Ross McCall Joins Sea Shepherd In Faroe Islands

first_imgPopular actor and television star, Ross McCall, known for his roles in the acclaimed TV series, “24: Live Another Day,” “White Collar,” and “Band of Brothers,” will soon be joining marine conservation non-profit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the remote Faroe Islands to assist with its pilot whale defense campaign, Operation GrindStop 2014.Ross McCall and Paul WatsonCredit/Copyright: Sea Shepherd Conservation SocietyAlways thinking about giving back in the wake of the successful acting career he has enjoyed, McCall will be joining Sea Shepherd’s multi-national volunteer teams that have traveled to the Faroe Islands (in the North Atlantic between the UK and Iceland) since mid-June of this summer during the height of pilot whale migration season to work onshore and offshore to try to stop the very cruel and archaic whale drive hunt in the Faroes, called the ‘grindadrap’ or ‘grind,’ where entire pods of intelligent and sentient pilot whales are herded into shallow bays and hacked to death with knives – taking several generations of whales from the sea at a time.McCall joins the campaign as Operation GrindStop 2014 successfully sparks worldwide outcry against the slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands. Last Saturday, August 30, after an entire summer of no grind activity since Sea Shepherd arrived on the scene 85 days prior, the day’s events sparked an international incident and global media attention when the local Faroese whalers drove a pod of 33 migrating pilot whales to shore and slaughtered them, despite Sea Shepherd’s dedicated attempts to intervene by land and by sea. All 14 of the activists on the island of Sandoy who intervened were arrested and 3 of their speedboats were seized and remain in custody. The “Faroes 14,” as the activists have been dubbed, have since been released and a sentence of 1,000 kr in fines and deportation is being proposed for each member of the land team (the boat team appears in court Sept. 25). A decision for the land team is due Monday, September 8. Operation GrindStop 2014 is expected to continue until Oct. 1.Before traveling to the Faroe Islands, the 38-year-old Scottish native son returned home to Glasgow on Sunday, Sept. 7 to fulfill a long-time dream. The star of cult classic football movie “Green Street Hooligans,” also a huge Celtic Football Club fan, played in the Celtic Football Club’s Maestrio Charity Football Match at Paradise. McCall gave his celebrity to this charity match to raise money for the charitable arm of the team, the Celtic FC Foundation.Earlier this year, the actor took time away from his busy schedule to deliver a collection of Celtic strips to the Casa Hogar of Sion Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, which was donated by the Celtic FC Foundation. Impressed by the work the Foundation does, McCall says raising money to support their vital work only added to his enjoyment of the match on Sunday.McCall will arrive in the Faroes late Monday and will join the Sea Shepherd crew on their patrols on Tuesday and Wednesday. Though he must leave on Thursday, Sept. 11 to get back to his busy filming schedule, he plans to pack a lot of activity into his brief visit. In addition to joining Sea Shepherd’s land and boat teams on patrols, McCall will visit a local school to speak with children about the importance of protecting our oceans. If time allows, who knows — he may even organize a football match between Sea Shepherd and the local Faroese, whom he has heard are as crazy as he is about football.last_img read more

IDG Launches Marketing Network for Bloggers

first_imgSo far, IDG has approved 100 bloggers for the network, covering topics including security, mobile, networking and gadgets. IDG editors must review and approve each participating site.San Francisco-based tech industry search engine service Technorati is said to be launching its own blogger advertiser network. A Technorati spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment. Independent tech bloggers may have a new ally in the online world. The International Data Group today announced the creation of the IDG TechNetwork, an online group that helps marketers place their ads on independent blogs.“IDG has been a media network for many years with over 400 owned and operated Web sites,” IDG TechNetwork vice president of sales and business development Kevin Normandeau wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. “Now, IDG is taking our knowledge of the technology channel and extending it to the benefit of our advertisers and top quality independent publishers and bloggers.”The IDG TechNetwork will represent independent technology Web sites and user groups to a stable of advertisers looking for exposure in carious technology categories. In return, IDG and publishers will evenly split ad revenues, Normandeau says, and publishers’ content will be distributed on relevant IDG media and partner Web sites.According to Normandeau, many independent publishers “do not have enough resources to generate the true revenue potential of their brands,” and this revenue partnership will help them “build their businesses.”last_img read more

Immigrant children detained in Virginia center allege abuse

first_imgA person walks into the entrance of the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center on Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 in Staunton, Va. Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at the juvenile detention center say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells. The abuse claims are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Photo : APImmigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.”Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me,” said a Honduran immigrant who was sent to the facility when he was 15 years old. “Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move. … They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”In addition to the children’s first-hand, translated accounts in court filings, a former child-development specialist who worked inside the facility independently told The Associated Press this week that she saw kids there with bruises and broken bones they blamed on guards. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to publicly discuss the children’s cases.In court filings, lawyers for the detention facility have denied all allegations of physical abuse.Many of the children were sent there after US immigration authorities accused them of belonging to violent gangs, including MS-13. President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited gang activity as justification for his crackdown on illegal immigration.Trump said Wednesday that “our Border Patrol agents and our ICE agents have done one great job” cracking down on MS-13 gang members. “We’re throwing them out by the thousands,” he said.But a top manager at the Shenandoah center said during a recent congressional hearing that the children did not appear to be gang members and were suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma that happened in their home countries – problems the detention facility is ill-equipped to treat.”The youth were being screened as gang-involved individuals. And then when they came into our care, and they were assessed by our clinical and case management staff … they weren’t necessarily identified as gang-involved individuals,” said Kelsey Wong, a program director at the facility. She testified 26 April before a Senate subcommittee reviewing the treatment of immigrant children apprehended by the Homeland Security Department.Most children held in the Shenandoah facility who were the focus of the abuse lawsuit were caught crossing the border illegally alone. They were not the children who have been separated from their families under the Trump administration’s recent policy and are now in the government’s care. But the facility there operates under the same program run by the US Office of Refugee Resettlement. It was not immediately clear whether any separated children have been sent to Shenandoah Valley since the Trump administration in April announced its “zero tolerance” policy toward immigrant families, after the lawsuit was filed.The Shenandoah lockup is one of only three juvenile detention facilities in the United States with federal contracts to provide “secure placement” for children who had problems at less-restrictive housing. The Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility in California has faced litigation over immigrant children mischaracterized as gang members.  In Alexandria, Virginia, a board overseeing the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center voted this week to end its contract to house federal immigration detainees, bowing to public pressure.The Shenandoah detention center was built by a coalition of seven nearby towns and counties to lock up local kids charged with serious crimes. Since 2007, about half the 58 beds are occupied by both male and female immigrants between the ages of 12 and 17 facing deportation proceedings or awaiting rulings on asylum claims. Though incarcerated in a facility similar to a prison, the children detained on administrative immigration charges have not yet been convicted of any crime.Virginia ranks among the worst states in the nation for wait times in federal immigration courts, with an average of 806 days before a ruling. Nationally, only about half of juveniles facing deportation are represented by a lawyer, according to Justice Department data.On average, 92 immigrant children each year cycle through Shenandoah, most of them from Mexico and Central America.Wong said many of the 30 or so children housed there on any given day have mental health needs that would be better served in a residential treatment unit. But such facilities are often unwilling to accept children with significant behavioral issues, she said.Wong and other managers at the Shenandoah center, including Executive Director Timothy J. Smith, did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment this week. A city manager on the local commission that oversees the facility referred questions to an official at the Refugee Resettlement agency, who did not respond to a phone message.Financial statements reviewed by AP shows the local government commission that operates the center received nearly $4.2 million in federal funds last year to house the immigrant children – enough to cover about two-thirds of the total operating expenses.The lawsuit filed against Shenandoah alleges that young Latino immigrants held there “are subjected to unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience, including violence by staff, abusive and excessive use of seclusion and restraints, and the denial of necessary mental health care.”The complaint filed by the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs recounts the story of an unnamed 17-year-old Mexican citizen apprehended at the southern border. The teen fled an abusive father and violence fueled by drug cartels to seek asylum in the United States in 2015.After stops at facilities in Texas and New York, he was transferred to Shenandoah in April 2016 and diagnosed during an initial screening by a psychologist with three mental disorders, including depression. Besides weekly sessions speaking with a counselor, the lawsuit alleges the teen has received no further mental health treatment, such as medications that might help regulate his moods and behavior.The lawsuit recounts multiple alleged violent incidents between Latino children and staff at the Shenandoah center. It describes the guards as mostly white, non-Spanish speakers who are undertrained in dealing with individuals with mental illness. The suit alleges staff members routinely taunt the Latino youths with racially charged epithets, including “wetback,” ”onion head” and “pendejo,” which roughly translates to dumbass in Spanish.A 16-year-old who said he had lived in Texas with his mother since he was an infant ended up at Shenandoah in September after a police officer pulled over a car he was riding in and asked for ID, which he couldn’t provide. As one of the few Latino kids who is fluent in English, the teen would translate for other detainees the taunts and names the staff members were calling them. He said that angered the guards, resulting in his losing such modest privileges as attending art classes.”If you are behaving bad, resisting the staff when they try to remove you from the program, they will take everything in your room away – your mattress, blanket, everything,” he said. “They will also take your clothes. Then they will leave you locked in there for a while. This has happened to me, and I know it has happened to other kids, too.”The immigrant detainees said they were largely segregated from the mostly white juveniles being held on criminal charges, but they could see that the other housing units had amenities that included plush chairs and video gaming consoles not available in the Spartan pods housing the Latinos.In their sworn statements, the teens reported spending the bulk of their days locked alone in their cells, with a few hours set aside for classroom instruction, recreation and meals. Some said they had never been allowed outdoors, while the US-born children were afforded a spacious recreation yard.The Latino children reported being fed sparse and often cold meals that left them hungry, though meals of American fast food were occasionally provided. Records show Shenandoah receives nearly $82,000 a year from the Agriculture Department to feed the immigration detainees.The lawsuit said the poor conditions, frequent physical searches and verbal abuse by staff often escalated into confrontations, as the frustrated children acted out. The staff regularly responded “by physically assaulting the youth, applying an excessive amount of force that goes far beyond what is needed to establish or regain control.”In the case of the Mexican 17-year-old, the lawsuit said a staff member who suspected him of possessing contraband threw him to the ground and forcibly tore off his clothes for an impromptu strip search. Though no forbidden items were found, the teenager was transferred to “Alpha Pod,” described in the lawsuit as a unit within the facility designated for children who engage in bad behavior.The lawsuit said Latino children were frequently punished by being restrained for hours in chairs, with handcuffs and cloth shackles on their legs. Often, the lawsuit alleged, the children were beaten by staff while bound.As a result of such “malicious and sadistic applications of force,” the immigrant youths have “sustained significant injuries, both physical and psychological,” the lawsuit said.After an altercation during which the lawsuit alleged the Mexican teenager bit a staff member during a beating, he was restrained in handcuffs and shackles for 10 days, resulting in bruises and cuts. Other teens interviewed as part of the court case also reported being punished for minor infractions with stints in solitary confinement, during which some of the children said they were left nude and shivering in cold concrete cells.Academic studies of prison inmates kept in solitary confinement have found they often experience high anxiety that can cause panic attacks, paranoia and disordered thinking that may trigger angry outbursts. For those with mental health issues, the effects can be exacerbated, often worsening the very behaviors the staff is attempting to discourage.A Guatemalan youth sent to the center when he was 14 years old said he was often locked in his tiny cell for up to 23 hours a day. After resisting the guards, he said he was also restrained for long periods.”When they couldn’t get one of the kids to calm down, the guards would put us in a chair – a safety chair, I don’t know what they call it – but they would just put us in there all day,” the teen said in a sworn statement. “This happened to me, and I saw it happen to others, too. It was excessive.”A 15-year-old from Mexico held at Shenandoah for nine months also recounted being restrained with a bag over his head. “They handcuffed me and put a white bag of some kind over my head,” he said, according to his sworn statement. “They took off all of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands and feet to the chair. They also put a strap across my chest. They left me naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night.”After being subjected to such treatment, the 17-year-old Mexican youth said he tried to kill himself in August, only to be punished with further isolation. On other occasions, he said, he has responded to feelings of desperation and hopelessness by cutting his wrists with a piece of glass and banging his head against the wall or floor.”One time I cut myself after I had gotten into a fight with staff,” the teen recounted. “I filled the room with blood. This happened on a Friday, but it wasn’t until Monday that they gave me a bandage or medicine for the pain.”The lawsuit alleges other immigrant youths held at Shenandoah have also engaged in cutting and other self-harming behaviors, including ingesting shampoo and attempting to choke themselves.A hearing in the case is set for July 3 before a federal judge in the Western District of Virginia.Lawyers on both sides in the lawsuit either did not respond to messages or declined to comment, citing strict confidentiality requirements in the case involving children.The child development specialist who previously worked with teens at Shenandoah told AP that many there developed severe psychological problems after experiencing abuse from guards.”The majority of the kids we worked with when we went to visit them were emotionally and verbally abused. I had a kid whose foot was broken by a guard,” she said. “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking up a pencil when a guard had said not to move. Some of them started hearing voices that were telling them to hurt people or hurt themselves, and I knew when they had gotten to Shenandoah they were not having any violent thoughts.”She said she never witnessed staff abuse teens first-hand, but that teens would complain to her of injuries from being tackled by guards and reveal bruises. The specialist encouraged them to file a formal complaint.Though lawyers for Shenandoah responded with court filings denying all wrongdoing, information contained in a separate 2016 lawsuit appears to support some of the information contained in the recent abuse complaints.In a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Shenandoah center, a former staff member said he worked in unit called “Alpha Pod” where immigrant minors were held, “including those with psychological and mental issues and those who tend to fight more frequently.”The guard, Trenton Farris, who denied claims that he punched two children, sued the justice center alleging he was wrongly targeted for firing because he is black. Farris said most staff members at the facility are white, and that two white staff members involved in the incident over which he was fired went unpunished.Lawyers for the center denied the former guard’s claims, and the case was settled in January.last_img read more

DC Authorities ExCon had Help in Wealthy Familys Slaying

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — An ex-convict likely had help from others holding a family captive inside their mansion for at least 18 hours, authorities said.During their ordeal, the business executive and his wife told others to stay away — even ordering a pizza deliverer to leave two pies at the door — as they frantically arranged for $40,000 in cash to be dropped off at the home.But once the money was left on the seat of a red sports car in the family’s garage, Daron Dylon Wint struck and stabbed Savvas Savopoulos, the CEO of the American Iron Works company where he had once worked as a welder, Wint’s charging document said. At a court hearing Friday, Wint was ordered held in jail on a murder charge.Savopoulos’ wife, Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa also were killed, and then the house was set on fire with matches and a flammable liquid.The fire began on the queen-sized mattress where the boy’s body was stabbed and burned, authorities said.Firefighters found the adults’ bodies in the next room. Evidence shows the women suffered “blunt force and sharp force trauma” before the $4.5 million mansion was set on fire.Authorities linked what may have been two different men to Amy Savopoulos’ blue Porsche 911 the day of the killings. One, “with short, well-groomed hair,” was spotted driving erratically away from the crime scene. Another, wearing a dark hoodie, was videotaped carrying a bucket near where the Porsche was set on fire later that day.The pizza gave Wint away. His DNA was found on the crust of a partially eaten slice of pepperoni, one of two pies ordered the night of May 13 while the family and the housekeeper were “being held against their will,” an affidavit said.A woman believed to be Amy Savopoulos paid for the pizzas by credit card and told the delivery person to leave the food on the porch, because she was “nursing her sick child” and would not come to the door, the document says.Wint, who was tracked down by U.S. Marshals and arrested Thursday night with two other men and three women, appeared in a white jumpsuit in court Friday.A court document said authorities believe the killings “required the presence and assistance of more than one person.” None of the people detained with Wint were immediately charged with any crimes.Wint is being represented by Natalie Lawson, a public defender. His defense argued that authorities lack probable cause, since a suspect seen driving the Porsche had short hair. Wanted posters issued while Wint was a fugitive showed him with long hair.D.C. Superior Court Judge Errol Arthur agreed with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Miller to deny bail, noting that Wint was arrested with some of the missing money, and that the DNA from the pizza ties him to the slayings.U.S. Marshals and police had tracked Wint to New York and back before dozens of officers swarmed a car and truck in the nation’s capital, arresting the whole group without a fight.Wint’s record was cited as a reason he should be held. He was arrested three times for assault in 2006 and 2007, serving a 10-month sentence in New York, and then convicted of assaulting a girlfriend in Maryland in 2009.In 2010, he pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property after he allegedly broke into a woman’s apartment, stole a television, vandalized her car and threatened to kill her infant daughter. Also in 2010, Wint was arrested carrying a 2-foot-long machete and a BB pistol outside the American Iron Works headquarters, but weapons charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to possessing an open container of alcohol.Acting District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen said outside the courthouse that prosecutors’ “work is not done” and that they “intend to unseal additional search warrants in the coming days.”___Contributors include Brian Witte, Alex Brandon, Sarah Brumfield and Ben Nuckols in Washington; Meredith Somers in Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Colleen Long in New York City and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York.last_img read more

UDC African Student Assoc Hosts African Independence Day Awareness

first_imgThe African Student Association at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is scheduled to host an African Independence Day Awareness event on Sept. 29 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 4200 Connecticut Ave., NW. The event is free and will involve games, fun facts, and refreshments will be served. The African Student Association’s mission is to promote African culture both on and off campus.  For more information, visit eventbrite.com.last_img

42yearold held for assaulting minor

first_imgKolkata: A 42-year-old man has been arrested for attempting to rape a minor girl in his locality. The incident occurred at Tilajala on Thursday evening.According to police, the accused, Seikh Riazuddin, lured the victim with various promises and took her to his house. He tried to sexually assault the minor. The girl, however, was saved in due time as she screamed out for help, which immediately prompted the locals to come toher rescue.The victim has alleged that the man tried to touch her inappropriately, which left an injury mark on Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeher body.The victim later fell ill and she was rushed to Calcutta National Medical College for treatment. The incident also triggered tension in the locality with locals staging a demonstration demanding stern action against the accused.The victim’s family members lodged a complaint at the local police station on Thursday night on the basis of which police have arrested Riazuddin on Friday morning.It was learnt that medical tests have confirmed that the girl was assaulted physically. The accused has been booked under Pocso Act.The victim girl is stated to be in a stable condition, the hospital sources said.The accused has been remanded to police custody after being produced before a court in the city.last_img read more

Delhi food truck festival concludes

first_imgIndia’s Biggest Food Truck Festival , the Delhi Food Truck Festival (DFTF) 2017, a two day affair finally came to an end and captured many eyeballs for not only being conducted at a massive level but also for being the first food truck event to offer plethora of fun and engaging activities. The fest had already been trending up ever since its inception and has become a buzzword in the culinary circles for showcasing the best of the Food Trucks!History says the first food truck festival was conducted in Los Angeles and post then, food truck festivals have been happening in all parts of the world such as Chicago, New York, Berlin etc. With the trend emerging in India, the Capital was expected to host a Big Show after being recently conducted in Bangalore and Bombay and DFTF 2017 left no stone unturned for this to happen! Also Read – Add new books to your shelf’We had incorporated many authentic activities to create a wholesome experience for all kind of audiences,” said Shivangi Gupta, one of the organisers. Talking about the vision she says, ‘Being the debut, we were not focusing on the commercial success but wanted all the visitors to have a good time and have a one-of-a-kind experience and feel the difference”.Delhi Food Truck Festival powered by India Gate Basmati Rice, was an initiative by VMS Events and Radio City 91.1 and saw 18k people attending the fest during both the days.Be it Rain Dance to soothe everyone amidst Delhi’s 42’c heat, or live Performances by Jassie Gill and Babbal Rai on Baisakhi to Witlinger adding a craft beer flavour to the food for beverage connoisseurs, all fascinated the food aficionados and kept hem expecting for more fun at Delhi’s biggest Food Truck Festival.last_img read more

Facebook App The Next Big Name in Mobile Browsing

first_imgAdvertisement When it comes to desktop computers, the picture is pretty clear: Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser in the world. Google’s home-grown, lightweight, and lightning-fast web browser now runs on almost 70% of all computers worldwide, followed by Firefox in a distant second place with a little over 11%, Internet Explorer with almost 7%, Safari with 5%, and Microsoft Edge with a little over 4%. When it comes to mobile, though, things are a bit different. According to a recent report compiled by analytics company Mixpanel, the Facebook app has claimed its place in the top list of American mobile browsers.Browsing FacebookFacebook is, without a doubt, the largest social network in the world. Its user base is massive all over the globe – as of the second quarter of this year, its user base has reached 2.23 billion, even after the recent data collection scandal that left it with a ravaged reputation. The number of its users is constantly growing in Africa, too, and as a result of Africa’s ongoing digital revolution, most of its local users are mobile-first – over 90%, statistics say. This means that a massive amount of content is consumed through its native app on all mobile platforms – especially Android.What the numbers sayMixpanel has looked especially on data compiled in the United States but the situation is probably similar in the rest of the world. According to its report, almost 8% of all the mobile browsing traffic in the United States was handled by the Facebook app, putting it in the third position of the top five list after Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. Safari is the biggest mobile browser in the US, with a market share of around 58% – and the fact that Apple’s iPhone has a market share of more than 65% in the United States indicates that many iPhone users either use Chrome or another mobile browser or navigate mostly through the Facebook app. – Advertisement – According to the latest numbers published by Statista, more than 95% of all Facebook users accessed the content flowing through the big blue social network from a smartphone, compared to just around 32% of them using a desktop computer to browse it. According to another analyst, more than 85% of smartphone owners use the Facebook app, and there are up to 6% of smartphone owners that spend all their browsing time on the Facebook app (as of May 2018) and this number is expected to grow further in the coming years.Facebook, it seems, is becoming an increasingly important name in the world of mobile browsers, representing a very important channel of consuming online media for a massive number of users worldwide – especially in the United States.last_img read more