More than 20,000 Employed Under JEEP

first_imgApproximately 20, 624 individuals have gained employment under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), which is now in its second phase. The project, which was launched in March this year, is one of the strategies of the  Government to respond to the chronic unemployment status of some Jamaicans, particularly those in the lower socio-economic strata, persons with special needs as well as those with low skill levels. Providing information on the initiative at a recent press conference, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, said data shows that JEEP has had a meaningful impact on the unemployment level in Jamaica. “The data are very impressive…the data from STATIN (Statistical Institute of Jamaica) in terms of the impact of JEEP, (shows that) there was a reduction in the level of unemployment between the data from April and July, a reduction from 14.3 per cent to 12.8 per cent and the impact of JEEP is significant in terms of the number of jobs created, something in the order of over 20, 000,” he said. The projects have been implemented through several government ministries, in what can be described as a successful example of a joined-up government approach. Employment has been created in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, education and intensive labour, among others. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented several projects in turmeric cultivation, ginger industry resuscitation, school feeding and expansion of Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA) Twickenham industry.  To date, over 3,200 persons have benefitted through these projects. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been partnering with private sector entities for the attachment of 450 unemployed young adults over a two-year period. Some 405 persons have so far been employed under this initiative, with 379 currently being paid by the private sector employers. Approximately 40 per cent of these trainees have received permanent employment, as a result of the JEEP initiative. In addition, some 624 persons have received employment through the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Heart Trust/NTA. The slate of JEEP projects under the Ministry includes data management, Career Advancement Programme (CAP) and teacher’s assistant programme. The National Works Agency (NWA) has also undertaken a labour intensive programme involving primarily road support infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance. Through the NWA, a total of 15,145 individuals have received work. “There are several projects, which have been supervised by the NWA because we have reallocated funds from JDIP (Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme) but the big difference is that Members of Parliament, councillors, community groups have had a say in the development of these capital projects,” Dr. Davies said. The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), has also undertaken various projects through the parish councils, Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and the Hope Zoo Foundation, with some 1,074 persons employed to date. Approximately 128 persons have received employment through the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing. Dr. Davies said Phase II is expected to be completed during financial year 2013/14 and the Government is in the process of seeking funds to continue the work of JEEP. “I expect to have confirmed success in identifying funds early in the New Year, such that it can be built into the budget for 2013/14,” he stated. Some $6 billion has been earmarked to be spent on projects under the JEEP. An estimated 35,000 persons are expected to be employed during Phase II. During Phase I, roughly 15,000 persons were employed in several ministries and agencies.         Members of Parliament, other political representatives, government agencies, citizens associations, church groups and non-governmental organizations are able to make submissions to the JEEP Secretariat for projects to be executed under the initiative. Interested individuals may contact the Secretariat at­­­ 754-2584 – 9 or visit read more

BCCI CoA does Uturn observers wont monitor state functioning

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) met in the capital on Friday and addressed the various queries placed before them by state associations. Interestingly, CoA chief Vinod Rai also clarified the decision to appoint observers in the 10 state associations and said that they wouldnt be involved in any decision-making process. When asked of the decision to appoint observers in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Bihar, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and Pondicherry and whether the new BCCI constitution allows such appointments, Rai said that it was done only to observe the functioning of the states and the observers would not monitor any activity. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”The decision was taken because there were large number of queries. It is only to help. He is an observer, he is not participating in the decision-making. It is clear he will neither take decisions nor will he give any directions. He sits there and observes. He doesn’t monitor. It is not a question of giving answers,” Rai clarified. But the mail sent to the state bodies had clearly said that the observers would guide the state associations in cricketing matters.last_img read more

Latest Dwight Howard Trade Scenario Features Lakers Bynum

This Dwight Howard saga now has the Houston Rockets joining the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets  as the most serious potential trade partners with the Orlando Magic on a Dwight Howard deal, according to sources close to the process.Sources told that the Rockets are discussing a multitude of trade scenarios with the Magic, offering to serve both as the team that would acquire Howard in a direct trade between the clubs and also as a third team that would participate in a trade that lands Howard with the Lakers and brings All-Star center Andrew Bynum to Houston.Meanwhile, reports surfaced that Brooklyn is close to agreeing to a contract extension with the Nets —  four years for $58 million, or five years for $78 million — which would prevent Lopez from being traded until December.The Rockets, in the latter scenario, would push to acquire Bynum from the Lakers while furnishing the Magic with a package of future draft picks and cap-friendly contracts to set Orlando up for a full-fledged roster reload. Sources confirmed a report that the three-team trade construction that sends Bynum to the Rockets instead of the Magic — with Orlando said to be concerned about its ability to re-sign Bynum for the long term — gained traction Tuesday.The key elements of the three-team proposal, sources said, call for the Lakers to acquire Howard and the Rockets — realizing their long-running quest to acquire a top-20 player — to take back the mercurial Bynum as he enters the final year of his contract.It’s believed that Houston would have to absorb the contract of Magic swingman Jason Richardson  and perhaps another unpalatable contract or two to complete a trade directly with the Magic for Howard or to get Bynum. Central to the Rockets’ offer is a 2013 first-round draft pick that they’ll soon acquire from the  Toronto Raptors as part of a verbally agreed trade last week that will send guard Kyle Lowry to Toronto. Houston also has movable veterans Luis Scola and Kevin Martin  to sweeten any trade proposal.It’s been an open secret for months, meanwhile, that the Rockets were willing to trade for a player of Howard’s or Bynum’s caliber with no assurance that either one will sign an extension as opposed to becoming a free agent in 2013. read more

Netflix updates its recommended TV list for 2019

first_img1:36 Home Entertainment TVs Share your voice Samsung The Frame UN55LS003AF 2 Comments Is Netflix too expensive? Netflix doesn’t think socenter_img Now playing: Watch this: Samsung’s Q9 series is part of the latest group of Netflix recommended TVs.  Sarah Tew/CNET Big Netflix watcher and thinking of a new TV? Netflix has some new recommendations for you. After blessing some Sony and LG TVs last year, the streaming media giant has once again selected certain televisions as being “Netflix Recommended” sets. These TVs, the company says, check five of Netflix’s seven boxes for being a great Netflix TV. They can wake up instantly, are fast, offer a button on the remote or tile on the home screen to quickly get to Netflix, update Netflix content in the background, have a high-res interface and use the latest version of the Netflix app. It should be noted that these TVs, which are on the higher-end scale of new televisions, weren’t tested by Netflix for picture quality or measured on price and value. They are just being praised for how well they handle Netflix. The 2019 picks are from a small list of Samsung, Sony and Panasonic displays. The company’s website states that “additional models and brands will be added as they become available and are designated.” Samsung: Q60R/Q70R/Q80R/Q90R/Q900R series, RU8000, The Serif and The Frame devicesSony: Bravia A9G/AG9, X95G/XG95, X85G/XG85Panasonic: Viera GX700/GX800/GX900 seriesThe three brands are a step up from 2018’s more limited group that largely consisted of LG OLED and 4K UHD WebOS sets and Sony’s Android TVs.  Tags Preview • LG Netflix Panasonic Samsung Sonylast_img read more

Arnab Goswamis announcment of his new venture Republic steals thunder from appointment

first_imgJournalist Arnab Goswami, who resigned as the editor-in-chief of Times Now, disclosed about his new venture on Friday and it turns out that his new news channel will be called ‘Republic’ and is expected to be launched on January 26, 2017.Speaking at the 10th anniversary of IEEMA (Indian Electronic Equipment Manufacturers’ Association), the apex body for the power equipment industry, Goswami said Republic will be launched on January 26, according to the Business Standard.The host of the popular show Newshour that he anchored on Times Now also said that the new channel will be a global media venture that will be parallel to the BBC and CNN. “My venture is called ‘Republic’; I seek the support of the people of India,” Goswami was quoted saying by News Minute.News Minute also reported that the venture would be located in Mumbai. They also added that contrary to speculation, all investors in ‘Republic’ are reported to be Indians. The venture will be partly backed by a media owner based out of Bengaluru, a major TV distribution network and an influential advertising and media buying group.Meanwhile, former NewsX editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar has reportedly succeeded Goswami to be the new editor-in-chief of Times Now. First Day at @TimesNow today. Look forward to your continuing support and tweets— Rahul Shivshankar (@RShivshankar) December 15, 2016While Rahul Shivshankar is yet to host his first show on Newshour as the new anchor, Arnab’s latest announcement about his new venture rattled and dominated Twitter-sphere again. Here are some of the best and most hilarious Tweets from Twitter: 11.59 pm -Goodnight Msg.12.41 am -Sarcasm On Right Wing.Someone’s Having A Sleepless Night Hearing Abt. #ArnabGoswami’s Channel #Republic— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) December 15, 2016Reactions of Arnab Goswami’s fans after they heard he is finally coming with his own channel Republic..— Paresh Rawal fan (@Babu_Bhaiyaa) December 15, 2016NDTV staff on hearing the launch of #Republic of #ArnabGoswami— AshDubey_ (@AshDubey_) December 15, 2016#ArnabGoswami Returns !.— PhD in Bak*****!! (@Atheist_Krishna) December 15, 2016Robert Vadra called us Banana Republic…#ArnabGoswami snatched Republic….”NOW VADRA LEFT WITH BANANA ONLY”#Republic— Mahesh Vikram Hegde (@mvmeet) December 15, 2016last_img read more

Jacqueline Fernandez has a narrow escape after her boat capsizes in Madh

first_imgJacqueline FernandezInstagramIt looks like Jacqueline Fernandez had a narrow escape when a VIP boat carrying her capsized while travelling to Madh Island Friday evening. She had also shared a few photographs on her Instagram when she had boarded a ferry. She had said that she was loving her new mode of transport before the incident took place.Bollywood photographer Viral Bhayani had captured Jacqueline in his lens when she had to take the public boat after her boat capsized. She was seen hiding her face with a pink-coloured cloth apparently to hide her identity.”Jacqueline Fernandez’s VIP boat capsized due to which she had to take the public boat and that’s why she tried to hide her identity,” Viral wrote on Instagram.Jacqueline was recently spotted at the special screening of Super 30 starring Hrithik Roshan which was attended by who’s who of Bollywood.On the work front, Jacqueline is now venturing into the digital space with her upcoming project called Mrs. Serial Killer. The actress will also be seen in her upcoming movie, Kick 2 wherein she will be sharing screen with Salman Khan once again. Directed as well as produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, Kick 2 will release on Christmas 2019.last_img read more

End of road for Ravi Shastri BCCI seeks fresh applications for the

first_imgAfter India’s semi-final exit, the BCCI is all set to invite fresh applications for the Indian cricket team’s support staff, which includes the head coach. Hence, Ravi Shastri will have to reapply for his position once his contract expires after India’s tour of West Indies gets over next month.The coach and the support staff which consists of bowling coach Bharat Arun, batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar were all given an extension of 45 days after the World Cup owing to the upcoming tour of the West Indies. All the incumbents will now have to reapply for the positions. However, the team will now have the services of a new trainer and physio after the departure of Shankar Basu and Patrick Farhart respectively following India’s semifinal exit in the World Cup.New management to be in place before home season Virat Kohli (L) and Ravi Shastri (R)BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia’s home season kicks off after the West Indies tour when they will take on South Africa. That series kicks off in September. Shastri was given the charge of the Indian team following the controversial end to Anil Kumble’s role back in 2017 after the Champions Trophy defeat.”The job openings will be put up on our website in a day or two. Besides the support staff, fresh applications will also be invited for the post of team manager,” a BCCI official told PTI. Former Tamil Nadu captain Sunil Subramanian was appointed team manager in 2017 on one year-contract but he got an extension.Shastri has also served as India’s director of cricket from August 2014 to June 2016. However, India have not won a major ICC event under his guidance and the only historic series win came against Australia earlier this year. Batting coach Sanjay Bangar, head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli at Lord’s.Stu Forster/Getty ImagesFollowing the Lodha committee recommendations, the BCCI has done away with the direct appointment and follows a proper recruitment process which is very transparent.There are other changes expected after India’s exit from the World Cup. The BCCI is thinking about split captaincy and they might offer the job of leading the limited-overs outfit to Rohit Sharma while Virat Kohli continues to be captain of the Test side.”This would be the right time for Rohit to take over the mantle of the captaincy in the 50-over format. There has been immense support to the present captain and the management and it is time to plan ahead for the next World Cup and for that the existing ideas and plans need a fresh look. We all know some areas need a relook. Rohit would be the right man for the job,” the functionary told news agency IANS.Also, there are reports that the BCCI is not very happy with the performance of batting coach Sanjay Bangar as under him, the side has not been able to fix their number four woes and the middle order muddle which eventually cost the side in the World Cup.last_img read more

529 days on travel UN environment chief quits after audit

first_imgErik Solheim. Photo: CollectedUN environment chief Erik Solheim said on Tuesday he had resigned after receiving a final audit of his official travel.A draft of the report found he travelled for 529 out of the 668 days audited, spending $488,518 with no regard for the rules, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported in September.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had accepted Solheim’s resignation, which would be effective from Thursday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.When asked about Solheim’s travel expenses, Dujarric said: “The Secretary-General, I think, is pleased to see that UNEP (the UN Environment Programme) is committed to implementing the recommendations that are found in the OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) report on the travel office.”Solheim, a former Norwegian environment minister, said in a statement that he had decided to resign as executive director of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme after receiving the final audit report on Saturday.”I have been and remain committed to doing what I believe to be in the best interest of UN Environment and the mission we are here to achieve,” he said.The UN Environment Programme aims to set the global environmental agenda though leadership and partnerships.Dujarric described Solheim as having been “a leading voice in drawing the world’s attention to critical environmental challenges, including plastics pollution and circularity; climate action; the rights of environmental defenders; biodiversity; and environmental security.”last_img read more

Religious leaders react to mass shootings call for action from Trump Congress

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — As the nation reacts to the weekend’s mass shootings and President Trump decries hatred that “devours the soul,” religious leaders called for action from his administration and Congress.In his remarks from the White House on Monday (Aug. 5), Trump said he joined in the grief and outrage over the “two evil attacks” in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in which more than 80 people were killed or wounded. At least 22 people had reportedly died as a result of the El Paso shootings and nine in the Dayton violence.The president also made a religious appeal in his speech. “We ask God in heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer and we vow to act with urgent resolve,” he said in a 10-minute address, with Vice President Mike Pence standing nearby.The president called an online manifesto allegedly posted by the El Paso shooter “consumed by racist hate.”“In one voice our nation must condemn racism bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”RELATED: Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, and the normalization of violenceThe president suggested several possible courses for bipartisan action, saying he would direct the Department of Justice to partner with other agencies and social media companies to better “detect mass shooters before they strike” and to propose legislation so those who commit mass murders or hate crimes will face a death penalty that is “delivered quickly, precisely and without years of needless delay.”Vice President Mike Pence, left, listens as President Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, on Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Trump also called for reducing “glorification of violence in our society,” including through video games, and legal reforms to better identify mentally disturbed people and to reduce access to firearms by people considered a risk to public safety.Spiritual organizations and faith leaders were also focused on solutions to the wave of shootings. In a sampling of religious reaction to the tragedies, several urged politicians and governmental bodies to take steps:National Council of Churches“The combination of readily available weapons of mass destruction and a toxic white racist nationalist ideology is a recipe for disaster. If we cannot confront these two evils, far greater violence and social disruption awaits our nation.“We beseech elected officials to renew the lapsed ban on assault weapons and to require licensing and background checks for gun ownership. We also demand that legislation which has recently passed the House, including HR8, be brought to a vote in the Senate and passed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must be held to account for blocking legislation that would have introduced common-sense measures years ago.”Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Frank J. Dewane chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development“We encourage Catholics to pray and raise their voices for needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well. We call on all relevant committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to outline a reinvigorated policy agenda and pastoral campaign to address ways we can help fight this social disease that has infected our nation. The Conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence. We also call upon the President and Congress to set aside political interests and find ways to better protect innocent life.”The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference“The NHCLC’s community of thousands upon thousands of churches is profoundly grieving at the terror unleashed in El Paso today, terror targeting our nation’s beloved Hispanic community. We urge our political leaders, Democrat and Republican, to once-and-for-all depoliticize immigration in this country and instead embrace a fact-based approach to this and to all political questions that divide us. Even more importantly, we call upon people of sincere faith in every corner of our country to recommit themselves to loving the ‘other’ and to begin to pray with all their might that God would heal our broken land.”Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)Anjleen Kaur, executive director of the National Sikh Campaign“The Sikh American community is deeply saddened by the shooting in El Paso, Texas. As Sikhs our central belief in our faith is that in the eyes of God all people, regardless of their race or gender, are equal and as Americans our founders declared in our founding documents that ‘all men are created equal.’ We are disturbed by the rise in ideologies in our country that are fundamentally contrary to the core values of our nation and our faith. We pray for the victims and their families in El Paso and also in Dayton, Ohio.”Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League“Yet again we turn our thoughts and prayers to a community grieving after another mass shooting potentially motivated by hate and extremism. But thoughts and prayers are simply not enough.“We have documented a rise in extremist activity, both online and in our communities. As with too many of these incidents, our experts have again been reviewing the apparent manifesto of an alleged shooter, as well as other elements of his online footprint, to evaluate potential extremist ties, and we have also reached out to law enforcement to provide expert analysis and support.”The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action“We are seeing a pattern of an especially dangerous form of domestic terrorism that has people of color, immigrants, Muslims, members of the LGBTQ community and others in its crosshairs. It is beyond time for this Congress to act to rein in the proliferation of guns, especially those created for the sole purpose of indiscriminate killing. We each have a moral obligation to pressure this administration and this Congress to act. But beyond that, we must not let the forces of evil divide us and frighten us into silence.”Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association“The American Family Association condemns white supremacy, all manner of racial animus and hatred of any kind that may have been the impetus for the attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. We also recognize the deep and vast spiritual needs of our country. Our nation needs God desperately, which is more evident every day. The more our nation turns away from God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible, the more it seems we reject the reality that innocent human life is sacred. We call on AFA friends and supporters around the nation to join us in praying for the devastated families and communities affected in El Paso and Dayton.”The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral“It is absurd to suggest that eliminating military style assault rifles and extra capacity ammunition clips or requiring universal background checks will lead to the government taking away all our guns. These are fears stoked by a gun lobby that values the desire to own such weapons over the well-being of the community.“We must also address a culture where hate is all too present in our national dialogue. The specific motives of this week’s shootings are still under investigation. However, seeing deeply troubled individuals driven by anti-immigrant and white supremacist sentiments seeking to make their point with deadly force is not a consequence we should tolerate.”Zarina Baber, chair of the Muslim Caucus of America“The Muslim Caucus of America stands in solidarity, support, and remembrance of the victims and communities affected by the senseless domestic terrorist attacks that took place within 24 hours of each other in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.“As additional details continue to be reported and revealed on these mass murders, the Muslim Caucus of America also stands with those law-makers of conscience to condemn these attacks. We also demand all elected officials to take action for common-sense gun reform and the designation of white nationalist terror as domestic terrorism, similar to Canada, who added white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups to its list of terrorist organizations.”The Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life“On the seventh anniversary of the attack on the Sikh temple at Oak Creek, which killed six people, we mourn continued mass murder in El Paso and Dayton. People are being murdered by weapons of war because of their race, their religion or simply being in the wrong place. President Trump must stop his rhetoric, which incites violence, and prioritize investigating white supremacist terrorism. The Senate must pass HR 8, which would amend federal gun laws to require background checks for all gun sales. Only these concrete steps toward repentance will start to heal our nation.” Share This! Share This! Share This! Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Tagsassault weapons Dayton El Paso gun violence homepage featured mass shootings reaction Religious Response Top Story,You may also like As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Catholicism News Adelle M. Banks Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.,Load Comments,North Carolina becomes first Southern state to ban state funding for conversion therap … Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

They Cant Kill Us All

first_imgBy Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Special to the AFROThere are neighborhoods in Baltimore City that feel like they are remote, cut off from the rest of the city, distant. I have spent the last seven months visiting some of these communities, walking through the neighborhoods, visiting the schools and churches and liquor stores, and sitting down and talking to as many people as I could. There were days when the work felt hard, like when I met students who believed that they had no future, or adults who complained about living in a city where nobody cared if they lived or died. The work, on those days, felt overwhelming, painful even, but it was necessary because these are the stories and experiences that need to be shared. We need to sit with them, to see this city through their eyes, and to acknowledge their pain and their frustration. We also need to feel their joy, read the laughter and love in their stories and bear witness to their incredible acts of daily resistance and survival. There were days when I would leave a community full of hope that our city was getting better and on the road to recovery and then, there were days when it felt like it was the beginning of the end and that help was not on the way.Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead (Courtesy Photo)This is how I felt when I heard about the shooting that took place at Frederick Douglass High School last month. I have visited that school multiple times, participating in Teach-Ins and hosting a Teen Summit. I have gotten to know a few of the teachers and the students and I have always felt safe in the building. Every time that I visited, I encountered a locked door, I had to walk through the metal detector, and I was directed to go straight to the office. There are many schools in Baltimore that do not have this type of strict protocol in place.The reality is that we live in a country where more than 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings and 2018 was considered to be the worst year for school shootings in recent history. At the same time, according to recent data, the statistical likelihood of being shot and killed in a mass school shooting is 1 in 614 million. As a parent of two school-age sons, I wrestle with this dichotomy every day, particularly because the trauma of dealing with the aftermath of a mass school shooting affects us all. I want more security protocols in place and I want to keep our children and our teachers safe; I just do not want guns in schools during the school day, either through arming teachers or by allowing Baltimore City school police officers (the only sworn school police force in the state) to carry their sidearms in the school during the day. This has been an ongoing debate and discussion because Baltimore City is the only school district in Maryland where school police are not allowed to carry their service weapons throughout the school day. Earlier this year, the Baltimore City School Board, in a vote of 10-0, voted against supporting a measure to expand the carrying powers for school police; but, in the aftermath of the Douglass shooting, while we were still dealing with the trauma, they chose to revisit this decision and to shift their position in favor of this measure. This is problematic and controversial because even with the shooting, there are still so many teachers and students who do not want guns to be carried in their school.Last year, at the end of my Teen Summit at Douglass, where we talked about this issue and about community violence and policing, two young women came up to me to share their  stories. Michelle was extremely animated and told me that they talk about this all of the time, “We feel safer in school than we do on our blocks. When we’re at home and I hear gunshots, I just tell myself that they can’t kill us all. I hate guns.” Renee jumped in, “Me too, guns took away a lot of people that I love.” She stopped for a moment and sighed, “People think that just because we see guns all the time, we’re ok with them but we’re not. We just want to have one place where we don’t have to see them or think about them or even deal with them.” As they started to walk away, Michelle turned back to me, “One place. I don’t think that’s asking too much.”Karsonya Wise Whitehead is the #blackmommyactivist and an associate professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola University Maryland. She is the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” on WEAA 88.9 FM and the author of the forthcoming “Dispatches from Baltimore: The Birth of the Black Mommy Activist.” She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and their two sons.The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.Send letters to The Afro-American • 1531 S. Edgewood St. Baltimore, MD 21227 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to editor@afro.comlast_img read more

Apparent Terrorist Attack Thwarted By Feds at National Harbor

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, mgray@afro.comNational Harbor may have been the target of a terrorist plot that was thwarted by authorities.  Federal officials have charged Rondell Henry, 28, of Germantown, who allegedly planned to drive a truck into a crowd at the popular recreational and tourist destination in Oxon Hill.Federal prosecutors say Henry plotted to drive a stolen U-Haul truck into pedestrians after being inspired by the Islamic State and planned to use the truck as a weapon against “disbelievers,” according to numerous reports.   Henry was apparently trying to follow the script of previous attacks in Nice, France and New York City.Rondell Henry, 28, was allegedly planning to drive a truck into a crowd at the National Harbor for a terrorist attack. (Courtesy Photo)The tragic French incident took place when a man in a large truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in 2016, killing 86 people and injuring hundreds.  New York City’s fatal attack in 2017 left eight dead and 12 injured when a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan in Central Asia rented a pickup truck and drove down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in Manhattan.Federal prosecutors claim Henry was inspired by attacks like these after watching videos of them online and “harbored hatred for those who do not practice the Muslim faith.”In late March Henry was the subject of an intense missing persons investigation in Montgomery County after abruptly leaving his job in Germantown then disappearing.  The press release acknowledged his family was “concerned for Henry’s physical and emotional welfare.”According to the prosecutor’s charges, the same day that he went incognito, Henry allegedly stole a rented U-Haul van in Alexandria and left his car behind. He allegedly recognized that his car was not large enough to cause the level of damage that he wanted, so he then drove around the area looking for a larger vehicle to steal.The prosecutorial allegations assert Henry drove the van to Dulles International Airport in Virginia and attempted to find a way through security around 5 a.m. March 27.   Henry was looking to kill pedestrians “in a way designed for maximum publicity.”  After spending two hours at the airport trying to get past security, he decided to take the van to National Harbor.There, according to prosecutors, he parked the van and walked around to observe how he would execute the attack.  Henry allegedly changed his plans to drive into pedestrians when saw the small crowd before he broke into a boat to hide in overnight while waiting for larger crowds.However, on the morning of March 28, police found the stolen U-Haul parked at National Harbor. Prince George’s police officers saw Henry jumping over a security fence and arrested him recognizing he was something more than a random trespasser.Prince George’s County police chief Hank Stawinski said that the arresting officers were able to establish that this case was more than just a stolen vehicle and that Henry represented a broader threat to the community.Henry was charged with transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. He appeared at a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt April 9. A motion to detain Henry ahead of his trial was  filed arguing that he is a flight risk and danger to the community. If convicted, Henry could face up to 10 years in prison.For almost two decades authorities have worried about international terrorists attacks inside the United States.  Concerns are mounting that the most dangerous terror threats to the U.S. are people living around the nation, with a variety of extremist views.“It’s about going beyond what’s apparent and asking ‘is there more going on here than we’re aware of?” Stawinski said.last_img read more