Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Sept. 5 (JIS):Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, has confirmed preliminary reports that a plane crashed 14 miles North East of Portland, today (September 5).The Jamaican Government, she said, has dispatched a Search and Rescue Team and a military helicopter. “The Authorities are in constant touch with the United States (US) Southern Command, which we understand has also dispatched a rescue team,” Senator Falconer added.The Minister will provide additional information as it becomes available. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:portland, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Community Television Executive Director Shaun Neville recently interviewed State Representative Candidate Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury) as part of WCTV’s 2018 Candidate Conversations series.Kratman answers the following questions:Why are you in this race?Discuss your decision to enter the race after State Rep. Miceli’s sudden passing, just days before the filing deadline.Describe your background, what you bring to the table, and how long you’ve lived in the area.What binds the towns of Tewksbury and Wilmington, and their people, together?Why are you the best candidate to represent this district?Tell us about your campaign thus far. What have you been up to? What will you be doing leading up to Election Day to get your word out?Watch the 16-minute interview, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-west-1.dream.io/wilmington/8/e/c/d/a/b/8ecdabe7-fada-464a-a389-3104bdca60381532087566.580%2B36870265.624%40castus4-wilmington%2B15320902451532087784112994.vod.720p.Candidate%20Conversations_%20State%20Rep%20-%20Mark%20Kratman%20.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—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… RelatedDEBATE HIGHLIGHT: Most Democratic Candidates Not Ready To Pledge To Support Their Party’s Nominee In General ElectionIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Candidate Pina Prinzivalli Discusses Her Campaign For State Rep With WCTVIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Candidate Erin Buckley Discusses Her Campaign For State Rep With WCTVIn “Videos”
A relative of Yogesh Raj, a Hindu activist, cries after Raj got arrested for leading the protests in which two people died on Monday, in Nayabans village in Bulandshahr district, Uttar Pradesh, India, on 5 December 2018. — Photo: ReutersNayabans isn’t remarkable as northern Indian villages go. Sugar cane grows in surrounding fields, women carry animal feed in bullock carts through narrow lanes, people chatter outside a store, and cows loiter.But this week, the village in Uttar Pradesh state became a symbol of the deepening communal divide in India as some Hindu men from the area complained they had seen a group of Muslims slaughtering cows in a mango orchard a couple of miles away.That infuriated Hindus, who regard the cow as a sacred animal. Anger against Muslims turned into outrage that police had not stopped an illegal practice, and a Hindu mob blocked a highway, threw stones, burned vehicles and eventually two people were shot and killed – including a police officer.The events throw a spotlight on the religious strains in places like Nayabans since prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the national level in 2014 and in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. Tensions are ratcheting up ahead of the next general election, due to be held by May.The BJP said it was “bizarre” to assume the party would benefit from any religious disharmony, dismissing suggestions that its supporters were largely responsible for the tensions.“In a large country like India nobody can ensure that nothing will go wrong, but it’s our responsibility to maintain law and order and we understand that,” party spokesman Gopal Krishna Agarwal said. “But people are trying to politicise these issues.”Nayabans, just about three hour’s drive from Delhi, has about 400 Muslims out of a population of 4,000, the rest are Hindu. Relations between the communities began deteriorating around the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year when Hindus in the village demanded that loudspeakers used to call for prayer at a makeshift mosque be removed, local Muslims said.“For 40 years mikes were used in the mosque, calls for prayer were made five times a day, but no one objected,” said Waseem Khan, a 28-year-old Muslim community leader in Nayabans.“We resisted initially but then we thought it’s better to live in peace then create a dispute over a mike,” he said. “We don’t want to give them a chance to fan communal tensions.”Reuters spoke with more than a dozen Muslims from the village but except for Khan, no one else wanted to be named for fear of angering the Hindu population.Several among a group of Muslim women and girls standing outside the mosque said they have been living in fear since the BJP came to power in the state in 2017.They said that Hindu groups now hold provocative processions through the village during every Hindu festival, loudspeakers blaring, something that used to happen rarely before. They said they felt “terrorised” by Hindu activists.“While passing through our areas during their religious rallies, they chant ‘Pakistan murdabad’ (down with Pakistan) as if we have some connection to Pakistan just because we are Muslims,” Khan said.HINDU PRIEST CHIEF MINISTERThe subcontinent was divided into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-majority India at the time of independence from British colonial rule in 1947.During the violence on Monday, many Muslims in Nayabans locked themselves in their homes fearing attacks. Some who had attended a three-day Muslim religious congregation some miles away stayed outside the area that night to avoid making themselves targets for the mob.Muslim villagers say they are particularly fearful of the top elected official in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is a Hindu priest and senior BJP figure. Hindu hardliners started asserting themselves more in the village after he was elected, they say.Uttar Pradesh sends 80 lawmakers to the lower house of parliament, the largest of any state in the country.Considered the county’s political crucible, it has also been the scene for spiraling Hindu-Muslim tensions.Adityanath said the lead up to the rioting in Nayabans was a “big conspiracy”, but did not elaborate.In the only statement from his office on the incident, Adityanath ordered police to arrest those directly or indirectly involved in the slaughter of cows and made no mention of the death of the police inspector. He announced 1 million rupees ($14,110) as compensation for the family of the other dead man, a local who is among those accused by police for the violence.Both men were Hindus and died of bullet wounds, although police said it was not yet clear who shot whom.Police say they have arrested up to five people for the cow slaughter but have not given their religion. Locals say all the arrested people are Muslims. Four Hindu men have been arrested for the violence leading to the deaths.“All invidious elements who may have conspired to vitiate the situation will be exposed through a fair and transparent investigation,” Anand Kumar, the second highest police official in Uttar Pradesh, told Reuters.Asked if there was any bias against Muslims, Uttar Pradesh government spokesman Sidharth Nath Singh – who is also the state’s health minister – told Reuters: “We believe in equality and our motto is sabka saath, sabka vikas”, using a Hindi phrase often used by Modi that means “collective effort, inclusive growth”.RELATIVE HARMONYThe two communities in Nayabans have lived in relative harmony for years, residents from both groups said.But now Hindus in the village, who mostly say they support Yogi, accuse the Muslims of trying to turn themselves into the victims when they weren’t.“Can’t believe they are raising our processions with journalists!” said Daulat, a Hindu daily wage laborer who goes by one name. “They are making it a Hindu-Muslim issue, we are not. Their people have been accused of killing cows, so they are playing the victim.”At a middle school, meters from the police outpost near where the two men got killed, two women teachers, sitting on a veranda soaking in the winter sun, said its 66 students stopped coming for classes in the first few days after the violence.“We worship cows and their slaughter can’t be accepted,” said one of the teachers, Uma Rani. “Two Hindus died here but nothing happened to the cow killers.”Both teachers were Hindus.Political analysts say relations between the two communities are likely to stay tense ahead of the national vote, particularly in polarized states such as Uttar Pradesh.The BJP made a near-clean sweep in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, helping Modi win the country’s biggest parliamentary mandate in three decades, but pollsters predict a tighter contest next year because of a lack of jobs and low farm prices.“Facing economic headwinds and lackluster job growth, Modi will rally his conservative base by selectively resorting to Hindu nationalism,” global security consultancy Stratfor said last month.Muslims say they increasingly feel like second-class citizens in their own country.“The BJP will definitely benefit from such incidents,” said Tahir Saifi, a Muslim community leader a few miles from the area of violence who supports a regional opposition party in Uttar Pradesh. “They want all Hindus to unite, and when religion comes into the picture, other issues like development take a back seat.”
Share Mallory Falk/KERANearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, begin school on Monday.On Monday, nearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, will start the school year amid an air of mourning, fear and resilience.The first day of school in El Paso’s largest district comes more than a week after a mass shooting at a local Walmart left 22 people dead. According to a police affidavit, the suspect charged in the attack later said he had intentionally targeted “Mexicans.”“It’s not at all, in any way, a typical start of school,” says Juan Cabrera, the superintendent of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). “This is not going to be easy. This is going to be difficult and we are really taking this very seriously.”According to Cabrera, the school district has been contacting families affected by the shooting in order to connect them to support services. No EPISD students were killed, but Cabrera says El Paso is a close-knit community and some students have family members who were directly involved, or know people who were at the Walmart during the attack.Others — like Genesis Contreras, 7 — witnessed the shooting themselves.Genesis starts second grade on Monday. She and her family were in the store when the gunman opened fire. They escaped, but Genesis’ mom, Erika Contreras, says the experience has rattled them.“That first night, she kept telling me, ‘I don’t want to go to sleep,’ ” Contreras recalls. “I had to sleep with her and she cuddled me so hard because she was so scared and I knew that she was gonna have nightmares.”Genesis has slept with her mom every night since the shooting.Contreras says Genesis’ school knows about what she experienced, and it will have counselors available to provide support on Monday if Genesis needs it.The district says its counseling office has provided teachers guidance for how to support students who were affected by the shooting.“Having a week in between before the start of the school has really helped us,” explains Manuel Castruita, who heads the district’s counseling and advising department. He says all last week, teachers and administrators were in professional development, talking through what happened, and brainstorming ways to help students.“The first day of school, it’s a new start, a new beginning. So we have an opportunity to really set the tempo.”Castruita says on Monday some school administrators will hold a moment of silence, “acknowledging the tragedy that took place.” But he notes it’s a delicate balance: You want to be open about what happened, without retraumatizing students. He says the district will rely heavily on the social/emotional learning tools it has been implementing over the past several years.According to Castruita, the district also has strong support services, thanks to partnerships with outside organizations and a number of licensed professional counselors.“We’re not starting from ground zero or from scratch,” he says.In a video address to parents on Saturday, Superintendent Cabrera talked directly to those who felt uncertain about heading back to school: “We know your concern is genuine, but so is our commitment to provide safe learning spaces for our students,” he said. “EPISD schools are safe and we sincerely hope you feel reassured that when your kids are with us, they are our No. 1 priority.”The district’s job, according to Cabrera, is “to make sure [students] are safe, happy, sound mentally and physically, and to make sure they’re prepared for learning.”In some cases, that may mean talking about the shooting. “Kids know this is happening around them,” Cabrera says. “The worst thing we can do is not let them speak or not let them talk about what’s going on.”Genesis — who loves science and is excited to do experiments and learn about tornadoes — is more focused on starting a new year of school with a new teacher.“I’m really scared,” she says. “I know it’s gonna be a lot harder.”Her mom is also nervous. “I just wish and I pray that no matter what, she’s strong,” Contreras says. “I know she’s a child, and at any moment, she could decide that this is the moment where she breaks and wants to cry.”Contreras is glad that Genesis’ teachers and counselors will be there with her, and she trusts they will be looking out for her daughter. And with Genesis back in school, Contreras says she’ll be able to turn her attention to another pressing matter: her own mental health, after witnessing a mass shooting.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.