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This Day in History — Jully 11

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Today is the 192nd day of 2019. There are 173 days left in the year.

TODAY HIGHLIGHTS

2010: Spain defeats Netherlands 1-0 in extra time to win World Cup.

 

OTHER EVENTS

1533: Pope Clement VII excommunicates England’s King Henry VIII after his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon is annulled so he can wed Anne Boleyn.

1572: Sir Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, lands in the Netherlands with a band of 1,500 English volunteers to fight the Spanish.

1614: Swedish army under Jacob De La Gardie defeats Russian forces at Bronnitsy. Sweden gains a continuous territorial base extending from Finland to Estonia, which protects the Finnish frontier and blocks Russia from access to the Baltic Sea.

1810: Napoleonic Empire annexes Holland.

1956: Finno-Karelian Republic is abolished through incorporation into Soviet Union as Karelian Autonomous Republic.

1960: Premier Moise Tshombe of Katanga, now part of Congo, proclaims independence of that province.

1963: South African police raid the secret headquarters of the African National Congress in a farmhouse north of Johannesburg. Walter Sisulu and other leaders are arrested; Army in Ecuador ousts President Carlos Julio Arosemena, accusing him of being a communist sympathiser.

1967: Communist-led mobs of Chinese in Hong Kong step up violent activities, and British authorities halt all public transport as a safety measure.

1971: Moroccan Government says leaders of a coup against King Hassan have been slain or arrested.

1978: Truck carrying industrial gas explodes and sets fire to campsite on Mediterranean coast in Spain, killing at least 180 people.

1987: United Nations proclaims newborn boy Matej Gaspar in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, in what is now Croatia, the world’s five billionth inhabitant.

1991: Jetliner carrying Nigerian pilgrims crashes in flames in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, killing all 261 people on board.

1992: Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega sentenced to 40 years in US prison for money laundering and drug trafficking.

1993: Military rulers and Opposition leaders agree to hold presidential elections in Togo, the first step to resolving a power struggle that claimed hundreds of lives in the West African country.

1994: Seven East European technicians are shot dead in two attacks in Algeria, the victims of a campaign by Islamist extremists to cripple the economy and topple the Government.

1998: Brushing aside international calls for a ceasefire, Serb forces pound Albanian rebels outside Pec in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, sending hundreds of civilians fleeing through the mountains.

1999: A heatwave and a violent storm converge on Central and Eastern Europe, killing more than a dozen people and blocking rails and roads. Hail causes extensive damage and kills hundreds of farm animals.

2000: A damaged gasoline pipeline explodes in southern Nigeria, killing 200 people and injuring dozens of others.

2001: Weeping Bosnian Muslim widows who lost their husbands and sons in one of the worst massacres in modern history lash out at Slobodan Milosevic and fugitive leaders of the Bosnian Serbs on the sixth anniversary of the slaughter in Srebrenica.

2002: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung appoints the country’s first female prime minister, Chang Sang.

2003: The Central Intelligence Agency accepts responsibility for the false claim regarding Iraq obtaining uranium from Niger in US President George W Bush’s January State of the Union address.

2004: Italian Coast Guard motorboats block a German aid ship from docking in Sicily after it sails southern Mediterranean waters for three weeks in search of a haven for its passengers, including 36 Sudanese seeking asylum.

2005: Two gun attacks in Belfast leave one man dead and another critically wounded on the eve of Northern Ireland’s tensest day of the year — the divisive “Twelfth” holiday of mass Protestant marches.

2006: Eight bombs hit Bombay’s commuter rail network during rush hour in the financial hub of India, killing at least 200 people and wounding hundreds more.

2007: Pakistani troops complete an eight-day siege and storming of Islamabad’s radical Red Mosque. Some 102 people die, including 10 elite troops and at least 73 suspected pro-Taliban militants.

2008: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Saniora forms a national unity Cabinet in which Hezbollah and its allies have veto power over Government decisions.

2009: The deaths of eight British soldiers in Afghanistan within 24 hours triggers a debate in Britain that could undercut public support for the war, just as the US is ramping up its own participation in the conflict.

2011: An aging cruise ship is severely overcrowded, has a malfunctioning engine and list to one side before it sinks in heavy wind and rain on a river east of Moscow, killing as many as 129 people.

2012: Decades after the US gave Laos a horrific distinction as the world’s most heavily bombed country per person, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledges to help get rid of millions of unexploded bombs that still pockmark the impoverished country and still kill.

2013: Hundreds of Shiites have been quietly expelled from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states on suspicion of being supporters of the militant group Hezbollah.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Robert I the Bruce, Scottish king (1274-1329); Thomas Bowdler, English editor of Shakespeare works (1754-1825); Peter I Karageorgevic, first king of Yugoslavia (1844-1921); Gough Whitlam, Australian prime minister (1916-2014); Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor (1920-1985); Nicolai Gedda, Swedish operatic tenor (1925-2017); Richie Sambora, guitarist w/ rock group Bon Jovi (1959- ); Lil’ Kim, US rapper (1975- )

— AP

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Bureau of Standards lauded for 50 years of service

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has been lauded for rendering exemplary and distinguished service over the past 50 years.

“In your five-decade history, you have been an outstanding organisation, contributing significantly to standards at the national, regional and international levels,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dermon Spence, said.

He was speaking at the BSJ’s 50th anniversary celebrations launch, at the agency’s Winchester Road head office, in St Andrew, on Monday (July 15).

Noting that 50 years for any organisation “is truly a significant milestone,” Spence said it  is an opportune time for the BSJ to reflect on the journey thus far, as it looks ahead to continue its work.

The Permanent Secretary, who described the BSJ’s engagements over the years as impactful, said these have been “felt by all Jamaicans.”

These people, he added, include consumers, manufacturing and retail industries and the private and public sectors.

Spence assured that quality and standards remain “matters of serious national concern” for the ministry and, by extension, the Government.

In this regard, he said a National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) Policy has been developed to provide direction and guidelines to the various activities related to quality infrastructure.

“We will continue the efforts to safeguard the interests of both the producer and consumer with the appropriate legislative framework, and will remain committed to achieving international accord on all technical matters relating to the exchange of goods and services between one nation and another, which is the ultimate goal of standardisation,” Spence said.

Noting that the ministry “remains grateful” for the BSJ’s commitment to standardisation and quality, Spence said, “we pledge to continue to work with you as we strive to build a better Jamaica.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the BSJ’s Standards Council, Senator Matthew Samuda, highlighted the passion of the agency’s management and staff, and policymakers, in driving the Bureau’s work.

This, he noted, has been most evident in the intense advocacy and strong unyielding commitment by the various people to this end.

“This passion has served the Bureau well in the almost three decades of service given by the Rev Dr Artnel Henry, who served as the first Executive Director from 1973 up to 2000. His commitment to this fledgling scientific organisation, which certainly must be acknowledged and commended, included overseeing the expansion of the Bureau’s technical capacity and building over the years,” Senator Samuda said.

The Chairman said this eventually led to the International Organization of Standardisation (ISO) ratifying the Bureau, before any other similar organisation within the Caribbean.

“This, undoubtedly, underscores the sentiment that an organisation is only as good as its people, who live and work in it… and certainly we can say that at 50, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica is no fledgling scientific organisation,” he added.

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Today’s Horoscope — July 16, 2019

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Tuesday, July 16, 2019: This year, you often feel as though a situation will go one way but then you see that situation flip to another path. You work well in flux and will need to this year. If single, you could meet someone who makes your heart do flip-flops, but this bond will take a while to form. If you’re attached, don’t lose sight of mutual goals. Keep communication open and non-judgmental. CAPRICORN can be demanding.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): At present, you could feel as though you’re carrying the weight of life’s responsibilities. A seriousness carries you through the day; at the same time, you’re eyeing a self-generated change. Tonight: Do your thing. Stay as mellow as possible.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Be willing to take the next step. If you’re having several disagreements, detach; walk in the other party’s shoes. You’ll get a better grasp of the dynamics of an issue. As a result, resolutions will be more easily achieved. Tonight: Listen, but don’t get yourself in the middle of a lively discussion.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You seem to have an important discussion with a partner, friend, or loved one. The results might not be what you desire because others are on edge at this point in time. You might’ve wanted a change, but not of the variety that could be suggested. Tonight: Say little. Mum would be great.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Rather than getting into a discussion or overly lively talk, defer to a loved one. You might’ve come up with an unusual and creative, yet viable idea. Still, wait a day or two before presenting it. Others might not be particularly centred. Tonight: Go with the flow.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22): How you feel and what you’re able to accomplish might be major concerns at present. Currently, your energy might be fluctuating. This situation will change in several days. Do what you must; then, decide about the rest. Tonight: Soak away stress.

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22): You might have been wanting a more dynamic, creative opportunity. What might pop right now could look like the opposite. Know that you’re in a state of flux. Nothing that happens is written in stone. Tonight: Keep it light and easy.

LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22): Your focus surrounds your personal and domestic life. You inevitably have an agenda about what you desire. You might feel somehow threatened by today’s happenings, yet you just opened the window to possibilities. Tonight: Home is where the heart is.

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): Even if you find that a disagreement arises, keep a conversation open. You want to stay fluid because more changes are likely; ultimately, they’ll be far better for you. Even if you want to, don’t close someone off! Tonight: Catching up on news at a favourite spot.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): You could be able to see a personal matter in a different light because of what might be happening around you. Try not to get too attached to a certain path for a certain outcome. Know that there are many ways to reach that goal. Tonight: On the way home, buy a treat.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): You might feel highly energised or totally drained. Today’s eclipse is in your sign and could drain you. What occurs today might not be as important as what happens in a month. Tonight: Remain upbeat.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): You might not be comfortable with your feelings. You would be well-advised to do nothing and try to remain non-reactive. Given time, your perspective could change considerably. Tonight: Get as much R and R as possible.

PISCES (Feb 19-March 20): Keep your focus on a goal. You might note that friends could be volatile or extremely busy. You may choose to be there for them, but at the same time, complete what you want. Tonight: Where your friends are.

 

(c) 2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

 

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Trump moves to end asylum at southern border

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WASHINGTON, (AP) — Reversing decades of US policy, the Trump Administration said yesterday that it will end all asylum protection for most migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border — the president’s most forceful attempt to block asylum claims and slash the number of people seeking refuge in America.

The new rule, expected to go into effect today, would cover countless would-be refugees, many of them fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. It is certain to face legal challenges.

According to the plan published in the Federal Register, migrants who pass through another country — in this case, Mexico — on their way to the US will be ineligible for asylum. The rule also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.

The vast majority of people affected by the rule are from Central America. But sometimes migrants from Africa, Cuba or Haiti and other countries try to come through the US-Mexico border as well.

There are some exceptions, including for victims of human trafficking and asylum-seekers who were denied protection in another country. If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties governing how refugees are managed (though most Western countries signed them) a migrant could still apply for US asylum.

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said yesterday that his country “does not agree with any measure that limits access to asylum”. Mexico’s asylum system is also currently overwhelmed.

Trump Administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum that most people do not win.

Attorney General William Barr said that the United States is “a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed” by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border.

He also said the rule is aimed at “economic migrants” and “those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States”.

But immigrant rights groups, religious leaders, and humanitarian groups have said the Republican Administration’s policies amount to a cruel effort to keep immigrants out of the country. Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are poor countries, often wracked by violence.

“This is yet another move to turn refugees with well-founded fears of persecution back to places where their lives are in danger — in fact the rule would deny asylum to refugees who do not apply for asylum in countries where they are in peril,” said Eleanor Acer of Human Rights First.

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who has litigated some of the major challenges to the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, said the rule was unlawful and the group planned to sue.

“The rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border,” he said. “But it is patently unlawful.”

US law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the US, regardless of how they arrive or cross. The crucial exception is for those who have come through a country considered to be ‘safe’, but the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined safe.”

Right now, the US has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country”, only with Canada.

Mexico and Central American countries have been considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington yesterday, but apparently a meeting between Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was cancelled amid a court challenge in Guatemala over whether the country could consent to a safe-country agreement with the US.

The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the US, not those who are already in the country.

The treaties that countries must have signed according to the new rule are the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. But, for example, while Australia, France and Brazil have signed those treaties, so have Afghanistan and Libya — places the US does not consider safe.

Along with the Administration’s recent effort to send asylum seekers back over the border, Trump has tried to deny asylum to anyone crossing the border illegally and restrict who can claim asylum, and the attorney general recently tried to keep thousands of asylum seekers detained while their cases play out.

Nearly all of those efforts have been blocked by courts.

Tens of thousands of Central American migrant families cross the border each month —many claiming asylum. During the budget year for 2009, there were 35,811 asylum claims and 8,384 were granted. During 2018 budget year, there were 162,060 claims filed and 13,168 were granted.

Immigration courts are backlogged by more than 800,000 cases, meaning many people won’t have their asylum claims heard for years despite more judges being hired.

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