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Terrelonge urges parents, educators to protect boys

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Terrelonge urges parents, educators to protect boys

Friday, December 06, 2019

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STATE minister for Education, Youth and Information Alando Terrelonge has urged parents and school administrators to ensure that boys are not bullied or marginalised because they might be doing better at academics than sports.

He said there have been many well-documented instances of this “unfortunate situation in schools” where boys are teased and are made to feel inferior to their peers.

Terrelonge, who was addressing a youth forum at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in St James recently, highlighted the need for boys to be raised in an environment that promotes education and respect for others and law and order.

“Are we raising our young men with what I call toxic masculinity? Are we raising our young men to say they are not man enough if they stay in school… if they are respecting themselves and respecting others…if they are respecting law and order,?” he asked.

He said that he is encouraged by the success stories of young men who are “stepping up to the plate, undeterred by circumstances or their surroundings and are doing very well for themselves”.

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Today’s Horoscope — January 24, 2020

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Friday, January 24, 2020: This year, once you are focused on a particular issue, you seem able to resolve it and create something better. Your sunny side and ability to uplift others draws many people toward you. If single, relating can be successful and create a viable relationship if you are aware of your liabilities or a tendency to be obsessive at times. If attached, you will want to be more aware of your mate’s needs, and make sure that you give him or her the proper amount of attention. Relating is a two-way street. A fellow AQUARIAN makes a good friend for you.

 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Today’s new moon is provocative and allows you to head in a new direction. If you have a particular goal, deciding to work on it today will increase the possibility of making it a reality. Tonight: Catch up on news and gossip with a friend.

 

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You could make a considerable difference through your choices. Others will respond to your leadership. A conversation could be more argumentative than you intended. Trying to calm the waters could be challenging. Tonight: Out and about till the wee hours.

 

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Not only are you ready for TGIF, you are likely to try several different gatherings. You could meet someone special today. This person could be very different and most interesting to relate to. Tonight: Follow the drumbeat.

 

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Be more conscientious about your choices. If relating to one person, or wanting to attract a specific individual or type, make music and hangout choices accordingly. You will want to move around more than usual. Tonight: Let it all hang out.

 

LEO (July 23-Aug 22): You normally call the shots, but at this particular time and moment, you will respond to another person’s drive and desire. You might be flattered by all that unfolds. Stay open to different personalities. Tonight: The only answer is yes.

 

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22): You could be too tired to change directions or your pace. Do not try to appear other than how you feel. Make it OK to bypass as many of your plans as you can and go home early. Tonight: You might be surprised at how good you will feel if you play it low-key.

 

LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22): You could feel on top of your game. No matter what you do, all seems to work out well. You might wish for more and be on the verge of achieving it. It is time to go for a goal and have the pleasure of experiencing success. Tonight: Let the party begin.

 

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): You have the ability to get past problems and deal with another person directly. Be more sensitive to your options. If you decide to resolve a problem, you will be successful. Do not underestimate your power. Tonight: Chat with a loved one.

 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): You could make a big difference if you kick back and relax. Others will seek you out and get down to the root of a problem that might involve you. Recognise what you can and cannot change. Tonight: Out with friends.

 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): Be more in touch with your financial needs. Sometimes what looks like an indiscretion could be important. Your attitude frames what occurs and the possibilities you see. A conversation is inspirational. Tonight: Let another person treat.

 

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): Your bright and sunny attitude will take you far. Recognise when you have had enough and need to buckle down and handle a personal and/or financial matter. You might be looking for a new item for your home. Tonight: Be happy and open with a loved one.

 

PISCES (Feb 19-March 20): Kick back and go over recent events and your reactions. Have you been overly demanding or wanting something and not receiving it? At this point in time, you can reverse the pattern. Tonight: A discussion with a loved one might be the way to go.

 

(c) 2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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Trump’s ‘dangerous’ abuse

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WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AP) — House Democrats declared that “no president” has ever abused power the way Donald Trump did in his Ukraine dealings as they opened their second day of arguments yesterday in the historic impeachment trial in the US Senate.

The Democratic prosecutors pressing their case before sceptical Republican senators are focused on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, arguing Trump sought a political investigation from Ukraine for his own gain to sway the 2020 Election in his favour.

“The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous,” Rep Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told the senators.

House Democrats impeached Trump last month, arguing he abused his office by asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden while withholding crucial military aid. They also charged him with obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe. Republicans have defended Trump’s actions as appropriate and cast the process as a politically motivated effort to weaken the president in the midst of his re-election campaign.

The Democrats’ challenge is clear as they try to convince not just fidgety senators but an American public divided over the Republican president in an election year.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Nadler said Thursday. “Prior presidents would be shocked to the core by such conduct, and rightly so.”

Republican senators, who hold a majority in the chamber and will vote on Trump’s conviction or acquittal, exhibited no shock.

The Democrats were putting forward “admirable presentations”, said Roy Blunt of Missouri. “But they’ve basically got about one hour of presentation, and they gave it six times on Tuesday and eight times yesterday. There’s just not much new here.”

Rep Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, promised a stitching together of the facts to an inevitable conclusion.

“You’ve now heard hundreds of hours of depositions and live testimony from the House,” Schiff said. “We will now show these facts and many others and how they are interwoven…to a finding of guilt and conviction.”

The top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, acknowledged yesterday that many senators “really don’t want to be here”.

But Schumer said Schiff has been outlining a compelling case about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine and the scheme to cover up the charges, and many Republicans are hearing it for only the first time. He contended they can’t help but be “glued” to his testimony.

Once reluctant to take on impeachment during an election year, Democrats are now marching toward a decision by the Senate that the American public also will judge. They are one-third of the way through 24 hours of opening arguments.

Trump blasted the proceedings again in a tweet, declaring them the, “Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!”

Campaigning in Iowa, Biden said, “People ask the question, ‘Isn’t the president going to be stronger and harder to beat if he survives this?’ Yes, probably. But Congress has no choice,” He said senators must cast their votes and “live with that in history”.

Each side has up to three days to present its case. After the House prosecutors finish, likely today, the president’s lawyers will have as much as 24 hours. It’s unclear how much time they will actually take, but Trump’s team promises not only to defend the president but to take apart the Democrats’ case. The Senate is expected to take only Sunday off and push into next week.

“There’s a lot of things I’d like to rebut,” said Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow at the Capitol, “and we will rebut”.

After that senators will face the question of whether they do, or do not, want to call witnesses to testify.

On the first day of opening arguments, Schiff appealed to senators not to be “cynical” about politics, but to draw on the intent of the nation’s founding fathers in providing the remedy of impeachment and removal. He spoke directly to Republicans to join in voting to oust Trump from office to “protect our democracy”.

Holding the room proved difficult. Most senators sat at their desks throughout, as the rules stipulate, though some stretched their legs, standing behind the desks or against the back wall of the chamber. Sometimes they yawned. Republicans sometimes quietly smirked at the presentation from Schiff and the lesser-known House Democrats prosecuting the case.

Nearing nine long hours of arguments, the empty seats became glaringly apparent. Senator Dianne Feinstein D-California, was under the weather and left early. Some lawmakers dashed down the hall to appear on television. Visitors thinned from the galleries, one briefly interrupting in protest and being removed by capitol police.

The impeachment trial is set against the backdrop of the 2020 Election. All four senators who are Democratic presidential candidates are off the campaign trail, seated as jurors.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 40 to 45 per cent. But a sizable percentage, 14 per cent, said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

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Harvey Weinstein held me down, raped me

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NEW YORK , United States (AP) — “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein from the witness stand yesterday, testifying that the former Hollywood studio boss overpowered and raped her and made other crude overtures that included sending her X-rated chocolates and showing up uninvited in his underwear with a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a video in the other.

In a quivering voice, Sciorra told the jury that Weinstein barged into her apartment in the mid-1990s, threw her on a bed and forced himself on her as she tried to fight him off by kicking and punching him.

She said that a month later, she ran into him and confronted him about what happened, and he replied: “That’s what all the nice Catholic girls say.”

Then, she told the jury, Weinstein leaned toward her and added menacingly: “This remains between you and I.”

“I thought he was going to hit me right there,” Sciorra testified.

The 59-year-old actress became the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify at his trial, where the movie mogul whose downfall gave rise to the #MeToo movement is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on former Production Assistant Mimi Haleyi in his New York apartment in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in a hotel room here in 2013.

Weinstein is not charged with attacking Sciorra, whose accusations date too far back to be prosecuted. Instead, she testified as one of four additional accusers prosecutors intend to put on the stand to show that the powerful Hollywood producer had a pattern of preying on women. Weinstein, 67, could get life in prison if convicted.

The executive behind such Oscar-winning movies as Pulp Fiction and “Shakespeare in Love” has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual.

Recounting an accusation she said she kept largely secret for decades, Sciorra testified that after raping her, Weinstein went on to try to perform oral sex on her, saying, “This is for you,” as her body “shut down”.

“It was just so disgusting,” she said. She said she started to shake: “I didn’t even know what was happening. It was like a seizure or something.”

At other points in the 1990s, she said, Weinstein sent her packages with Valium and a box of chocolate penises and turned up early one morning at her Cannes Film Festival hotel room in his underwear with the body oil and the videotape. She said he eventually left after she started frantically pushing buttons on the room phone to summon help.

The jury of seven men and five women listened keenly and took notes on her testimony. Weinstein was mostly expressionless, sometimes appearing to purse his lips as he chewed mints.

The defence tried to seed doubts about Sciorra’s allegations, and she gave a slightly different version under their questioning, testifying that when the producer initially pushed her onto her bed, “he was kind of, in a friendly way, trying to cajole me” into having sex. She refused and soon found herself trying to get him off of her, she said.

Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno noted that Sciorra never went to the police or a doctor about the alleged rape.

“At the time, I didn’t understand that that was rape,” Sciorra said.

Rotunno also suggested that Sciorra’s judgement and recollection were clouded by drinking. The actress said she remembered having only a glass of wine with dinner and had kicked a Valium habit that developed after Weinstein sent her pills.

In opening statements on Wednesday, another Weinstein lawyer, Damon Cheronis, argued the encounter was consensual, not rape, saying Sciorra once told a friend that she “did a crazy thing and had sex with Harvey Weinstein”.

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Pregnant? You might not be allowed to have baby in US

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WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AP) — The Trump Administration yesterday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism”, in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have US citizenship.

Applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to be coming to the US primarily to give birth, according to new rules in the Federal Register. It is a bigger hurdle to overcome, proving they are travelling to the US because they have a medical need and not just because they want to give birth here. Those with medical needs will be treated like other foreigners coming to the US for medical treatment and must prove they have the money to pay for it — including transportation and living expenses.

“Closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “It will also defend American taxpayers from having their hard-earned dollars siphoned away to finance the direct and downstream costs associated with birth tourism. The integrity of American citizenship must be protected.”

The practice of travelling to the US to give birth is fundamentally legal, although there are scattered cases of authorities arresting operators of birth tourism agencies for visa fraud or tax evasion. And women are often honest about their intentions when applying for visas and even show signed contracts with doctors and hospitals.

The State Department “does not believe that visiting the United States for the primary purpose of obtaining US citizenship for a child, by giving birth in the United States — an activity commonly referred to as ‘birth tourism’ — is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature,” according to the new rules, which take effect Friday.

While the new rules deal specifically with birth tourism, the Trump Administration also has turned away pregnant women coming over the US-Mexico border as part of a broader immigration crackdown. Those women were initially part of a “vulnerable” group that included others like small children who were allowed in, while tens of thousands of other asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico to wait out their cases.

President Donald Trump’s Administration has been restricting all forms of immigration, but Trump has been particularly plagued by the issue of birthright citizenship — anyone born in the US is considered a citizen, under the Constitution. The Republican president has railed against the practice and threatened to end it, but scholars and members of his administration have said it’s not so easy to do.

Regulating tourist visas for pregnant women is one way to get at the issue, but it raises questions about how officers would determine whether a woman is pregnant to begin with and whether a woman could get turned away by border officers who suspect she may be just by looking at her.

And critics of the new policy say it could put pregnant women at risk.

Consular officers don’t have the right to ask during visa interviews whether a woman is pregnant or intends to become so. But they would still have to determine whether a visa applicant would be coming to the U.S. primarily to give birth.

Birth tourism is a lucrative business in both the US and abroad. Companies take out advertisements and charge up to $80,000 to facilitate the practice, offering hotel rooms and medical care. Many of the women travel from Russia and China to give birth in the US.

The US has been cracking down on the practice since before Trump took office.

“An entire ‘birth tourism’ industry has evolved to assist pregnant women from other countries to come to the United States to obtain US citizenship for their children by giving birth in the United States, and thereby entitle their children to the benefits of US citizenship,” according to the State Department rules.

There are no figures on how many foreign women travel to the US specifically to give birth. The Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for stricter immigration laws, estimated that in 2012 about 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the US and then left the country.

“This rule will help eliminate the criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry,” according to the rules. “The recent federal indictments describe birth tourism schemes in which foreign nationals applied for visitor visas to come to the United States and lied to consular officers about the duration of their trips, where they would stay, and their purpose of travel.”

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WHO says coronavirus ‘too early’ for emergency declaration

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LONDON, England (AP) — A viral illness in China that has sickened hundreds of people is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

WHO issued its evaluation after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities earlier in the day and cancelled major events in the capital, Beijing, during the Lunar New Year holiday period to try to contain the new virus.

During a news conference in Geneva, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while the outbreak clearly rose to an emergency in China, “it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.”

The decision “should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious or that we’re not taking it seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Director General Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “WHO is following this outbreak every minute of every day.”

The United Nations health agency made the decision after independent experts spent two days assessing information about the spread of the newly identified coronavirus.

“It’s too early to consider this as a public health emergency of international concern,” Didier Houssin, the chair of the emergency advisory committee, said, noting that the panel “was very divided, almost 50-50”.

WHO defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response. Previous global emergencies have been declared for the emergence of Zika virus in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic, and polio.

A declaration of a global emergency typically brings greater money and resources, but may also prompt nervous foreign governments to restrict travel and trade to affected countries. Deciding whether an outbreak amounts to an international crisis, therefore, can also be politically fraught.

In 2014, WHO resisted declaring the devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa to be a global emergency because it feared the announcement would anger Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

During a news conference in Geneva, Houssin suggested that China’s view of the outbreak was a factor in Thursday’s decision.

“The perception of this declaration by the international community, in the most affected country, by the people struggling with the virus, certainly has to be considered,” he said.

Hundreds of people infected with the new virus have fallen ill in China, and 17 have died. The first cases appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China.

Other cases have been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong reported their first cases yesterday.

While airports in many major cities around the world have instituted health screenings for arriving passengers from China, Tedros said that “for the moment, WHO does not recommend any broader restrictions on travel or trade”.

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Three break-ins in three weeks

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Three break-ins in three weeks

Little London Primary staff reeling from robberies

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 24, 2020

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LITTLE LONDON, Westmoreland — The staff of Little London Primary School in Westmoreland have been left devastated following a break-in at the school — the third such incident in three weeks.

During the most recent break-in, which took place between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, numerous tablets and computers were removed from the administrative block of the school. Personal items were also reportedly stolen.

A water pump that assisted with providing the precious commodity to the school’s infant department and a stove, which replaced one that had been stolen in one of the earlier break-ins, were also stolen.

The criminals reportedly entered the building by cutting their way through the grille of a door to the office.

“It has left us at a disadvantage where teacher-learning is concerned, because those tablets are tablets that we usually use in the classrooms. Students would have the opportunity to use them to do researches. We also use them for games and so forth,” Principal Merissa Stephens told the Jamaica Observer.

“So we do not have those right now. Even the Wi-Fi extender, that was just ripped from its position. So the Wi-Fi is down, and you know when we really have technological devices and so forth using in this period, this generation, it really enhances teaching and learning. The fact that they are not here now, it kind of set us back, and it is going to take a lot more spending to get these things back in place and all of that,” the principal added.

In the first two break-ins, a Wi-Fi router was stolen and teaching aids destroyed.

The school is located in close proximity to the Green Island Police Station.

Stephens told the Observer that the police have agreed to patrol the area.

However, she noted: “They (criminals) are very smart. They watch for the police. So, they (criminals) know when they (police) are here and when they are not here.”

Stephens also urged residents in the area to be observant.

“I would just want them to have their eyes open, to be vigilant and not to buy from [them]… Go to an [established] organisation to purchase whatever you need, rather than just buying it from a back door deal,” encouraged Stephens.

The principal also appealed to residents to assist by keeping an eye on the school and raising an alarm if they notice anything suspicious.

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