A Saint Mary’s professor and two students traveled to Amman, Jordan, to observe and assist the inception and future growth of SheCab, a startup taxi service designed for and by Jordanian women.Associate professor of political science Sonalini Sapra accompanied junior Eleanor Jones and sophomore Emily Beaudoin abroad, a trip that followed the two students’ participation in the Study of United States Institute (SUSI) on Global Women’s Leadership hosted by Saint Mary’s the previous summer.The SUSI, organized and facilitated by the College’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), closed its five-week long program with a capstone project in which students designed a program geared towards helping women in their home country. Jones and Beaudoin said they were unsurprised when the SheCab proposal was chosen as the best of all the participating groups in the 2014 SUSI.“Each team developed great ideas for their project, but SheCab was the clear winner,” Jones said. “I remember Emily predicting their success before it was announced that they had won. Their mission was clear and their action plan was something that was tangible.”Not only was their design tangible, but it was one the Jordanian group encountered in successful action during their stay in South Bend, Jones said.“Gail Hickey graduated from the Spark Program that is hosted at Saint Mary’s by Martha Smith,” Jones said. “Through her participation in this program, she started her own female cab service in the area. The Jordanian delegation met Gail when they were here and they used her idea as the springboard for their own action plan.”Beaudoin said the transportation demanded and supplied by women in South Bend and appropriated for use in Amman speaks to an international interest in women’s safety.“SheCab is part of a larger global movement for female-only transportation,” Beaudoin said. “Mexico, Afghanistan, India and even New York City have already implemented systems of female only public transportation.”“This is a service much needed in Amman, as women oftentimes speak of harassment and feeling generally unsafe in taxis driven by men.”Beaudoin said the the group’s end result was a taxi business — female-purposed and female-serviced — with a mission to provide safe and accessible transportation for women.“Once SheCab is officially launched, the cars will be driven exclusively by females and offer their services to females,” Beaudoin said.Jones said SheCab’s creators have garnered a lot of attention through media outreach since they left the U.S. in August.“Although they have not officially launched, SheCab’s greatest strength thus far has been their outreach,” Jones said. “They were on the front cover of one of their national newspapers, and they have been interviewed on several radio stations.”Although the two Saint Mary’s students did not contribute to SheCab’s initial design, Beaudoin and Jones said they were able to witness and help their international peers’ business model come to life during their trip to Jordan.“Emily and I were able to attend a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in support of the SheCab team,” Jones said. “There, they were announced a finalist for an Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.“ … While we were there, they also got the first call from a potential investor.”Beaudoin said the Jordanian entrepreneurs intend to use the SheCab’s media attention to raise the money it needs for an official launch. She said she realized that the most significant way she and Jones could contribute to the growth of SheCab was to provide them with additional funding that would ensure the business’s quick and effective launch.“SheCab is in need of funds to purchase cars, market their business and continue to grow,” Beaudoin said. “Right now the SheCab team is working to finalize their business plan, attract investors and market their business so that when it does come time for the official launch the public is excited and willing to ride in their cabs.”Beaudoin said she was impressed by the Jordanian delegation’s ability to see this feminist-activism project through as a potentially profitable business model.“Personally, I think SheCab won because it was a very specific, highly feasible idea that is part of a larger global movement for female-only transportation,” she said. “The fact that it was entrepreneurial, that the Jordanian team wanted to launch a new business, distinguished it from the other country projects.”This “feasible” idea is ensured by need, Beaudoin said. She and Jones experienced the dangers of male cabbies firsthand during their trip to Amman, she said.“As we spoke with several women who live in Amman and experienced some harassment at the hands of a taxi driver ourselves, it was evident that SheCab is a much-needed service in Amman,” Beaudoin said.Jones said SheCab will not only protect, but empower women.“I wanted to help contribute to this program because in my mind, these women leaders have already succeeded,” Jones said. “ … They not only identified an issue in their community, they are finding a solution. They are finding and sparking confidence in others.”Jones said the opportunity to witness and contribute to SheCab and the rise of the women entrepreneurs that designed and implemented it was inspiring.“Although our institute this summer was only five weeks, I think we developed great bonds with these women,” Jones said. “Being able to watch them succeed in change makes me proud to have been able to watch them develop this dream from the beginning and to have been a small part of their journey.”Tags: Amman, CWIL, Jordan, SheCab, SUSI
The Center for Civil and Human Rights sponsored the panel discussion “The Right to Vote: Shaping an American Electorate” on Monday afternoon. Moderated by David Campbell, chair of the department of political science, the discussion centered on the accessibility of the ballot in current American culture, as well as the shaping of the electorate in the past.The panelists included Dianne Pinderhughes, chair of the department of Africana studies and professor of political science, Jennifer Mason McAward, associate professor of law and acting director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Luis Fraga, professor of political science and Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership.African Americans did legally receive enfranchisement after the passing of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, Pinderhughes said, yet they remained disenfranchised because numerous devices, such as literacy tests, prevented many eligible African Americans from actually voting.“Post-Civil War, states were trying to make sure blacks could not partake in the electoral [system]. … Southern states have very large populations, these people form the balance of electoral power in the South, and Southern leaders attempted to curtail that,” she said. “The right to vote could not be sustained because of the power of the states, who were specifically determined to stop African Americans from voting. Even today, we see this challenge to the right to vote.”McAward said Congress attempted to change the situation with the 1965 Voting Rights Act.“The 15th Amendment was basically ignored for over 50 years after it was passed because of literacy tests that were enacted in the South,” she said. “Congress starting in the late 1950s to try to deal with that legacy in the South.”Understanding the act is imperative to understanding its legacy, McAward said. There are five sections of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices that many Southern states adopted, including literacy tests, as a prerequisite to vote. While the act’s provisions provide nationwide protection of voting rights, it also contains special provisions that apply specifically to certain jurisdictions in the South.“Under Section 2 of the law, any citizen can become a plaintiff, that is, the person that is challenging a law, has to prove the law that was passed was discriminatory,” she said. “However, under Section 5 [which only applies to certain jurisdictions], districts have to pre-clear their voting law changes with the Department of Justice. Changing that burden of proof is an important thing — it places the burden of proof on the government itself.”According to McAward, this provision stopped about 40 to 50 discriminatory voting laws from being enacted per year. However, McAward said that in the landmark case Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court declared that the “coverage formula” — which decided what jurisdictions had to abide by Section 5 of the law — was outdated and unconstitutional. In order to keep Section 5 in effect, the House of Representatives has to draft a law that would change the coverage formula.“Now all these states are free of a pre-clearance requirement,” McAward said. “The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee refused to see bills that offered new coverage formals. They think Section 2 of the [Voting Rights Act] is enough.”Fraga said the enactment of voter identification laws, and the failure to pass a law that would uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, is a bipartisan attempt to stop that influence of African-American and Latino voters.According to Fraga, many states have strict voter identification states, where a voter must present proof of identification in order to vote. These laws are put in place, according to Fraga, because of the “myth of voter fraud.”“While voter fraud occurs a voter who casts a vote while knowing they are ineligible to vote, this rarely occurs,” he said. “More often, inaccurate tallies, user errors and technological malfunctions occur, and these are not the same thing as voter fraud.”These laws are in effect to simply control voter turnout, Fraga said. He noted 51 percent of Latino citizens are not registered to vote, and just over 50 percent of Asian-American citizens are not registered to vote.“It is an explicit attempt to control which party wins and which party loses,” he said.Fraga said it is important to call voter fraud a “myth” because that allows people to understand the discrimination that is occurring.“If we don’t call the reality what it is, it inhibits our ability to do what is really necessary,” he said. “We must remain particularly vigilant to protect access to the ballot and the equality of access to the ballet. It’s who has access and who can influence our democracy; it’s how we can be an inclusive nation and our governing institutions.”McAward said voter ID laws have “a disproportionate impact on those who Congress is supposed to be protecting.”“It turns out that there is a substantial number of people who do not have voter IDs, and these people are overwhelmingly elderly and minority,” she said.Pinderhughes said it would be extremely difficult for older citizens, who are born in rural areas, to obtain a copy of their birth certificate. Even if their copy is on file at a registry, many simply cannot afford to pay for the copy.Fraga said the U.S. is “one of the few democratic countries that has an ‘opt in’ system.”“In other countries, the government takes the responsibility to register you to vote. Here, that burden is on the citizen. I worry about the extent of the message it’s sending to the country that this kind of exclusion is OK because it is being constitutionally justified,” Fraga said. “But honestly, we have a more fundamental problem than [citizens not] casting informed votes. We have a problem of citizens being prevented from even casting that vote.”Tags: Center for Civil and Human Rights, Voting Rights Act
Adriana Perez | The Observer CSPL executive director Michael Nicolas Okinczyc-Cruz and senior Kassandra Perez speak at a virtual webinar hosted by the ILS Sept. 21, 2020.The ILS also hosted a virtual book launch Sept. 22 of “A Homegrown Fairytale,” co-authored by Notre Dame Master of Fine Arts alumna Suzi Garcia (‘15).The next ILS event for Hispanic Heritage Month will take place Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Associate professor of Romance languages and literature Marisel Moreno and professor of Romance languages and literature Thomas Anderson will lead a discussion on their online bilingual exhibit, “El Arte al Servicio del Pueblo,” which translates to “Art at the Service of the People.”The Hispanic Alumni Association (HA of ND) has also planned a panel for Oct. 15, Prisma Garcia (‘09), the vice-chair for HA of ND, said.The panel seeks to connect students with alumni currently working in fields such as business, nonprofit and academia who will “talk about their life as Latinos at Notre Dame and after,” Garcia said.“We didn’t want to compete with what [ILS] was already doing,” Garcia said, expressing HA of ND’s support for ILS programming.Outside of Hispanic Heritage Month, Garcia said HA of ND plans to offer a virtual Spanish mass in the coming months to celebrate Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe on her feast day Dec. 12, even if virtually.To celebrate this month, the Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) office has been posting on its Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts “highlighting [L]atinx traditions and people who have contributed to our history that folks may or may not know about,” Yvette Rodriguez, assistant director of programming, said in an email to The Observer.Last week, MSPS also shared an opportunity with students to attend a SpeakOut webinar with Michael Benitez Jr. on Sept. 17, entitled “Examining Latinidad: At the Crossroads of Race, Culture and COVID-19.” MSPS is also co-sponsoring the Student Union Board’s Oct. 8 movie watch of “McFarland, USA.”“In general, though, we understand that there are many times other than just within the heritage month that we could be celebrating,” Rodriguez said. “While the spotlight given to these narratives through heritage months is helpful, it is important to weave them in throughout our education, events and lives at other times too …,” Rodriguez said, “as well as acknowledge the educational opportunity that heritage months offer.”According to Fraga, “Notre Dame’s original mission was to educate predominantly working-class, predominantly Catholic, immigrant and immigrant-origin” communities who could not get educated elsewhere.“In focusing on Latinos, Notre Dame is recommitting itself to its original mission,” Fraga said. Tags: 2020 census, Hispanic Alumni Association, Hispanic Heritage Month, ILS, latin america, Latinx In the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Latino communities and in light of the upcoming census and general election, Notre Dame’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month offers opportunities to celebrate the more than 1,000 University undergraduates who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.Sept. 15 marked the beginning of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Luis Fraga, director of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), said this celebration aims to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino communities in the nation’s history and society.“The idea behind it is, let’s celebrate the good things as a way to remember how we can make things even better for these communities in the country,” Fraga said.The official celebration of Hispanic heritage in the United States began in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a 30-day event spanning Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.The start date was chosen because it coincided with the commemoration of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In the following days, the independence of other Latin American countries is celebrated too, such as Mexico, Chile and Belize.About two or three years ago, Fraga said the ILS decided to “lead the University” in recognizing this month. Since then, the ILS has organized a series of events between mid-September and mid-October to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx heritage in Notre Dame and the United States.This year, the events hosted by the ILS had to be adapted to a virtual platform due to the pandemic. Registration is required to attend most of these events. In them, alumni, professors and guest speakers from different backgrounds will cover broad topics, from art and poetry to gun violence and border issues.The ILS started their Hispanic Heritage Month event series with a virtual table talk entitled “Latinx Voters in the 2020 Election,” hosted by Fraga and associate professor of political science Ricardo Ramirez. According to the Pew Research Center, a record 32 million Latinos are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020, up from 27.3 million in 2016. The talk is available on the video-sharing platform of Panopto and on the ILS website.So far, the institute has also hosted a panel discussion Sept. 21 with Michael Nicolas Okinczyc-Cruz, executive director of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership (CSPL), and senior Kassandra Perez, who interned remotely at CSPL this summer. The panel, “Latinx Presence and Power: The 2020 Census and Overcoming the Politics of Erasure,” sought to discuss the significance of the census, the obstacles that Latino communities face and what can be done to ensure these communities are counted.“There’s such a huge impact,” Perez said. “Especially in our Latinx communities, when we don’t fill out the census because the data affects us for the next 10 years.”Perez emphasized that government funding, the drawing of congressional and state legislative districts, business decisions and seats in the House of Representatives are some of the big decisions made based on the census.
While earning raves and 2016 Tony nominations for their work on Eclipsed, playwright Danai Gurira and director Liesl Tommy have been living double lives, creatively speaking: Gurira plays zombie killer Michonne in the international TV megahit The Walking Dead; Tommy recently opened Frozen Live at the Hyperion, an hour-long stage version of the movie musical, at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. But if these champion multitaskers seem a tad tired heading into Tony week, their energy returns the minute they begin talking about Eclipsed and the pride they feel for the play.Q: You must be so excited about the success of Eclipsed, which debuted at Yale Rep back in 2009. It’s rare for a woman to get a Best Play Tony nomination, and even rarer for a female director to be honored. DANAI: We feel the excitement, but also it’s like, why is it rare? There are a lot of women writing amazing work and a lot of amazing directors. The idea that this kind of recognition is rare is a crying shame.LIESL: People keep saying it’s amazing when they realize there hadn’t been a female director of an all-female show written by a woman. But to me, that was really shocking for 2016. This has been an incredible season for diversity, but that doesn’t mean anybody can relax. We have to keep investing in bringing voices to Broadway that are not normally heard there.Q: The two of you look joyful in photos at awards season events, posing with your Tony-nominated actresses [Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand and Saycon Sengbloh] and cast members from other shows. Have you enjoyed it?DANAI: Oh, deeply! Really, it’s been awesome. The last time I was part of an awards season was 10 years ago with my off-Broadway show In the Continuum, but I was in Africa doing it and so I missed the Obies, Outer Critics and Drama League. I’ve had a great time getting to know people I admire.LIESL: You really feel the community at events like the Tony luncheon, whether it’s a big movie star or a theater actor who has pounded the pavement for their whole career. It’s very equalizing, and that, to me, is very meaningful.Q: Liesl, did you ever try to talk Danai into being in Eclipsed?LIESL: We had one conversation about it, and she was so clearly not interested that I never brought it up again.DANAI: The goal of this play for me was to step back and create work specifically for other women of African descent. So, to take up a fifth of the stage space didn’t make sense to my mandate. I love seeing these five women shine and find their groove. Three of them have Tony noms! I could go in there and bomb.LIESL: Doubtful.Q: Danai is an actress and playwright; Liesl just opened Frozen at Disneyland. What’s appealing about working in different worlds and blending lighter and darker material?DANAI: I think of myself as a storyteller: I love to pick up a perfectly minted script written by somebody else and slip into it as an actor, and I love to complete a narrative that I have labored over and birthed. A great story is a great story, and you can find it in Ibsen and Shaw and Chekhov—Familiar [Gurira’s latest play, which debuted off-Broadway in March] was my Chekhovian version of my own people—and you can find it in a zombie apocalypse. It’s exciting to me to find parallels in Michonne [in The Walking Dead] and Wife #2 [in Eclipsed]. Both turn themselves into weapons to deal with hostile environments.LIESL: Like Danai, I started out as an actor, and I don’t feel any limits in terms of what I can or should do in telling a story. With Frozen, Disney offered me the job out of the blue; I didn’t know anything about the movie or the venue. It’s been really invigorating because every ethnicity is represented for the princesses and princes, the kings and queens. The casting is completely diverse, which was a new idea for Disney. And the reaction has been crazy. “Let It Go” is like a Beyoncé concert.Q: Where did your ambition and drive come from?LIESL: I’ve always been super driven and focused, and I also think it’s part of being an immigrant—the work ethic that comes with feeling you’ve got a lot to prove. Growing up in South Africa and experiencing extreme poverty, you look at your own path and think, how did I get so lucky? I’d better take up this space and leave something meaningful.DANAI: I was born into an academic family, and the idea of immersing yourself in a topic of interest and pursuing what you love is how I was raised. Having a father with a Ph.D. does something to your psyche! You understand that you’ve got to finish what you start. I had to get my M.F.A. [from NYU] because I wanted to learn the rules so that I could then break them.Q: Who will be your date to the Tonys?DANAI: Zainab Jah, who plays Wife #2. She’s an astounding performer and a dear friend who has been part of Eclipsed for a long time.LIESL: I’m going to invite Dame Diane DiVita, the stage manager of our show. It’s an unsung hero position, and she is a fierce lady who has poured her heart and soul into maintaining our vision. I’m getting emotional! Stage managers never go to the Tonys, and I feel like she should come and enjoy the night with us.Q: Finally, what are you wearing?DANAI: A dress. Who’s the designer? [Gurira’s assistant flips open a notebook and responds, “Rosie Assoulin.]LIESL: Vogue is dressing me for the Tonys. I’m going to a fitting right now.Q: Will Anna Wintour pop by in her sunglasses to weigh in on your choices? LIESL: I can only pray! Related Shows Eclipsed Liesl Tommy & Danai Gurira(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 19, 2016
By Dialogo August 13, 2013 On board the helicopter, the crew monitored Nicéia, while an Emergency Mobile Medical Service team waited at the airport in Corumbá. The six-hour trip that the ferry would have taken turned out to be only a 40-minute trip. Nicéia fell off a horse on a farm, 280 miles from the city of Campo Grande, in the middle of the Pantanal, a location with very difficult access. Ground or boat transportation could have worsened her health condition. Upon the Fire Department’s request, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) was contacted and a helicopter with six crew members, among them a doctor and a nurse, came to the rescue. The Pelican Squadron of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), in Campo Grande (Mato Grosso state), used night vision goggles (NVG) for the first time in a real rescue mission. The use of the equipment played a decisive role in the health of 59-year-old Nicéia Gomes, who suffered a pelvic fracture on July 27, and had to be urgently transferred to a hospital at night. The Pelican Squadron was founded in 1957 with this motto and a specific search and rescue mission. Currently, the unit is equipped with H-1H helicopters and SC-105 Amazonas airplanes, both used throughout the country. In January of this year, the Pelican had setup the largest Intensive Care Unit ever used in Brazil inside the SC-105 Amazonas to help with the transportation of victims from the Kiss nightclub fire, in Santa Maria (Rio Grande do Sul state). Up to seven patients in serious condition were moved at the same time to Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), while accompanied by a medical team of 21 professionals on a flight lasting less than 40 minutes. “So that others may live” However, this was not an easy mission for the Pelican Squadron. “It was dark when we arrived at the location,” says Lieutenant Canedo. It was time, after four years of training, for the squadron to use the night vision goggles for the first time in a real rescue. “If we did not have this equipment, the rescue could only have been possible during day light,” explained the pilot. Waiting was not the best option. Medic and Captain Mauro Pascale said he was already worried because the patient had suffered the fracture 24 hours prior, and had not received medical attention. When the helicopter arrived, the family members had already placed Nicéia in a truck in an attempt to take her to the ferry. “The initial medical care was provided inside the vehicle. Our main concern was how long the patient had to wait for the rescue,” recalls the doctor.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Barrett Brown, the American journalist best known for his dogged reporting on the clandestine U.S. intelligence community, is “remorseful” and regrets making a series of now-infamous YouTube rants brimming with anger and defiance that ultimately led to his arrest almost 20 months ago, Brown’s Texas-based lawyer told the Press in one of the few lengthy interviews he’s conducted since a gag order was lifted last month.Brown, now jailed for 20 months, formally pleaded guilty this week to Internet threats, accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access of a protected computer, and interfering with the execution of a search warrant. Brown signed the plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Texas in March, but the document was held under seal until late April. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 8 1/2 years.The potential prison time is exponentially less than the 100-plus years he faced prior to the government inexplicably dropping 11 counts related to his sharing of a publicly available hyperlink.The charges stemmed from the hack of global intelligence contractor Stratfor, and were only dropped after Brown’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss. Those allegations in particular troubled several civil liberty and press freedom groups who were concerned that the charges could chill speech. In fact, several groups threatened to file an Amicus Brief before the counts were dismissed.During his interview with the Press, Brown’s lawyer, Ahmed Ghappour, criticized prosecutors for what he deemed over-broad charges, questioned why the government filed three separate indictments instead of one, and explained that neither Brown nor anyone on his behalf developed a media strategy to manipulate the public through the press and social media, as prosecutors suggested in their request for a gag order.Additionally, Ghappour revealed that Brown is already thinking about life after jail, noting that Brown intends to once again pursue journalism upon his eventual release—which may not come as a surprise to his most ardent supporters who considered Brown’s reporting, particularly on shady government contractors not beholden to the American public, a necessary public service.“Absolutely, he can’t wait,” Ghappour told the Press. “And he may have already gotten an offer or two.”PLEASE JOIN US IN THANKING OUR UNDERWRITERS FOR SUPPORTING QUALITY JOURNALISM. ACCESS TO OUR WEBSITE IS FREE DUE TO THE SUPPORT OF OUR UNDERWRITERS. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.But before Brown can explore those opportunities, there’s the matter of his August 18 sentencing. During the interview, Ghappour insisted that Brown would have already served sufficient time—nearly two years—by the time his sentencing date arrives, and claimed that Brown is repentant.“He’s remorseful for the conduct and he accepts responsibility for it,” Ghappour said. “He did not cause an extreme amount of damage, nobody was hurt physically or financially by the YouTube video, which did not cause any substantial disruption for law enforcement.”The YouTube videos represent just one facet of Brown’s legal struggles since his arrest, and prosecutors’ initial charges related to his lashing out on the world’s most popular video sharing service were far less controversial than the counts related to copying and pasting the link from one Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to another he ran on his website, Project PM. Prosecutors said in court documents that the link not only contained thousands of hacked documents, but also 5,000-plus stolen credit card account numbers from Stratfor clients.Related – Barrett Brown: American Journalist, Whistleblower & PrisonerBrown was never accused of the hack, which was perpetrated by the hacking collective Anonymous, though he was interested in reporting on its contents. The leaked documents revealed Stratfor’s close relationship with government agencies, among other interesting findings. The hacker Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime.“The reality is that Barrett had wanted to take responsibility for everything that he actually did,” Ghappour said. “The problem was that the December indictment (related to the hack) did not contain anything that he did. So when the government dropped the problematic charges we were very quick to accept responsibility.”“They were certainly over-broad,” he added of the link-sharing charges.Brown, who became the public face of Anonymous, but has denied ever being an official spokesperson for the collective, was not officially charged until six months after federal agents raided his unoccupied apartment as well as his mother’s home.In pleading guilty to interfering with the execution of a search warrant, Brown admits in the case’s factual resume that he and his mother concealed two laptops containing his journalistic work and research for a forthcoming book. The court documents also note that the pair set up another laptop on a table to act as a decoy.Ghappour said a purpose for hiding the laptops “was to protect his sources and work product.”Outraged at the government for both seizing his laptops and for obstruction of justice threats directed at his mother, which she eventually pleaded guilty to, Brown publicly vented in a profanity-laced, and sometimes incoherent, three-part YouTube rant.Brown called FBI Special Agent Robert Smith a “chicken shit little faggot cock sucker,” and allegedly threatened to “look into his fucking kids.”Those and other troubling remarks—“That’s why Robert Smith’s life is over. And when I say over, I don’t say I’m gonna go kill him, but I am gonna ruin his life…”—however, are not related to his pleading guilty for Internet threats because they were not considered physical threats.Instead, the charge stems from another verbal outburst later in the video in which Brown suggested he would resort to violence if they entered his property.“Any armed officials of the U.S. government, particularly the FBI, will be regarded as potential [Los] Zeta assassin squads and as the FBI and DPD know…I’m armed and I come from a military family, that I was taught to shoot by a Vietnam vet and by my father, a master hunter of all things…I will shoot all of them and kill them if they come and do anything because they are engaged in a criminal conspiracy and I have reason to fear for my life, not just from the Zetas but from the U.S. government.”He added: “And frankly, it was pretty obvious that I was going to be dead before I was 40 or so, so I wouldn’t mind going out with two FBI sidearms like a fucking Egyptian pharaoh. Adios.”Ghappour has up until recently been unable to publicly discuss his client’s case due to a government-proposed gag order that became effective in September 2013.Prosecutors suggested in court documents filed at the time that Brown and others were soliciting the media “or media-types” to discuss his cases.“Since May 1, 2013, the government has reason to believe that Brown’s attorney coordinates and/or approves the use of the media,” court documents state. “Most of the publicly about Brown thus far contain gross fabrications and substantially false recitations of facts and law which may harm both the government and the defense during jury selection.”Prosecutors then listed nine examples to support the claim, adding:“Brown has shown his intent to continue to manipulate the public through press and social media comments, in defiance of the admonishment by the United States Magistrate Judge.”Ghappour said that was not the case, and that lawyers’ involvement was strictly legal.“Our only ‘strategy’ was to make sure that Barrett’s statements were within the bounds of the law,” he said.“But also that they were not harmful to him, that he was not harming himself by making any statements,” Ghappour added.Many of Brown’s supporters adamantly believe that he was initially being investigated for his journalism—which largely focused on exposing U.S. government contractors that work in the shadows.And charging him with sharing a hyperlink was especially troubling, civil liberty groups have said.The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group committed to defending Internet freedoms, among other groups, argued in an Amicus Brief that was never officially filed: “The First Amendment protects Mr. Brown’s publication of a publicly-available and lawfully-obtained web address linking to millions of pages of documents discussing suspect activities of the United States government intelligence contractor Stratfor Global Intelligence.”“Mr. Brown,” it continued, “is a well-known and published journalist, and this publication was a necessary part of routine newsgathering and news reporting activities.”Additionally, the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders, which publishes an annual report dubbed the “Press Freedom Index,” also came out in Brown’s defense, and cited his jailing, along with the so-called war on whistleblowers, as a reason why it dropped the United States in its rankings for 2013, from 32 to 46.Brown will spend the next three months behind bars, as he has been doing since his September 2012 arrest. What comes next is anyone’s guess.“Barrett is a brilliant but troubled young man,” said Ghappour, “who with the right community support is certain to be a productive member of society.”
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) supervisory council has questioned the commission’s chairman, Firli Bahuri, about a helicopter ride following a complaint filed by antigraft activists.The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (MAKI) accused Firli of living a “hedonistic lifestyle” by using a private helicopter to take a personal trip from South Sumatra’s capital of Palembang to his hometown in Baturaja in the same province last week. They maintained that this constituted an ethical violation. “We asked for his clarification on Thursday,” council member Sjamsuddin Haris said on Friday as reported by kompas.com. However, he did not explain the clarification process or whether any ethics violations had been found.According to the MAKI report, Firli took a helicopter taxi, sometimes called a helimousine, to Baturaja to visit his parents’ graves. Such services can cost up to US$1,400 for an hour of use, Reuters reported.Firli brushed off the allegations and declined to comment on the criticism.Read also: Watchdogs’ grim report says KPK has ‘lost public trust’ in six months under Firli “[My focus] is on working and working,” the former South Sumatra police chief said as reported by tribunnews.com on Friday.Firli’s colleague, KPK commissioner Alexander Marwata, came to his defense, saying that that Firli had taken the helicopter to save time.“Regardless of people’s opinions, he was considering time efficiency because he only took one day of leave,” Alexander said as reported by kompas.com.Alexander said that Firli had explained that he chose to rent the helicopter because it would take hours to travel from Palembang to Baturaja by car.MAKI previously accused Firli of failing to comply with health protocols during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as he had not worn a mask or kept his distance while interacting with the public.Firli denied violating health protocols and said he wore masks while talking to people. (nal)Topics :
National property listings rose in March, according to SQM Research.THERE has been a surge in properties hitting the market in Brisbane, as homeowners head for the exit in a bit to take profits.The number of homes for sale in Brisbane rose 6.9 per cent to 31,619 in March, according to the latest figures from SQM Research. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE New houses under construction for sale in a suburb in Melbourne.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoThat’s more than the national average, with residential listings increasing 6.3 per cent last month.But Sydney was the standout, with listings jumping 11.8 per cent from February to be up a whopping 23 per cent compared to a year ago as home sellers try to escape the city’s housing slowdown.SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher attributed the rise to homeowners taking advantage of price gains in recent years to sell their properties before any correction in the property market hurts the value of their homes. COUPLE’S $43K-A-MONTH REAL ESTATE COUP 1920S WATERFRONT QUEENSLANDER HITS MARKET MORTGAGE RELIEF AS RATES STAY ON HOLD SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.“We also had a longer month in March compared to February, so we have seen a jump in property listings,” Mr Christopher said.Asking prices for houses in Brisbane also increased, with vendors now wanting $616,600 for a house — 0.5 per cent more than they did a month ago.But asking prices for units in the city fell 0.2 per cent to $379,800.
The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has published a report that outlines a framework for action by investors looking to shape real-world outcomes in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).According to the PRI, the report – ‘Investing with SDG Outcomes’ – argues that investors can “look beyond financially material environmental, social and governance issues, and consider taking on societal and environmental issues on a systemic level as part of their investment strategies, and wider collaborative actions, to support achievement of the SDGs by 2030”.The report comes as the PRI prepares to update its signatory reporting framework to include questions about policies on shaping real-world outcomes and processes used for identifying outcomes related to the SDGs.It said a small number of questions would be mandatory for signatories to answer, while the majority will be voluntary to answer, and not assessed. The new reporting framework will be launched officially in January 2021. The PRI proposed a ‘core’ ‘plus’ model in the last of two consultations on changes to its reporting framework, with the “core” part being a “stable, process-focused” section with closed-ended, mandatory questions, and the “plus” section being ”evolving, process- and outcome-focused” with mostly voluntary, open-ended questions.According to PRI summaries of the feedback to the consultations, although there was support for showcasing real-world outcomes through PRI reporting, it was limited for mandatory SDG reporting.Last year the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund opposed the introduction of outcome-based reporting, following this up with criticism of the PRI’s moves with regard to “real world impact”.The PRI today said that its next steps will include working with those signatories that are seeking to shape outcomes in line with the SDGs, “to support sharing of best practices and to develop consensus on how to address common challenges”.According to the PRI, there has been a spike in the number of PRI signatories mentioning the SDGs in their reporting to the organisation, with 31% (650) doing so this year, up from 24% last year and 16% in 2018.PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: “With the release of this report, the PRI will continue to support its signatories to create mutually beneficial outcomes for their investors and key stakeholders and marks a step forward in moving investors towards greater accountability to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”AP2 is one of the investors featured in the report, with a focus on its work assessing human rights risks and the challenges it has encountered.Eva Halvarsson, CEO of the Swedish buffer fund, said: “AP2 welcomes the Investing with SDG Outcomes paper and hopes that it will both inspire and contribute to a more comprehensive dialogue about the SDGs and on human rights issues in the finance industry.”The PRI’s ‘Investing with SDG Outcomes’ report can be found here.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
Greek oil and gas firm Energean has signed a contract with Stena Drilling for the development drilling of the Karish field, offshore Israel.Stena Drilling will deploy the Stena Forth drillship “or such substitute as may be agreed by the parties” to drill three development wells in Q1 2019, subject to Energean’s Final Investment Decision (FID) regarding the Karish and Tanin gas fields.The Stena Forth, one of the DrillMAX Fleet vessels, is a DP Class 3 ultra-deepwater drillship, currently laid up in Las Palmas, with two other Stena drillships, Stena Drillmax, and Stena Icemax. The Karish development program includes the drilling of three development wells and production from a new Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, approximately 90km offshore. First gas is expected in 2021.Energean said: “Energean considers this to be a significant step in the development of Karish and part of a development plan which targets supplying gas to the growing Israeli gas market. Stena Drilling’s caliber, experience, and safety record was crucial in making this decision, given Energean’s commitment to achieving the highest standards of HSE performance and the requirement to operate in line with or exceed the European Directive on Safety of Offshore Oil & Gas Operations, as implemented by the UK safety directive”Energean did not provide the value of the drillship contract.