zoom The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Transport Authority (FTA) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have agreed to work together to tackle abandonment cases in UAE waters.FTA and ITF officials met this week to discuss the increasing number of abandonment cases faced by the UAE and the Gulf State’s desire to bring an end to the problem.Both parties agreed to develop a protocol to govern a closer working relationship, including increased cooperation and information exchange.The FTA officials announced that they would push for the UAE to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and the ITF committed to provide advice, training and expertise to assist with this. “The scourge of shipowners who think that they can dump their ships and leave their crews without pay and essential supplies must be brought to an end. It is good to know that the FTA is taking the initiative and have already banned the vessels of one shipowner who repeatedly abused seafarers’ rights. This is setting a good example to other states in the region and I hope they will follow suit,” David Heindel, chair of the ITF seafarers’ section, said.The move comes on the heels of FTA’s ban on Varun’s ships from calling the UAE ports earlier this month.India-based LPG shipowning company is a repeat offender when it comes to seafarer abandonment cases in UAE ports and waters.The latest instance of crew abandonment involves the company’s 1991-built ship Maharshi Vamandeva.The ship’s crew has been abandoned and left without basic provisions and fuel as well as lack of medical care. The seafarers have also been denied their salaries.Separately, Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) today called for renewed and reinvigorated international efforts to deliver faster solutions, effective remedies and repatriation for all stranded and abandoned seafarers in the global shipping industry, and a greater focus on naming and shaming owners who otherwise revel in their impunity from being held accountable.According to HRAS, the shipping community, as a body, lacks firm leadership and effective tools to end owner’s impunity from prosecution, provide effective sanctions, and fails to provide an effective remedy for the very human beings which provide the lifeblood of the industry, and its profit.Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) said in June of this year, that amid industry concerns and the media coverage about unreported crew abandonment cases IMO, along with ILO, the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have been working hard to address these matters, adding that ILO’s database on abandonment cases has been updated.Over the last five years, 12 to 19 crew abandonment incidents were reported annually and 1,013 seafarers were involved in total, the International Labour Organization (ILO) told World Maritime News.Furthermore, figures from this year, as of July 31, show that 28 abandonment cases were reported, involving 339 seafarers.However, HRAS claims that this is not true as many cases being tackled by the charity have not been included in the database.Furthermore, the ILO database, originally supported by the International Shipsuppliers & Services Association and established on 1 April 2005, is said to have been handed over to a commercial company, Right Ship.A question is being raised if UN bodies cannot achieve what is needed with senior diplomatic intervention, what real hope is there?“Progress on this issue continues to be painfully slow and the true reality is that the industry really does not care despite what is postured and articulated by retained media teams keen to keep positive messaging flowing,” HRAS said.According to the charity, a potential way forward should include identifying the weaknesses and individual failures to address impunity at state-level, and holding port and flag states accountable, where applicable.“Get the issue on the table as a long-term priority at the IMO and ILO and provide a long-term solution, not soundbites, and certainly not have it undertaken behind closed doors thereby exacerbating the current lack of transparency in the shipping community.“In the meantime, the evidence being submitted to our charity tells a compelling story of owners who continue to revel in their impunity. Further, it appears that crews around the world increasingly realize that other routes for reporting their plight are being quietly suppressed, are overseen and funded by entities with vested interests in controlling the narrative and the data, and as a consequence, their stories are rarely told,” HRAS said.As an example, Human Rights at Sea pointed to the case of Indian seafarers stranded on the MT Dharma, a vessel abandoned off the UAE coast in Ajman anchorage for the past ten months.“The state of the MT Dharma vessel reportedly owned by Alco Shipping Services, … is factually terrible. From the presented evidence, it appears unseaworthy and despite the pleas of an experienced Master, his voice has been left unheard, until now,” HRAS said.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppEvening News Break, April 29th, 2019Listen Now **Tomorrow morning you can support a cook out to aid in the #medical#expenses of Roshara Williams at #CIBC FirstCaribbean, Leeward Highway branch.**New insurer in the country shared what research exposed are factors for the #Caribbean people not securing insurance for their properties.**#Security #companies have little to no #legislation to support their own, personal security. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Gas prices rise in San Diego County to highest amount since July 2015 KUSI Newsroom May 2, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose three-tenths of a cent today to $4.092, its highest amount since July 28, 2015, one day after increasing four-tenths of a cent.The average price is 2.9 cents more than one week ago, 45.8 cents higher than one month ago and 43 cents greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.“Price averages in the region have not moved up too much in the last several days but they are not coming down either due to continued refinery production problems,” Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California said. “Once refineries start coming back online, the prices should start to come down. The expectation would be that refineries would be up and running at full capacity sometime in May, but that all depends on the extent of needed repairs.” Posted: May 2, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
WILMINGTON, MA — Diane L. (Zinck) Peak, age 79, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on February 7, 2019.Diane was the beloved wife of 60 years to the late Donald E. Peak, devoted mother of Jennie Pelletier & her husband Joseph of Chelmsford and Douglas Peak & his wife Karen of Woodbridge, VA. Cherished “Nana” of Sarah and Conner Peak, dear daughter of the late Edith (Norse) and Patsy Ceruolo, loving step-sister of Richie & Donna Ceruolo of East Boston and Marie Anzalone of Revere. Diane is also survived by several nieces and nephews as well as many friends.Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, February 15th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Diane’s Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 11:00 a.m. in the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St., Wilmington. Interment will follow in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.In lieu of flowers, donations in Diane’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452.Diane L. Peak(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Lucille C. (Enos) Gilson, 77In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Janet E. Manuel, 79In “Obituary”OBITUARY: Pauline F. (Lascelles) Capps, 86In “Obituaries”
Angela Lang/CNET Share your voice Tags Read the Rylo camera preview See at Amazon Sci-Tech Tech Industry Comments Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sarah Tew/CNET Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Amazon Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. The Cheapskate $59 at eBay Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Read the AirPods review Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $999 Read DJI Osmo Action preview Post a comment Boost Mobile $60 at Best Buy $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Best Buy What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Turo Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Sarah Tew/CNET Tags Sprint 7 Read Google Home Hub review Sarah Tew/CNET Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. $210 at Best Buy See it The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. See It $155 at Google Express I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) $6 at Tidal See It Share your voice Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Sarah Tew/CNET Donald Trump,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) 0 Chris Monroe/CNET $999 Kelvin Droegemeier, vice president of research and professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, has been confirmed as Trump’s top science adviser. OU School Meterology via YouTube The US Senate late Wednesday confirmed extreme-weather specialist Kelvin Droegemeier as President Donald Trump’s top science and technology adviser, after a lengthy vacancy.Droegemeier will be the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising the president on science matters that affect the country’s economy, national security, environment, health and foreign relations. The role had been vacant for nearly two years, the office’s longest stretch without a leader.The OSTP staffing level has plummeted under the Trump administration, which has alienated many scientists, in particular over the issue of global climate change. Former OSTP director John Holdren, who served during the presidency of Barack Obama, told the journal Science in 2017 that the office had peaked at 135 employees but dropped to 35. Droegemeier previously served as vice president of research and professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. A meteorologist by training, Droegemeier has also been active in government, serving as Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology. He was also appointed to the National Science Board in 2004 and 2011. Droegemeier didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Rylo HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental $999 See It Apple iPhone XS Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $520 at HP Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. See at Turo Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $999 $299 at Amazon DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89)
Enlarge ImageThe Arc Vector is a wildly expensive, superlimited, carbon-fiber electric motorcycle designed and built in the UK. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Remember when the Harley-Davidson Livewire’s pricing was announced, and people were livid that it was going to cost over $30,000? Well, those same people are likely to burst a blood vessel when they see the Arc Vector’s price tag. Now, to be totally fair, the Livewire is meant to be a volume production motorcycle, and the Arc Vector — which Arc announced earlier this month — is a superlimited functional design study, so the fact that it’s going to set its 399 potential buyers back $111,000 is less of a surprise. Still, that’s a boatload of greenbacks, so what do you get for all that money? What you’re getting the most of is style, and for a “This doesn’t look like anything else”-to-dollars ratio, it’s not such a bad deal. Still, it’s not going to be for everyone, and personally, I think it’s a little “much,” but taste is subjective. Next, you get a ton of carbon fiber. Most of the bike is made of the stuff. That includes the bike’s monocoque frame and both of its swing arms. Yes, that’s right, I said both. It’s got a swing arm up front, too, because it uses hub-center steering. All that carbon helps keep weight down to a respectable 485 pounds, which is comparable to most ICE-powered sportbikes. You’re also getting a surprising amount of claimed range for your motorcycle dollar. The makers of the Vector suggest that it’s capable of 270 miles combined. That outpaces just about every other electric moto on the market if it’s legit, even if that’s measured on the slightly more generous WLTP cycle rather than our EPA cycle. As far as power goes, with 133 horsepower on tap, you’re not going to set the world on fire. But it’s always torque that shines with electric motors and the Vector delivers on that front. It produces a healthy 293 pound-feet of the stuff — that’s significantly more than a late-model Volkswagen TDi motor, but without any of the pesky environmental concerns. Is the Arc Vector worth its wild asking price? We haven’t ridden it so we can’t say for sure, but based solely on the numbers and aesthetics, we’d say no, but that’s just us. We’d probably go and buy three Livewires and find two friends to ride with instead. 35 Photos Tags Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 Originally published June 14. Correction, June 17 at 10:16 a.m.: Corrects the Vector’s torque figure, which was based on a typo in the news release. 3:03 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value More From Roadshow Now playing: Watch this: 0 Riding Harley-Davidson’s all-electric Project LiveWire… Post a comment 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous The Arc Vector is equal parts design study, science experiment and motorcycle 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Share your voice Motorcycles Electric Cars
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin wedding dateJustin Bieber (@justinbieber/Instagram)Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are technically husband and wife as they both have already married in an NYC courthouse. The couple, however, intended to get married in front of friends and family and as per reports, we might get to see Justin and Hailey’s wedding pictures soon as they are planning to throw the extravagant wedding party somewhere in September 2019.Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin shocked their millions of fans when last September when they secretly got married after a couple of months of dating. Many considered it as a hasty decision but as this one year has turned out, Justin and Hailey are perfect for each. They both have supported each other in every thick and thin, it won’t be wrong to say that Hailey is a perfect match for Justin.Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have been planning a second wedding ceremony for a very long time. Earlier they wanted to throw a grand party right before the Canadian pop singer’s 25th birthday. But as we all know, the “Sorry” singer is currently facing some health issues and that is why they decided to hold on to the wedding ceremony. But fans will soon get to see Justin Bieber in his black tux waiting for Hailey Baldwin as she will walk down the aisle.As per the latest report, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are reportedly planning a large wedding around the same time as their first wedding anniversary. The next event would serve as a celebration for their family and friends. Their first anniversary is on September 13, so as per reports, they might be celebrating with family and friends around the same time only. Justin Bieber and Hailey BaldwinJustin Bieber Official Instagram (justinbieber)Reportedly, the acclaimed model is working closely with a wedding planner and they all are pretty excited for the upcoming nuptials. The insider revealed that the “Never Say Never” singer began seeking treatment for depression in February and continues to focus on his health only but as of now, he is doing fine.”He keeps getting treatments and working on maintaining good mental health,” the source adds via People. “He is producing music but taking things slowly. He is learning how to manage his life better just in general.”Well, fans from around the world are pretty excited to see how Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin will throw their grand wedding party. We are sure their wedding guest list will include several of their A-list celebrity friends. It should be noted that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s reps are yet to comment on the second wedding date. It may change for some unforeseen reasons.
US President Donald Trump holds up an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump yanked the United States out of a major Pacific trade deal Monday, making good on an election campaign promise and delivering a hammer blow to Asian allies.Trump said he had “terminated” the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade deal binding the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Vietnam and seven other allies against growing Chinese economic clout.Together, TPP members represent 40 percent of the world economy.After signing an executive order, Trump said he would be “going back to those countries one-on-one” to find terms more favorable to the United States.“We are going to have trade but we are going to have one-on-one,” he said.“And if somebody misbehaves, we are going to send a letter of termination — 30 days and they’ll either straighten it out or we are gone.”Trump came to office promising to gut existing trade pacts and reclaim manufacturing jobs lost overseas.Trump has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.Economists warn those jobs are never coming back and point to automation, not trade, as the main reason.But Trump has sought to tap populist anger and argued for much more transactional trade deals, regardless of the impact on international norms and standards.‘Serious mistake’?According to a Peterson Institute analysis, the United States stood to be the biggest beneficiary from TPP, with an annual increase in exports of $357 billion.The Institute also projected that the pact would be broadly neutral for employment levels.President Barack Obama’s administration had also touted the deal as a strategic counterweight to China.Trump’s Republican ally John McCain described the new president’s decision as a “serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region.”“It will create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers. And it will send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time we can least afford it.”It remains far from clear whether countries that have spent years negotiating the TPP would be willing to enter new talks.“The US already has trade deals with six of the 11 TPP partner countries so that leaves a handful of countries for potential new deals, most notably Japan,” said Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute.“The emphasis on bilaterals is based on the perception that the US gave up too much in the TPP and will get better concessions from other trading partners in bilateral deals,” she said.“But it’s not clear that would be the case. The US actually gave few new concessions in the TPP in big areas like services and government procurement,” Cimino-Isaacs added.“At the same time, it was able to get greater concessions from countries like Japan in exchange for helping secure market access and agreement on high standards in other TPP markets.”Tax cutsLater Monday, Trump met with Congressional leaders and had private talks with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.Tax reform is likely to be high on the agenda.“What we’re doing is we are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies,” Trump said Monday.To pay for those cuts, Trump has promised a “border tax,” which is likely to come in the form of increased tariffs on exports.That move is likely to face a challenge at the World Trade Organization and from big-box retailers.Trump also vowed Monday to cut regulation “massively” by up to 75 percent. It remains unclear how this would be done or quantified.Rocky startTrump signed two other executive orders Monday—freezing the hiring of federal workers and hitting foreign NGOs that help with abortion.The Republican leader is looking to shift attention firmly back onto his policy agenda after a first few days that put his incoming administration on the back foot.Since he was sworn in on Friday, Trump’s White House has been pilloried for lying to the public about inaugural crowds and over a campaign-style speech by the president before a memorial to fallen CIA officers.On Saturday, several million Americans poured onto the streets for women-led demonstrations against Trump, the scale of which were unseen in a generation, in a potent rebuke to the president.Trump has upbraided top aides over unfavorable media coverage on everything from crowd sizes to suggestions he has ruled out releasing his taxes. He is the first presidential candidate in recent memory not to do so.
Woman accuses Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of dismissing sex abuse case Ken Chitwood Share This! Tagshomepage featured Islam Jordan Ramadan Top Story,You may also like Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Catholicism As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! By: Ken Chitwood Share This! Ken Chitwood,Add Comment Click here to post a comment By: Ken Chitwood By: Ken Chitwood We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Churches wipe out millions in medical debt for others Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,AMMAN, Jordan (RNS) — After navigating the congested streets and traffic circles in Amman to make it home in time for iftar — a meal to break the fast each evening during the holy month of Ramadan — Mohammed Firas waits for the call from the minaret to mark the end of fasting for the day.Taking a sip of water and a bite out of the dates set before him, he sits for a moment to savor his friends around the dinner table before the meal begins. On the table is his mother’s mulukhiyah (a kind of stew made of leafy greens), bread, rice, chicken and finger foods like sambousek and kibbeh.Around the table, the friends talk about anime shows, the difficulties and blessings of fasting, and politics.Some discuss international relations and regional tensions, but Firas’ concerns lie much closer to home. Frustrated with the current state of affairs in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, he expresses a desire to depart.Friends gathered for an iftar meal catch up and discuss life, politics and the future on the south side of Amman, Jordan. RNS photo by Ken Chitwood“Sometimes, I don’t know if it is worth it to stay. I wonder if I should just leave to start over somewhere new,” he said.Although Ramadan is meant to be a month of prayer, self-discipline and charity toward those less fortunate, it also provides opportunities for reflection on the social and political realities for young Jordanians uncertain about their kingdom’s future.While some remain optimistic about the state of the country, many others this Ramadan express a certain pessimism and hopelessness.Jordan is often considered a steady ship in a sea of chaos in the Middle East. However, a year of protests, continuing economic decline and social frustrations over what is seen as poor governance have brought frustrations in the kingdom to new, and worrisome, levels.The pressures come from both inside and outside the kingdom.Positioned amid Syria’s ongoing internecine conflict, Iraq’s seemingly endless sectarian strife, Egypt’s authoritarian governance and the ceaseless strain between Israel and Palestine, Jordan’s relative calm seems quasi-miraculous.RELATED: What is Eid and how do Muslims celebrate it? 6 questions answeredAdd to this context the recent saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran, and sentiments among young Jordanians take on understandably worried tones.After noon prayers in the blissfully climate-controlled interior of the Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque in Aqaba, men of different ages gather in small circles to find respite from the midday heat, which only exacerbates the feelings of discomfort and exhaustion brought on by fasting from food and drink all day.Men young and old gather in the Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque in Aqaba, Jordan, to discuss fasting, family and politics. RNS photo by Ken ChitwoodIn one corner, I strike up a conversation with Salaamu, a young man who worked at the seaport in Jordan’s most southern city, on the Red Sea coast. For safety reasons, he asked that only his first name be used.More potent to Salaamu than the fatigue of fasting is the fear he feels for Jordan’s future.“We are afraid,” he said, “Trump and America have not learned the lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan. No war in this region is quick and easy. Why start a war with Iran? Why make things worse in Palestine?“Everyone in Jordan is afraid right now,” he said.Back in Amman, Firas continues to be concerned with more domestic issues. After breaking the fast together at a local restaurant that serves date smoothies, he shows me a video from protests he participated in during Ramadan 2018.Gathering at one of the city’s many traffic interchanges — the Fourth Circle — the largely peaceful protests saw a mix of Jordanians from across social classes gather in the evening hours after iftar from May 30 to June 7 last year to challenge austerity measures and new taxes that many saw as adding more strain on an already overburdened and underemployed populace.The protests led to the resignation of then-Prime Minister Hani Mulki, a freeze on fuel and electricity price hikes, and the withdrawal of an unpopular tax bill.“We felt like we had achieved something, real change,” said Firas.The King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, Jordan, hosts up to 3,000 Muslims for Friday prayers each week. Photo by Dennis Jarvis/Creative CommonsYet, months later, frustrations flared up again as the economic situation deteriorated even further, the cost of necessities such as food and rent rose even higher and corruption continued to plague the government of the current prime minister, Omar Razzaz.Then, in late 2018, the Economic and Social Council headed by a trusted adviser to King Abdullah II, Mustafa Hamarneh, issued a scathing report on Jordan’s nepotism, ineptitude and corruption.The ESC’s “State of the Country” report outlined how economic growth plans and job creation schemes in Jordan get bogged down in a tangled mess of bureaucracy, impassivity and incompetence. For example, from 2002-2019, nine different government strategies meant to stimulate the economy and address unemployment failed to produce any tangible results, according to the report.Turnover and turmoil in Jordan’s democracy haven’t helped. Since 2000, there were 11 different governments with 370 different ministers, nearly 70 percent of whom had no political experience to speak of.Breaking the Ramadan fast at iftar provides opportunities for eating and drinking seasonal specialties. RNS photo by Ken ChitwoodYoung people across the country are particularly unsettled with the current state of affairs. The official unemployment rate for Jordan lies at 18 percent, according to the World Bank, but is as high as 40 percent for those under 25. Even with college degrees, it can take years for young people in Jordan to find employment.A report from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in cooperation with TNS Infratest Political Research and the University of Leipzig, Germany, found that two-thirds of young people (aged 18 to 30) work only part time or not at all and nearly half of those employed do so on a contingent basis.Young people wrestle with emigrating for better opportunities or sticking around to cope with the uncertainty that faces them at home.Like Firas, Nadine Asad fears the uncertainty.A Jordanian with a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Toronto, she returned to Jordan despite having opportunities abroad.“Lots of people are looking towards immigration and have a very negative outlook, but still remain loyal to Jordan and what it stands for,” Asad said.At the same time, “there is a lot of apathy and disassociation because people believe they can’t effect change or because they are too busy with life to put in the effort,” she said.The pace of modern life and a lack of public spaces make it hard for young Jordanians to come together, she said. At Ramadan, however, life slows down and social gatherings become more common.“At Ramadan, there is always an increase in social interactions amongst people, and with it comes talk about politics,” Asad said. “Ramadan is like the January of the Middle East — everyone tries to stay fit, get more religious, make changes — but how far those resolutions carry on is an open question,” she said.“The sense is that major change is coming to Jordan,” she said, “but whether this is positive or negative, we are uncertain.” Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts News
Share Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.An aerial view of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Aug. 31. Once homes flood, bacteria can multiply faster than in flooded areas outdoors.Water in some flooded Houston homes is contaminated with bacteria, lead and other toxins, according to a New York Times report. The paper organized testing in two Houston neighborhoods with experts from Baylor Medical College and Rice University, along with the Houston health department.One home was found to have 135 times the level of E. coli bacteria that is considered safe.The contaminants ended up in homes after sewage treatment plants in Houston saw more water than they could handle during Hurricane Harvey.Houston’s storm drainage and water treatment systems are supposed to be independent of one another, but an unprecedented amount of rainfall brought storm water into treatment plants.“When we get very heavy rainfall and flooding, there is infiltration [of storm water] that occurs in these sewer lines,” Lauren Stadler, an assistant professor of of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University who took part in the Times‘ research, tells Houston Public Media. “That can basically overload our treatment plants.”Because those treatment plants were overloaded, engineers had to rush incoming water through, skipping a step in the treatment process. The plants then emptied the partially treated water into Houston’s bayous. Those bayous flooded, letting contaminated water into people’s homes.Once homes flood, Stadler says, they become good environments for bacteria to multiply. The warmth and stagnant water provided by a flooded structure, when combined with the nutrients from sewage, mean that bacteria can multiply faster inside homes than in flooded areas outdoors.Stadler urges people not to make direct contact with floodwaters, if possible. She notes that while draining water will take most contaminants along with it, residents of flooded homes should have their houses disinfected after waters recede.
Annapolis, MD: The members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (LBCM) voted to elect an Executive Board featuring Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn (Economic Matters) as Chair, Delegate Darryl Barnes (Ways and Means) as 1st Vice Chair, Delegate Edith J. Patterson (Ways and Means) as 2nd Vice Chair, Delegate Benjamin Brooks, Sr. (Economic Matters) as Treasurer, and Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (Health and Government Operations) as Secretary to lead the caucus for the next two years.“The political necessity that spurred the foundation of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is still present today, with as much fervor — just a different form,” said Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, when asked why she ran for Chair. The new Executive Board plans to go above and beyond what is expected of the Caucus. With an amplified focus on community outreach, the Black Caucus plans to bolster relationships with Black community leaders across the state to improve the quality of life for Black citizens.“We are uniquely positioned to influence change and improve the quality of life of Black citizens no matter where they live. That’s exactly what we intend to do,” stated Delegate Darryl Barnes, 1st Vice Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, when asked what was new this time around.The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland Inc. was established in 1970 to serve as a legislative body for the Black communities across the state of Maryland, advocating policies that promote Black progress. The Black Caucus drafts and sponsors legislation that improve the lives of Black Marylanders, while examining all bills and their impact on the Black communities around the state.