…Minister opts for disciplinary action rather than sacking reckless ranksWhile speaking at two separate events on Friday, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan went on a rampage, bombarding the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for their inexcusable acts of negligence, particularly those taking the country by storm in the past weeks.According to the Minister, the country is seemingly becoming immunised to the malpractices of the GPF, especially given that such instances continued to persist on a regular basis. This is as Ramjattan alluded to the most recent incidents which saw a number of top-ranking officials being removed from their posts owing to indiscretions occurring under their watch.Adding to that, just days ago, yet another criminal managed to sneak his way out of the Lusignan Prison, in the latest of more than three major breaches in public security for the year thus far.In light of these alarming events, the Minister, during an address to the media, lashed out at the Police Force, saying, “When you do the [Latin American Public Opinion Project] LAPOP poll, apart from politicians, the Police Force is probably the most distrusted institution in the country.”However, when questioned as to what will be the approach taken in penalising the ranks who were involved in these incidents, the Minister appeared to be torn between placing the culprits under disciplinary action or removing them from the Force entirely.Nevertheless, he opted for the more lenient method. “I am 400 Policemen short. This year alone, nine senior officers retired and there is a tremendous shortage of quality people who got experience. That is why sometimes, in moments like these, you are cornered by the decision whether to knock off or whether to chastise and reprimand and tell them to come back and hope that they perform. It’s about giving people a second chance; I like second chances,” Ramjattan stated.He further argued that sacking officers was not exactly a smart move. “Knowing also the reality of so much Policemen short and also senior ranks who have retired, leaving a lot of vacuum; you go there and knock them off, sometimes it might not be in the interest of the Police Force. These are fellows we sent for training overseas and all kinds of thing and you might very well be wasting an asset, which, if given a second chance, might do better.”With that being said, Ramjattan acknowledged his role in this matter as the head of the Public Security Ministry and, as such, pledged that “we have to recharge, rejuvenate and do some greater work”.On that note, the Police Force has embarked on a leadership training programme, targeting a number of ranks with the aim of developing the capacity of the nation’s law enforcers, to reduce the incidents which paint the Police Force in a negative light. Revisiting the first session of the project, which commenced on Thursday, Ramjattan related, “At the leadership meeting, I gave them a charge as to the kind of professionalism that I want from them and also the honesty that must come from leading members of the Police Force and not to make these embarrassments reoccur because they tarnish the whole Force.”With the launch of this new initiative, the Public Security Minister looks forward to a reduction and eventual eradication of these damaging cases, altogether. Meanwhile, not overlooking the extent of defects existing within the GPF, Ramjattan indicated that investigations into the matters were still ongoing and based on the findings, necessary action would be taken, especially if the misconduct continued.As such, Ramjattan pointed out, “There are lots of people who, if they were Ministers, would’ve done it differently. I am going to deal with it the way that I know best and that is to talk to them, to urge them on and if their behaviour continues to be egregious, then we will have to do something.”
The East is still the inferior conference — the average NBA team would stand to gain about two extra wins by moving from West to East. How much is two wins worth? It’s nothing to sneeze at, but it also isn’t going to make or break a team’s fortunes. The top-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers, for instance, would still be projected to win more than 60 games if they were given the schedule of a typical Western Conference team.Then again, the Cavs have a rare stockpile of talent by the standards of the East — we think they’re far and away the best team in the conference. That’s not exactly a bold prediction; perhaps more interesting is the No. 2 ranking CARMELO bestows on the Boston Celtics, who finished last season with the eighth seed in the East. Boston’s scoring attack wasn’t very good last year, but CARMELO thinks the team’s turnaround will be fueled by major improvements on the offensive end.As for the rest of the conference, the Atlanta Hawks’ projected decline — from 60 to 46 wins — might surprise their fans, but because many of last season’s stars are expected to regress to the mean, CARMELO thinks they’ll take equal steps backward on offense and defense. Along the same lines, the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets are projected to fall out of the playoffs (particularly Brooklyn, who we project to be in the East’s cellar), while CARMELO calls for the Charlotte Hornets to ascend to the postseason after sitting it out last year.WESTERN CONFERENCE 3BullsCentral+0.115+2.04+2.147.8 7HornetsSoutheast-1.0170.017-1.039.4 10PistonsCentral+1.210-3.127-1.936.6 Here at FiveThirtyEight HQ, we’ve been pretty excited about the upcoming 2015-16 NBA season.OK, that’s a bit of an understatement.For starters, we rolled out CARMELO,1Short for, ahem, Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization. our system for predicting the career of every NBA player, and we’ve been encouraging all who will listen to check out their favorite player’s projection. (Yes, our friends and families have asked us to stop.) We also used CARMELO to preview all 30 NBA teams.In each of those previews, we listed a “projected record” for the team in question to get a sense of what their fans should expect this year. But the trouble with writing these previews over such an extended amount of time is that we didn’t really get a chance to run the numbers for every team all at once. And if we had, injuries and transactions would have rendered those projections out of date by now.So to our eagle-eyed readers: Yes, we know, the projected wins for each team did not perfectly average 41-41 across the entire NBA.2They came close; on average, we were about 0.9 wins too high per team. We also didn’t adjust the numbers for strength of schedule. But we have now. Here’s an overview of each conference’s projected standings, which takes into account CARMELO’s ratings and each team’s schedule.3Our original predictions have a .996 correlation with these updated ones, so very little changed when we plugged our talent ratings into the 2015-16 NBA schedule. Unsurprisingly, the main difference came between conferences, where the same amount of generic talent in the CARMELO model will buy you more wins in the East than the West.EASTERN CONFERENCE 15NetsAtlantic-3.828-3.929-7.721.7 8JazzNorthwest+0.514+0.88+1.343.8 15LakersPacific-1.923-4.830-6.722.1 8PacersCentral-1.219-0.219-1.437.7 1CavaliersCentral+8.210.018+8.163.2 5RocketsSouthwest+4.03+0.610+4.752.6 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 13NuggetsNorthwest-4.329-0.923-5.226.3 11MagicSoutheast-1.420-0.721-2.136.1 10SunsPacific-2.624+1.96-0.738.2 In the West, the Golden State Warriors are once again our pick for No. 1 in the conference. But beneath them, there are some shake-ups: The Oklahoma City Thunder, who finished out of the playoffs last season after an incredible spate of injuries, are right back near the top of the standings, as are the new-look San Antonio Spurs. Those teams push the Los Angeles Clippers down to No. 4, highlighting just how stacked the West continues to be.CARMELO also thinks the Houston Rockets will fall from second to fifth in the conference, thanks to a declining defense. And it forecasts an extreme decline for the Portland Trail Blazers — without LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland is projected to drop from fourth in the West to 12th. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the playoff picture, our numbers call for the Dallas Mavericks to cede their No. 7 slot from a year ago to the Pelicans, while the Utah Jazz and (shockingly) the Kings battle over the conference’s eighth and final postseason berth.As mentioned above, the West figures to once again dominate the East. While the Cavaliers project as the NBA’s most talented team (by fractions of a ratings point over the Warriors), each of the next six best teams are in the West, as are six of the seven teams we project to win 50+ games. But there might be slight hope for improvement in East-West relations: CARMELO thinks the East will gain five total wins on the West, compared to last year’s split between the conferences.No matter what happens between the conferences, though, we think they’ll be represented again in the Finals by the Cavaliers and Warriors come next June.4Cleveland has a much higher probability of getting there. And we’re really looking forward to seeing how their paths potentially take them there. 12BucksCentral-3.326+0.79-2.634.4 2ThunderNorthwest+6.12+0.513+6.658.0 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 1476ersAtlantic-6.730-0.822-7.522.0 9HeatSoutheast-0.316-1.324-1.637.7 9KingsPacific-1.018+0.414-0.638.3 3SpursSouthwest+2.37+4.22+6.457.1 5RaptorsAtlantic+0.712+0.116+0.844.5 6WizardsSoutheast-1.721+1.57-0.341.0 2CelticsAtlantic+2.08+0.415+2.449.2 4HawksSoutheast+0.711+0.611+1.345.7 13KnicksAtlantic-3.527-2.926-6.424.8 1WarriorsPacific+3.05+5.01+8.161.3 4ClippersPacific+4.04+1.95+5.956.1 12Trail BlazersNorthwest-1.822+0.612-1.336.2 11MavericksSouthwest+1.49-1.925-0.638.0 7PelicansSouthwest+2.36-0.620+1.844.9 6GrizzliesSouthwest+0.613+3.13+3.750.5 14TimberwolvesNorthwest-2.625-3.128-5.724.9
News GRAMMYConnect Presents: 6 Degrees From Brandi Carlile 6 Degrees From Brandi Carlile With GRAMMYConnect grammyconnect-presents-6-degrees-brandi-carlile We put the seven-time GRAMMY nominee together with GRAMMYconnect.com for an IBM Watson-fueled exploration of the talented and powerful people who contributed to her careerthe GRAMMYsGRAMMYs Feb 5, 2019 – 11:36 am Over the course of their careers, GRAMMY-nominated artists intersect with hundreds—maybe thousands—of fellow musicians, producers, and other industry professionals. Many have a chance to work with entertainers outside the music industry, or even a politician or two.Given a typical GRAMMY-nominated artist’s far-reaching network, we thought it would be fun to explore a few of these connections with folk-rock singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, who is nominated for six GRAMMYs this year. To help facilitate the conversation, we used GRAMMYconnect.com, our AI-powered site developed in partnership with IBM.”It was really cool to kinda stroll dowm memory lane and see so many of the people that have touched my live over the years,” says Carlile. “I even came across a few connections I didn’t know I had.”One of those hidden connections was with none other than Amy Schumer, the comedienne, actress, and activist who shares a passion for many of the same causes as Carlile. Turns out Schumer and Carlile were born on the same exact day: June 1, 1981. “I think it’s quite a compliment to share a birthday with somebody that exciting and funny, and of that depth,” says Carlile. The two actually met one time at a hotel swimming pool, when Brandi’s wife managed to get a laugh out of Schumer. “She made the funniest woman in America laugh.”Exclusive: Brandi Carlile On ‘By The Way, I Forgive You’ & “The Joke”That’s not the only surprising link GRAMMYConnect found to Carlile: The Washington-born singer also has deep ties to former President Barack Obama. Obama has included a few of Carlile’s songs on the favorites list he posts every year. Not only that, but he wrote the foreword to Cover Stories, Carlile’s 2017 album to benefit children of war.“I’ve got a lot of connection points with Barack Obama over the last eight to 10 years,” says Carlile. “There are so many ways he’s impacted my life… I think the most potent connection I have to him is that I proposed to my wife on the day that he came out as the first American president in support of marriage equality.”And here’s one that many of you probably missed: Brandi is connected to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, due to her cameo in A Star is Born. In the scene, Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, participates in a GRAMMY Awards tribute to Roy Orbison. Brandi plays herself, and takes the lead on vocals in the scene. We also explored Carlile’s connections to Dolly Parton, who will be honored as the 2019 MusicCares Person of the Year at the L.A. Convention Center two nights before the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards. Click Dolly’s name to find out how the two are connected! And while you’re at it, find out how Carlile connects to GRAMMY winners Pearl Jam, Elton John, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris.To explore more of Brandi’s connections, or the connections of more than 19,000 GRAMMY-nominated artists through the years, go to GRAMMYconnect.com. Then, be sure to watch the 61st GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS.Read more Facebook Twitter Email
Share your voice The Apple Core The iPhone X makes a comeback, catch it while you can $999 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it $999 Mobile Phones Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 6:16 Sprint See It $999 • See All See It Apple iPhone XS See It Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Apple’s Group FaceTime bug gets flagged by US lawmakersApple can’t seem to shake off the ongoing negative criticism surrounding its FaceTime bug. Since the news broke last week, Apple has issued a patch with the release of iOS 12.1.4 that fixes the security flaw that allowed callers to eavesdrop on other people. The company has also issued an official statement apologizing to “customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue…” and said its “committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.”Apple further tried to make amends by paying a visit to Grant Thompson, the Arizona teen who first spotted the flaw, at his home. In an interview with CNBC, the teen’s mom mentioned a “high-level Apple exec” had thanked her son and mentioned he could be eligible for Apple’s bug bounty program, which offers a cash reward of up to $200,000 to researchers who find and report vulnerabilities in specific Apple software. Apple has since confirmed the company’s plans to compensate the teen, but didn’t disclosed the exact sum. But the mea culpa may not be enough to quell critics. Last week, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced she would open a formal investigation to find out why Apple didn’t give users a heads-up about the security flaw, and why it took the company so long to address the issue. Congressional lawmakers also penned a letter to Tim Cook requesting more information about the flaw to understand the extent to which it compromised users security. The letter, signed by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-New Jersey), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), chairwoman of the Digital Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, said they believe Apple has not been as transparent as this serious issue requires.iOS 13 could bring Dark Mode and more emojisThe Bloomberg report also mentions a new dark mode in the works for the iPhone, similar to what Apple rolled out for its computers with MacOS, which uses a dark color scheme instead of the traditional white. Dark mode on the iPhone would make late-night screentime a lot less jarring and would look especially good on the OLED screens of the iPhone X, XS and XS Max, which are able to produce true blacks. This feature would likely come with the update to iOS 13 in September, with an announcement coming at Apple’s Developers Conference (WWDC) in June of 2019. Emojipedia’s take on the 230 new emojis coming to the iPhone. Emojipedia Also rumored to be coming in iOS 13: 230 new emojis. Some notable additions, according to the Unicode Consortium which approves these new emojis, include: people with disabilities (with a wheelchair and probing cane), interracial and gender inclusive couples, and a some pretty essential members of the animal kingdom, like the sloth, flamingo and a skunk. And finally, iPhone X, XS, XS Max and XR users may not have to wait until September to get new characters on their keyboards. The Public beta of iOS 12.2 gave us a preview of the adorable giraffe, shark, owl and warthog Animojis that could be coming to these devices in the next few weeks. As if you needed another excuse to make weird faces at your phone. First published Feb. 7, 5:01 p.m. PTUpdate, Feb. 9 at 3:30am PT: Adds confirmation that Apple will compensate the teen who discovered the FaceTime flaw. More Apple news from the weekApple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is leaving the company in AprilApple Watch fall detector credited for saving Norwegian man after a serious fallApple iPhones are now showing AT&T’s fake ‘5G E’ network tooIn Qualcomm-Apple fight, judge limits scope of damagesApple reportedly agrees to pay France nearly $600M in back taxes Comments Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors The 2019 iPhones are rumored to have three camera lenses on their backs, but what could they be used for? The iPhone X has been spotted again on the Apple Store at a discounted price. Meanwhile, the FaceTime bug refuses to go away. Here’s a roundup of the top iPhone and Apple headlines from this week’s episode of Apple Core.What that third camera could mean for the 2019 iPhone It’s only February and we’re already starting to get a pretty good sense of what the 2019 iPhones (or iPhone 11s) will look like. Multiple rumors point to a very similar design to last year’s lineup, with a smaller notch on the screen, and a possible switch to USB-C as its port of choice rather than Lightning. We’ve also heard the pricier iPhone 11 Max would have three cameras on the back. But until now, we weren’t exactly sure what that third camera was going to be used for.A recent Bloomberg report shed some light, however. According to the report, Apple originally was said to be working on a 3D camera system for the 2019 iPhone, but then had to push it out to 2020. The new camera could scan at a range of up to 15 feet, much farther than the current True Depth camera system used on the front of the phone for FaceID, which only scans out to a range of up to 50 cm according to the report. The longer range could open up the phone to more augmented-reality features and improve portrait mode on stills and perhaps video. The third lens on this year’s iPhone, at least according to Bloomberg, would likely be used to capture a wider field of view and would only be coming to the higher-end Max model.The iPhone X makes a sneaky comebackAfter disappearing from the Apple Store without a trace in September 2018, Apple has begun selling its 10th anniversary iPhone X online again. The caveat: you’ll have to search for a refurbished model while supplies lasts. Apple began selling refurbished iPhone X’s online. Screenshot Apple.com Apple stopped selling the iPhone X shortly after releasing last year’s iPhone lineup: the iPhone XS, XS Max and the XR, presumably to prevent the X from cannibalizing sales of its new phones. The refurbished iPhone X phones were first spotted this week by MacRumors and appear to be selling out fast.And though they are discounted from the original $999 price, the discounts aren’t that great when you compare them to the iPhone XR. An unlocked iPhone X with 64GB of storage goes for $769. That’s only $230 less than the iPhone XS with the same storage capacity, but $20 more that the 64GB iPhone XR. And even though it’s an entire year older, the 256GB model is the exact same price as the equivalent iPhone XR. The iPhone X is smaller than the XR — if that’s what you’re into — and has a dual rear camera and an OLED screen, compared to the XR’s single rear camera and LCD screen. Apple Boost Mobile reading • What the 2019 iPhone’s rumored three rear cameras could be used for Now playing: Watch this: 6 $999 See it Tags Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? iOS 12 Apple
I was Batman The CW Batwoman’s pilot screened to fans during the show’s San Diego Comic-Con 2019 panel Saturday, with executive producers Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries revealing details about the cameos and characters set up for the Ruby Rose-starring show.The upcoming season will feature an origin story for the Batman villain Hush.”The character of Tommy Elliot … ultimately becomes the supervillain Hush, but we’re seeing his origins of why he hates Batman so much,” Dries said after the pilot screening.Also to come for classic TV fans, actor Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1960s Batman series, will be making a cameo at some point during the show’s first season. TV and Movies Post a comment 3:44 Share your voice 62 Photos Now playing: Watch this: The pilot episode, which we will dive into in a separate story, heavily features Rose’s Kate Kane in many fight scenes without her costume — a decision that was influenced by how the character is military-trained.”She’s actually getting thrown against the wall and punched in the face,” Dries said, noting that Rose’s character attended the fictional military academy of Point Rock Academy.Without getting too far into spoilers, Dries and Schechter mentioned that Kane’s time at the military academy would have taken place before the end of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, heavily affecting how Kane’s experience as an out lesbian went at the military academy. The CW The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 Tags Batwoman, who previously debuted during a crossover with The CW’s Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl series, will also be developing a stronger relationship with Supergirl as the shows begin to cross over further.Dries said that, while glimpsed during the show’s Elseworlds event, viewers will eventually “see that core bond move into a Kate-Kara friendship,” referencing Supergirl’s lead character of Kara Zor-El, played by Melissa Benoist.Ruby Rose’s casting as Batwoman was first revealed in August 2018, at the time with a confirmed appearance for the Elseworlds event with the possibility of a series. That series is now set to debut Oct. 6 on The CW. 0
Graphic by Todd WisemanMayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes.Though such a barrier system would not have guarded against the unrelenting and unprecedented rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on the area, Turner — one of the region’s last leaders to endorse the “coastal spine” concept — said at a Tuesday news conference that he believes it is crucial. “We cannot talk about rebuilding” from Harvey “if we do not build the coastal spine,” he said.With Harvey — which was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached Houston — “we again dodged the bullet.” Constructing such a system has been a point of discussion since 2008, when Hurricane Ike shifted course at the last minute, narrowly sparing populated communities like Clear Lake and the Houston Ship Channel — home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex — from a massive storm surge. Scientists have modeled worst-case scenario storms that make clear the potential for devastation, which The Texas Tribune and ProPublica detailed extensively in a 2016 investigation. They also have urged local, state and federal elected officials to pursue infrastructure solutions, which they expect the federal government to fund.Last year those scientists and officials told The Texas Tribune and ProPublica that a catastrophic storm likely would have to hit Houston before they could convince Congress to fund such an endeavor — estimated to cost some $5.8 billion for the Houston area alone and at least $11 billion for the entire six-county coastal region. Such an ambitious public works project has never been built in anticipation of a natural catastrophe.Turner and other leaders are clearly hoping Harvey fits the bill.They have suggested that the federal government could provide funding for a storm surge barrier — often referred to as the “Ike Dike,” a proposal first offered up by Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2009 — and a variety of other storm protection measures as part of an overall Harvey relief package. But the $15 billion Congress has approved for Texas so far can’t be spent on a coastal barrier; the money can only go toward rehabilitating flooded areas. That means local and state officials will either have to depend on Congress to fund something completely separate — a scenario many are doubtful of — or cobble together other funding. At both the state and federal level, talk of protecting the Houston area from big storms has in recent years been dominated by the coastal barrier concept. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush have been leading an effort to secure federal funding for the coastal spine; in April, they and other officials, including Turner, wrote to President Trump urging his support.But the Ike Dike would only protect coastal areas from catastrophic storm surge; it would do nothing to prevent flooding damage from torrential rain, which is almost entirely responsible for the damage Houstonians suffered from Harvey. Other flood protection ideas — either underfunded or long-abandoned — have received renewed attention since Harvey.On Tuesday, Turner joined local officials in expressing support for a long-delayed reservoir project that experts say would’ve saved thousands of Houston homes from flooding during Harvey, along with three bayou widening projects estimated to cost a combined $130 million.Turner said the city shouldn’t have to choose one over the other as it seeks federal funding. “I don’t think we need to pick one,” he said. “… We know we need another reservoir. We just need to step up and do that — the same thing with the coastal spine.” A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul said Tuesday that the Austin Republican “has been working with FEMA, Gov. [Greg] Abbott and local officials to identify options for flood mitigation to protect Houston and the surrounding areas from future flood disasters.”McCaul may hold extra clout as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. But Adrian Garcia, a former city councilman and Harris County sheriff, said he’s not optimistic Texas will get much funding for these projects from Congress beyond the multi-billion dollar short-term aid package. “They thought [the Ike Dike] would be the answer to a lot of these problems,” Garcia said. “And obviously it is not.” Turner’s advocacy for the coastal barrier concept is relatively new. Early last year, amid the Texas Tribune/ProPublica investigation, Turner declined an interview request to discuss the need for such a barrier. Instead, the city sent statements dismissing the potential impacts — and not indicating whether Turner supported such a project, which dozens of area city councils had enthusiastically endorsed.“Only a small portion of the city of Houston is in areas at risk for major storm surge,” the statement said. “Consequently, hurricane-force wind poses the major threat for the majority of the city.” Reminded of a climate change-driven storm scenario FEMA presented in 2014 — in collaboration with the city — that projected a 34-foot storm surge that put downtown Houston underwater, Turner’s office provided a follow-up statement acknowledging that the issue “continues to be a concern.” It also placed the onus on the federal government to take the lead on a coastal barrier project.A few months later, in August 2016, Turner wrote to state leaders studying the coastal barrier concept and said he supported it.On Tuesday, Turner spoke passionately about the impact Hurricane Ike could have had — and the impact Harvey did have — on the region’s industrial complex and the national economy. “When Hurricane Ike hit in 2008 there were $30 billion in damages,” he said. If Ike’s direction hadn’t changed “we could have lost refineries, jet fuel and the entire Houston Ship Channel, not only destroying the jobs of many Houstonians, but there would have been an impact on the nation as a whole.”During Harvey, Turner said, “the Houston port did close and business was shut down and the country as a whole was impacted.”“That was a tropical storm,” he added. “Can you imagine if Hurricane Harvey had come closer, what the devastating effects would be?” Share
By Jesse Jackson Sr., Guest Columnist of the Wave NewspaperAlabama — led by utterly clueless male legislators — just passed the most restrictive ban on abortion in the country, with Georgia and Missouri piling on close behind.Other states dominated by right-wing Republican politicians are jockeying to join in. Their aim is to get the courts, newly packed with right-wing judges appointed by President Donald Trump, to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark precedent that established a woman’s right to choose in the early months of pregnancy.The new laws generally deem abortion murder after six or eight weeks, no exceptions. This is often before women are even aware that they are pregnant.Rev. Jesse Jackson (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)Some of the laws would imprison doctors; others lock up mothers. That is what the anti-abortion movement has demanded. It has been spurred on by cynical politicians like Trump, who devoted part of his State of the Union address to a blood-curdling description of infanticide that came completely from his own ugly imagination.Now anti-abortion activists are on the verge of getting what they want — the ability to prosecute doctors and/or pregnant women for murder if they choose to abort a fetus early in their pregnancies.Even if the life of the mother is at risk, doctors would be loath to risk imprisonment by taking the necessary step to save her.Suddenly, right-wing politicians and moral hypocrites are expressing dismay at their victory. Trump, who not many years ago was entirely pro-choice, tweeted that he didn’t support the Alabama laws, that he believed in exceptions for rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother.Apparently murder isn’t always murder for the president — or for televangelist Pat Robertson, or for House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who said the law “goes further than I believe,” because he would allow “exceptions” as a matter of “personal belief.”But as E.J. Dionne notes in the Washington Post, if personal beliefs can carve out exceptions to murder, why would Trump’s or McCarthy’s exceptions weigh more than the considered choices of the women struggling with whether to take a fetus to term?Cynical male politicians weighing how to placate the anti-abortion conservatives without alienating the vast majority aren’t making a more moral, more reasoned decision than the woman involved. Lost in this posturing — mostly by male politicians — is the basic reality.Passing laws that outlaw abortions won’t end abortions. They will simply make them less safe, putting more lives at risk.And the posturing totally ignores the deep injustices surrounding reproductive rights, as whatever the law is, rich women will retain the right of choice — even if it requires going to a hospital in another country — while the lives of poor women, already locked out of any federal support for the counseling and choices they need, will be at ever greater risk.Of course, many of these same politicians pushing these laws supposedly to protect life inside the womb do little to save the lives of those outside the womb, voting to roll back Medicaid, cut aid for women and infant children, slash food stamps and eliminate welfare for impoverished mothers with young children.Trump revealed his brazen cynicism, tweeting out his exceptions to the Alabama law while pleading with the anti-abortion movement to “stick together and win for life in 2020.” His concern is re-election not making a moral decision on how best to deal with this agonizing concern.This is an ugly debate. The extremist laws passed in Alabama and elsewhere won’t stand, but the result inevitably will be to make it more difficult and perilous for poor women to make the agonizing decision about a pregnancy.The posturing will lead to the punishment of poor women for childbearing, putting more women and more fetuses at risk, and leave more infants born into a life without the basic support — health care, food, shelter — needed to have a chance for a healthy life. I share the concern for life that animates the most sincere opponents of abortion. I also agree that reproductive justice is essential to women.Family planning isn’t a sin; it is a vital necessity for ensuring that the next generation of infants is brought into the world with the love and the care they need. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled essentially that it is the pregnant woman who is best charged with making the decision about pregnancy until the fetus is viable.I would trust the women agonizing over that choice far more than politicians like Trump or McCarthy, who cynically weigh how to placate their base without alienating the rest of us.The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is president and founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition.This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The three-day conference on ‘Defending Dalit Rights’ entitled ‘Establishing Justice, Dignity, Equality and Humanity’ is being organised by the International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) and Global Conference Organizing Committee (GCOC) from on Thursday at Trinity Washington University. At the conclusion of the conference, GCOC will announce its strategy and the Declaration of Dalit Rights during a human chain demonstration in front of the White House, a statement has said. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe demonstration will implore US President Barack Obama and Congress members to support Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s House Resolution that calls for Congress to condemn discrimination against Dalit people. “The purpose of the Global Conference is to increase awareness of the injustices visited upon an estimated 260 million caste-affected individuals worldwide, who face caste-based discrimination, exclusion, inequality, and violence,” ICDR statement has said. While caste-based discrimination is widely practised in South Asian nations like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it can also be found in other parts of the world including Japan, Yemen, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia, it said.
Kolkata: There will be traffic diversion due to closure of the southern flank of Circus Avenue between its crossing with Karaya Road and Beckbagan Row, for construction work of the westbound ramp of Maa Flyover. The traffic regulation will be in place from Tuesday onwards till the construction work gets completed.The westbound buses, minibuses, trucks and other heavy goods vehicles, including oil tankers, will be debarred from entering Park Circus Connector from Parama Island from 6 am to 11 pm. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAJC Bose Road bound small vehicles from Park Circus will be diverted through Congress Exhibition Road, Nasirruddin Road, Karaya Road and West Range. Buses of other routes availing Circus Avenue westbound, will be diverted through Park Street before 1 pm and after that, through Shakespeare Sarani.The buses that pass through Shakespeare Sarani towards Sealdah will be diverted via Park Street after 1 pm. It has also been stated that all the existing one-way restrictions will be in place during this period of time, when construction of the westbound ramp of Maa Flyover will continue.