery into eastern areas of Damascus in recent weeks, leaving at least 32 dead according to the Observatory.last_img read more

US embassy to remain closed 2 5 6 June

first_imgUS embassyThe US embassy in Dhaka, including its consular section, will remain closed on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday (2, 5 and 6 June) on the occasion of Shab-e-Qadr and Eid-ul-Fitr respectively.The American Center with the Archer K Blood American Center Library and the Education USA Student Advising Center will also remain closed. Shab-e-Qadr and Eid-ul-Fitr are Bangladesh’s national holidays.However, emergency services for American citizens will be available, said a press release on Thursday.last_img read more

India urges world to help Bangladesh regarding Rohingyas

first_imgRohingya Camp. File PhotoIndia has urged the world to help Bangladesh cope with the “humanitarian burden” mentioning that they are “deeply conscious” of the humanitarian and security implications due to the presence of huge Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar.India has praised Bangladesh generosity and recognised the economic burden this crisis places upon Bangladesh’s society and economy, according to the Annual Security Outlook 2019 released by ASEAN.Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country after 25 August 2017 as Myanmar launched a brutal offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority.Though Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on 23 November 2017, not a single person has so far been repatriated.India has extended supports though the provision of four large tranches of aid and to prioritise addressing significant socio-economic challenges in Rakhine State, to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State, according to the 206-page report.India is a leading development partner of Bangladesh and it has extended concessional lines of credit totalling around the US $ 8 billion, the report mentions.The report released in Bangkok during the 26th Asean Regional Forum says India is working closely with the government of Bangladesh to achieve a lasting progress in improving security, energy cooperation, trade, connectivity and people-to-people ties to provide developmental benefits to the entire region.In resolution of old and outstanding issues, the two countries signed a Land Boundary Agreement in 2015 resolving issues relating to enclaves of adversarial possession of territory, the report mentions.India and Bangladesh are working together on all fields of cooperation, including military–to–military ties, capacity building, creation of shared energy infrastructure, improved transport links (land, sea, inland waterway and air), and easier movement of people, said the report.Bordering the North Eastern States of India, the report says, the stability and prosperity of Myanmar is crucial for the regional security.The report mentions that India and Myanmar enjoy good bilateral relations and cooperation in security matters between the two countries have substantially improved.Efforts are on to improve connectivity and infrastructural gaps and promote development of the region. India is cooperating with Myanmar in diverse fields, including in the development of institutions in Myanmar, the report says.last_img read more

Cattle markets yet to gain momentum

first_imgCattleThough Eid-ul-Azha is only four days away and cattle markets are crammed with sacrificial animals, a handful of buyers were seen at cattle markets in Dhaka city on Wednesday due to heavy rains since morning, reports UNB.Visiting different cattle markets in the city, the UNB correspondent found sellers eagerly waiting for customers but few were visiting the markets.The correspondent visited the cattle markets located at the open ground of Amulia Model Town, Aftabnagar Eastern Housing Dawkandi Endulia, Hazaribagh field at Zigatola, Lalbagh Rahmatganj playground and open space adjacent to Kamalapur Stadium and open space of Shanir Akhra-Dania.Talking to UNB, some traders said they were disappointed due to the unfavourable weather condition.Suman Sheikh, a cattle trader from Thakurgaon, said, “We’re yet to get the genuine response from customers. A few buyers are coming but no one is buying.”“Maybe people are waiting for the last two days to buy their sacrificial animals. If rain continues till the last two days before Eid, it’ll be a very tough situation for us,” he said.The correspondent also found that all the cattle market leasers have expanded the haats violating the terms and condition of lease, and the extended portions of the haats do not have adequate facilities.The cattle traders of the extended portions of the haats are enduring too much of sufferings with their cattle under the open sky.Some of the traders said now they have no other option as they have brought their cattle from far-flung areas.Leasers said they are taking special measures to protect animals from rains and mosquitoes.Twenty-five makeshift cattle markets were set up in the capital under Dhaka North and South City Corporations (DNCC and DSCC), up from 22 last year.The DSCC is hosting 14 cattle markets, while the DNCC is accommodating the other 11. Apart from the makeshift cattle markets, the permanent cattle market in Gabtoli will also be in business.last_img read more

NASA Probe Will Try To High Five a NearEarth Asteroid

first_img Share The primary goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission is to retrieve a few pounds of gravel and dust from Bennu, an asteroid whose orbit brings it near Earth every six years.If successful, the asteroid samples will be the largest amount of extraterrestrial material brought back to Earth since the Apollo-era trips to the moon.The asteroid, called Bennu after an ancient Egyptian bird god, was discovered in 1999.Bennu was a good target because it’s relatively close to Earth, and also big enough for a visit, according to Dante Lauretta, the lead scientist for the mission, and a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona. Bennu measures 495 meters in diameter (about a third of a mile).“We needed something that was relatively large, because when asteroids get to be around 200 meters in diameter or smaller, they tend to rotate very rapidly, sometimes as often as once every minute, and that would likely fling any of that gravel off the surface,” Lauretta said.The asteroid’s gravel could contain carbon-rich material that is 4.5 billion years old, almost as old as the solar system itself.“These asteroids could contain organic molecules, volatiles and amino acids that may have been the precursors to life on Earth or elsewhere in our solar system,” said Christina Richey, a NASA scientist involved in the mission.The probe will take two years to reach Bennu. Once there, the probe will go into orbit around Bennu, and spend another two years studying and mapping the asteroid’s surface from afar.Finally, the probe will approach the asteroid, unfold an 11-foot arm, and pick up some rock and dust.Richey says the arm will only touch the surface for about five seconds, to minimize the chance of the probe being damaged. She likened it to a cosmic “high five.” “Our priority is to bring back at least 60 grams of pristine material,” Richey said. “So once we have that, we’re not going to try to touch that again. We’ve got it. It’s getting stowed, it’s getting ready to come home.”After flying back to Earth, the probe will eject a small capsule containing the samples. The capsule will fall through the atmosphere and land in Utah in September, 2023.The samples will be brought to Johnson Space Center for storage. Scientists will get to examine and study 25 percent of the sample, but 75 percent will be stored for future scientists who may come up with better ideas and testing techniques than current technology allows.last_img read more

10 Things to Know for Friday

first_img Share AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallIn this Jan. 24, 2017, photo, face transplant recipient Andy Sandness looks in a mirror during an appointment with physical therapist Helga Smars, right, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He wasn’t allowed to see himself immediately after the surgery. His room mirror and cell phone were removed. When he finally did see his face after three weeks, he was overwhelmed. “Once you lose something that you’ve had forever, you know what it’s like not to have it. … And once you get a second chance to have it back, you never forget it.” Just having a nose and mouth are blessings, Sandness says. “The looks are a bonus.”1. PAKISTANIS QUESTION SECURITY AFTER SHRINE BLASTA day after a suicide bombing by the Islamic State group killed 80 worshippers, the attack raised questions about Islamabad’s ability to rein in militant groups.2. TRUMP NOT FIRST TO HAVE ACRIMONY WITH THE PRESSYet historians are hard-pressed to find anything that approaches what seems to be the president’s intention to escalate bad relations with the news media.3. PENCE READY FOR CLOSE-UPMaking his debut on the world stage, the U.S. vice president seeks to reassure skeptical allies in Europe about U.S. foreign policy under Trump.4. WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT KIM SLAY SUSPECTThose who know the Indonesian woman suspected of involvement in the bold killing of the North Korean leader’s half brother in Malaysia say the young mother was a polite and quiet “nice girl.”5. A NEW FACE, AND A NEW LIFEThe first face transplant performed at Mayo Clinic is providing a young man from Wyoming a second chance at a normal life after he was disfigured by a gunshot in a suicide attempt.6. HOW SUPREME COURT NOMINEE RULED ON EDUCATION ISSUESAn AP review of Gorsuch’s legal record shows he has embraced a bare-bones standard of education for disabled children while often upholding other civil rights complaints against schools.7. SENATE POISED TO CONFIRM PRUITT AS EPA CHIEFDemocrats have sought a delay, citing his refusal to release emails he exchanged with oil and gas executives as Oklahoma’s attorney general.8. SAMSUNG BILLIONAIRE HEIR ARRESTEDProsecutors believe Lee Jae-yong, vice chair at the electronics giant, gave bribes worth $36 million to President Park Geun-hye and her close friend to help win government support.9. MORE BUSINESS, AT THE STROKE OF A PENTrump is running out of the custom-made Cross pens he uses to sign his executive orders, and that means the 170-year-old Rhode Island company has to step up.10. JETS’ REVIS CHARGED AFTER FIGHT IN PITTSBURGHThe NFL player is charged with four first-degree felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly being involved in a brawl with two men last weekend.last_img read more

Party Politics Texas Edition Ep 28 Paxton In Hot Water Again

first_imgListen Then, the gents take a good look at Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial and a potential new investigation after a legal defense gift of $100,000. By the way, don’t forget to check out our national episodes of Party Politics, too.Party Politics is produced by Edel Howlin and our audio engineer is Todd Hulslander. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Abbott worries the Texas delegation will get rolled and tells them to “get a spine”  U.S. House committee has approved Rep. McCaul’s bill to put $10 billion toward building a border wall A key business group backs State Rep. Cindy Burkett center_img X  This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Share 00:00 /20:10 Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas TribuneTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a news conference on Jan. 12, 2017.On this episode of Party Politics: Texas Edition, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus get into the politics of: Steve Bannon is running candidates against GOP senate incumbents …but not Senator Ted Cruzlast_img read more

FACT CHECK How Does Paul Ryans Case For Tax Cuts Match The

first_imgHouse Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is moving close to victory. After a frustrating year in which Republicans who control Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is moving closer to approving its first major legislation of 2017.The House and Senate have passed differing versions of the measure — the Senate narrowly passed its bill early Saturday morning. The two bills now are to be reconciled and sent to President Trump’s desk.In an NPR interview Thursday, Ryan offered a detailed defense of the tax bill. What follows are some of Ryan’s statements, in bold — and some of the facts behind them.“We wanted a middle-class tax cut. We wanted to have a system that’s more fair, much simpler.”There is no reason to doubt that this was one of Ryan’s goals. Helping the middle class is the lodestar for politicians in both parties. Ryan rarely misses a chance to note his roots in blue-collar Janesville, Wis., and the bill does reduce tax rates for the middle class.However, Ryan was working with President Trump, who wanted a tax cut for corporations. Ryan said the bill was “designed” as a middle-class tax cut, but the core of the resulting bill is really the corporate tax cut. Republicans also were determined to lower tax rates for the wealthiest individuals and abolish the estate tax, paid only by individuals who leave more than $5.49 million to their heirs.Because congressional rules limit the overall size of the tax cut, tax relief for businesses and the wealthy leaves fewer savings to spread around to everyone else.“The average tax cut for a middle-class family is going to be $1,182.”The key word is “average.” Some middle-class families will indeed see a tax cut. Others in the very same income brackets will not. Why the difference? It’s because of how the House went about that goal of making the tax code “much simpler.”The bill increases the standard deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions. That amounts to a tax cut for them. But the bill also eliminates deductions taken by many who itemize. Those people may face higher tax bills.For example, NPR recently reported on the effect of eliminating a tax deduction for medical expenses. In our interview, Ryan downplayed the effects of this change.“[The person claiming it] is typically a higher-income person. … You have to make a pretty good amount of money before you can even enjoy the ability to use that tax deduction.”NPR health policy correspondent Alison Kodjak has reported otherwise. In a Nov. 17 report, Kodjak noted that the deduction — which can only be claimed when medical expenses not covered by insurance exceed 10 percent of your income — is commonly used by many parents of disabled children and the elderly on fixed incomes.“The IRS says about 9 million people take the deduction,” she reports. “And their median income is about $55,000 a year.”Eliminating deductions like this are what make room for big items like the corporate tax cut — and remember, it’s all connected. Tax cuts tend to increase the federal deficit, and congressional rules limit how much Republicans can do that. So a tax cut in one part of the economy may need to be offset by higher taxes in another.“This [tax bill] is going to produce economic growth. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, showed that because of the tax relief in this bill and the pro-growth provisions in this bill, particularly for businesses to expense and hire and build more factories in America, that will lead to about $1 trillion in additional revenue because of faster economic growth.”First, the Tax Foundation is not a “nonpartisan think tank,” as Ryan suggests. It’s actually right-leaning.David Wessel of the Brookings Institution and the The Wall Street Journal — who also questioned the Tax Foundation’s point of view (it’s “nominally nonpartisan,” he said, but “clearly anti-tax”) — noted there is “general agreement” among economists that some parts of the tax plan will “encourage more business investment.”A provision making it easier to write off new investments should be particularly helpful, for example. What about a plan to cut the top business tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent? That’s “probably a plus for investment,” Wessel said, “but it rewards profits on old investments — not what we should want to do. It is also creating a huge [budget] hole that will have to be filled with tax hikes or spending cuts down the road.”In other words, no, it won’t pay for itself. Ryan claims $1 trillion in additional revenue, but the Joint Committee on Taxation says the bill will actually cost $1 trillion.“I come from Wisconsin. The biggest company … headquartered in Wisconsin used to be Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls is now an Irish company. Their worldwide tax rate is 12.5 percent, because they became an Irish company, not 35 percent. … We better get competitive with the way we tax our businesses.”Here, analyst David Wessel acknowledges the problem, but questions the solution.“Yes, the current tax code encourages companies to move abroad,” Wessel said. “That’s why do many are doing it. But is the right strategy the race to the bottom? They cut their tax rates, so we cut ours, so then what do they do?”“I don’t think [the tax bill] will increase the deficit.”Ryan can only say that this is what he thinks. It is very hard to prove that tax cuts produce so much economic growth that people end up paying more taxes than they were before.Congressional budget scorekeepers are now using “dynamic scoring,” in which they attempt to forecast the effects of tax changes on tax revenue, but analyses of the Senate bill showed it would come up far short of paying for itself.In fact, not a single nonpartisan analysis — from the Joint Committee on Taxation to the Tax Policy Center to the Congressional Budget Office — has found this to be the case for the bills going through Congress.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also promised the tax cuts will pay for themselves, but his department was unable to produce an analysis to back him up.For all of his faith in tax cuts and growth, Ryan could only go so far in our interview.“I’m telling you, that’s what I believe will happen,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you I’m sure.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit Sharelast_img read more

Houston City Council Set to Vote On New Floodplain Regulations Next Month

first_img Listen Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaNew post-Harvey rules for home construction are moving closer to a vote at Houston City Council. The public comment period for the ordinance, known as Chapter 19, runs through March 5. The vote is scheduled for March 21.The ordinance, known as Chapter 19, would set the 500-year floodplain as the minimum standard for new home construction. It would also require new homes be built up to two feet above ground. The current code only requires property be built one foot above the 100-year floodplain.Mayor Sylvester Turner said the rule could affect major renovation of existing homes, “but by and large, Chapter 19, the proposal only applies to new construction and not to existing homes, and we’re trying to do everything we can to kind of minimize any additional cost. But it is important for us to build a stronger and a much more resilient city.”Turner had hoped to put the ordinance before City Council for a vote this week. But when the matter came up before the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee, Council Members Brenda Stardig (District A) and Dave Martin (District E) insisted on a delay to allow more time for public comment. 00:00 /00:45 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Sharelast_img read more

Full Show Election Day and When Women Ruled the World Nov 6

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /50:37 center_img On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: Perhaps you’ve heard — it’s Election Day! We check in with some News 88.7 reporters and voters around the region to survey the scene as voters head to the polls. But then we provide you with another important service: the rest of the hour will be election free!The rest of our election-free show includes: While the United States and many other countries have never had a female leader, some countries have — including the ancient Egyptians. Noted Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney talks about her book, When Women Ruled the World.Then, we learn about a Houston short film called A Soldier’s Judgment, which aims to depict the challenges combat veterans face by depicting what one veteran sees in his head.And we learn more about the new facility of The Menil Drawing Institute, which opened to the public this weekend.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share Listenlast_img read more

Bidi Bidi Bummed Out Fans Are Having Problems Getting A Hold Of

first_img Share Wells Dunbar/KUTH-E-B’s limited edition Selena reusable bag.UPDATE: H-E-B says it has fixed the online payment problems.Hours after going on sale, H-E-B’s commemorative reusable bags honoring Texas pop legend Selena are selling fast, but folks looking to get one online have encountered some hurdles.The reusable bags went on sale this morning at 6 a.m. for $2 at H-E-B stores or on the Texas grocer’s website. But the site isn’t processing some payments.On top of that, some are already being hocked online, going for as much as $100 on eBay.Earlier this year, H-E-B featured the Queen of Cumbia on reusable bags on a more limited run and they sold out in minutes. This time, H-E-B says, while it’s still a limited run, its stock is larger than the first-edition bags released in March.So, if you’re looking for an overpriced grocery bag featuring the Grammy-winning Texas legend, you know where to find them.Or, you could just go to a store and pick one up before they’re picked clean – as some of them already have been.*sad trombone*When 30 minutes after your Austin-area @HEB store opens is still too late to grab that awesome Selena reusable shopping bag. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on “Dreaming Of You”, but will actually be singing it about a grocery tote.— Amanda Gillispie (@wednesday181) December 6, 2018But, even if your location does sell out, there’s still the online option. H-E-B has insisted it’s got enough to go around this time and that it doesn’t plan on selling out as quickly. Though, it seems that the site has been inundated with orders and H-E-B says it has encountered issues with debit and credit card payments. The grocer suggests those looking to snag a Selena bag should try paying directly through PayPal.UPDATE: we are currently having payment issues with our website that we are working with PayPal to solve, and will let our customers know when it is fixed! The #SelenayHEB bags are available now in stores.— H-E-B (@HEB) December 6, 2018last_img read more

Baytown Police Officer Fatally Shoots Woman After Struggle Over Taser

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /00:43 The Brixton Apartments via Google MapThe fatal incident happened on the evening of May 13, 2019, at The Brixton Apartments complex, located at 1601 Garth Road, in Baytown. Listencenter_img A Baytown police officer fatally shot a woman who police said grabbed his Taser and used it against him. The shooting happened late Monday in Baytown, about 25 miles east of Houston.Baytown Police DepartmentBooking photo of Pamela Turner.The Baytown Police Department said the woman’s name is Pamela Turner and she was 44 years old. Although Turner seemed to say she was pregnant during the incident, which was recorded on video, the Police Department said on Tuesday afternoon that the autopsy determined she wasn’t pregnant.Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris said the officer was patrolling an apartment complex and attempted to arrest Turner, whom the officer had previously dealt with, because he knew she had outstanding warrants.Dorris said the officer, an 11-year veteran of the police department, opened fire after Turner grabbed the officer’s Taser and used it against him.In the video, Turner is heard saying “You’re actually harassing me” and “I’m actually walking to my house.” Turner is on the ground and appears to reach toward the officer when she seems to be heard saying “I’m pregnant.” Moments later the officer fires five shots, killing her. Dorris said the officer didn’t suffer serious injuries.“It’s a tragic event for everybody involved,” Dorris said. “Of course, our hearts go out to the family of the deceased as well as our officer.”Dorris added that police were aware of the video circulating on social media and that investigators want to talk to the person who took the video, because he or she was a witness to the shooting. Xlast_img read more


first_imgSofiya, a 6-year-old Amur leopard. BALTIMORE, MD-– The Maryland Zoo today welcomed Sofiya, an Amur leopard, one of the rarest cat species in the world.  Sofiya is a 6-year-old Amur leopard born at the St Louis Zoological Park, in Missouri. Over the course of her life she lived at The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, before being moved to The Maryland Zoo in mid-November at the request of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). “She spent the last 30 days in quarantine and is doing very well,” said Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager. “She has moved to the leopard exhibit and we hope she decides to take her first steps outside soon.  The December cold is perfect weather for an Amur leopard.”The natural range of the Amur leopard previously encompassed the Amur River basin in the mountains of northeastern China and the Korean peninsula. Today, it survives only in one isolated population in the Russian Far East, although there may be a few individual in the Jilin Province of northeast China. “They are the most critically endangered leopard subspecies — it is estimated that there are less than 40 living in the wild,” continued Ricciardone. “We are very excited to be working with her and hope she brings an awareness about her species to our zoo visitors.”    Amur leopards are noted for their particularly pale coat compared to most other subspecies, featuring large rosettes with unbroken rings and darkened centers.Sofiya, a 6-year-old Amur leopard.The Amur leopard is a subspecies of leopard that the Maryland Zoo has not worked with in the past. “Due to their critically endangered status, we have decided to focus efforts on saving this amazing subspecies in our ongoing efforts to positively impact the conservation of leopards, lions and cheetahs,” stated Mike McClure, general curator. “There are less than 200 Amur leopards in zoos worldwide, and we hope to make a constructive contribution to the health and welfare of the population over time.” About The Maryland Zoo in BaltimoreFounded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its contributions in conservation and research.  More than 1,500 animals are represented in the Zoo’s varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the award-winning Children’s Zoo.  Situated in Druid Hill Park near downtown Baltimore, the Zoo is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  For more information, visit read more

CityCenter DC Holiday Tree Lighting

first_imgCityCenterDC is scheduled to kick off the holiday season with an exciting evening of performances from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. and the inspirational viral sensation Cardinal Shehan School Choir from Baltimore. The event is scheduled to be held on Nov. 25 from 6 p.m.-7 p.m at The Park at CityCenter, 10th Street, NW and New York Avenue, NW. Washingtonians will be treated to joyful holiday music and an official lighting ceremony and countdown emceed by NBC4’s Eun Yang. Families will be entertained with balloon artists, face painters, holiday activities and more. 2017 CityCenter D.C. Holiday Tree Lightinglast_img read more

Brysons Passion Keeps PG Countys Spring Sports Awards Swinging

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRODr. Rick Bryson has a passion for baseball, kids and athletes.  The Prince George’s County based podiatrist has worked tirelessly to bring attention to swing sports with little support.  Nonetheless, Bryson continues to spend his time and his money to bring attention to high school baseball and softball in a county where those sports have become an afterthought.The Prince George’s County High School Baseball/Softball Awards celebrated its fourth anniversary at Kentland Community Center in Landover honoring the top “swing sports” athletes throughout the county.  Thirty-five players representing public and private schools were recognized for their accomplishments on the diamond, in the classroom and community service.Prince George’s County baseball and softball players are joined by community leaders after the 2018 Awards Banquet at Kentland Community Center in Landover. (Courtesy Photo)When he started the unsanctioned event in 2014, Bryson was hoping to bring baseball and softball out from the shadows of more popular sports in Prince George’s County.  Football and basketball garner more attention, since the area is heavily recruited and many players leave to become accomplished college athletes and ultimately NBA and NFL stars; as a result baseball and softball athletes are given little recognition.“Programs like this capture something that showcases what happens when families get behind their kids,” Bryson told the AFRO.  “Most parents aren’t used to seeing this kind of exposure for their softball or baseball player.”This event was from the days where Bryson was actively involved with a barnstorming traveling youth baseball team that participated in tournaments throughout the mid-Atlantic region based at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Fort Washington.  The team was a collection of players who were passionate about the game and were looking for a chance to compete on an organized team that traveled like AAU basketball or track teams summer programs. His son Blake couldn’t play at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria and didn’t have his dad’s passion for basketball so he had to make the sacrifice during the late spring and summer to satisfy his enthusiasm for baseball.“Most parents rely on high schools to provide athletes with a platform to compete in sports but if there’s not an opportunity you’ve got to make it happen,” Bryson adds.The awards banquet has grown without the benefit of major sponsorship or the official sanctioning of the Prince George’s County Athletic Association.  While Dr. Bryson’s tenacity and advertisements by elected officials in the souvenir program provide the budget, the banquet may not have survived had it not been for the Bowie Baysox. The Baltimore Orioles AA affiliate legitimized the event by giving it a venue for two previous years that projected credibility to the County’s athletic community.  More coaches have become involved in the process of selecting honorees and parents now see value in exposing their kids to America’s national pastime.“The event works because of the interaction with other entities in the community with the intention of preparing our kids in Prince George’s County for success,” said Bryson.  “Our growth has been helped by getting more support from the coaches as well. We are proving that.”This year’s keynote speaker was Jim Coleman, the president and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation. Coleman, author of the book Cut the Crap and Close the Gap, used that as the basis for challenging this year’s group of honorees to return home from college with degrees and make a lasting impact on the future of the County. His challenge was for them to think about becoming millionaires in the most affluent African American county in the United States.“Our success is a function of interaction with other entities in the community with the mission of preparing [Prince George’s County] kids for success,” said Bryson.last_img read more

After Weeks of Uncertainty Washington Declares Victory

first_imgBy Matthew Ritchie,  Special to the AFROThe tightest contest of the Maryland State Senate has finally come to a close. On July 6, weeks after the official primary election voting ended, Del. Mary Washington claimed her victory over the incumbent, longtime Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who had represented the 43rd District in the Senate since 1997. Washington announced her win on her Facebook page.Mary Washington is the new State Senator for the 43rd District, replacing longtime power broker Joan Carter Conway. (Courtesy photo)The difference in votes between the two candidates was slim, as Washington  defeated Conway by 492 votes in the 43rd District of East Baltimore. Conway was the chair of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and a powerful member of the Senate. Washington’s victory and subsequent ousting of Conway represents an end of an era in Maryland politics.Conway had the support of the old guard of the Maryland Democrats, Senate President Mike Miller and Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh. Following her defeat, Conway told reporters she will be fine. She had been quoted in the Baltimore Sun as saying, “There’s nothing going to change for Joan,” referring to herself in the third person. “Something will definitely change for Baltimore City.” Before the primary election, Conway had discussed the possibility of retiring from public service.Washington, who has been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 2011, looks to bring about distinct change and growth to the 43rd District. In statements made to the Baltimore Sun this past April, Washington made it apparent that she wants to reverse the tide of “backroom” deals in order to get her district the legislation that it deserves. Washington did not return calls to the AFRO.During her 7+ year tenure in the House of Delegates, Washington has established herself as a legislator, advocate, and a fighter. She continually went to battle for her district in order to provide affordable access to water, secure equal funding for Baltimore City schools in the face of rising inequality, and to shield families from foreclosure due to unfair tax sales.Washington’s win allows her to proceed with attempting to fulfill promises to the 43rd District that she made during her campaign.In terms of education, she looks to move forward with the “Kirwan Commission” formula in order to shift public education funding to increase support for schools that have high amounts of concentrated poverty and to promote racial equity. Another one of her education plans is to establish an emergency repair fund for school districts to fix schools with the most urgent needs.She also plans to focus her efforts on improving the communities within her district. She plans to advocate for funding for after-school programs and job training in her district, which she has cited as helping to reduce crime. Washington also wants to abolish mandatory sentencing and will lobby for police reform that is centered on civilian oversight.Economically, she plans to continue to support the movement to provide a living minimum wage at $15 per hour, a cause she supported as a member of the House of Delegates. Washington will also look to ensure that employers that have contracts with the state and large businesses will be required to provide health insurance to their employees.With there being no Republican candidate for the 43rd District, Washington will look to get right to work once she takes office in January 2019.last_img read more

Trump Administration Will Keep Protected Status for Somalis

first_imgBy COLLEEN LONG and AMY FORLITI, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Thursday that Somalis granted special immigration status in the U.S. can keep the designation, making them one of the few groups permitted to stay in the U.S. under a program that has allowed them to remain here for years.Somalia was first designated for the special status in 1991, following the collapse of the authoritarian Siad Barre regime, and the designation had been extended in part because nationals feared returning because of the ongoing armed conflict there. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen cited the armed conflict and other extraordinary conditions in supporting the continuation of Somalia’s designation for about 500 people.(Courtesy Image/Logo)But the administration will not take on new applicants, disappointing advocacy groups.Those already with the status will be able to remain in the U.S. and will be allowed to work through March 17, 2020.Many Somalis have settled in Minnesota, which has the largest Somali population in the U.S. Community and immigration advocates have said that returning to Somalia would be a death sentence for some and that it would separate families.Democratic Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wrote a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, urging him to extend the special status. Dayton’s letter said the conditions in Somalia are treacherous, and he pointed to a recent State Department advisory that tells people to avoid traveling to Somalia because of crime, terrorism and piracy. The advisory says those who do travel to Somalia should draft a will before traveling, name a family member to be a point of contact in the event of a hostage situation and leave a DNA sample in case it is needed to identify remains.“Under those conditions, it would be horribly ‘Un-American’ to force innocent people to return to Somalia, to break up many of their families, and to forgo their chances to live safe and decent lives,” Dayton wrote.Members of Congress, including Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota, also wrote to the president, urging that the status be extended.Advocates for Somali nationals who are living in the U.S. said Thursday they are relieved that about 500 Somalis will be able to reregister to extend their protected status for 18 months, but they are disappointed the administration didn’t do more. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said if the administration would have redesignated the status instead of just extending it, then more than 1,000 Somali nationals could have enrolled.The International Rescue Committee and Muslim Advocates also expressed disappointment.“It is not only a mistake, it is a death sentence,” Muslim Advocates said in a statement.Around 437,000 immigrants from 10 countries have had temporary protected status, a designation created in 1990 to allow people from countries ravaged by natural disasters like earthquakes or man-made disasters like war to have a short-term safe haven.Those with it have generally been able to work and, with permission, travel outside the U.S. and return.Countries are added to the list as circumstances warrant, with renewals coming usually around every 18 months. While some countries were removed, others have stayed on for years, which critics say turns the program into default amnesty. Other countries that had the status for long periods of time — like El Salvador or Honduras — were cut off under Trump.The protections were never meant to be permanent.Under Trump, the Department of Homeland Security also ended the program for Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal and Haiti. Several groups are suing to stay in the U.S.Protections were extended for about 1,100 Yemenis and 6,900 Syrians who already have them, but the administration has said it won’t take on new applicants.Trump has said he wants to curtail legal immigration and has been cracking down broadly on illegal immigration.___Forliti reported from Minneapolis.last_img read more

Louisville MBB Postgame Notes vs Robert Morris

first_img The Cardinals continued to dominate at the free throw line, making 22 versus just nine attempts for the Colonials. Cunningham had started all 11 games for the Cardinals prior to Friday. SERIES NOTES Enoch scored his 16 points in just 23 minutes of action, equaling his career-best total set against Central Arkansas (Dec. 5). Enoch was 6-of-7 from the free throw line in the victory, his second-most free throw makes of the year, improving his season total to 29-for-33 (.879) at the stripe. Steven Enoch matched his career-high in scoring on Friday night with 16 points in the win. Louisville had spurts of nine, 11 and 12 consecutive points in Friday’s win. With Friday’s win, Louisville is 2-0 all-time against Robert Morris. Louisville is now 11-1 against current members of the Northeast Conference.TEAM NOTES Jordan Nwora led the way for the Cardinals on Friday night with his fourth double-double of the season, tallying 19 points and 13 rebounds. Story Links Sutton has scored in double digits in three straight games and six this season. Sutton was 2-for-2 from the 3-point line, extending his streak of games with at least one outside shot made to nine. Louisville has made more free throws than the opponent has attempted in seven of 12 games. Robert Morris was just 5-of-9 from the free throw line Friday, the second time this season a Louisville opponent has made five or fewer free throws (4, Central Arkansas, Dec. 5). Nwora has recorded a double-double in back-to-back games and three of his last four. Nwora has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games this season, including seven with at least 19 points. The 13 rebounds were one shy of his career-high, set back on Dec. 8 at Indiana. Nwora has double-digit rebounds in three of his last four games, averaging 11.5 during that stretch. Williams entered the night with 199 career points and registered his 200th with a free throw at 13:11 in the first half. Williams also had two blocks in the victory, giving him at least one in 11 of 12 games this season. Louisville matched its best rebounding performance of the season on Friday, outrebounding Robert Morris by 15, 41-26. UofL has produced 22 runs of 8-0 or better in through its 12 games this season. The Cardinals have forced opponents into 19 scoring droughts of at least three minutes, including stretches of 3:25, 4:40 and 4:56 on Friday night.  PLAYER NOTES Dwayne Sutton was the third Cardinal in double figures on Friday night, scoring 14 points in the win. Louisville is 139-21 all-time at the KFC Yum! Center, which is in its ninth season as the home for the Cardinals. The Cardinals are now 81-5 in non-conference games at the KFC Yum! Center spanning the last nine seasons. UofL has now won its last game played immediately before Christmas in each of the last 10 seasons and 17 of the last 18. Louisville has now won 14 straight games played on Dec. 21 and is 19-5 all-time on this date. With Friday’s win, Louisville is now 351-52 over the last 18 years when holding its opponent below 70 points and 5-1 this season. The Cardinals overcame an 11-point first-half deficit in Friday’s victory. The Cardinals have held 50 opponents under 40 percent shooting over the last four years and six this season. After making 12 of its first 17 shots over the first 14 minutes, RMU made just 11-of-44 for the remainder of the game. The 29 points were the lowest first-half total for the Cardinals this season and tied for the lowest in any half (2nd half, Michigan State, Nov. 27). The Cardinals outscored Robert Morris 44-27 in the second half. After a slow start, Louisville’s defense stepped up and held Robert Morris to just 38 percent from the field. Louisville trailed 32-29 at halftime, just its second halftime deficit of the season (Tennessee, Nov. 21) The Cardinals played without graduate transfer Christen Cunningham on Friday night. Malik Williams surpassed 200 career points in Friday’s win. The Cardinals have outrebounded their opposition in 10 of 12 games this season and six straight. UofL is 9-1 when it wins the rebounding battle. Over the last nine seasons, UofL has recovered from nine or more points down to win on 31 occasions, including twice this season (Seton Hall, Dec. 1). Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more