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On Pilgrimage for Racial Justice across Virginia, Episcopalians confront horrors…

first_img Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Youth Minister Lorton, VA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Course Director Jerusalem, Israel TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Racial Justice & Reconciliation Rector Albany, NY Submit an Event Listing Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Associate Rector Columbus, GA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Featured Events Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Submit a Press Release New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Bath, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Press Release Service Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET center_img In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Jobs & Calls Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Cathedral Dean Boise, ID The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Washington, DC Rector Collierville, TN Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Tampa, FL Curate Diocese of Nebraska Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Shreveport, LA On Pilgrimage for Racial Justice across Virginia, Episcopalians confront horrors of slavery, seek healing Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit a Job Listing Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Pittsburgh, PA Marchers file out of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia, during the first night of the Pilgrimage for Racial Justice on Aug. 16, 2019. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service[Episcopal News Service – Alexandria, Virginia] In the heavy, humid evening air, dozens of people streamed through the gates of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery in Alexandria’s Old Town district on Aug. 16 for the first event of the Pilgrimage for Racial Justice. Organized by the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Britain’s North American colonies, the two-day pilgrimage featured a series of memorials, marches and services across the state, from Alexandria (just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.) to Abingdon (deep in the heart of Appalachia, near the border with Tennessee).These graves at the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery were once covered over by a gas station. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceThis journey of remembrance and healing began where the journeys of many victims of the slave trade ended. As its name suggests, the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery is not a typical graveyard. In fact, until 2007, it was the site of a gas station and office building. But it contains the remains of about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Union-occupied Alexandria during the Civil War to escape slavery. Considered “contraband of war” by the Union, they found freedom in Alexandria but endured squalid living conditions in makeshift refugee camps. Already weak and sick from lives of hard labor, thousands died.People examine the list of burials in the cemetery. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceToday, the cemetery is an open field, with some of the graves marked with stones saying simply “GRAVE OF AN ADULT” or “GRAVE OF A CHILD.” A memorial with a statue and a wall containing some of the names of those buried there stand in the center. The recently re-dedicated cemetery embodies the theme of the pilgrimage itself: unearthing a painful history that has lain beneath the surface, and restoring the sacred dignity of those who were dehumanized by a belief system that survives in different forms to this day.The pilgrimage was organized by the Rev. Melissa Hays-Smith, canon for justice and reconciliation ministries of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, who wanted to commemorate the arrival of the first slaves in Virginia in late August 1619. But the landing site near Jamestown is far outside her diocese.The Rev. Canon Melissa Hays-Smith speaks at the cemetery. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service“Being in the mountains of Virginia, we don’t have Jamestown, we don’t have a lot of places from the early history” of slavery, Hays-Smith said. “But then we soon realized that the land where we are played a very significant role in this forced migration of African Americans.”The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia contains a long stretch of the Slavery Trail of Tears, described as “the great missing migration” by Smithsonian magazine. In the half-century before the Civil War, about 1 million slaves were forcibly moved from Maryland and Virginia, where the tobacco industry was waning, to the Deep South, where they were sold to work on cotton and sugar plantations. The Slavery Trail of Tears was 20 times larger than its namesake, the Native American removal campaign of the 1830s, and the slaves were often forced to walk over 1,000 miles in chains.The Rev. Joseph Thompson addresses the crowd at the cemetery. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceHays-Smith and the clergy of her diocese reached out to African American communities and churches along the route to put together the Pilgrimage for Racial Justice, and the response was enthusiastic. Though the stops on the pilgrimage were geographically linked by the Slavery Trail of Tears, the events they commemorated spanned centuries of racial injustice, from slave trading to lynchings to “urban renewal” projects that destroyed black neighborhoods, highlighting the fact that systemic racism in America did not end with emancipation or the civil rights movement.The Rev. Kimberly Banks Brown sings a hymn in front of the memorial statue at the cemetery. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceThat’s why the icon of a labyrinth was used as a logo for the pilgrimage, Hays-Smith explained at the first stop in Alexandria.“As we’ve been talking about this, we recognized that this pathway to reconciliation is very much like a labyrinth. And unfortunately, history has repeated itself, and that’s why we can focus on so many different events,” she told the crowd at the cemetery, during a program that included song, prayer and reflection.One of the other speakers that evening, the Rev. Kim Coleman – newly elected president of the Union of Black Episcopalians – touched on that theme as the crowd prepared to march through the streets of Alexandria.“We march, remembering the reality that the vestiges of slavery we thought had long passed away are ever-present. … Some ask the question, Do black lives matter? We march because black lives do matter, tomorrow, today and yesterday,” she said to shouts of “Amen!”Marchers file out of the cemetery. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceAfter singing “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me,” the crowd silently marched through Old Town, their faces illuminated by the LED candles they held and the red and blue lights of police escorts. People in the restaurants and bars that line Washington Street gazed out at the procession as it made its way to the building where Isaac Franklin and John Armfield – “the undisputed tycoons of the domestic slave trade,” according to Smithsonian – had their offices and slave pens. Franklin and Armfield sold about 20,000 slaves through those slave pens, according to Alton Wallace, who spoke that evening. Rector Knoxville, TN Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA By Egan MillardPosted Aug 20, 2019 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Belleville, IL Rector Martinsville, VA Marchers walk through Alexandria’s Old Town. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceAt the Franklin and Armfield Office, the crowd shared a moment of prayer and sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sometimes called “the black national anthem.” It was too dark for those without candles to read the sheet music they’d been given, but it didn’t matter. They knew this one.Marchers sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the Franklin and Armfield Office. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service‘We remember and we repent’It was even hotter the next morning, Aug. 17, in the picturesque town of Staunton in the Shenandoah Valley, but that didn’t stop a large crowd from showing up, excited to march through the downtown streets. They gathered in front of the old Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, the first church established by African Americans west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.The Rev. Shelby Ochs Owen speaks to the crowd near the old Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Staunton, Virginia, during the second day of the Pilgrimage for Racial Justice on Aug. 17, 2019. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service“I’ve often wondered about those black folks who remained here in Dixie when the war was done,” said the Rev. Edward Scott, pastor of Allen Chapel. “But they stayed just the same, and in an act of faith, which is the substance of things hoped for in the evidence of things certainly not seen, they established a church. … They built this fortress to secure their prosperity, and to honor the God who troubled the waters to dissolve bondage.”Video Playerhttps://episcopalnewsservice.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/P1030343.mp400:0000:0000:29Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Leaders from Allen and the local Episcopal church led the crowd in a responsive litany that traced the long history of systemic racism in America, from slavery to the Ku Klux Klan to Jim Crow to present-day voter suppression and unequal policing of neighborhoods. After each prompt, the people responded in a loud, clear voice, “We remember and we repent.”Marchers walk into downtown Staunton. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceThen the crowd marched into downtown Staunton, a district full of well-preserved 19th-century architecture. But not all of the city was considered worth preserving. The march became a tour of what was once a black neighborhood north of downtown, razed in the mid-20th century to make room for a mall that was never even built. Historians and senior citizens pointed out the sites of former black businesses and homes, where there is now a row of banks, parking lots and a Domino’s Pizza.Marchers walk into downtown Staunton. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceA hundred or so people participated, representing a diverse mix of ages, races and religious backgrounds. Stephanie Johnson, an elderly member of Allen Chapel and a descendant of its first pastor, wheeled her oxygen tank behind her as she walked.“We are all people – doesn’t matter what color you are, what church you go to,” she said. “Today has been great. I’m satisfied.”Katherine Low, who brought her 5-year-old daughter on the march, is a chaplain and professor at Mary Baldwin University, a racially diverse liberal arts college in Staunton. She said she came to support the community, but also to learn.Staunton Vice Mayor Ophie Kier speaks to crowd about black neighborhoods that were destroyed in the name of “urban renewal.” Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service“It’s important for me to understand the systems that my students face that I have the privilege of not having to face,” said Low, who is white.While spirits were high in Staunton, the next event, in Roanoke, was somber and sobering: a service of remembrance for the victims of two lynchings in 1892 and 1893. The service took place in the garden of a Lutheran church near the sites of the lynchings of William Lavender and Thomas Smith.Lavender and Smith were both accused of assaulting white women, but they were hanged and riddled with bullets before they could ever stand trial.From left, the Revs. Melissa Hays-Smith, Lyle Morton and David Jones bow their heads in prayer at a memorial service for lynching victims in Roanoke. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service“We come in remembrance of those whose lives were sacrificed on the altar of racism, hatred, bigotry, but ultimately because of fear,” the Rev. David Jones, a Baptist pastor, said in the invocation. “We come because we serve and celebrate a God who still transforms victims into victors.”Jones urged those in attendance to look on the lynchings not merely as historical events, but as dire warnings.“Today, let us be illuminated, motivated and even infuriated, if necessary, so that no one can say that they were ignorant of the evil that still percolates just beneath the surface of our well-practiced civility,” he said.The Rev. Lyle Morton speaks at the memorial service for lynching victims in Roanoke. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceAfter historical accounts of the lynchings were read, the Rev. Lyle Morton, a Methodist pastor, vividly recalled being warned about the price he could pay simply for looking or moving a certain way.“I, being a black man growing up in Prince Edward County, was taught to walk so that I wouldn’t become a fruit,” he told the crowd, a reference to the “strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees” in the song “Strange Fruit” made famous by Billie Holiday.To Radford and AbingdonThe fourth event on the pilgrimage was held in a park in Radford on the wide New River, which slaves in Franklin and Armfield’s chains had to ford at great peril while their masters crossed in boats. Today, a high bridge carries the Lee Highway over the river, and clumps of teenagers floated by on inner tubes as the service began with the Negro spiritual “Wade in the Water.”The featured speaker in Radford was Wornie Reed, director of the Race and Social Policy Research Center and professor of sociology and Africana Studies at Virginia Tech. Reed, a distinguished scholar who in his youth worked with Martin Luther King Jr., is renowned for his lectures, which showcase his encyclopedic knowledge of African American history.But his remarks in Radford were different. As he began to speak, his voice trembled.“I’m still a little emotional,” he said, from hearing “Wade in the Water.”Wornie Reed speaks at Bisset Park in Radford. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News Service“The song is very meaningful to me,” he went on. “A lot of memories came back as we sit here and look out at the river and the green trees and all of that. I’m reminded of the day that I was taken down to the creek to be baptized in McIntosh, Alabama. And that’s the song they sang.”Among the founders of the church that baptized him was his great-grandfather, a former slave.In his prepared remarks, Reed recounted the horrific conditions on the Slavery Trail of Tears and its lingering consequences: economic injustice and voter suppression.“There are some communities where you can still see the scars,” he said. “So this is, as we said earlier, not a happy time. But it’s a time to recognize and to realize some things that happened that brought us to today.”The pilgrimage concluded with a “Communion Service of Lament, Reconciliation and Commitment” at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Abingdon, another town whose main street still looks much as it did when the Slavery Trail of Tears ran through it.People greet each other with the sign of peace at the Communion Service of Lament, Reconciliation and Commitment. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceThe service was celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas, bishop of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, with the assistance of several black clergy members from nearby churches. Congregants from the various churches led a Litany of Repentance and Commitment similar to the one used in Staunton. Two members of the federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission spoke. But perhaps the most moving aspect of the service happened during Communion, when the invited pastors offered healing prayers for all, embracing those who approached them and anointing them with oil.The Rev. Sandra Jones, right, offers healing prayers. Photo: Egan Millard/Episcopal News ServiceBy the time everyone had returned to their seats, several people remarked that the atmosphere in the church seemed different – that something had changed.“I believe that this is the beginning,” said the Rev. Joseph Green Jr., who gave the sermon. “This is a moment in time that we can use to propel us into the next generations.”– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at [email protected] Rector Hopkinsville, KY last_img read more

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Kenosha speaks: Keep it in the streets!

first_imgBy Adelana AkindesThis article is an edited version of a talk by Adelana Akindes during the Aug. 30 United National Antiwar Coalition Webinar: “After the DNC & RNC — We Can’t Breathe! Keep it in the Streets — Against Racism, Evictions and War.” Akindes is  a leader with the Coalition to March on the DNC and Students for a Democratic Society in Kenosha, Wis.Adelana Akindes speaking during Aug. 30 UNAC webinarI’ve been attending the Kenosha uprising since the shooting of Jacob Blake Aug. 23 and was actually abducted by the feds on Aug. 26 for 24 hours.We’d been building for a year for the March on the DNC, which was held Aug. 20. Our goals were to defeat Trump and send a message to the politicians of both parties that our movements are going to grow and challenge their power.Following the lynching of George Floyd, and in solidarity with the March on RNC in Jacksonville, Fla., we put “We can’t breathe” at the forefront of our march. Families of victims of police crimes across Wisconsin shared their heartbreaking stories at a rally. Even during the pandemic, we were able to gather hundreds of people to listen to the stories and be in solidarity.We marched through downtown, stopping at symbolic locations — the police station and Homeland Security.Just three days later, Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by Kenosha police. We all felt anger and devastation. We were called to act, to march, speak, mobilize and organize. We faced warlike conditions with the deployment of the National Guard and constant use of tear gas, rubber bullets and flash bombs.On Wednesday night, me and two others were walking to join the march, bringing protective gear and medical supplies, when three unmarked vehicles swooped in out of nowhere. The feds and local officers arrested us for a curfew violation. We were given disproportionate treatment. We were demonized. We were given orange suits. I spent 24 hours in jail with no phone call.Contrast this with Kyle Rittenhouse who murdered people, yet was able to walk through the crowd after killing them. These experiences have deepened our understanding of the inherent injustices woven into the system.We know that the biggest systemic changes and advancements have happened through protests: the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, fighting apartheid in South Africa, on strike for workers’ rights, revolutions in South America and Cuba. So we recognize that the way to move forward is through protest, and that’s what’s happening in Kenosha today.Even with the National Guard and the military coming in and trying to silence us, locking us up and trying to instill fear in us, we’re still coming out. Even though it’s been a scary experience, it gives us a glimpse of how power operates. My message is keep it in the streets, keep going, keep marching, keep organizing.Join an organization. If it wasn’t for SDS, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out as soon as I did. We had thousands of calls coming in.Power to the people!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Farm Bureau Resources will Help Farmer Engagement in Farm Bill

first_img Farm Bureau Resources will Help Farmer Engagement in Farm Bill SHARE By Andy Eubank – Dec 2, 2016 Facebook Twitter farm-bill-resourcesFarm bill resources are now available from the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher, says now is the time to consider and recommend farm bill policies.“The House and Senate Ag Committees have both been very clear that they’re going to start listening sessions in the country and hearings in Washington, so we need to be engaged now, or it will be too late. And I think farmers need to understand that it would be a very bad idea to split the nutrition title off from the rest of the farm programs because that’s the way that we get the farm bill passed.”That’s why AFBF has those farm bill resources for farmers now available online.“You can get to it by FB.org/farmbillresources. So, go on there, see what kind of topics you’re interested in, often times they come with a pretty nice graph and maps to help you understand the issues even better and there are some videos and lots of resources on that website.”Thatcher said the idea is for members to use the information to build their own policy suggestions.“We have a lot of people that haven’t had their state annual meetings yet and feeding into that process so that when we come up to the AFBF annual meeting in January we have good strong policy telling us what the biggest concerns are. Once we know the concerns we can spend some time analyzing different options and figuring out what farmers need to make a good decision.”AFBF President Zippy Duvall appointed a group of 16 state Farm Bureau staff members and two AFBF staff to serve on a Farm Bill Working Group. The Working Group’s charge is to examine the issues, information gaps and analysis needs to ensure farmers are ready to engage in the development of a new farm bill. Katrina Hall with Indiana Farm Bureau is a member of that group.That website again is fb.org/farmbillresources.Source: AFBF Facebook Twitter SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News Farm Bureau Resources will Help Farmer Engagement in Farm Bill Previous articleChristmas Tree Supply Looks Strong for 2016 HolidayNext articleIndiana Farm Sales Slowing Andy Eubanklast_img read more

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Forbearance Requests Slide to New Lows

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com. Forbearance Requests Slide to New Lows in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: American Rescue Plan Fannie Mae Forbearance Freddie Mac Mike Fratantoni Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Eric C. Peck Share Save March 23, 2021 1,704 Views American Rescue Plan Fannie Mae Forbearance Freddie Mac Mike Fratantoni Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2021-03-23 Eric C. Peck One year into the pandemic, forbearance requests have dipped to their lowest levels since last March, as the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey finds an estimated 2.5 million homeowners now in forbearance plans, with the total number of loans now in forbearance decreasing by nine basis points from 5.14% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week, to 5.05% as of March 14, 2021.Of that 2.5 million, the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 2.83%, a five-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 13 basis points to 7.03%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased by 14 basis points to 8.91%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased eight basis points to 5.37%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers slid four basis points to 5.15%.”New forbearance requests decreased to their lowest level since last March. Combined with a steady pace of exits, this drop in new requests resulted in a larger decline in the share of loans in forbearance across all investor categories,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “More than 11% of borrowers in forbearance have now exceeded the 12-month mark. We anticipate that servicers will be busy over the next month, with many homeowners opting for the extension for up to 18 months recently made available for federally-backed loans.”By stage, 13.9% of total loans in forbearance are in the initial forbearance plan stage, while 83.5% are in a forbearance extension. The remaining 2.6% are forbearance re-entries.According to the MBA, of the cumulative forbearance exits for the period from June 1, 2020-March 14, 2021:27.1% represented borrowers who continued to make their monthly payments during their forbearance period.26.2% resulted in a loan deferral/partial claim.14.9% resulted in reinstatements, in which past-due amounts are paid back when exiting forbearance.14.2% represented borrowers who did not make all of their monthly payments and exited forbearance without a loss mitigation plan in place yet.8.2% resulted in a loan modification or trial loan modification.7.6% resulted in loans paid off through either a refinance or by selling the home.The remaining 1.8% resulted in repayment plans, short sales, deed-in-lieus or other reasons.With the Fed opting to keep rates in the 0% range, unemployment claims dropping by 42,000 last week, and portions of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan economic stimulus package in play, signs point toward an uptick in economic health.”The pace of economic activity is picking up, as the vaccine rollout continues,” said Fratantoni. “We expect that a stronger job market will help many successfully exit forbearance in the months ahead.”center_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Forbearance Requests Slide to New Lows Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: Ali Haralson Promoted to President of Auction.com Next: A Closer Look at a Record-Breaking Year Related Articles  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agolast_img read more

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Revised Wages of Prisoners Finally Implemented After A Year: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Pay Arrears, Suspends 25% Deduction For Victim Welfare Fund [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesRevised Wages of Prisoners Finally Implemented After A Year: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Pay Arrears, Suspends 25% Deduction For Victim Welfare Fund [Read Order] Karan Tripathi26 July 2020 2:02 AMShare This – xDirector General (Prisons) has finally approved the grant of revised wages to prisoners as per the rates mentioned in the Delhi Government’s communication dated 20/06/2019. In light of this approval, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to pay arrears to the prisoners from the date of the Communication on revised wages, which is, June 20, 2019. …Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginDirector General (Prisons) has finally approved the grant of revised wages to prisoners as per the rates mentioned in the Delhi Government’s communication dated 20/06/2019.  In light of this approval, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to pay arrears to the prisoners from the date of the Communication on revised wages, which is, June 20, 2019. The court has further decided to suspend 25% deduction from wages of the convicts meant for Victim Welfare Fund till further orders. The order has come in a plea moved by one of the prisoners, Mr Nitin Verma, seeking a direction to be issued to the Delhi Government to implement the order on revision of wages given to prisoners, which was passed on 20/06/2019. The Petitioner had claimed that the prisoners are still being paid wages at rates fixed in 2014 despite the revision of wages coming into effect from June 2019. Therefore, the Petitioner was aggrieved by the the fact that on 20.06.2019, Delhi Government issued a communication revising the standardized rates of per day wages for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled categories and despite the passage of one year, the order has not been implemented with respect to the Petitioner and the other under-trials and convicts housed in jailsClick Here To Download Order[Read Order] Next Storylast_img read more

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Florida couple discovered in burned home were murdered: Police

first_imgMarion County Sheriff’s Office(OCALA, Fla.) — A Florida couple’s death was ruled a homicide on Thursday, nearly eight months after firefighters discovered their remains at the scene of their “burned to the ground” mobile home, authorities said.Robert Cooper, 37, and his 29-year-old wife, Ariel Prim, were found dead in their burned mobile home in Ocala, Florida, located about 80 miles north of Orlando, last summer, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Firefighters responded to the scene on July 28, 2018, after a neighbor reported that the house was “burnt to the ground” and the couple’s vehicle was still in the driveway, fire officials said.First responders arrived on the scene at 7:35 a.m. that morning and had to force entry into two locked gates to the property, the Marion County Fire Rescue said in a statement.“Firefighters found the structure burned to the ground and found the deceased’s remains,” the statement said. “There are three horses and one goat on scene. Marion County Animal control is caring for the animals.”It took detectives three months to positively identify their bodies and their deaths were ruled “suspicious” in December, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.“In the months following the incident, MCSO Major Crimes detectives conducted a thorough investigation into the deaths and finally received the DNA results confirming the remains to be Cooper’s and Prim’s on Wednesday, December 5, 2018,” the sheriff’s office said in a December statement. “The State Fire Marshal has conducted an independent investigation into the cause of the fire, and the cause has not yet been determined.”The medical examiner’s office had initially ruled their deaths to be of “undetermined causes,” but the office issued an update on Thursday, calling the case a homicide.Police have not released any details about the possible causes of death. Officials are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.“Detectives are now asking for the public’s help in revealing any information that may bring some clarity to the suspicious circumstances surrounding their deaths,” the sheriff’s office said. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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CAGW Releases 2018 Congressional Pig Book

first_imgCAGW Releases 2018 Congressional Pig Book AUGUST 5, 2018(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its 2018 Congressional Pig Book, the 26th edition of the group’s exposé on pork-barrel spending.CAGW President Tom Schatz was joined at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), and Reps. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and Ted Budd (R-N.C.).  Also in attendance was a live pot-bellied pig named Faye from Richmond, Virginia.2018 Congressional Pig Book facts:The 2018 Congressional Pig Book exposes 232 earmarks in FY 2018, (42.3 percent increase from FY 2017) costing taxpayers $14.7 billion (116.2 percent increase from FY 2017).The 116.2 percent increase in the cost of earmarks is nearly nine times greater than the increase in discretionary spending (13.4 percent) between FY 2017 and FY 2018.The $14.7 billion in FY 2018 earmarks is more than half of the record $29 billion in FY 2006.  At the rate of increase over FY 2017, Congress could set a new record for pork-barrel spending before the end of President Trump’s first term. For the sixth time since Congress enacted an earmark “moratorium” in fiscal year (FY) 2011, CAGW has unearthed earmarks in appropriations bills.Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) earmarked the entire $16.7 million appropriations for the East-West Center after President Trump’s FY 2018 budget and the House Appropriations Committee both zeroed it out.The precipitous increase in pork-barrel spending occurs behind closed doors and hidden from taxpayers.  There are no names of legislators attached to each earmark and limited information on where and how the money will be spent.Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,861 earmarks costing $344.5 billion.Examples:$2.7 billion (the largest amount ever) for 20 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.  In development for nearly 17 years and seven years behind schedule, total acquisition costs now exceed $406 billion, nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion.  An April 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted that the lifetime operation and maintenance costs of the most expensive weapon system in history will total approximately $1 trillion.$65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF).  The White House’s FY 2017 budget notes that programs like the PCSRF favor state, local, and/or industry interests, are “not optimally targeted … favor certain species and geographic areas over others,” and do not direct funds to programs and projects that have “the greatest need or potential benefit.”$13 million for the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grants program.  Intended to help preserve historic locations across the country, SAT grants are often used to fund local museums, opera houses, and theaters.  Former President Obama called for the elimination of SAT in his FY 2011 budget.$663,000 for a brown tree snake eradication program.  The snakes are native to northern Australia, Indonesia, and many of the islands in Melanesia, but have caused damage to the ecosystem of Guam, where they were likely introduced by the U.S. military following World War II.CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:“The 2018 Congressional Pig Book reveals that Washington’s earmark addiction is getting much worse.  Even worse, some of the same members of Congress who claim to “Drain the Swamp” are the ones who are attempting to return this corrupt system to prominence.  Pushing pork does not drain the swamp. The only way to clean up Washington is to do the opposite:  adopt a permanent ban on pork-barrel earmarks.”Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Ocean City Man Rescues Leatherback Sea Turtle Off Longport

first_imgA view of the rescue from the Coast Guard helicopter. By Tim KellyA leatherback sea turtle owes its life to an Ocean City man whose fast action freed the reptile. The turtle’s head and neck were ensnared in fishing line during the incident which took place on Thursday.Jeff Valentine, 50 years old, was working on a Towboat U.S. Shamrock Marine Towing vessel as it conducted a training exercise with a Coast Guard helicopter. The crews were in waters of the Great Egg Inlet, off Longport.Valentine and the other crew members from his boat and members of the helicopter crew spotted the massive beast floating on the ocean surface in obvious distress.“The turtle was stuck to a conch trap. The line was wrapped tightly around its head.”Jeff Valentine straddled the reptile and used his utility knife to free the sea turtle.The lined looped “at least five or six times,” around the turtle’s head, said Valentine, a resident of the Riviera section of town. “I’m a pretty good swimmer, so I thought I could jump in there and free him.”The retired 25-year veteran of the Coast Guard and former “cutter swimmer” donned a life jacket and swam out to the turtle.“There was no slack on the line and it was attached to the trap. The line went straight down to the (trap.)  There was nowhere the turtle could go. All he could do was lift his head. He was gasping for air.”According to the National Geographic website, leatherback turtles are the largest turtles on the planet, eventually growing to seven feet in length and weighing more than 2,000 pounds.The leatherback sea turtle was ensnared in fishing line and tethered to a conch trap off Longport.In pictures taken from the Shamrock Towing boat, this particular animal appeared to be at least five feet in length, and Valentine estimated its weight to be in excess of 500 pounds.Leatherback sea turtles are classified by National Geographic as “rapidly declining” in population, and were at one time found in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic. They are also among the oldest species in the world, with evolutionary roots tracing back more than 100 million years, according to the website.As Valentine paddled toward the turtle, he approached from behind and straddled its shell. He took out his knife and was able to cut the multiple loops wrapped around the turtle’s head.When the turtle was finally freed from the line, “he kicked me off” his back and Valentine felt its foot push off as “I kind of eased back as he began to swim away,” Jeff said.Jeff Valentine displays the remnants of the conch trap after freeing the sea turtle.“It felt awesome,” to free the turtle, Valentine said. “I’m glad I was there and glad I could do it.”  He was quick to credit the other members of the Shamrock Towing vessel crew, Bob Driscoll and David Pace.  He said Driscoll and Pace maneuvered the boat, a 41-ft. former Coast Guard utility boat now owned by the Ocean City company, close enough for him to easily reach the trapped reptile.“I’m not sure if most people would have done what we did. I’m pretty sure if we hadn’t been there he would have died within a half hour.”The takeaway from the experience, he said, is that people need to be more careful when they dispose of seemingly innocent items that wind up killing marine life.“Most of those congratulatory balloons that are released on the beach end up in the ocean. That stuff ends up killing marine life all the time. It’s not that hard. Cut the plastic six-pack holders, and watch how you dispose things that could end up in the ocean.  People need to learn to be more aware and more responsible for their actions.”Although Valentine referred to the turtle as “he,” the actual gender was undetermined.When asked if the crew members called the sea turtle by a name, Valentine laughed. “I would say his name should be Lucky S.O.B.”Valentine displays the knife he used to free the trapped sea turtle.last_img read more

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Led Zeppelin Shares First Episode Of New History Video Series For 50th Anniversary [Watch]

first_imgLed Zeppelin continues to provide their legion of fans with gifts as the famous British rock band’s 50th-anniversary celebrations continue over into 2019. On Wednesday, Zeppelin shared a brief video as part of their new “Led Zeppelin History” series, which will feature a mix of short stories celebrating the band’s journey which began in 1968.The first episode, which runs at a manageable 1:07 minutes, tells the story of Zeppelin’s first time in a recording studio together in September 1968, when they entered London’s Olympic Studios to record the material for what would end up on their 1969 debut album. Viewers are treated to a grainy mix of animated and archival live footage of the band while “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” plays throughout.Related: Peter Frampton Announces 2019 Farewell Tour With Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin EveningAs the video continues, a mix of quotes and facts about that era of the band’s history appear on the screen to educate fans on what went down in those early years of Zeppelin.“The group had only been together for two-and-a-half weeks when we recorded it,” guitarist Jimmy Page is quoted saying about their first time in the studio together in the video. “We deliberately aimed at putting down what we could reproduce on stage.”Bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones also added, “We did [the album] in about 15 hours with another 15 for mixing, so it was about 30 hours in all.”Fans can watch the series’ premiere episode via the video below to learn more about the first chapter of the mighty Led Zeppelin.Led Zeppelin – History Of Led Zeppelin (Episode 1)[Video: Led Zeppelin]Recently, the band has celebrated their 50th anniversary by reissuing their 1976 The Song Remains The Same live album, released a history book filled with many never-before-seen photographs, and even released music as a vinyl single for last year’s Record Store Day.last_img read more

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Travel as its own education

first_img“Now entering … London Bridge Station. Change here for the Northern Line and National Rail services.”As the doors opened, I was thrust out in a tide of briefcases and stilettos. Bracing myself for the eight-minute walk to my next train, I stepped onto the escalator and began to soak in the surreal and quintessentially London scene before me: the captivating advertisements for musicals in the West End, a fleeting glimpse of a red double-decker bus on the street outside — until a deep cockney accent brought me out of my daze.“Excuse me, miss — excuse me!”I hopped to the right just in time to see a burly gentleman rush past me in a dark suit. Several others followed. Flustered, I turned to the man directly behind me. He shrugged and gestured ahead.“Stand to the right. Walk to the left.” His bemused smirk told me it was obvious. He turned back to read the front page of the Metro.Scanning the area, I realized that each of the seemingly mile-high escalators was identical, with a solid line of “standers” on the right and a parallel, steadily flowing stream of hurried passengers on the left. Somehow I had missed the memo. Reaching the ground level, I laughed it off and rushed to catch the 8:41 to Denmark Hill.This embarrassing but otherwise inconsequential experience came back to me at key points during my time in London this past summer. I had trouble shaking the sense that I was disconnected from my surroundings. Furthermore, I became acutely aware that I was just another person among hundreds passing through the station that morning.After some initial hesitance, I began to cling to that feeling for dear life. The result was a slight but certain shift in my mindset: Though I was in London to attend a seminar, my focus became not what I could learn or gain, but rather how I could engage and contribute.Going forward, this new sense of anonymity gave me the freedom to interact with people, to ask questions, and to humiliate myself without fear of judgment. I was able to enjoy aspects of London beyond the superficial: the myriad opportunities available in the arts, the distinct, undiluted elements of foreign cultures, and the remnants of history that added a touch of majesty to every street corner.This trip was not my only travel experience as a Harvard student. During the past year, I’ve been able to travel to Ghana with the Ahoto Partnership for Ghana (founded by Harvard alumni) and to Nicaragua as part of an MIT engineering course. I’ve developed a global outlook that motivates me to study languages as diverse as Spanish, Yoruba, and Urdu, and to explore other parts of the world.The truth is, traveling the world doesn’t only allow us to see breathtaking sights or to exercise our fluency in foreign languages. More broadly, travel allows us to put our education in context. It demonstrates that we’re capable of having impact, but only if we enter the field and share what we’ve learned with others.Most importantly, it unwraps the carefully packaged concept that we often develop of different cultures. Being shoved aside on an escalator in London, navigating cultural subtleties in Saudi Arabia, being interrogated while passing through the mountains in Nicaragua, constantly facing challenges to service provision in the slums of central Ghana — it’s these jarring experiences that have coupled my adventurous spirit with a grounding sense of humility, greeted me with the magnitude of my own ignorance, and left me starving for deeper engagements with other cultures.Harvard’s undergraduate population comprises hundreds of driven students who will someday have global impact. But solving the world’s major issues requires a sense of understanding that comes only with seeking and listening to other perspectives. I’m grateful for these opportunities to complement the personality that has allowed me to thrive at Harvard with a more observant and introspective perspective.As I returned to Boston for my senior year, it occurred to me that the gates of Harvard Yard and the comforting outline of the Charles River were never meant to be boundaries enclosing my Harvard experience. That brief moment of confusion on a London escalator, and the small reality checks I’ve been giving myself ever since, keep me aware that there’s a big world outside of the infamous Harvard “bubble” that is waiting to be noticed and engaged.Looking out the window of my United Airlines flight, I felt as though I was simply taking a trip from one corner of my new, more expansive “home” to another. A small smile crept to the corners of my mouth — I knew I’d be back for more.If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student and have an essay to share about life at Harvard, please email your ideas to Jim Concannon, the Gazette’s news editor, at [email protected]last_img read more