A year into MeToo whats next for the movement

first_imgA year into #MeToo, what’s next for the movement? by Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press Posted Oct 23, 2018 10:02 am PDT Last Updated Oct 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – By the end of her impassioned speech last week in front of a crowded hotel ballroom, Alyssa Milano was choking back tears.The words “Me Too,” the actress and activist told her audience, would continue to ring out as long as society needed them, “reverberating off every closed door, bouncing off every glass ceiling.”“This movement is not going anywhere,” she declared, “until our work is done.”Offstage stood activist Tarana Burke, who had just presented Milano with her award from the New York Women’s Foundation. It had been exactly a year since Milano had sent her famous “Me Too” tweet, echoing an expression Burke had coined more than a decade earlier, and awakened the next morning “to a different world,” in Burke’s words.Now, the two women, and others associated with the movement, are assessing progress, looking ahead, and trying to decide what’s next, a year after the scandalous Harvey Weinstein allegations exploded into public consciousness.It’s also a moment when some are speaking of so-called “setbacks” to the movement. Earlier this month, a New York judge dropped one of the sexual assault charges against Weinstein, amid accusations of misconduct by a detective in the case. And there was the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite an allegation of sexual assault from accuser Christine Blasey Ford, which he denied, and the explosive hearings and protests that accompanied the ordeal.“I’m just glad we’re no longer fighting that battle,” Milano, who attended the hearing in solidarity with Ford, said in an interview, “because I think we all need to take a moment to breathe, assess the situation, heal a little bit, and think about what comes next.”What does come next? For Milano, the key battleground is the cultural one. “We obviously lost the political battle with Kavanaugh, we might be losing the legal battle with Harvey, but I think that we’re constantly striving to win the cultural battle, and sometimes that has to happen first,” she said. “So I still have a lot of hope. I don’t think that there’s any real movement that’s linear. I always say, ‘(Expletive) is gonna get broken.’”Also preferring to see the glass half full is Debra Katz, who was already one of the nation’s most prominent attorneys in the arena of sexual assault and harassment litigation when she gained instant recognition as Ford’s attorney.Though the outcome of that case was obviously not what she’d hoped, “I think anytime the world listens to four hours of someone’s testimony and gives rapt attention to the experiences of a sexual assault survivor, the world is transformed,” Katz said in an interview.“And that was a direct result of the power of this movement. I do believe significant progress has been made, and will continue to be made.”But Katz, who declined to comment specifically on her representation of Ford, said it’s obvious that certain institutions “have not kept pace with the cultural shift that we’re experiencing. Congress continues to be deeply flawed, and the majority at these hearings had a foregone conclusion. But I don’t think that’s a failing of the movement.”What’s in the future? First of all, more legal cases. Attorneys like Katz are busier than they’ve ever been, due to increased willingness of women to come forward. And they’re finding, she says, that employers are much more receptive to resolving cases.“What I’ve seen that feels very different, as a lawyer who’s handled this type of case for more than 30 years, is that companies are acting more promptly and taking claims more seriously, and actually terminating wrongdoers even if they’re at the highest levels of corporations.”On top of that, Katz says, there’s a growing recognition that current laws governing workplace sexual harassment are inadequate, with standards of proof that too high, and damages too low — all impediments to bringing a case.“There’s nothing promising being done in Congress, so we see many states acting to fill those voids,” she says. “Important things are happening legislatively that will lead to greater rights and protections in the workplace.”A number of states, spurred by the revelations of the #MeToo movement, have introduced or enacted legislation that goes beyond current federal regulations on workplace sexual harassment. Much of it has been concerned with limiting or banning non-disclosure agreements or forced arbitration; several states have already enacted such legislation. Legislation has also been introduced in some states that would require sexual harassment training for employers and employees.Policy is also on Milano’s mind; she’s been advocating for a new push to pass the long-stalled Equal Rights Amendment. She also calls for school curriculums to include gender equality for a young age. And she says there needs to be more participation in #MeToo from a key constituency: Men.“It’s frustrating that more men haven’t offered to be part of the movement,” she says. “Because women are really at the forefront of every movement, lending their support.” At the awards dinner, she told men: “We can’t do it without you.”For Milano, even criticism of the movement can be a force for progress. “Bring it,” she says. “Because for me, the criticism is where we have the meaningful conversations.” Part of the blowback has included the #HimToo hashtag, popularized during the Kavanaugh controversy, in which people express concerns about men being unfairly targeted by false assault claims. (Advocates say sexual assault is underreported, not overreported.) First lady Melania Trump also said recently that women “need to show the evidence” before coming forward with sexual misconduct claims.To Burke, who coined “Me Too” in 2006 to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, much of the back-and-forth has been a distraction from the real point of it all: Helping survivors of sexual violence.She’s been spending recent months beefing up the resources and programming at her own group, “me too.,” which works with survivors in marginalized communities. Helped by funding from the women’s foundation , the Brooklyn-based group has recently expanded its digital support network with the aim to be a major national resource. It is also working on training and funding counsellors across the country to help survivors in their own communities.On a broader level, Burke says a key goal, in this second year of the movement, is to redefine “the way we think about victory.” This is not, she says, a tennis match.“I think so many people are watching this like it’s, ‘a point for #MeToo, a point for the other side,’” she says. “It’s not a tennis match and it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. We’re talking about a greater body of work than just Harvey Weinstein going to jail.”And Burke has been buoyed by the fact that with every new challenge, more supporters join her struggle. “Every time we go out, every time we march, every time we rally, we bring new people into the fold, and we embolden the people who are already here,” she says, citing the recent anti-Kavanaugh protests in Washington.Katz, too, finds reason for hope in the numbers — and demographics — of people becoming active in the movement.“The fact that we’re even having a national dialogue about sexual assault in schools and you’re seeing young girls organizing, with petition drives and conversations — all that is significant progress,” the attorney says.“And it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a long and protracted battle, but I think the energy has been unleashed by this #MeToo movement. We’re not going to continue to be silent.”center_img FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2018 file photo, actress and activist Alyssa Milano listens as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Now that the #MeToo movement has passed the one-year mark, key voices in the movement are assessing progress and looking forward to the next phase. For actress Milano, it’s about winning the cultural battle, despite a perceived setback with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, file) last_img read more

August 23 2000 Multitalented Scott Riley and Jef

first_imgAugust 23, 2000Multi-talented Scott Riley and Jeff Buderer are working in the heat duct tunnelbuilding a new copper piping system. Photo by: DoctressNeutopialast_img

Missing man found

first_imgCzech national David Smolla, 42, a permanent resident of Paphos who has been missing from his home since March 24 has been found, police said on Wednesday.Police said Smolla was in good health.You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Auditorgeneral has become a tool of the opposition

first_imgAuditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said on Wednesday his office has so far dealt with three controversial cases concerning public servants who also hold political office.In his ongoing spat with Finance Minister Harris Georgiades over their interpretation of the law concerning the case of Savia Orphanidou, a civil servant and Disy party official who was also recently appointed to the European Investment Bank (EIB), Michaelides said that the minister was attempting to attack the independence of the Audit Office. He accused Georgiades of attempting to influence which cases the service should investigate, “depending on his own partisan or other criteria”.The dispute began following a probe by the Audit Office, acting on a complaint filed by Akel MP Irene Charalambidou, concerning Orphanidou.   Charalambidou argued that Orphanidou – a finance ministry employee and member of Disy’s political bureau – may have been violating the law by holding posts in a political party and the public service, without the legally required permission of the Public Service Commission (PSC).In a letter to Georgiades, the auditor-general asked the finance minister to launch a disciplinary probe into Orphanidou’s appointments and to also explain how she came to be selected for appointment to the EIB in January, a move widely regarded as being politically driven.Georgiades had replied that Orphanidou had been in no conflict because her election to the party’s political bureau had preceded the 2015 law that made PSC permission for political and public-service office mandatory. Orphanidou has held the Disy post since 2012.The minister said last week that Orphanidou’s targeting was “unfair” and “suspect”, and that he would not accept the targeting of a civil servant just because an opposition MP requested the auditor-general to do so. He added that instances of civil servants routinely participating in parties’ bodies abound.On Wednesday Georgiades told state broadcaster CyBC that the institution of the auditor-general had lost its independence and objectivity and that Michaelides had become a tool of the opposition by targeting Orphanidou in cooperation with an Akel MP. The minister said that he had ordered an administrative probe into the matter which has been completed and that he would submit the findings to Michaelides.In response, the auditor-general said in a statement that “the position of the minister that the Audit Office should not investigate reports submitted by opposition MPs is unprecedented, and equally alarming”.The statement also refuted Georgiades’ claims that the investigation of complaints filed by MPs “indicate the loss of our independence and objectivity”.“We didn’t hear him protest when we received reports from MPs of his own party,” it said.The Audit Office said it had dealt so far with three such cases, concerning public servants who may have been violating the law by holding party posts, and which it chose to announce “to prove that […] our service does not act selectively”.The first such case concerned a report filed prior to 2015 over a municipal secretary who was also a Diko official. It emerged that the person in question had first obtained a permit from the municipal council – the equivalent body of the PSC for local government – and then assumed political office.The second case concerned a recent complaint against a municipal employee who was also a member of an Akel district committee.The municipal council, it said, received legal advice which said that the office the person in question held did not fall within the definition of ‘party office’ as described by law.The third case, it said, was that of Orphanidou “for which the minister, instead of ordering a probe into the report we submitted to him, attacked us […] calling our intervention ‘suspect’ and adopting the logic that, since everyone breaks the law, the official of my own party can do so too”.In a statement on Tuesday, Michaelides rejected the finance minister’s arguments, saying that according to the 2015 law, PSC permission for civil servants to hold party posts may only be granted if “the duties of their post in public service are not, in any way, compromised or affected by holding the relevant office in a political party”.In any case, the law prior to 2015 only allowed civil servants to be “mere members of a political party, not hold senior posts” he said.In its own statement on Wednesday, Disy said that because many public servants also hold political offices, it was not right for one to be targeted.“Any review process should be comprehensive and cover all cases,” the party said, adding that it was also the obligation of those affected to obtain the necessary permission from the PSC, and urged those who still had not to do so.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

UCy med school contracts still in limbo

first_imgThe minister of health’s proposal concerning the pay of academics at state hospitals is being studied by government doctors.The unions have taken some days to study the proposal and get back to the health ministry, Phileleftheros reports.The matter relates to the Medical School of the University of Cyprus (UCy) whereby, under an agreement with the health ministry its academic staff will receive clinical training at state hos-pitals.In a bid to block the arrangement, government doctors had previously threatened strike action.Meanwhile a bill placing the collaboration between the UCy medical school and state hospitals within a legal framework is now being finalised, with the aim of sending it to parliament by September.According to the health ministry’s calculations, the arrangement will generate savings for the state.Under the proposal, academics (from lecturers to tenured professors) of the medical school would spend 50 per cent of their working time at state hospitals, but would only be paid an ex-tra 20 to 30 per cent.The work at state hospitals would include both clinical and administrative duties.The unions representing government doctors are said to oppose this, arguing that the academic clinicians should not be compensated at all for their time at state hospitals – although this de-mand of theirs has yet to be put in writing.Meanwhile UCy announced on Tuesday that it was pressing ahead with the selection of the five members of the medical school’s academic staff and the election of the Dean.More than 100 applications had been received from Greece, the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and other countries, the university said.It said it would soon be opening seven more positions for academic staff, and planned to sub-sequently ask permission from the state for nine more positions.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Three more arrests in the north with alleged Gulen ties

first_imgAuthorities in the north have arrested three more persons as part of an ongoing operation to track down individuals believed to have ties to Feto, shorthand for ‘Fetullah terrorist organisation’.According to reports, the three placed under arrest are a police officer, his wife, and a third individual.They were expected to appear in a court for their remand hearing.Fetullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric, is claimed to be behind last year’s attempted coup in Turkey.Reports earlier this year said that 200 policemen in the north were being investigated in connection with potential links to Gulen’s organisation.In January this year, nine colonels serving in the north were arrested after an investigation linked them to the alleged terror organisation.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cyprus Greece discuss arms sales under EU defence umbrella

first_imgCyprus and Greece on Monday discussed possibilities for cooperation in the defence industry within the framework of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco).Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides met in Nicosia with Greece’s Alternate Minister of Defence Dimitris Vitsas, who is in Cyprus to attend a ceremony on Tuesday for the handover of remains belonging to Greek nationals who died in August 1964 while on board the patrol boat Phaethon at Tyllirias when it was bombed by Turkey.In statements after Monday’s meeting, Fokaides said Cypriot companies were interested in producing dual-use products, to be used both for military and non-military purposes.He said Nicosia aimed to increase defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP in line with the broader European target under Pesco, which is also along the lines of what Nato members are required to spend.Fokaides also announced that the two sides finalised a contract for the procurement of 11 general-purpose trucks, which had been pending.Fokaides said various obstacles to the procurement of military equipment to Cyprus were being lifted through Pesco, which he said was a significant development.Following the 1974 invasion, Cyprus could not procure arms from the US or Europe. The US embargo was lifted in late 2015 for defensive weapons only. Cyprus has bought arms over the years from Russia and Greece.  In the late 80s France agreed to sell the Republic its first serious hardware in the form of modern battle tanks, anti-tank helicopters, anti-tank missiles, and self-propelled artillery.Vitsas said cooperation between Athens and Nicosia was constantly being pushed forward and it had on Monday taken another step towards this. Referring to Pesco, Vitsas said that Greece and Cyprus insisted on including regional defence industries in the overall EU framework, along with the major European arms suppliers.The Greek Minister also met on Monday with Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Photis Photiou ahead of Tuesday’s handover of remains. After the meeting, he sent out an appeal to all involved in the issue of missing persons to cooperate at the highest level to resolve the humanitarian concern.  You May LikeMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online – See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cyprus records the largest unemployment annual fall in the EU

first_imgCyprus registered, once again, the largest annual decrease in unemployment for August 2018, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.Unemployment in Cyprus dropped from 10.5% in August 2017 to 7.5% (7.0% in males and 7.9% in females) for August 2018 (or from 45 000 to 33 000 individuals), further down form 7.6% in July 2018.Meanwhile, the euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.1% in August 2018, down from 8.2% in July 2018 and from 9.0% in August 2017. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since November 2008.The EU28 unemployment rate was 6.8% in August 2018, stable compared with July 2018 and down from 7.5% in August 2017.This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since April 2008.Eurostat estimates that 16.657 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 13.220 million in the euro area, were unemployed in August 2018. Compared with July 2018, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 114 000 in the EU28 and by 102 000 in the euro area. Compared with August 2017, unemployment fell by 1.921 million in the EU28 and by 1.419 million in the euro area.Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates in August 2018 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.5%), Germany and Poland (both 3.4%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (19.1% in June 2018) and Spain (15.2%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all Member States.The largest decreases were registered in Cyprus (from 10.5% to 7.5%), Croatia (from 10.9% to 8.5%), Greece (from 21.3% to 19.1% between June 2017 and June 2018) and Portugal (from 8.8% to 6.8%). In August 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.9%, stable compared with July 2018 and down from 4.4% in August 2017.In August 2018, 3.315 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.367 million were in the euro area. Compared with August 2017, youth unemployment decreased by 431 000 in the EU28 and by 275 000 in the euro area. In August 2018, the youth unemployment rate was 14.8% in the EU28 and 16.6% in the euro area, compared with 16.6% and 18.5% respectively in August 2017. In August 2018, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (6.2%), the Czech Republic (6.3%) and the Netherlands (7.7%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (39.1% in June 2018), Spain (33.6%) and Italy (31.0%).CNAYou May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Public in trouble for badgering Larnacas flamingos

first_imgLarnaca municipality and the Larnaca tourist board on Friday expressed their disappointment that the public is ignoring their appeals not to disturb the flamingos on Larnaca salt lake.They said they were particularly concerned over the increased use of drones to photograph the migratory birds because these upset the flamingos.“People are entering the Larnaca salt lake and disturbing flamingos constantly,” the announcement said.“Despite repeated appeals and meetings with the environment services and the responsible ministry, no measures have been taken to ensure the protection of this unique wetland. In recent years, unfortunately, residents and tourists enter the lake to approach the flamingos despite the existence of warning signs every day.”Continual disturbance of the birds could lead to a population decline and may mean they will not return in future, they warned.“The Larnaca wetlands, apart from their enormous ecological value, are one of the city’s main points of interest and should therefore be preserved to the maximum extent possible. Continuous appeals to the public that have taken place from time to time by various agencies and services have not had the expected outcome,” said the announcement.The municipality and tourist board have called on the environment department to finally take action in coordination with local authorities.“The implementation of a wetland management plan has become imperative as well as the adoption of various measures that have been proposed,” they noted.What disturbs the birds most is when visitors enter the lake to get closer to them, as the flamingos regard this area as their shelter. Though they are not that disturbed by planes and cars, the use of drones to take photos do upset the birds because they come so close.Flamingos use the wetlands to rest and feed during the winter.In the past people have been provided with binoculars and telescopes to encourage them to watch the birds from a safe distance.  You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Third mobile provider will not benefit consumers

first_imgBy Maria GregoriouTHE TWO existing mobile network operators, semi-state CyTA and privately-owned MTN have united in their opposition to a third operator, citing the small size of the island’s market.Acting on EU instructions, the communications ministry has recently invited tenders for a third licensce.“Cyprus is the last country to start the tender process,” Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said. “Even Malta, which is smaller, has already gone through the procedures.”CyTA and MTN however, argued that the market was too small to sustain three providers and it would not be adding any benefits for consumers.“Under the licence conditions investment must be made in equipment. The question is whether these costs will be passed on to the consumer,” said CyTA spokesman Lefteris Christou.Due to the small market another competitor will take clients away from the existing operators. “Our costs will not increase but we may lose clients to the new competitor,” Christou added.A third provider could also create technical problems, resulting in lower quality service, the semi-state company said.CyTA’s mobile connections in areas close to the buffer zone are already affected as there are two mobile network operators in the north.“Our network sometimes gets crisscrossed with theirs, leading to a break-down in mobile connections.” Christou said.The licence differs from that of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which can buy services from CyTA or MTN.PrimeTel, a private telecommunications carrier, is an MVMO in Cyprus.MTN cannot see a reason for a third operator.An MTN spokesperson said: “we do not consider that any additional entry will enhance consumer benefits in any way.Under the current hobbling economy, consolidation is the dominant theme in the sector.”MTN said a new entry into the marker is likely to harm the investment plans of current operators rather than provide any consumer benefit.As prices are among the lowest in Europe and technology is at a high standard, consumer needs are already satisfied. You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchBack Pain Treatments That Might Surprise You. Search For Back Pain TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Maronite language gets written for the first time

first_imgThe Sanna language, spoken by only 800 people from the island’s Maronite community, has received a writing system in an effort to preserve the language considered to be severely endangered by Unesco.According to a BBC Travel documentary, the language – a blend of Arabic and ancient Aramaic – did not have a writing system, initially being learned through speaking.Following the Turkish invasion in 1974 Sanna, widely spoken in Kormakitis in the north, took a blow as the Maronite community members moved to the state-controlled areas.There the community adopted Greek as their language and did not push younger generations to learn Sanna, the BBC reported.However, linguist Alexander Borg came along and helped to create an alphabet for the language, allowing speakers to start to transcribe and teach it.Elias Zonias, a teacher of Sanna, told the BBC: “Now we are constantly writing, translating books, songs and Christmas carols to Sanna.”He added that he hopes that he is not one of the last Sanna speakers, because it would be a loss to their cultural for the language to die out.Another Sanna speaker, Antonis Skoullos, was asked why it is important to revive the language. He said:“And I think the answer, for me at least, is very clear, it is very precise. Sanna is our past, our history, and without that we cannot aim into our future.”The language was first introduced to the island when Maronites came mainly from Lebanon and Syria starting in the 7th century. Sanna was first classified as severely endangered by Unesco in 2002, and since 2008 is has been recognised as a minority language on the island by the EU Council’s charter for regional and minority languages.To view the original article: www.bbc.com/travel/story/20190214-sanna-a-language-written-for-the-first-time?You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Halloumi PDO delay due to trade issues for Turkish Cypriots

first_imgThe delay in the registration of halloumi as a PDO product is due to disagreements between the government and the European Commission with the latter flirting with the idea of direct trade of the product for Turkish Cypriots, reports said on Friday.According to Phileleftheros, Brussels is unhappy with four conditions put forward by Nicosia following the temporary July 2015 agreement between the two leaders and European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pending the reunification of the island.Nicosia raised objections to details concerning the agreement that were made known to the government at a later stage, which it deemed downgrading the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, Phileleftheros said citing sources.One of the amendments Nicosia has requested to the 2015 agreement is for the Commission, in tandem with the approval of halloulmi / hellim as a PDO, to amend the Green Line Regulation so that the halloumi produced by the TC community is exported from legal ports and airports of the Republic of Cyprus. Otherwise, hellim can be exported directly from the occupied areas, through the ‘direct trade’ the Commission desires, thus giving the breakaway regime a ‘Taiwan-like’ status, the daily said.Nicosia also wants reassurances that the current procedure followed by the Commission on the halloumi PDO will not repeated for other PDO applications of Cyprus. Something like that would mean binding Nicosia into a bi-communal decision-making framework, the daily said.Another objection of Nicosia is that the Commission’s halloumi proposal gives Brussels an executive role in the implementation of the acquis.The government also feels that the bi-annual reports the Commission has requested to be sent to it directly by international certification body Bureau Veritas, which would be tasked with inspecting halloumi/hellim production throughout the island, is another encroachment of Nicosia by Brussels. Nicosia feels that it should be the recipient of the reports, not Brussels.The daily also said that it saw a letter President Nicos Anastasiades sent to Juncker last month urging him to speed up procedures since all requirements have been met.In his letter, Anastasiades said that even though the PDO registration procedure for cheeses usually takes between four to 10 months, in the case of Cyprus it has exceeded 3.5 years.Further delays and inaction cause legal uncertainty about the rights and obligations deriving from the use of the name halloumi, the letter reportedly said.“The delay encourages new applications and puts serious obstacles to the effective protection of the product within the EU today and in relation with issues pertaining to the PDO issue in the future,” it said.Despite that regulations don’t provide for timeframes, it said, the principles of good administration, legal assurance and sincere cooperation guiding EU actions dictate a final decision directly on the part of the Commission is given promptly on this application.Anastasiades reportedly told Juncker that the delay encourages third parties – at a national, European and international level – to attempt to register as a PDO product under halloumi/hellim or similar names. There are ongoing procedures with regard to these applications before the EU Intellectual Property Office and European courts, but, due to the delay in the Commission decision, the means at the disposal of Cypriot authorities to deal with these applications and other actions are inadequate, the letter said.On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis blamed the lack of progress on political reasons, adding that the application had been linked with the Green Line Regulation and the Cyprus problem.A Commission spokesman said Wednesday the case was at the stage of examining objections but he could not say whether procedures would be expedited.The island’s bid received a boost in 2015 following a visit by Juncker to Cyprus during which the two communities came to an understanding over the issue. Until that time, Turkish Cypriot producers were concerned about inspections falling under the sole responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus, leading to months of negotiations.As part of the agreement, it was announced that the Green Line regulation would be amended to allow Turkish Cypriot producers to trade hellim through Cyprus’ legal ports.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Woman on remand in north for reading books

first_imgA 48-year-old woman, a senior member of the Turkish Cypriot Republican Party (CTP), was arrested in the north on Monday in connection with possession of a book that is banned in Turkey, written by leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, the PKK.Bengul Garginsu, who is of Kurdish origin, has been remanded in custody for two days accused of possessing a banned book and PKK propaganda.The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the USA, the EU and Japan.Her lawyer told Yeni Duzen newspaper that his client was accused of reading books. He said the authorities in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state did not even know the contents of the book. He denied that she was engaging in propaganda on behalf of the PKK.Reports said a PKK flag was also found at her home.People took to social media wondering whether there was a list of banned books in the north like in Turkey. Academics, politicians and journalists asked for the list to be published if it existed.There were also suggestions of human rights violations since authorities essentially raided a house and arrested someone for reading a book.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Anastasiades explained his new ideas to Lute Update 1

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday reiterated his determination to work for a solution as soon as possible and to develop the new ideas he has come up with within the Guterres framework, when he met UN envoy Jane Holl Lute, Chief Negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis said.Anastasiades met Lute on Sunday for two hours and 15 minutes at the presidential palace in Nicosia.Lute left the palace without making any statements.The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Mavroyiannis and Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.Lute was also due to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the north. Her mission is to facilitate the leaders to come up with terms of reference for a resumption of Cyrus negotiations, something she has been working on since last year.Speaking after the meeting, Mavroyiannis said the president had a “very good and creative” meeting with Lute during which he reiterated his commitment to a solution.“He has developed new ideas within the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s framework… the so-called Guterres framework, and explained these new ideas,” Mavroyiannis said, adding that the President referred, among other things, to the “decentralisation of powers, ideas he has already worked out in the past”.Mavroyiannis referred to the Turkish Cypriot community’s demand for political equality “as it perceives it”. He called it “a continuously expanding perception” of the notion of political equality, which, he said, was not is not based at all on the report of the UN Secretary-General from 1991.Neither was it part of any discussions that had taken place since then, nor was it in the Annan plan, nor in meetings between previous leaders Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat “nor in the negotiations we have had over the last five years. ”Anastasiades, Mavroyiannis added, “reiterated in a clear manner that he accepts political equality as requested by the United Nations and as recorded in the Secretary-General’s report”.“He also accepts the concept of effective participation of Turkish Cypriots in the government and the positive vote, where and when the circumstances are such that the positive vote will be exercised in such a way that any decision of the state institutions does not negatively affect the interests of the Turkish Cypriot community,” said Mavroyiannis.“It is clear to the President of the Republic that there is neither the intention nor the kind of regulation that allows one community to make decisions that are detrimental to the interests of the other community,” he added.“Of course, to move in this direction it should be clear that there will be an effective mechanism for deadlocks and that we are talking exclusively about those decisions and not, as the Turkish Cypriot side has recently raised, that we are talking about all decisions.”In addition to the issue of political equality, the president focused with Lute on all aspects of the Guterres framework such as the abolition of guarantees, rights of intervention, the withdrawal of troops, and the issue of territory, Mavroyiannis said.“Essentially the aim of the president of the Republic is to create conditions in order to come up with terms of reference that can create the conditions for a truly creative dialogue that leads to finding a functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem and that ensures the existence of a truly independent and sovereign state which will work,” he added.Anastasiades also reiterated his willingness to for a joint meeting with Akinci in Lute’s presence. The UN chief must submit his report on his Good Offices Mission in Cyprus to the Security Council by April 15. Asked if there had been any movement since Lute’s visit earlier in the year, Mavroyiannis said: “Steps forward will be judged by results”.“We continue consultations and efforts, exchange of views, positions, arguments. We have not yet arrived, but yes, the effort continues. ”Questioned as to the fact that this was Lute’s fourth visit and yet no progress has emerged, Mavroyianis said: “It would be naive to think that it was easy mission”.As Anastasiades was meeting Lute, Akinci was quoted as saying the Turkish Cypriot side, would like some clarifications about the issue of political equality.CNA quoted the Turkish Cypriot leader as saying it would be helpful to “clean up the muddy waters”.  Then, he said it might be possible for the Turkish Cypriot side to accept a three-party, four-party or five-party conference. This was in response to a proposal by Anastasiades for a tripartite meeting with the two leaders and with Lute.The Turkish Cypriot side, Akinci said, is not trying to avoid any meeting agreement, or anything that would allow for peace and prosperity in Cyprus.He also said that he did not intend to just meet Lute to create an impression about the negotiations that might be likely to mislead public opinion. Akinci also referred to the importance of informing the public, as they would be the ones called upon to decide on their future.  You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Local first responders join Rep Brann for annual Sept 11 service

first_imgPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep Tommy Brann, of Wyoming, today was joined by Wyoming Police Sgt. Brian Look and Wyoming Police Officer Ben Durian as his guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. 07Sep Local first responders join Rep. Brann for annual Sept. 11 service Categories: Brann News,Brann Photos,Newslast_img read more

Rep Bizon casts vote for additional road funding

first_img Categories: Bizon News,News Plan improves Calhoun County roads without increasing taxes State Rep. Dr. John Bizon of  Battle Creek today joined a bipartisan majority of his House colleagues in approving a plan to invest an additional $175 million into road repairs across Michigan as early as this summer.“We have made a huge effort to improve our roads and bridges over the past few years, and this effort will continue during the new construction season,” Bizon said. “We have an opportunity to invest even more money to make travel safer for families and commerce with this additional surplus, and I was pleased to vote in favor of the bill.”The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes that provide more funding for road and bridge projects in Michigan.The new bill includes money for counties, cities and villages throughout Michigan. Calhoun County will receive more than $873,550. Some of the cities and villages in line for money include Albion ($65,926) Battle Creek ($521,200) and Springfield ($44,880).The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional taxes are required for the investment.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###center_img 21Feb Rep. Bizon casts vote for additional road fundinglast_img read more

Rep Hughes Legislature approves plan to improve communications system for west Michigan

first_img Categories: Hughes News,News Rep. Holly Hughes today successfully secured resources to improve communication systems for west Michigan emergency responders in the final version of a budget plan approved by the state Legislature.The measure includes $30,000 for the installation of two tower top amplifiers in northern Muskegon and Oceana counties. The amplifiers will improve service in the communications systems used by first responders, particularly along the Lake Michigan shore.“Our first responders are out there protecting us every single day,” said Hughes, of Montague.  “To do their jobs well, they must be able to communicate quickly and clearly with each other at all times. This equipment will help our first responders do just that and improve public safety.”The funding is included in the supplemental budget bill that will soon be considered by Gov. Rick Snyder.The legislation is Senate Bill 601. 21Dec Rep. Hughes: Legislature approves plan to improve communications system for west Michigan first responderscenter_img ###last_img read more

Rapid Spread of Asthma and Missouris Response

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 16, 2014; StatelineDo you suffer from asthma? Do you have kids with asthma? Then you know exactly what Dr. David Van Sickle, a former respiratory disease detective for the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, is talking about:“People think about asthma, and think we must have a handle on it in the U.S.,” Van Sickle says. “But the grim reality is that most patients’ asthma in this country is uncontrolled. There’s a higher rate of going to the hospital than there should be. We have been doing the same thing about asthma for years, and we have made basically no dent in hospitalizations. The majority of those people think they are doing fine, so no one treats them with a course correction. And, so, there’s inexcusable morbidity. There’s this really ridiculous gap between what we should be able to do and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”Every once in a while, you encounter terrible stories, like the report of 11-year-old Leo Cano’s death from an asthma attack during a Little League game in Midland, Texas. Why and how are kids still dying from asthma? What aren’t people aware of regarding the vulnerability of children and adults to this disease?There is a heartbreaking crowdfunding campaign at GoFundMe to help pay for the family’s funeral expenses and perhaps to name a baseball field after little Leo, but the problem of inadequate awareness and treatment of the problem of asthma continues. The joke character in sitcoms or movie comedies pulls out his or her inhaler at the first sign of stress, but for families and those who suffer from the disease, it’s no joke.Where one lives is relevant to asthma sufferers. In a recent ranking of the best and worst U.S. cities for asthma sufferers, based on a combination of factors such as the prevalence of asthma, the availability of relevant care providers, air quality, and the cost of medications and healthcare, the results weren’t surprising—smog plus high medical care costs equals bad news for asthmatics:10 Best Cities for Asthma Sufferers10 Worst Cities for Asthma SufferersOmahaLos AngelesNashvillePhiladelphiaArlington (TX)San JoseTucsonChicagoSeattleMilwaukeeColorado SpringsNew YorkDenverSacramentoRaleighPhoenixFort WorthWashington, D.C.Virginia BeachIndianapolisThe results are like a case study of the reasons for the existence of the nonprofit sector—to fight for better access to healthcare, to fight for reduced costs of healthcare treatments, and to fight for improving the quality of the environment.St. Louis might have been on the worst-for-asthmatics list except that this industrial and frequently humid city has been taking action. The state legislature has made Missouri the first state to allow school nurses to keep in stock and administer quick-relief asthma medications at school. On the cost side, for lower income people, the Missouri House of Representatives passed an appropriation allowing for Medicaid reimbursement for asthma specialists to inspect the homes of low-income patients for asthma triggers and to reimburse patients for visits to specialists wherein they can get educated about how to manage this pernicious disease. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York already allow for Medicaid reimbursement for asthma education or home assessments.Asthmatics and their families visit hospitals often for in-patient and outpatient services. Some visit emergency rooms so frequently that they are defined as “super-utilizers,” among the one percent of the U.S. population that generates 22 percent of total health cost expenditures. Missouri’s strategy of funding home inspections and asthma education will “without a doubt…save the state money,” according to John Kraemer, founder of the Institute for Environmental Health Assessment and Patient-Centered Outcomes at Southeast Missouri State University.If you or your children have asthma, you have plenty of company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 18.7 million adults and seven million children in the U.S. suffer from asthma. The number of Americans diagnosed with asthma increased by 4.3 million between 2001 and 2009, with significant increases among black children, who more likely than others live in communities with significant problems of air pollution and environmental toxins. That kind of information jumpstarts nonprofit advocacy. The movement in the Missouri state legislature is partially attributable to the lobbying of the St. Louis chapter of Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In its grading of states, the foundation lauds only seven states as having made progress on adopting policies on medication, treatment, tobacco use and indoor air quality: Washington, Indiana, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.The public health epidemic of asthma is unfortunately increasing across the nation, but it hits inner city children of color the hardest. Some of the problems of asthma can be dealt with by what Joy Krieger, the foundation’s St. Louis chapter director, described as “elbow grease”: reducing tobacco smoke, dust, cockroaches, mites, mold, fragrances, and pets. But there’s also the matter of environmental improvement and healthcare access. There is plenty for the nonprofit sector to do on asthma to minimize the likelihood of future tragedies like the death of Leo Cano.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

As Amazon Goes will Nonprofits Blindly Follow The New Workforce

first_imgShare24TweetShare16Email40 SharesImages Credit: Philip TaylorJune 16, 2015; Fortune and the Wall Street JournalNPQ recently published an article on the growing pains of the freelance workforce. The projected increase in this segment of the economy is enormous. As nonprofits, in fact, many of us likely already contract with independent contractors—accountants, designers, event planners, IT consultants, etc. It is one way to contain costs, but as the trend becomes epic, is there a line that should not be crossed, and where is it? What are the fair labor practices we need to be more aware of with time?In every sector of the American economy, businesses’ labor costs are of great interest, and many organizations see great promise in shifting their work force from employees to independent contractors, from full-time to part-time workers, from permanent to temporary employment. Although now engaged in legal battles about the independent or dependent status of its workforce, Uber, the ride-sharing company, has become the poster child for the “sharing economy,” and their success has driven their thinking forward into new parts of our economy. And retail giant Amazon is now traveling the same road.The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Bensinger recently reported on Amazon’s interest in shifting at least some of its package delivery business from traditional carriers like FedEx and UPS to a force of “regular people.” Bensinger noted that “Last year, Amazon’s shipping costs jumped by $2.07 billion to $8.7 billion, or 9.8 [percent] of sales, compared with 8.9 [percent] the year prior,” providing a large incentive for Amazon to find a cheaper way to get its good from warehouse to purchaser. With the name “On My Way,” the proposed new service would hire retailers in urban areas to store packages and pay regular people a small fee to make deliveries. Presumably, customers could pick up their own package and then grab other parcels to deliver to others at their convenience.Sounds like a win-win for company and worker and a practice that nonprofits should begin to consider, but is it really? Do “jobs” created in the “sharing economy” replace traditional jobs? And if they do, does this result in fewer and fewer people earning less and less? Is the “sharing economy” just another sign of the widening chasm separating the wealthy from the poor?Jonathon Hall, Head of Policy Research at Uber Technology, and Alan Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, using data provided by Uber, found more benefit than harm as a result of Uber’s growth in the marketplace. Published in January, 2015, their analysis, “An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber’s Driver-Partners in the United States,” showed that “although it is difficult to compare the after-tax net hourly earnings of Uber’s driver-partners and taxi drivers and chauffeurs taking account of all costs, it appears that Uber driver-partners earn at least as much as taxi drivers and chauffeurs, and in many cases more than taxi drivers and chauffeurs.”But, speaking to the New York Times, Robert Reich, an economist at the University of California – Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration said, “I think its nonsense, utter nonsense. This on-demand economy means a work life that is unpredictable, doesn’t pay very well and is terribly insecure.” After interviewing many workers in the on-demand world, Dr. Reich said he has concluded that “most would much rather have good, well-paying, regular jobs.”At the basic level of demand for human services, a growing sharing economy would be of great benefit, as it provides a new employment model that allows for new ways to increase household income. But if the sharing economy increases the number of the Americans whose incomes are smaller and less certain and whose benefits and social supports are curtailed, the demand for service and support will increase. Even if relative incomes are not affected by the changing nature of work, the added burden of managing life as an independent worker responsible for continuously finding and scheduling the next job may require new services and supports for organizations who have seen employment as their focus.At an organizational level, nonprofits will be challenged by their own need to lower costs to consider shifting some of their own work forces from traditional employees to more Uber-like contractors. The hurdles to this shift are high. In looking at Amazon’s interest in changing its delivery service, Fortune identified that Amazon recognizes that to change the basis for its delivery service, it will need to create new “accountability safeguards to prevent theft, damage, or carelessness (and) find ways to protect customer privacy and, most importantly, vet potential carriers for criminal records.”But for nonprofits, a more primary question is how to create reciprocal accountability between a partially disconnected labor force and the institutions that employ it. This is not only an issue for the way we run organizations, but it should also be recognized as a major social issue we need to get ahead of to protect the rights of workers—those so-called “regular people.”In our previous article, we discussed the unions that are springing up to represent worker needs, but are they the answer? We would love to hear from readers thinking about the future of this issue.—Marty LevineShare24TweetShare16Email40 Shareslast_img read more

Sessions Confounding Obsession with Marijuana Enforcement

first_imgShare20Tweet4Share5Email29 Shares“Marijuana joint” by Torben HansenJuly 23, 2017; The HillEven while the U.S. is suffering through a deadly opioid epidemic, fueled in part by an over-prescription of opioids, Attorney General Sessions is making himself busy fighting marijuana use. The Trump administration’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which is led by Sessions, is expected to release a report next week linking marijuana to violent crime and recommending tougher sentences “for those caught growing, selling, and smoking the plant.” Criminal justice reform advocates fear stricter enforcement.In a recent article in The Hill, Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program, said, “Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities.”Further, in May, Sessions asked Congressional leaders “to do away with an amendment to the DOJ budget prohibiting the agency from using federal funds to prevent states ‘from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.’”In the letter to Congressional leaders, Sessions wrote, “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”Chettiar said, “We’re worried there’s going to be something in the recommendations that is either saying that that’s true or recommending action be taken based on that being true.”Finally, Sessions “reportedly re-established a controversial criminal asset seizure program.”However, local law enforcement leaders said there’s no need for this crackdown. Ronal Serpas, the former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department and co-chairman of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, said,From a practitioner’s point of view, marijuana is not a drug that doesn’t have some danger to it, but it’s not the drug that’s driving violent crime in America. That’s not the drug with which we see so much death and destruction on the streets of America. Crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and opioids is where we’re seeing people die on street corners fighting over territory or control.While eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use and 21 allow medical use of marijuana, under federal law marijuana is still illegal. A bipartisan group of senators has been advancing legislation that allows medical marijuana use, and legislation was introduced last month by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) “to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies.”In a twist, Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation and Trump’s very public repudiation is the context for the expected crackdown on marijuana. We don’t know what to expect from Trump on this at this point, but in an interview with the New York Times, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone said Trump is asking, “‘Where’s my tough guy? Why doesn’t he have my back?’ There’s a lack of aggressiveness with Sessions, unless it involves chasing people for smoking pot.”Paul told The Hill, “I will oppose anybody from the administration or otherwise that wants to interfere with state policy.” Booker said, “If we can overcome Strom Thurmond’s filibuster against the civil rights bill, we can overcome a U.S. Attorney General who is out of step with history and out of step with his party.” In an already fragmented Republican Party, Chettiar wonders whether differences over criminal justice reform will help trigger a showdown.But, then again, many have started to refer to the attorney general as the “current” attorney general as his boss has begun to take public pot shots (no pun intended) at him for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.—Cyndi SuarezShare20Tweet4Share5Email29 Shareslast_img read more