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Team takes action towards landmark United Nations resolution to end witchcraft atrocities

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A team, including academics from Lancaster University, has taken critical first steps to root out global witchcraft atrocities, including ritual killings, with the successful acceptance of a United Nations resolution.

Adopted without a vote, the resolution, in preparation for several years, was tabled this month at the UN Human Rights Council by Kenya, with the support of the Africa group, made up of 54 member states from the continent. African.

Witchcraft beliefs and practices have resulted in serious human rights violations, including beatings, bans, cutting of body parts and amputation of limbs, torture and murder.

Women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, including people with albinism, a genetic condition that impairs the ability to create pigments in the body, are particularly vulnerable.

Professor Charlotte Baker of Lancaster University, who has published extensively on albinism in Africa with United Nations independent expert on albinism Ikponwosa Ero, international human rights lawyer Kirsty Brimelow and honorary Lancaster University graduate and human rights activist Gary Foxcroft have worked tirelessly, as part of a larger team, to ensure that the scope of the shocking issue has been heard at the UN level.

The resolution, calling for the elimination of these harmful practices, affirms that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security and upholds the fundamental principles of equality, non-discrimination and human dignity which underpin human rights tend.

There are thousands of cases of people accused of witchcraft every year around the world, often with fatal consequences, and others are mutilated and killed for rituals related to witchcraft.

Over the past decade, more than 700 attacks against people with albinism have been reported in 28 countries.

Trade in the body parts of people with albinism is big business in some African countries with a “going rate” of $ 75,000 for a complete set of body parts.

Professor Baker and his team first brought their work to the attention of the UN in September 2017 when they hosted an expert meeting on witchcraft and human rights at the headquarters of the UN in Geneva.

The workshop, which was specifically cited in the resolution’s recent successful speech, examined for the first time the large-scale human rights issue that had, by and large, escaped the radar of governments. , NGOs and academics.

The following year, the team organized a moving and shocking photographic exhibition, funded by Lancaster University, at the Palais des Nations at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva to coincide with the meeting of the Human Rights Council of United Nations.

The exhibit, which subsequently traveled abroad, featured poignant images captured by four internationally renowned human rights photographers.

In January 2019, the team hosted an international conference on witchcraft and human rights at Lancaster University to further highlight the serious human rights violations that are taking place around the world due to beliefs. in witchcraft.

The conference looked at witchcraft and human rights past, present and future, including the thorny issue of terminology.

In many countries, beliefs related to witchcraft, which can lead to some of the most difficult human rights issues of the 21st century, have resulted in serious human rights violations including beatings, banishment , cutting of body parts, amputation of limbs, arson, torture and murder.

Women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, including people with albinism, are particularly vulnerable.

Despite the gravity of these human rights violations, there is often no strong state response, and justice systems often fail to act to prevent, investigate or prosecute human rights violations related to beliefs in the law. witchcraft.

The innovative initiative to bring this resolution to the United Nations brings together, for the first time, witchcraft and human rights in a systematic and in-depth manner at the United Nations and international level.

The resolution marks an important step in the continued collaboration of United Nations experts, members of civil society and academics to address the violence associated with these beliefs and practices for particularly vulnerable groups.

Professor Baker said: “The extent of the threat to those vulnerable to harmful practices related to the manifestation of certain beliefs related to witchcraft means that we must act now to address this issue. Our collaborative approach means we can work across sectors and at different levels to achieve positive, integrated and sustainable change. The United Nations resolution is a fundamental step in this process.

Ikponwosa Ero added, “The resolution carefully balances the protection of the human rights of those accused of witchcraft and victims of ritual attacks, while protecting traditional healers, as well as religious, indigenous and cultural beliefs and practices that do not constitute rights. harmful practices as defined. by UN bodies.

“Resolutions are not quick fixes, but this is a turning point for all of us who work to ensure the protection of human rights in this complex sphere of spiritual beliefs and practices. The resolution will also spur work to tackle the horrific violence that characterizes these types of nefarious practices and which, for too long, have destroyed and killed too many. “

Gary Foxcroft said: “The UN Special Resolution is an important step in helping to end the often horrific human rights violations that take place as a result of witchcraft beliefs around the world. We needed as many governments as possible to support this resolution and believe our work has inspired the action needed to do so. Much remains to be done on this resolution. However, we are moving in the right direction and we hope that further abuses can be avoided.

Putting the shocking issue of witchcraft in the spotlight of the UN

Provided by Lancaster University

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Canadian army

A boon in arms and equipment for the Taliban

There are dozens of key bases around Afghanistan which are now in the hands of the Taliban after the withdrawal of the international armed forces.

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As the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, they seized an arsenal of military equipment that in some cases exceeded parts of the inventory of Western armed forces such as the Canadian Forces.


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Taliban fighters staged a victory parade in Kandahar City on Wednesday, showing off dozens of US-made armored vehicles and other weapons they captured in their lightning victory over the Afghan army and police. An American-made Black Hawk helicopter, dragging a Taliban flag, also flew over the city to highlight the insurgents’ ability to use more sophisticated equipment.

As the United States retreated from Afghanistan, it attempted to deactivate at least some of the equipment.

General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the United States Central Command, told reporters that 70 armored vehicles, 27 Humvee trucks and 73 planes were deactivated before the troops left Kabul. “These planes will never fly again,” he said. “They can never be operated on by anyone. “


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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told CNN that the only usable equipment remaining at the airport included fire trucks and forklifts.

But there are dozens of other key bases around Afghanistan that are now in the hands of the Taliban and, with that, tons of military equipment.

The Afghan army operated more than 600 armored vehicles, similar to the tactical armored patrol vehicles of the Canadian Forces. In contrast, the Canadian Forces have approximately 500 APRTs.

The Afghan army also had over 22,000 Humvee, 150 anti-mine vehicles, 8,000 transport trucks, 160 M113 armored vehicles, over 350,000 assault rifles, 64,000 assorted machine guns, 120,000 pistols and over 170 pieces of artillery, according to various reports. Also left behind 33 transport helicopters, over 30 Black Hawk helicopters and 40 other light helicopters. In addition, there were approximately 65 assorted fixed-wing aircraft. The current state of the arsenal is not known.


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The operating time of this equipment is subject to question. The United States spent more than $ 500 million on 16 military transport planes for the Afghan army. But in 2013, planes were abandoned in Kabul due to a lack of spare parts.

A Department of National Defense official said on Wednesday that there were only limited amounts of Canadian equipment left in Afghanistan and that was years ago. This did not include weapons or large vehicles.

But Canada continued to fund Afghan security forces even after the military’s official departure in 2014, earmarking $ 330 million for the initiative.

Canada's former military installation, Camp Nathan Smith, in Kandahar City, was handed over to Afghan security forces but abandoned in late 2013. DAVID PUGLIESE / Postmedia
Canada’s former military installation, Camp Nathan Smith, in Kandahar City, was handed over to Afghan security forces but abandoned in late 2013. DAVID PUGLIESE / Postmedia Photo by David Pugliese /Postmedia

The Taliban also now control large amounts of infrastructure built and paid for by Western taxpayers. Base Kandahar, which once housed thousands of Canadian troops, was captured intact.


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Canada spent about $ 50 million on the Dahla Dam project which the Canadian government declared a success. The dam is still not functioning properly and needs hundreds of millions of dollars to complete.

The Dahla Dam project was one of Canada’s most controversial aid programs in Afghanistan. Some $ 10 million from the budget went to security provided by an Afghan company whose owner was convicted of drug-related crimes and accused of being an interpreter for the Taliban.

When Canadian soldiers withdrew from Kandahar in 2011, they left Camp Nathan Smith – the former base of Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team – to the Americans. A year later, the United States handed it over to the Afghans. At the end of 2013, it was discontinued.


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A similar pattern followed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan in 1989. The Soviets embarked on a much more ambitious aid program than the United States and NATO, building thousands of kilometers of roads, tunnels, bridges, schools, buildings and military bases.

But, with the Taliban in charge, much of the infrastructure has fallen into disrepair.

One of the bridges is however still intact. In February 1989, the Soviet Army used the “Friendship Bridge” connecting Afghanistan to Uzbekistan to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Last week, NATO-trained Afghan National Army troops used the same bridge to escape the Taliban.


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History organization

50 years ago today, the Pirates make history with the first all-minority lineup in MLB

The 1971 Pirates were unique.

The year saw the team’s first full season at Three Rivers Stadium, four All-Stars, a World Series championship and unprecedented roster in Major League history.

Fifty years ago today, on September 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates made history as the first all-minority starting lineup in MLB history.

Home to the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh started future Hall of Fame outfielder Willie ‘Pops’ Stargell left and ‘The Great One’ Roberto Clemente right, current All-Stars or future Al Oliver at start, Dave Cash at third and Manny Sanguilen behind the plate. Dock Ellis took the mound for the Bucs, who previously pitched one of the most unique hitterless in history, walking eight and striking out six hitters against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970 as ‘he was taking LSD.

Gene Clines (center fielder), Rennie Stennett (second baseman) and Jackie Hernandez (shortstop) completed the roster, leaving a lasting impact on the game 24 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947.

The Complete Line of Historical Pirates:

  1. Rennie Stennett, 2B
  2. Gene Clines, FC
  3. Roberto Clemente, RF
  4. Willie Stargell, LF
  5. Manny Sanguillen, C.
  6. Dave Cash, 3B
  7. Al Oliver, 1B
  8. Jackie Hernandez, SS
  9. Ellis Pier, P

Manager Danny Murtaugh has been among regular starters including first baseman Bob Robertson, third baseman Richie Hebner and shortstop Gene Alley, all of whom have seen consistent playing time throughout the season. , in favor of the unique one of its kind. over time — alignment, offering its players the opportunity to break their own barrier in the big leagues during an evolving but tense period.

On a Wednesday night in front of 11,278 fans, the 138th game of the regular season, the Pirates defeated the Phillies 10-7, giving doubters no reason to speculate on the potential success of a batting order and defensive unit. entirely in the minority, exceeding it. all with the first Pirate Championship since 1960.

The Bucs celebrated the 1971 World Series champions in a weekend series at PNC Park against the New York Mets from July 16-18.

The organization also paid tribute to the Homestead Grays of the Negro League this latest homestand, wearing replica Grays jerseys on Friday, August 27, welcoming the St. Louis Cardinals to recognize African-American players, including the great Josh Gibson , who represented Pittsburgh for 17 league seasons, winning three Negro World Series (1943-44, 1948).

As the Pirates and the City of Pittsburgh honor the 1971 club in 2021 for a number of feats and milestones, the September 1 lineup from Stennett, Clines, Clemente, Stargell, Sanguillen, Cash, Oliver, Hernandez and Ellis opened the door for those to follow in America’s national pastime, being recognized with increased notoriety and recognition than was originally described half a century ago for one of the baseball’s most historic franchises.

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Non profit living

Saginaw Neighborhood Celebrates Planned Return of Children’s Community Center

SAGINAW, MI – Eight-year-old Asia Pratt was sitting breathlessly laughing next to her friends during a break as she jumped inside the inflatable house set up for an event reconnecting a neighborhood in Saginaw on the south side with an old community center ready to reopen in the coming month.

“I feel very happy,” she said of the celebration going on outside the facility at 3145 Russell. “It was so much fun. I can’t wait to be able to go here.

Organizers say the building – known as “The Nabe” – will likely not open to the community until 2022, but the excitement surrounding the news warranted some sort of block party on Saturday, August 28. The rally included The Nabe’s future target demographic. : Pratt and children his age.

Pratt plans to be the third generation in his family to run and play inside the facility when it reopens. Her father, Michael Pratt, 50, was part of a group of nine adults who formed a non-profit organization and bought the community center where they once played as children.

The Saturday celebration also catered to its demographic age. A DJ played Rick James; Earth, Wind and Fire; Kool and the Gang and other old hitmakers.

Still, the rally seemed to remain focused on the future: more specifically, The Nabe’s potential for the South Side neighborhood that has become largely desolate over the past two decades. Organizers say they hope when the community center reopens it will help revive the area and provide a place to grow up for children living nearby.

Leola Gochett, 80, moved to the South Side neighborhood in December 1970. Her three children spent their youth at The Nabe, known for decades as the Lutheran Charities Neighborhood House Community Center. After several changes of ownership, the building has remained largely unused in recent years, after decades of declining participation.

Gochett said she was delighted to hear that former attendees are planning to resuscitate the community center. She has known the nine members of the association since they played there when they were children.

“I believe in them,” said Gochett, who attended the celebration on Saturday. “This community needs this, to help us get back to the way things were in this neighborhood.”

After purchasing the old building, members of the nonprofit – which bears the same name as the community center – began tidying up the Nabe earlier this summer. It has fallen into disrepair in recent years, so the walls have been repainted, the floors have been repaired and the rooms have been cleaned.

The work remains, organizers say, but the progress of their efforts was visible to anyone who saw the interior of the 24,000-square-foot facility a month ago compared to today.

During the visits organized on Saturday, the participants got a glimpse of this renovated interior. However, much of the event activity at the start of the day took place on the community center lawn and parking lot, which organizers have turned into something that looks like a small fair.

Food vendors were camping on the outskirts of the rally. Children rushed between two inflatable houses and a mobile truck carrying playable video game consoles. Within sight of these children were their parents and other adults socializing to the music of the event.

“I’m so grateful that it brought this community together again,” said Anthony Dent, a 52-year-old man who once attended the community center as a child. “I can’t wait to see how this place will grow when it opens. “

James Carthan, a member of the nonprofit that owns the facility, said the support expressed by the community on Saturday was a sign that more success could be in store for the Nabe.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” said Carthan, 50. “I want this place to be a bright light for the young people of Saginaw.”

Organizers have organized tours of the interior of The Nabe, a Saginaw community center that the owners hope to open within the next year. Here, participants visit a basketball court where a mural was being completed.


Childhood friends reunite to revive Saginaw children’s community center

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History organization

Tommy Lasorda fights with Phillie Phanatic

Tommy Lasorda gained a reputation for having a fiery, if not combative, personality throughout his tenure as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. While this was often funneled to motivate his team, it led to an altercation with a mascot on this day in Dodgers history.

As the Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium on August 28, 1988, Lasorda became enraged with Phillie Phanatic dressing a model in his jersey. Lasorda barged out of the canoe and started picking up Phillie Phanatic’s all-terrain vehicle.

As the Phillies mascot started walking towards Lasorda, the Dodgers skipper turned and chased after him. A showdown ensued and Lasorda ended up with the doll, which he used to repeatedly punch Phillie Phanatic with.

It wasn’t Lasorda’s only run-in with a mascot during his tenure as manager of the Dodgers. The following August, Lasorda started yelling at the refs for some reason during a game against the Montreal Expos.

In the end, it was because Expos mascot Youppi !, was dancing on the visitors’ canoe and taunting Lasorda and the players for most of both innings. Lasorda was furious with what was going on, and the result was Youppi! being the first mascot ever to be ejected from an MLB game.

Whether it’s coincidence or not, the Dodgers won both games in which Lasorda got mad at a mascot. They defeated the Expos in 22 innings behind Rick Dempsey’s solo homerun and scored three runs in the first inning on Franklin Stubbs’ brace en route to a 5-0 victory over the Phillies.

Lasorda spent 20 seasons managing the Dodgers and has proven to be a worthy successor to Alston. Lasorda went 1,599-1,439-2, won eight NL West titles, four pennants and two World Series. He abruptly announced his retirement in July 1996 in part due to health issues and at the time he became vice-president of the Dodgers.

Lasorda maintained close ties and an active presence with the organization and had his No. 2 jersey removed by the organization on August 15, 1997. He died in January 2021.

Dodgers honoring Lasorda

The Dodgers are celebrating Lasorda’s memory throughout the 2021 regular season with a No.2 patch on their shirt sleeve.

Have you subscribed to Dodger Blue’s YouTube channel? Don’t forget to activate the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!

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International headquarters

Defense Intelligence Agency BREAKING Says Retired Commodore Olawunmi Wanted for Channels TV’s Anti-Buhari Interview, May Seize International Passport

The Defense Intelligence Agency said a former Nigerian navy commodore Kunle Olawunmi was wanted for exposing in an interview how President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration refused to question high-level politicians as Boko terrorists Haram have appointed them as their sponsors.

SaharaReporters has learned that the DIA asked Olawunmi to report to its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday with his international passport, which could be seized.

The Defense Intelligence Agency is Nigeria’s main military intelligence agency.

“The agency said retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was wanted for overthrowing Boko Haram sponsors under Buhari’s rule. They asked him to come with his international passport on Tuesday to the DIA office in Abuja, ”a prominent source said.

SaharaReporters reported last Wednesday that Olawunmi spoke when he appeared on Channels Television’s “Sunrise Daily” breakfast show.

He had condemned Tuesday’s attack by bloodthirsty bandits on the Kaduna campus of Nigeria’s main military university, the Nigerian Defense Academy, where two military officers were killed and another kidnapped.

The professor of global security studies said: “This is an aberration; you are not attacking the Nigerian Defense Academy and not getting out of it. In 2017, I conducted an investigation by the Minister of Defense who wanted me to verify what was going on with the training and security there (NDA). I remember spending about a week in the NDA with the commander and the staff but something struck me: every Friday the door of the NDA is wide open and everyone has access to the mosque to pray.

“On Fridays, you will see the same thing happen in all the military formations in the country. If you go to Defense Headquarters, I served at Defense Headquarters as Deputy Director, Defense Administration, between 2015 and 2017, during my two years at Defense Headquarters, j Have received visitors twice due to the strict security architecture but every Friday the door to Defense Headquarters is wide open for everyone to come in and observe Juma’at.

“This is the time when terrorists have time to profile our security environment. It always has been. I have served in military intelligence for the past 35 years. Our problem is religious and socio-cultural.

Olawunmi had added that he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at Defense Headquarters under the direction of the then Chief of Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retired).

The intelligence expert said he told the CDS at the time that the center of gravity of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the northeast and spreading to other parts of Nigeria was the sponsor.

“I then told General Olonisakin that the core of this problem cannot be solved the same way we solved the Niger Delta problem. The Niger Delta problem was solved during (ex-president Umaru) Yar’adua mainly by me and I told them that we cannot use the same model for Boko Haram.

“I told General Olonisakin to look at the center of gravity of the problem. I was appointed a member of the committee in 2016-2017, including the former army chief of staff, the lieutenant general. Ibrahim Attahiru who is deceased.

“I told them that the center of gravity of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the program sponsors. It was beyond us because the work that we had to do was kinetic but we cannot solve the problems of the sponsors of Boko Haram who were in the government of Buhari that we know of. That’s why we couldn’t pursue this aspect which could have solved the problem because we have to stop people.

“Recently 400 people were rounded up as Boko Haram sponsors, why did the Buhari government refuse to try them? Why can this government not bring them to justice if it is not that they are partisan and that they are part of the charade that is going on?

“You remember this Boko Haram problem started in 2012 and I was in military intelligence at the time. We arrested these people. My organization conducted interrogations and they (the suspects) mentioned names. I can’t go on the air and start mentioning the names of people who are in government right now that I know the boys we arrested mentioned. Some of them are now governors, some of them are in the Senate, some of them are in Aso Rock.

“Why should a government decide to cause this kind of embarrassment and insecurity in the sense of what happened yesterday (Tuesday at the NDA)?”

Olawunmi had also said that the Department of State Services had considerable information on the terrorists, but could do nothing except through the body language of the Commander-in-Chief.

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Canadian army

“Catastrophe” in Afghanistan: Canada saves only a fraction of the performers, according to an NGO

“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be massacred … It’s a disaster”

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Despite repeated government promises that Canada would save endangered interpreters and other Afghans who worked for that country, only a small fraction of them are airlifted out of Kabul, say advocates for local workers.


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About 90 percent of those flown by Ottawa from Afghanistan are Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Afghan origin, said Dave Fraser, a retired army general with the Veterans Transition Network.

Most performers and other ex-Canadian military and government employees are still waiting for a quickly fading opportunity to flee, he said.

“It’s always absolutely chaotic,” said Fraser, who led Canadian troops on Operation Medusa, that country’s most notorious offensive in Afghanistan. “It’s still incredibly dangerous.”

Chris Ecklund, founder of the Canadian Heroes Foundation, said only 100 of the 1,500 former employees and family members his group helps have made it to Canada. He estimates that the interpreters and their relatives represent only 5 to 10% of the evacuees.


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Meanwhile, the Taliban recently killed several former employees of that country, he said. Although he did not provide any details, such targeted assassinations have long been a hallmark of the organization.

“The government is just not interested in this, they never have been,” Ecklund accused. “We are there now, we have one week left. Are we going to take them all out? The math doesn’t make sense. It does not indicate that.

It’s still absolutely chaotic

Most have not received a visa from Canada and face a dangerous trek from privately funded secure homes in central Kabul to the airport, a trip that may include walking a mile down a sewer. in the open, according to defenders.

Other countries, like the British and the French, brought in hundreds of Afghans from the city in bus convoys.


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Although Canadian government officials told reporters that country’s special forces ventured outside the airport to bring people in, private lawyers say they see little evidence of this happening. produce.

As the August 31 deadline approaches for the departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, desperation is growing among veterans and other Canadians helping ex-employees.

“It’s a nightmare,” said another Canadian NGO volunteer, who works with government officials and asked not to be named. “It is a disaster of epic proportions.”

Spokesmen for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) could not be reached before the deadline for comment – or to describe who exactly is being evacuated.


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But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canada was prepared to stay in Afghanistan to continue evacuation efforts past the August 31 deadline, if possible.

“We will continue to work every day to bring out so many people alongside our allies,” Trudeau told reporters after a virtual meeting of G7 leaders. “The commitment of our G7 colleagues is clear: we will all work together to save as many people as possible.

  1.     In this file photo taken on August 15, 2021, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Hall after asking Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament.

    Trudeau says Canada is ready to stay in Kabul past August 31 deadline after G7 meeting

  2. British and Canadian soldiers stand guard near a canal as Afghans wait outside the foreign military-controlled portion of Kabul airport, hoping to flee the country on August 22, 2021.

    Former Canadian interpreter fears for his life while awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan

However, US President Joe Biden, who set the deadline, has indicated his country will not stay beyond the end of this month.


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Trudeau also said Canada will continue to pressure the Taliban to allow people to leave the country even after the current phase ends.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that Canada had flown 500 people out of the country just on Monday, adding to several hundred previously.

But Fraser said his group believed that only 11% of the 1,000 former interpreters and their families followed by VTN had received visas to come to Canada.

Even if they do receive a visa, getting into the airport and boarding a Canadian plane is a major challenge.

IRCC officials are telling Afghans to make their own way to the compound, despite the threat posed by huge crowds and Taliban guards, Fraser said.


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An Afghan-Canadian working for a Canadian NGO at the airport said it took people several days to get from the city to the airport. The quickest route takes them for three hours through an open sewer, where they then have to wait while Canadian authorities check their papers, said the man, who asked not to be named to avoid conflicts with government officials.

A friend who managed to cross and board a plane said he had traveled for several days as his children were injured by barbed wire and then had to wade through the sewers, he said by phone from Kabul.

A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021.
A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. Photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla / US Marine Corps / Document via Reuters

The NGO worker estimated that about 95 percent of those who board Canadian planes are citizens or permanent residents. Most of the interpreters he knows have not even received a visa.


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Once they make contact with Canadian authorities, the fleeing Afghans face another obstacle. IRCC staff categorically reject any family member – including in one case the widowed mother of a former employee – who does not themselves have a visa, the airport worker and a lawyer said based in Canada.

A former Canadian military interpreter in Kandahar province who immigrated to Canada in 2010 argued that Afghan nationals and their families should in fact be given priority over Canadian citizens. They do not have passports that would allow them to leave the country after the departure of foreign forces, he said.

Khan, who asked that his last name not be released to avoid reprisals against his family in Afghanistan, said the policy should extend to relatives of performers like him who have already settled in Canada, as those relatives are at increased risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

There are over 200 ex-performers in Canada and so far no family member in Afghanistan has made it, he said.

“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be slaughtered,” Khan predicted. “It’s a disaster.”

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Non profit living

Study: Food insecurity and poverty rate increased for Colorado children during pandemic

Referrals to early intervention services, which help young children from birth to 3 years old with developmental skills like speech therapy, also dropped dramatically in the first few weeks of the pandemic, dropping 63% over the course of the pandemic. during the first two weeks of March 2020.

That’s because primary care physicians, who make about a third of all referrals for such support, stopped doing good health checks on children at the start of the pandemic.

Providers aim to provide children with early intervention services in their ‘natural environment’, be it home or childcare – with the aim of making them function at the same level as their peers. said Christy Scott, director of the early intervention program at Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood. “And if we don’t get the early intervention they need, then we might see the ramifications when they get into kindergarten, special education, or even kindergarten.”

Scott said there has been an increase in referrals recently, and advocates for child care are hoping that trend continues.

Household income has fallen and food insecurity has increased

Almost half of households with children have reported loss of employment income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of March 2021, a third declared having difficulty paying the usual household expenses.

Meanwhile, about 10 percent of Colorado households with children reported not having enough food to eat over the past week.

Black and Latino families have suffered disproportionately, reporting more food and rental insecurity – and more job losses – than white families.

“They entered the pandemic with higher rates of child poverty, higher proportions of children without health insurance, limited access to high quality child care, and kindergarten to grade 12 education.” , Manoatl said. “During the pandemic, they were hit harder than other households (economically)… it’s kind of like an aggravated effect.”

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History organization

Tourism alliance could raise billions to preserve Gullah Geechee culture

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Commission is mobilizing a new tourism alliance to raise awareness of Gullah Geechee culture.

The history of the Gullah Geechee people dates back to the 1700s. The food, dances, music and culture of the Gullah Geechee people continue along the coast from Wilmington, North Carolina to St. Augustine, Florida.

Gullah Geechee Tourism Alliance representative Laura Mandala said her organization is stepping up efforts to preserve this rich history.

“We are really trying to make people appreciate what their ancestors brought to this country and their current contributions to the region,” Mandela said. “I mean the food, the spices, the crabs, a lot of what’s in the hallway, comes from those traditions.”

The aim of the alliance is both to create more events and museums, as well as to think about how to bring together resources that strengthen those that already exist.

Mandela says the corridor along the coast has the potential to generate $ 35 billion in annual spending for visitors.

She says for Wednesday’s meeting.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Mandala says more than 220 people have already registered. She says it will be completely virtual.

Those interested can register for the Gullah Geechee Tourism Alliance meeting via zoom.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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International headquarters

Central American Countries Ask: Can Bitcoin Reduce Remittance Costs? | News from banks

Central American countries are eagerly awaiting to see if El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender reduces the cost of remittances, a major source of income for millions of people, according to the development bank of the United States. region.

President Nayib Bukele’s allies in Congress have already approved legislation giving cryptocurrency official currency status alongside the US dollar, a world first. The move takes effect in September.

Bukele touted the adoption of Bitcoin as a way to facilitate remittances for Salvadorans living abroad.

“Everyone is watching if everything is going well for El Salvador and if, for example, the cost of remittances drops significantly… other countries are likely to seek this advantage and adopt it,” Dante Mossi, executive chairman of the Bank. Central American economic integration. (CABEI), Reuters news agency said on Wednesday. CABEI is an international multilateral development finance institution headquartered in Honduras.

Mossi called the plan an “extraordinary experiment” to increase financial inclusion in a region where many people do not have access to bank accounts or credit cards and depend on money sent by. parents living in the United States.

Technical assistance

CABEI, the regional development bank, is providing technical assistance to El Salvador for the implementation of cryptocurrency, a major show of support as the World Bank refused to help, citing environmental drawbacks and transparency.

The bank’s technical assistance aims to help El Salvador design a legal framework for the adoption of Bitcoin and ensure that strict international money laundering protocols are followed.

The aid is intended to help El Salvador “navigate waters that have yet to be explored,” said Carlos Sanchez, chief investment officer of CABEI.

Mossi said the Central American countries that receive the most remittances are the ones that prioritize the use of Bitcoin the most and stressed that CABEI has a “fiduciary duty” to support El Salvador in its request for aid.

“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are the countries that stand to gain the most if the adoption of Bitcoin reduces the cost of remittances,” Mossi said.

CABEI participated in a recent meeting of the Central American Monetary Council, which is part of the Central American Integration System (SICA), where participants asked about El Salvador’s Bitcoin plans and discussed expressed interest, he added.

The Central Bank of Honduras referred Reuters to a June 11 statement that the bank does not prohibit, supervise, or guarantee the use of cryptocurrencies as payment methods in the country.

The governments of Guatemala and Honduras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bitcoin ATMs

El Salvador has started installing Bitcoin ATMs, allowing its citizens to convert cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars and withdraw it for cash, as part of the government’s plan to make the token legal tender.

The government will install 200 ATMs to initially accompany its digital wallet called Chivo, a local slang term for “cool,” President Bukele said on Twitter on Sunday. Transactions will be commission-free, he said, adding that there will also be 50 financial branches across the country to withdraw or deposit money.

Adopting Bitcoin will save Salvadorans $ 400 million a year in fees for receiving remittances from abroad, Bukele said.

According to Autonomous Research, less than 1% of the volume of global cross-border remittances is currently made in cryptocurrencies, but in the future, cryptocurrencies are expected to account for a larger share of the more than $ 500 billion. global annual remittances.

Bitcoin offers, in theory, a fast and inexpensive way to send money across borders without resorting to traditional channels.

Salvadoran Bitcoin law will come into effect on September 7 and Salvadorans will be able to download the government’s Chivo digital wallet, enter their ID number and receive $ 30 in Bitcoin, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said in an interview with local television. The government has created a $ 150 million fund to support Bitcoin to U.S. dollar conversions, he said.

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