Brand South Africa joins the Nelson Mandela Foundation and University of Fort Hare to host Nelson Mandela Centenary Dialogue

first_imgThe legacy of our late former President, Nelson Mandela lives on through the spirit of Ubuntu and robust dialogue around socio-economic issues.The year 2018 marks what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. To honour his centenary and the legacy he left the world – South Africans in particular – people are encouraged to engage with and reflect on the life and times of Mandela.In keeping up with the centenary celebrations of Madiba, Brand South Africa on Saturday 6 October, partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, as well as the University of Fort Hare to host a dialogue under the theme: The Life and Times of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Are we Living His Legacy?         Fort Hare alumnus, Mr. KC Mabelane officially opened the proceedings before handing over to Mr Yase Godlo, Manager: Mandela Day and Outreach at the Foundation, who shared the story of Nelson Mandela.Mr Godlo shared how the idea of Mandela Day was inspired and officially recognised: “We’ve taken on the custodian of Mandela Day after it was recognised by the UN in 2009. At the foundation, we ensure that it remains a programme that changes lives. The Mandela name is one we use when we seek to be more than ourselves.”Brand South Africa’s GM for Stakeholder Relations, Mpumi Mabuza, spoke about Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part Programme that encourages active citizenship and social cohesion, and also lobbies ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things in their communities as Play Your Part ambassadors.         The Dialogue on the Life and Times of Nelson Mandela was facilitated by Prof. Lulama Makhubela, former Deputy Vice Chancellor: Postgraduate Studies, Research & Innovation at the Tshwane University of Technology; on the panel was Commissioner at Competition Commission, Tembinkosi Bonakele, SANParks Managing Executive for Conservation Services, Dr Luthando Dziba, Executive Director: Human Resources & Transformation at UJ, Ms Phindiwe Gida and Ms Unati Speirs, Group Chairman at AgriConsult Investment Holdings.Commissioner Bonakele said: “For our generation, the key is finding what the mission is, which I think we have done, but also accepting that we are agents of that mission. In our understanding of the trajectory of law, the human rights in SA, one cannot debate human rights today without material economic questions. So everything comes back to what we are going to do as a generation to make our society one that was envisioned by our forebearers, Nelson Mandela being the leader of such.”The discussion also touched on socio-economic conditions in South Africa, Security and Political Conditions since 1994 as well as issues relating to class, race, gender and disability and how living the Mandela Legacy can help us achieve greatness.         “As amazing as Madiba was, there is no way he could single-handedly change the fate of socio-economic issues in South Africa. So I look at him as a visionary”, Ms Phindiwe Gida concluded.Brand South is proud to have been a part of the dialogue that emboldens the legacy of Nelson Mandela and that helps us take accountability by playing our part.Images: Aphiwe Boycelast_img read more

Matt Ryan Is Our Midseason MVP

Now that each team has played at least half its games in the 2016 NFL regular season, we’ve got ourselves an excuse to look at who might take home the major year-end awards if they were handed out today. Note that these are not projections of who will win these awards at the end of the season, but who is most deserving through nine weeks of play.Most Valuable Player: Matt Ryan, QB Atlanta FalconsThe AP Most Valuable Player award has gone to a running back or quarterback in every year since 1987. In all but seven of those years, a quarterback won the award.1This includes 1997, when Brett Favre shared the award with running back Barry Sanders, and 2003, when two quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Steve McNair) were also co-MVPs. In eight of the last nine seasons, including the last three, a quarterback won the award. And by nearly all measures, Ryan is on pace to outproduce those last three winners: Peyton Manning in 2013, Aaron Rodgers in 2014, and Cam Newton last year. 2014A. Rodgers34152065.64,3813858.7 2015C. Newton29649559.83,83735107.2 YEARQUARTERBACKCMP.ATT.CMP%YARDSTDSINT.ANY/A Source: Ryan’s high completion percentage and low interception total are even more impressive considering how far he’s throwing the ball downfield: His average completion has come 7.83 yards downfield, the farthest in the league according to the NFL’s Game Statistics & Information System.Ryan’s remarkable 9.30 adjusted net yards per attempt average would rank third all time if it holds up, and while Tom Brady (10.68) is currently ahead of him, Ryan has thrown 179 more passes than Brady has this year. As good as Brady’s been, four games can’t compare to nine, especially when those nine have been this good. Ryan has the 8th-highest passer rating through nine weeks of any quarterback since 1960,2Minimum 150 attempts, and six of the seven quarterbacks ahead of him on that list wound up winning the AP MVP that season.3The exception was Milt Plum, who had a magnificent season but played on a run-first team (he barely made the cutoff with 151 pass attempts through nine weeks) led by Jim Brown.Offensive Player of the Year: David Johnson, RB Arizona CardinalsThe Cardinals running back leads the league with 1,112 yards from scrimmage through eight games. He’s averaging over 80 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving per game, which has only been accomplished by four other players in NFL history. But what’s most impressive has been his consistency: Johnson has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year, making him just the 12th player since 1960 to do that in each of his team’s first eight games. Every other player this year has at least three team games in which they failed to gain 100 total yards.4Murray is the only other player with at least six such games, but his Titans have already played nine games. He’s also averaging 4.5 yards per run and 11.6 yards per reception while scoring eight touchdowns, showing that Johnson’s season hasn’t been fueled only by a heavy workload.Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller, OL Denver BroncosWith J.J. Watt injured, this award is — theoretically, at least — up for grabs. But Miller has left no doubt as to the identity of the league’s top defender, picking up where he left off in last year’s Super Bowl. Miller leads the NFL in sacks, with 9.5, and is the driving force behind the most dominant pass defense in the NFL. As a team, the Broncos bring pressure on a league-high 38 percent of QB dropbacks — only two other teams are above 30 percent. Miller is also underrated against the run, and combined with Denver’s No. 2 ranking in defensive DVOA through eight weeks, this all make him an easy choice.Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dak Prescott, QB Dallas CowboysPrescott and his backfield teammate, Ezekiel Elliott, have been the best two rookies this season by a large margin. Elliott not only leads the NFL in rushing with 891 yards, he also has the third-most rushing yards of any rookie through eight games since 1960. Elliott has exceeded the lofty expectations associated with the fourth overall pick, and yet….The AP began issuing this award in 1967, and until 2003, just one quarterback had won the award.5That was when Buffalo’s Dennis Shaw edged out Dallas running back Duane Thomas for the honor. But six of the last 12 winners have been quarterbacks. How does Ryan compare to the last three QBs to win MVP? 2016M. Ryan (prorated)38855669.65,2984179.3 2013P. Manning45065968.3%5,47755108.9 Average of above36255864.94,5654388.3 That reflects both the growing importance of the quarterback position, and fact that young quarterbacks are playing earlier and better than ever. And, arguably, no rookie quarterback has been more impressive in his first eight games than Prescott. He’s averaging 8.75 adjusted yards per attempt, the highest rate of any rookie passer through eight games since at least 1960; his 7-1 record is also the best of any true rookie.6Technically, Dieter Brock had a 7-1 record through his first eight games in the NFL, too. But Brock was a rookie in name only: He had a long career in the Canadian Football League before joining the NFL at age 35. And forget rookies: He currently ranks second in the NFL in Total QBR. Prescott has been every bit as good at his position as Elliott has, so the tiebreaker goes to the quarterback for excelling at the more valuable position.Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jatavis Brown, LB San Diego ChargersBrown leads all rookies in solo tackles with 42, and that’s despite missing yesterday’s game with a knee injury. He’s recorded six tackles for loss, tied for second most among rookies. He’s one of just three rookies with multiple forced fumbles, one of seven rookies with at least four pass breakups, and one of seven rookies with three or more sacks. An inside linebacker, Brown shows up with the top rookie defensive backs in some categories and top rookie defensive linemen in others, all while providing solid run support. Without Brown, the Chargers defense allowed five touchdowns against Tennessee, furthering Brown’s argument for defensive rookie of the first two months.Comeback Player of the Year: Tie: DeMarco Murray, RB Tennessee Titans, and Melvin Gordon, RB San Diego ChargersA year ago, DeMarco Murray had just had one of the largest dropoffs in running back history, rushing for just 46.8 yards per game a year after averaging 115.3 yards per game in 2014. Most had written off Murray when he signed with Tennessee after battling hamstring injuries and Chip Kelly’s system during his one year in Philadelphia.Melvin Gordon’s 2015 may have been even worse. He was labeled a bust after his rookie season, when he failed to score a touchdown and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. His season ended with him on injured reserve, and he had microfracture surgery in January.And yet, along with Johnson and Elliott, these have been two of the best four running backs in the NFL. Both Murray and Gordon rank in the top three in rushing yards, rushing first downs, rushing yards after contact, and total touchdowns. Neither player had high expectations entering this season, making their comeback seasons even more impressive.Coach of the Year: Jack Del Rio, Oakland RaidersThe New England Patriots are, by a good measure, the best team in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys are 7-1, and have far exceeded expectations after Tony Romo went down in the preseason. Bill Belichick has masterfully guided his team, per usual, and the Patriots seem well-positioned to make another Super Bowl run. Jason Garrett has used his offensive prowess to coax historically great seasons out of a pair of rookies.And yet, the Oakland Raiders are 7-2. Jack Del Rio, owner of a perfectly average 82-82 career record, probably isn’t the coaching equal of Garrett, to say nothing of a comparison to Belichick. But for one half-season, Del Rio has had the magic touch this year, hitting the right button in Week 1 and not letting up since. Oakland has a 1533 Elo rating, the highest for the team in over five years. The Raiders may not yet be great or their success sustainable — the team has outscored opponents by just 22 points so far this year — but through nine weeks, Oakland’s success has been one of the main stories of the season. And while assigning the head coach credit for surprising seasons is an inexact and frustrating habit, the Raiders’ progress under Del Rio — an improvement from 3-13 to 7-9 last season, and the hot start this season — is undeniable. read more

San Diego gas prices hit highest point since August 2015

first_imgSan Diego gas prices hit highest point since August 2015 April 20, 2018 Posted: April 20, 2018 Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018 Updated: 6:28 PM KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose 1.2 cents today to $3.592, its highest amount since Aug. 25, 2015.The average price has increased nine of the past 10 days, rising 4.2 cents, including one-tenth of a cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.The average price is 2.5 cents more than one week ago, 14.8 cents higher than one month ago and 56.6 cents greater than one year ago. It has risen 47 cents since the start of the year.“While local gas prices are definitely higher than in the last two years, the increase between the lowest and highest price points so far for the year is less than the typical price increase between Jan. 1 and mid-April of 70 cents or more,” said Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.President Trump weighed in on the high oil prices on Twitter Friday:last_img read more

Forbes Officially Signs On To Flipboard

first_imgForbes has signed on to Flipboard, the “social mag app” for the iPad that is beginning to get the stamp of approval from publishers (the Oprah Winfrey Network and just signed on to be official partners with Flipboard on April 14).Flipboard is a free “social magazine” app available on the iPad, which allows users to select RSS feeds from Facebook and Twitter and add them to their account. Flipboard then takes this selected content and weaves a personalized magazine featuring content based on user selections.Bruce Upbin, managing editor of Forbes, says, “I think it’s the only one of its kind so far – they’re the most publisher friendly of the mag apps (like Zite and Pulse) as they want to work with us to replicate our mag experience on their app. We’re more branded.” Other publishers on Flipboard include Bon Appetit, Lonely Planet and All Things Digital. Forbes currently has two iPad apps, the Investment Guide + app and The List app. Upbin distinguishes between the actual Forbes apps and the socially curated Flipboard content, “Our other apps are more targeted. The Flipboard pages is the closest thing you’ll get from us right now to reading content as if it were Forbes magazine.center_img We don’t sell per issue; our iPad strategy to date has been to take our content and brands, like The List or The Investment Guide, and turn those into an app experience.”The Investment Guide + app was released last fall, and its content is refreshed biannually when the print Investment Guide issue is released.When Forbes was faced with the question of partnership with Flipboard (content was already being pulled from Twitter feed to be included in the app), Upbin decided to make their Flipboard pages as branded as possible. He says, after all, “They had access to our content before via our Twitter feed; anyone can get anything on Flipboard (almost).”As “Featured Content”, Forbes’ and Flipboard’s design teams work together to create a branded look that carries through elements of’s articles, such as headline, byline, photos and the first paragraph that appear on the app. Advertisement is also possible once a publisher signs on to partner with Flipboard. Currently, every third page in the content section is a house ad promoting the Forbes-created iPad app. As for ad revenue terms, Upbin couldn’t share exact numbers, but says, “We get what we can for it, until Flipboard develops a set of metrics that are publisher friendly, like monthly active reader, subscribers to your section and number of page views or ‘flips’.”last_img read more

Infosys Asks West Bengal Govt to Accord SEZ Status to its Proposed

first_imgFrustrated at the Mamata Banerjee government’s reluctance to accord Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to its proposed software development centre in the state, Infosys has asked the goverment to either expedite it or return the ₹75 crore advance paid by the company for acquiring the land at Rajarghat.”We have told the state government that it should either give us the SEZ status or pay back the money which was advanced to get the land,” PTI quoted a senior Infosys official as saying. In 2008, the Bengaluru-based IT software services company had paid the money for a 50-acre plot at Rajarhat to build a development centre when the Left Front government was in power. The then government had agreed to give SEZ status to the first Infosys centre in the state, as it was estimated to generate 15,000 jobs.But it could not take off due to opposition from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which came to power in 2011 and has remained firm in its decision.The Infosys official said that the new government cannot renege on a committment given by a previous government.   “Even if governments change, the continuity in policies should not. We have immense faith in West Bengal”, he added.When asked if his company has decided to withdraw its project in West Bengal, he said, “We hope the government will change its mind.””What the state government would have to do is just forward our proposal to the Centre with a recommendation and nothing else. We have presence in 11 states across the country and all of them have done that,” Infosys spokesperson said.last_img read more

US court rules against Trump on travel ban

first_imgYemenis Ahmed Abdallah and son Hezam, 11, who were among those stranded in Djibouti when President Trump ordered his travel ban, arrive to Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: AFPA US court on Thursday unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, dealing the new president and his controversial law-and-order agenda a major defeat.The San Francisco federal appeals court’s ruling on Trump’s executive order—issued on January 27 with no prior warning and suspended by a lower court a week later—capped a turbulent first three weeks of his presidency.A defiant Trump quickly pledged to battle on, tweeting within minutes of the decision: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”“It’s a political decision,” he told reporters later.The Justice Department had asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to restore the measure on an emergency basis, but the three-judge panel instead maintained the suspension ordered by a federal judge in Seattle.“We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury,” the judges ruled.Trump’s decree summarily denied entry to all refugees for 120 days, and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria were blocked indefinitely.The new Republican administration argued the ban was needed to prevent Islamic State and Al-Qaeda fighters from reaching US soil, but it prompted travel chaos and was roundly rejected by immigration advocacy groups.Critics say the measure targeted Muslims in violation of US law.Now, the case could end up in the Supreme Court.Court’s logicThe San Francisco court said aspects of the public interest favored both sides, highlighting the “massive attention” the case had drawn.“On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies,” the ruling said.“And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”While acknowledging that the Seattle judge’s ruling “may have been overbroad in some respects,” the panel said it was not their “role to try, in effect, to rewrite the executive order.”“The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States,” the court said.Civil rights campaigners and state officials applauded the decision, vowing to fight on until the executive order is permanently scrapped. For now, it means travelers with valid visas can continue to enter the country.Washington Governor Jay Inslee, whose administration sued for the measure to be blocked, hailed a victory for his state and the country, arguing that the ruling showed “no one is above the law, not even the president.”Human Rights Watch senior researcher Grace Meng called the decision “an important declaration of judicial independence, which is crucial for checking harmful overreach by the president.”Trump had blasted the original suspension in a series of fiery tweets and public statements.Republican lawmakers jumped to Trump’s defense, with Senator Tom Cotton calling the ruling “misguided,” while Democrats hailed it.“Pres Trump ought to see the writing on the wall, abandon proposal, roll up his sleeves & come up w/ a real, bipartisan plan to keep us safe,” Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted.Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called on Trump to withdraw the executive order.“If the president were serious about bringing our country together and keeping us safe, he would rescind this arbitrary and discriminatory order and recall what makes our country great,” he said.Trump’s election rival Hillary Clinton tweeted simply: “3-0.”‘New era of justice’Ahead of the ruling, and with tensions high between the executive and the judiciary, Trump defended his hardline policies, declaring a “new era of justice” in America as he swore in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.“We face the menace of rising crime and the threat of deadly terror,” he said, doubling down on his dystopian vision of America.“A new era of justice begins and it begins right now.”Trump’s tough talk belies a political and legislative agenda that has been beset by missteps and legal challenges.Even his own Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, described the president’s comments about the judiciary as “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”Despite experts’ criticism of Trump’s message, it appears to be resonating among his supporters.The billionaire won the election last November with 46 percent of the popular vote, and the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows his job approval at about the same level, with the split largely along Republican-Democratic lines.His administration has 14 days to file a petition for reconsideration of Thursday’s ruling, either by the same panel or “en banc”—meaning by every judge on the court.Another option would be to ask the Supreme Court to review the case, although some analysts have argued that that path poses the possibility of an embarrassing defeat, given the unanimity of the San Francisco panel, which included a Republican-appointed judge.last_img read more

Police obstruct quota reformists reunion

first_img.Reformists for quota system in government service have faced obstructions by police in celebrating their reunion programme at Segunbagicha in the capital.The organisers of quota reform movement from across the country gathered in front of Kochi Kachar Mela to attend their programme on Friday afternoon.While visiting Kochi Kachar Mela in the capital’s Segunbagicha, this correspondent found the organisers of the quota movement were demonstrating and police members were guarding at the gate.Police, however, at one stage allowed them to celebrate their reunion.Police officers said none would be allowed to hold programmes without the written permission of the commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).”Let’s allow to hold the programme. The movement cannot be stopped by police,” the demonstrators chanted slogans.Quota reformist leader Nurul Haque said, “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said there will be no bar to hold meetings and rallies anywhere in the country. Why are we being obstructed? We won’t leave the place until we’re not informed about it officially.”Ramna zone police deputy commissioner Maruf Sardar said the reformist leaders required permission from police two days ahead of the programme in the capital.”Did they take the permission? Ask the authorities of Kochi Kachar Mela why they did not open the gate. Did they pay fare for the auditorium?” he asked.Convener of the platform Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council Hasan Al Mamun said, “Police verbally gave us permission. But we are informed by police that we will not be allowed to hold our programme today, Friday. But why not, it is not clarified.”About payment, he said the fare is paid earlier.The platform launched a movement across the country demanding reform of quota system in government service.In the face of strong agitation, the government accepted the demand and abolished quota system in public service.last_img read more

Multicity protests denounce Trump immigration policy

first_imgThousands march through downtown Minneapolis Saturday, June 30, 2018, to demonstrate agains the Trump administration`s immigration policiesThey wore white. They shook their fists in the air. They carried signs reading: “No more children in cages,” and “What’s next? Concentration Camps?”In major cities and tiny towns, hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered Saturday across America, moved by accounts of children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, in the latest act of mass resistance against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.Protesters flooded more than 700 marches, from immigrant-friendly cities like New York and Los Angeles to conservative Appalachia and Wyoming. They gathered on the front lawn of a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, near a detention center where migrant children were being held in cages, and on a street corner near Trump’s golf resort at Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is spending the weekend.Trump has backed away from family separations amid bipartisan and international uproar. His “zero tolerance policy” led officials to take more than 2,000 children from their parents as they tried to enter the country illegally, most of them fleeing violence, persecution or economic collapse in their home countries.Those marching Saturday demanded the government quickly reunite the families that were already divided.A Brazilian mother separated from her 10-year-old son more than a month ago approached the microphone at the Boston rally.”We came to the United States seeking help, and we never imagined that this could happen. So I beg everyone, please release these children, give my son back to me,” she said through an interpreter, weeping.”Please fight and continue fighting, because we will win,” she said.The crowd erupted.In Portland, Oregon, police ordered participants in a march by Patriot Prayer to disperse after officers saw assaults and projectiles being thrown. Some arrests were made.Walden Paige, of Marshalltown, Iowa, center, looks on during a rally to protest the Trump administration`s immigration policies, Saturday, June 30, 2018The problems occurred as two opposing protest groups – Patriot Prayer and antifa – took to the streets. People in the crowd were lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs and police used flash bangs to disperse the clashing protesters.In Washington, DC, an estimated 30,000 marchers gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House in what was expected to be the largest protest of the day, stretching for hours under a searing sun. Firefighters at one point misted the crowd to help people cool off.Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical “Hamilton,” sang a lullaby dedicated to parents unable to sing to their children. Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys read a letter written by a woman whose child had been taken away from her at the border.”It’s upsetting. Families being separated, children in cages,” said Emilia Ramos, a cleaner in the district, fighting tears at the rally. “Seeing everyone together for this cause, it’s emotional.”Around her, thousands waved signs: “I care,” some read, referencing a jacket that first lady Melania Trump wore when travelling to visit child migrants. The back of her jacket said, “I really don’t care, do U?” and it became a rallying cry for protesters Saturday.”I care!! Do you?” read Joan Culwell’s T-shirt as she joined a rally in Denver.”We care!” marchers shouted outside Dallas City Hall. Organizer Michelle Wentz says opposition to the Trump administration’s “barbaric and inhumane” policy has seemed to transcend political lines.”This is the issue crossing the line for a lot of people,” said Robin Jackson, 51, of Los Angeles, who protested with thousands carrying flags, signs and babies.Singer John Legend serenaded the crowd and Democratic politicians who have clashed with Trump had strong words for the president, including US Rep. Maxine Waters who called for his impeachment.The president took to Twitter amid the protests, first to show his support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement as some Democrats called for major changes to the agency. Tweeting Saturday from New Jersey, Trump urged ICE agents to “not worry or lose your spirit” and wrote that “the radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police.”He later tweeted that he never pushed House Republicans to vote for immigration overhaul measures that failed last week, contradicting a post three days ago in which he urged GOP congressional members to pass them.In Trump’s hometown of New York City, another massive crowd poured across the Brooklyn Bridge in sweltering 90-degree heat, some carrying their children on their shoulders, chanting, “Shame!” Drivers honked their horns in support.”It’s important for this administration to know that these policies that rip apart families – that treat people as less than human, like they’re vermin – are not the way of God, they are not the law of love,” said the Rev. Julie Hoplamazian, an Episcopal priest marching in Brooklyn.Though seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators packed the rallies, others were new to activism, including parents who said they felt compelled to act after heart-wrenching accounts of families who were torn apart.Marchers took to city parks and downtown squares from Maine to Florida to Oregon; in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico; on the international bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico; even in Antler, North Dakota, population 27. People braved the heat in Chicago and Atlanta to march.Some of the demonstrations were boisterous, others were quiet.Five people were arrested outside an ICE office in Dallas for blocking a road. At least one arrest was made in Columbus, Ohio, when protesters obstructed a downtown street. Light-rail service temporarily shut down in Minneapolis as thousands of demonstrators got in the way of the tracks. A rally in Portland, Maine, grew so large that police had to shut down part of a major street.But in Dodge City, Kansas, a 100-person rally led by a Catholic church felt more like a mass than a protest.In rural Marshalltown, Iowa, about 125 people gathered for a march organized by Steve Adelmund, a father of two who was inspired after turning on the news on Father’s Day and seeing children being separated from their families and held in cages.”It hit me in the heart. I cried,” he said.”If we can’t come together under the idea of ‘Kids shouldn’t be taken from their parents,’ where are we?” he asked. “We have to speak out now while we can, before we can’t.”Drum beats and horns sounded as thousands of protesters took to the streets of San Francisco.”We came here to let the president know that this is not acceptable,” said San Francisco resident Barry Hooper, who attended with his wife and two daughters.His 7-year-old daughter Liliana clutched a sign she made, saying, “Stop the separation.”Three thousand miles away in Washington, protesters ended their march at the white-columned Justice Department. They stacked their protest signs, written in English and Spanish, against its grand wooden doors.”Fight for families,” one sign demanded.last_img

Cambodia ruling party claims huge victory after flawed election

first_imgCambodia`s Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) prepares to cast his vote during the general election as his wife Bun Rany (L) looks on in Phnom Penh on 29 July, 2018. Cambodia went to the polls early on July 29 in an election set to be easily won by strongman premier Hun Sen after the only credible opposition was dissolved last year, effectively turning the country into a one-party state. / AFPCambodia’s ruling party said it had won a landslide in Sunday’s one-horse election, an expected outcome after the main opposition was banned, paving the way for leader Hun Sen to prolong his 33 years in power.Hun Sen, who came to power in 1985 in a country still plagued by civil war, has cracked down on dissent in the run-up to this year’s poll, pressuring civil society, independent media and political opponents.That left him with little competition and no serious challengers.Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan told AFP late Sunday they expected to win “over 100 seats” in the 125-seat parliament, citing preliminary figures from the National Election Committee.”The CPP will get more than 80 percent of the popular vote,” he said. “This is a huge victory for us.”Hun Sen, 65, a one-time defector from the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, has pointed to stability and growth as the fruits of his rule — a message that resonates with his base.”Compatriots have chosen the democratic path and used your rights,” he said on his Facebook page after polls closed in an apparent swipe at the opposition, which called for a boycott.Voter turnout was 82 percent, according to the election committee, surpassing the final figure in 2013 of roughly 69 percent when the opposition took part.- Spoiled ballots -But there were also signs of despondency and indifference, and an expert on elections in Southeast Asia said the high turnout was misleading.”With one-party rule election turnout is generally higher, not lower, because the party, in this case the Cambodian People’s Party, relies on voter intimidation more, relies on vote buying more, and turnout should be inflated that way,” said Lee Morgenbesser from the school of government and international relations at Griffith University.Pictures of spoiled ballots circulated on social media though they could not be independently verified. AFP correspondents saw dozens of blank ballots set aside during counting.”I did not go to vote. I slept at home,” said Khem Chan Vannak, a former commune chief elected with the now-banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).”A lot of my friends did not go to vote.”Western governments withdrew their assistance from the election, citing its lack of credibility.Canada’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the vote that “the election campaign was widely recognized to have been marred by voter intimidation and manipulation of the polls”.Canada “strongly supports their (Cambodians’) right to freely choose their leaders,” it added.Nineteen small — or hitherto unknown — parties competed against the ruling CPP in the absence of the CNRP. But analysts say they are too obscure or new to make a meaningful difference.The CPP has won every election since 1998.The opposition, whose leaders are in jail, underground or in self-exile, urged a “clean-finger” boycott as the only safe form of protest, a reference to the ink applied to people’s hands after they vote.Official results are expected on August 15.- ‘Fist of a dictator’ -More than eight million voters registered for the sixth general election since polls were organised by the United Nations in 1993.At the time the country was emerging from decades of war, including the Khmer Rouge years from 1975-79 which killed a quarter of the population.Hun Sen was installed aged just 32 as national leader during the Vietnamese occupation of 1979-89.But a youthful population angered by corruption and with little memory of the Khmer Rouge era put the ruling party’s longevity in doubt.Their votes helped the CNRP to secure more than 44 percent of the vote in 2013 and a similar share in local elections last year.But Hun Sen snuffed out the looming electoral threat, accusing the rescue party of being involved in a plot to topple the government and arresting leader Kem Sokha. The Supreme Court dissolved the party in November 2017.”This is a story of how democratic dreams die under the fist of a dictator,” Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said.- Power and patronage -A climate of fear driven by local-level ruling party members has made many reluctant to openly criticise the vote.The election committee, which has been accused of being biased towards the ruling party, said there was no voter intimidation.Hun Sen has maintained his grip on the country through political and family alliances in the police, military and media. He has placed his sons in key positions in what analysts see as an attempt to create a dynasty.The United States and the European Union declined to send monitors for Sunday’s election but Cambodia’s ally China provided support.Sam Rainsy, an opposition figure who lives in self-exile in France, said the foregone election victory was a “hollow one”.The CNRP appealed to Cambodians not to vote in the “sham election that has no support and is not recognised by the international community”.Authorities have vowed to take action against anyone who urges a poll boycott even though they insist voting is not compulsory.last_img

New Latino Theater Festival Seeks to Engage Houstons Underrepresented Communities

first_img Share 00:00 /01:24 X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Courtesy of the Mayor’s OfficeRepresentatives of the project partners, pictured left to right, are Karen Farber (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts), Pilar Florez (VisitHouston), Estevan Azcona (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), Alice Valdez (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), Mayor Sylvester Turner, Isy Gabriela Conde (Neighborhood Centers Inc.), Dean Gladden (Alley Theatre), Shayna Schlosberg (Alley Theatre), Javier Perez (Talento Bilingue de Houston). Anahi MontfortScene from “Misa Fronteriza,” the play to be featured in Houston’s first-ever Latino Theater Festival in 2018.When Houston City Council approved the Arts and Cultural Plan a year ago, one of the goals was to reach out to communities seen as underrepresented in the arts. “Reflecting the city’s cultural diversity is something that came up over and over during the cultural planning process and is really a theme throughout the plan,” says Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.Mayor Turner has approved $50,000 in city funds to create the new Latino Theater Festival, which was an idea proposed by the Alley Theatre. In addition to the money from the city, the Alley hopes to get an additional $100,000 through a Creative Placemaking grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.The featured play is Misa Fronteriza, described as a satirical comedy about life near the US-Mexico border.  The Alley’s Associate General Manager Shayna Schlosberg says she and Managing Director Dean Gladden discovered it at a Latino Theater Festival in Colombia.  “The story is very relevant to Houston audiences so we thought: ‘This is absolutely a piece that we should bring,’” Schlosberg says.The play is in Spanish but will include English translation through headsets. Through a partnership with a few community centers, it’ll be staged in some of Houston’s predominantly Latino neighborhoods. The Latino Theater Festival is set to launch in the spring of 2018 once the remainder of the funding is secured.last_img read more