Month: August 2020

Miami Mayor and City Commissioner reaffirm commitment to immigrants

first_imgCity of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Ken Russell says the City of Miami remains open and committed to immigrants and those seeking freedom, democracy and opportunity, from all over the world.At the same time, the Miami officials called on the Miami-Dade County Commission to re-affirm its commitment to protecting the county’s “most vulnerable populations, in particular undocumented immigrants.”Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Russell have indicated they will be working with the Cities for Citizenship initiative to provide space in the City where workshops will be conducted to help legal residents become citizens.“The City of Miami has a long-standing policy of treating all people that interact with our public officials and officers equitably, no matter that person’s immigration status,” Mayor Tomas Regalado said.Regalado emphasized the Miami Police Department has internal policies that require all persons that come into contact with city officers to be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their residency and citizenship situation. He also made it clear the Department does not release persons to federal immigration officials if a person is a crime victim, material witness, involved in a domestic matter, suspected of a minor offense, or seeking medical attention.Ken Russell…says immigrants including his own mother built Miami City“Immigrants from abroad, including my own mother, built this City,” Commissioner Russell said. “Miami is an immigrant City and we should embrace that identity. Policies that make people who are here for a better life fearful of our law enforcement is not only bad for them and dangerous to our officers, but also turns our back on basic American values.”“Fostering unity and respect for all our communities is vital to our City’s mission,” stated Commissioner Russell. ” While a large portion of our City’s residents were born elsewhere, our common future vision of a thriving Miami is what keeps us united. No law, statute, ordinance, executive order, policy, memorandum or edict should be allowed to divide us.”Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Russell are hopeful their statements, and their partnership with Cities for Citizenship, will help to alleviate some of the negative rhetoric about immigrants that is currently circulating.Florida has the third largest immigrant population in the nation, with 3.8 million immigrants calling the Sunshine State home. About 830,000 of these immigrants are legal permanent residents eligible for citizenship. Some 494,000 of these residents live in Miami-Dade, representing 19 percent of the County’s population. Unfortunately, more than half of these have not pursued citizenship due to communication barriers and limited financial resources to pay the $725 application fee, and possible attorneys’ fees. Others simply do not feel motivated to bother with the complex and oftentimes intimidating process of applying for citizenshiplast_img read more

Richards-Ross explains abortion revelation

first_imgDAEGU, SOUTH KOREA – AUGUST 28: Sanya Richards-Ross of United States looks on after her women’s 400 metres semi finals during day two of the 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Daegu Stadium on August 28, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images) Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross has explained why she revealed information about her abortion prior to competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.The Jamaican-born Richards-Ross said the move was to assist other women avoid what she had experienced.She made the revelation in her book Chasing Grace, which was released on Tuesday, that she had an abortion the day before she left the United States for the Olympic Games in China where she won bronze in the 400 meters. She won gold as a member of the USA’s mile-relay team.During an interview with Maggie Gray for SI Now on, the 32-year-old athlete said she wanted to start a discussion about a pervasive issue.“The truth is it’s an issue that isn’t really talked about, especially in sports, and a lot of young women have experienced this,” Richards Ross said. “Like, I literally do not know another female track athlete who hasn’t had an abortion and that’s sad. For me, I’m hoping that this will open up some discussions to help especially young women who [are] in my situation not experience what I did.”“I think because at that time in your life, when you’re in college, you know you don’t feel comfortable talking to your mom and so a lot of the information you get is from your peers – and it’s going to sound silly to some people – but in our community people don’t want to take the pill cause you put ‘water-weight’ on, and of course as an athlete, you want to be able to stay as fit and as healthy as possible,” she explained.“And then people tell you when you are extremely fit that you can’t get pregnant because our cycles are shorter so there is a lot of mis-education that happens to young women in college because we are educating ourselves.”She said that at the time when she decided to do the abortion she was not aware of all her options. “My husband and I had been dating for five years, I was engaged to him – I had [had] no mishaps prior so I was just put in a really, really tough situation and for me it was so much more than the physical,” she said.“I mean of course you can imagine after the procedure I wasn’t even supposed to run – the doctors told me to take 14 days off. I didn’t have 14 days, but it was more for me about the spiritual and emotional part of the experience that I wanted to share because it wasn’t until even I started this journey that I uncovered some of the hurt that was still there and really try to forgive myself.“I knew that God had forgiven me for it but really forgive myself for that choice and really move on. Now that I’m going to be a mother and now that God has blessed me again, I felt like I needed to kind of purge myself of that and help others do the same.”last_img read more

Escaped T&T businesswoman recaptured by police

first_imgVicky Boodram, who escaped prison pending a trial for fraud charges, has been recaptured. Police in Trinidad and Tobago have recaptured 35-year old businesswoman, Vicky Boodram, who escaped from the women’s section of the Golden Grove Prison on Monday evening while awaiting trial on more than 100 fraud charges.A brief police statement said that Boodram had been found at a house in Penal, to the south of the capital – Port of Spain on late Thursday. A 32-year-old female occupant of the house was also detained and faces charges of harboring a fugitive.Seen at a fast-food restaurantPolice said residents claimed Boodram was seen earlier during the day eating at a doubles stand. She had been recognized by a member of the public and alerted the police.There has been much speculation as to how Booram had been able to walk out of the prison in the company of two police officers late on Monday night.Media reports Friday said that an unidentified man who reportedly fell in love with Boodram is said to have assisted in her plot to escape from the prison.One newspaper said that the man had frequently visited her at prison and as their relationship grew, he ‘allegedly could not stand to see his love incarcerated and began to devise a plan for her to escape”.Earlier this week, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams ordered an investigation which is currently underway into the circumstances surrounding Boodram’s release.Two police officers who took at least 10 minutes to remove Boodram from the prison are assisting the police in their investigations.Arrested on 175 fraud chargesBoodram had been on remand since March 2016 after being denied bail on 175 fraud related charges. She is facing the fraud charges linked to failed cruise ship packages offered by the company, Travel and Ship Ahoy Cruise Limited. She is a director of the company.Her estranged husband, Ravi Arjoonsingh, was also charged with collecting millions of dollars from 109 people through fraudulent means and transferring the money to himself and the company in 2010.In addition to the fraud charges, Boodram is also facing two charges of money laundering after she allegedly purchased a TT$629,000   E-Class Mercedes-Benz and a two million dollar house using forged documents.last_img read more

Government moving to curtail child labor in Jamaica

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica is intensifying efforts to curtail child labor in the country through a ‘Risk Identification Model’ program being implemented to identify communities where this illicit activity is occurring, in order to facilitate interventions.Director of Child Labor in the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Sacha Deer Gordon, said the initiative will entail creating vulnerability maps that highlight areas where child labor is suspected to be taking place, for monitoring and eventual action.Identify highest probabilityShe said the system will allow the authorities to “identify the highest probability where child labor may occur, and in what sector” and cited a recent Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) study that revealed an estimated 38,000 children are involved in child labor locally.The Director said once the victims are identified, “we put plans in place to interrupt that trajectory”, adding that steps are taken to monitor their recovery, because “we don’t want them to re-enter child labor.”Illegal to employ children under age-13Gordon said that business owners employing children under age 13 to work in their establishments are in breach of the Child Care and Protection Act, which stipulates that youngsters up to the age of 14 years can only be engaged in “light work” for no more than 14 hours per week.The Act further stipulates that children, aged 15, can only engage in full employment if they have completed secondary education.“But they cannot be engaged in hazardous work [below] age 16… and it has to be done under supervision and with proper instructions,” she said, adding that the government continues to discourage child labor, emphasizing that “it is something that we are saying must stop”.The government has already established a National Steering Committee, which meets monthly and utilizes various mechanisms designed to promote child rights.Criminal offence Child labor is a criminal offence, with penalties ranging from J$250,000 or three months’ imprisonment to a maximum of one million dollars.last_img read more

Reggae Sumfest Night 2: Beres Hammond, Protoje, and the Return of…

first_imgMONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Night 2 of Reggae Sumfest on July 20 saw many popular reggae acts gracing the stage, including the return of the legendary Buju Banton.The promoters of the annual festival ensured that night 2 got off to an early start, following a delay in performances on night 1 that caused Jamaican authorities to bring the show to an abrupt end at 8:00 am on Sunday morning, leaving many patrons disgruntled.On Sunday night, the 21-year-old reggae musician Tessellated opened the show at 8:30 pm, performing a slew of songs which included his hit “Pine and Ginger”.Tessellated was followed by new-school reggae acts Warrior love band, Jovexx and Kemar Highcon.2010 Digicel Rising Star winner and winner of the 2018 season of X-factor made his Sumfest debut, soothing the crowd with his smooth vocals and recalling his difficult journey to international fame.Reggae acts Jah9 and Etana, the only two women billed for the night, also kept the crowd rocking with their individual, soul-filled reggae performances.Popular reggae act Protoje chose to be somewhat political during his set. While performing his politically-charged hit song “Blood Money”, which speaks out against criminal and political corruption in Jamaica, the grammy-nominated artist freestyled a new verse, making mention of the recent Petrojam scandal and the marches against abortion laws by local churches. Coincidentally, he performed “Blood Money” just as Prime Minister Andrew Holness was seen making his way to the crowd.Protoje also brought out his famous friends, songstress Sevana, Lika Ike, Jesse Royal, Agent Sasco and headliner Chronixx to perform their many collaborations.The first “B” of the three headliners, Beres Hammond delivered a stellar performance, even sharing his stage with Beenie Man.Hammond was followed by other Digicel Rising Star Winners, Romaine Virgo, who again called Agent Sasco to perform their collaboration, “Fade Away” and later, Christopher Martin.Walking to the stage like a champion, was the final headliner of the festival and the man of the year, Buju Banton, who made his return to the Sumfest stage after more than 10 years since his last performance.He stormed the stage, performing an energetic rendition of his 2006 hit “Me and Oonu” as the crowd roared. As he got comfortable on stage, the Gargamel took his shoes to be better able to dance and move around.Later during his performance, Banton performed a light-hearted freestyle, calling on the Jamaican government to legalize marijuana. “Mr. Holness, remember mi give you a spliff. And me ask you inna your office fi legalize it”, the artist joked.Buju Banton was the last performer of the night, delivering a brilliant 90-minute set to bring the 2019 Reggae Sumfest to a close at 6:00 am this morning.last_img read more

Haitians Rescued in Jamaican Waters Back Home

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica – The four Haitian fishermen who were rescued in Portland waters in late November are now safely back in their country, after a confusing expedition.According to the Jamaica Observer, The men were rescued at St Margaret’s Bay in the vicinity of the Rio Grande bridge in Portland on November 27, after their disabled vessel was spotted by Jamaican fisherfolk who assisted them to shore.They were subsequently handed over to the Portland police and then processed by the health department and immigration representatives.Head of the Portland police Superintendent Duane Wellington told the Jamaica Observer that the men, when they appeared before the Portland Parish Court on December 6, had the charges of illegal entry against them withdrawn and they were handed over to authorities from the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Kingston, based on new information.PICA head Andrew Wynter said information from the men’s homeland significantly impacted their status and saved them from being sent back to Haiti as deportees.“We put them on a flight and they are now back in Haiti. Two left on the 27th of December and two left on the 29th,” Wynter told the Observer.Initially, authorities had charged the men with illegal entry and had intended to deport them following the court proceedings.“Because they were considered rescued at sea, you wouldn’t deport those persons. It wouldn’t be considered a deportation under the circumstances,” Wynter explained.“It wasn’t an illegal entry into the country. What happened is they were fishing, and apparently their boat got into mechanical difficulties and they drifted for a few days and ended up in Jamaican waters. Our coast guard had actually got a request from the Haitian coast guard to assist with search and rescue, so when they were initially taken into custody we didn’t have that information; but after we got it, their status changed because we saw that it was a genuine case of persons in dire need,” the PICA head explained further.The men, natives of Jérémie (a town in south-west Haiti), through an interpreter, told rescuers that they had been at sea for 16 days drifting aimlessly after developing engine problems and running out of fuel.Their small vessel carrying rotting fish and fishing gear, drifted into the waters of St Margaret’s Bay, Portland, where they were found.last_img read more

Virtual Reality Amid Stay-at-home Orders, Lockdowns, School Closures

first_imgMIAMI, Florida –For the first time in almost…well…forever, New York, the city that never sleeps, is in a coma—save for the ubiquitous sounds of ambulances transporting COVID-19 patients. Time Square is a veritable ghost town and the subway is empty…and clean. New York’s Javits Center, usually bustling with thousands of people attending trade shows and conventions, is now a 1200-bed emergency field hospital. Nothing’s the same.There are no sunbathers on Florida’s South Beach, or cruise ships sailing into its ports—except for the Holland America’s Zaandam and Rotterdam hovering in its waters with hundreds of sick passengers waiting to be rescued. To boot, Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a stay-at-home order in the state.The Caribbean, the heartbeat of the region, is rendered quiet without events like Jamaica carnival, and in most countries there, only essential services are permitted. Coronavirus cases are rising and the economic fallout is taking its toll.Meanwhile, Italy—the center of Catholicism—is on total lockdown and Pope Francis’ Holy Week and Easter services, which used to attract tens of thousands of people, will happen without public participation.Airports and seaports are bare, hotels are empty and cruise ships are docked, while trains, buses and other modes of transportation are mostly halted.Colleges, schools, government offices, restaurants, and other businesses are closed or barely operating and people are being encouraged or ordered to stay at home.This coronavirus pandemic has forced the proverbial wheels of production to a halt, and—like it or not—we’re all living in a virtual reality.With people working from home and parents homeschooling their children, the internet has become more of a lifesaver than we’ve ever imagined. College students are continuing their courses online, with professors conducting classes virtually. There are eLearning programs for high schools, middle schools, and even kindergarten. Children, especially those with autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities, who depend on various therapies are unable to go to therapy clinics and many have opted out of in-home therapies as a safety measure. Teletherapy is now how a large number of these children are receiving well-needed services, using platforms such as Doxy, Facetime, and Google Hangouts.Medical patients with non-life-threatening conditions are getting diagnoses and treatments from their doctors through virtual programs like Teladoc…because getting up close and personal can bad for your health.In the traditional media space, hosts on set adhere to social distancing guidelines and are sitting farther apart from each other…others are working from home studios. In fact, we’ve seen more journalists and pundits’ living rooms on TV than on a Property Brothers marathon. Yes, we continue working, having virtual meetings, having church services online or through conference calls. Families living oceans apart or a few blocks away are updating and checking in on each other on social media, through video chats and other communication apps.We are coping…and surviving…by virtue of our online capabilities, using laptops, tablets or cellphones. At a time when “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” seems to be the new anthem, we are closer than ever, through this virtual world.last_img read more

NBA Stars To Hit Baltimore For Exhibition Monday at St. Frances Academy

first_imgUNDER ARMOUR’S NBA PLAYERS BRANDON JENNINGS, DERRICK WILLIAMS, KEMBA WALKER, AND GREIVIS VASQUEZ KICK-OFF “ARE YOU FROM HERE?” EXHIBITION TOUR IN BALTIMORE ON NOVEMBER 7WHAT:To bring basketball back to the fans, Under Armour’s up-and-coming roster of NBA athletes, Brandon Jennings, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and Greivis Vasquez will take on three of the Northeast’s top high school programs in exhibition games that are free and open to the public.  The “Are You From Here?” Tour starts in Baltimore, on November 7, where the UA athletes will play an exhibition game against St. Frances Academy.After the game, Jennings, Williams, Walker, and Vasquez will visit Foot Locker in the Mondawmin Mall to interact with fans, sign autographs, and participate in a Q&A session. For more information, please visit                   Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks Derrick Williams, #2 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Minnesota TimberwolvesKemba Walker, #9 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Charlotte BobcatsGreivis Vasquez of the Memphis GrizzliesWHEN: Exhibition Game: Monday, November 7, 2011 3:30PM – 5:30PM Foot Locker Appearance: Monday, November 7, 2011 6:45PM – 8:45PMWHERE: Exhibition Game: St. Frances Academy501 East Chase StreetBaltimore, MD 21202Foot Locker Appearance: Mondawmin Mall2401 Liberty Heights AveBaltimore, Maryland 21215last_img read more

Rooney’s Departure Was Emotional – Mourinho

first_imgRelated Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho says he felt emotional when Wayne Rooney departed Old Trafford to return to boyhood club, Everton.Wayne Rooney ended his trophy laden 13 years stay at Manchester United last month by moving back to boyhood club Everton, with Romelu Lukaku moving the opposite direction.With just 25 Premier League appearances for United last season, 10 of which he started from the bench, Mourinho noted that it’s in Rooney’s best interest to leave the club for more playing time, but admits missing the 31-year-old striker: “I miss him a lot,”“I think he’s a fantastic guy. I’m not the kind of guy that gets normally emotional in my job and I did it with him when he left.” Mourinho said253 – Wayne Rooney departs Manchester United as the club’s all-time record goalscorer, with 253 goals in all competitions. Emotional.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 9, 2017The Portuguese manager continued: “But I’m sure that he’s going to be very, very good for Everton and Everton is going to be very, very good for him,”16 – In 2002, Wayne Rooney became the youngest player to score a @premierleague goal, netting for Everton vs Arsenal (16y 360d). Return.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 9, 2017“It was not difficult because he deserves that, it’s not difficult. He deserves what he got and what he got was our desire for him to stay and our respect by letting it be completely clear that we would like him to stay.”“And at the same time, the respect that allows him to be happy – allow him to try to play every game, every minute which honestly I think he needs.”last_img read more

3 English Teams Down, 2 To Go As Chelsea Thrash Qarabag To Secure Last…

first_imgEnglish Premier League (EPL) champions Chelsea have qualified for the first knockout stage of the Champions League following their 4-0 win over lowly Qarabag away from home.The Blues started as massive favourites and that position was strengthened after Qarabag defender Rashad Sadygov was sent off for a professional foul. Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard scored the resultant penalty with 21 minutes gone before Brazilian star Willian added a second goal nine minutes from the interval.Spanish midfielder Cess Fabregas netted Chelsea’s third from another spot kick before Willian completed his brace with five minutes left to give the Stamford Bridge outfit a comprehensive victory and a place in the last 16.Chelsea have now joined Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the first knockout stage.In the other early Champions League kickoff, goals from Georgi Schennikov and Jardel OG gave CSKA Moscow a 2-0 win over Portuguese champions Benfica at home thus boosting their chances of securing a place in the first knockout stages. Relatedlast_img read more