The management of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the Community Forestry Working Group (CFWG) launched the 2nd Annual Outreach Campaign on Community Forestry in Monrovia over the weekend. The campaign with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its implementing partner, the Liberia People, Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (PROSPER) project, was launched under the theme, “Make Community Forestry Rights Real.” Earlier during the launch, FDA managing director, Harrison Sam Karnwea, Sr., said, the initiative is being undertaken by the government through the FDA in collaboration with CFWG and supported by the USAID funded PROSPER. The campaign, he said, is part of the government’s policy to give back to its citizens. According to Mr. Karnwea, it is aimed at empowering forest dependent communities to do more than participate in decision-making, but to actively engage in the sustainable management of forest resources in a manner that would allow them to accrue direct benefits for present and future generations. He said through the launch of the campaign, forest dependent communities, policy makers and other stakeholders would be made aware of the provisions of the CRL and regulations that grant ownership to communities and empowers them to get directly involved in forest management. “The implementation of this campaign includes the second launch and a community-based rollout that would see teams visiting and carrying out sensitization and education in several forest communities on the CRL and regulations.” According the FDA MD, the campaign has already begun paying off following the subsequent launch of the first National Outreach Campaign and Community Rollout.“This,” he said, “is evidenced by the number of applications arriving at the FDA offices requesting Authorized Forest Community Status.” Mr. Karnwea said that while it is evidently clear that much progress has been made, there is much more work to be done to ensure that communities have adequate knowledge and can access and effectively use the law to their benefit. For his part, USAID Mission Director to Liberia, John Mark Winfield, said USAID is proud of its support to the campaign through PROSPER. According to him, the U.S. Government began supporting the Liberian forestry sector in 2004 to reform the legal and regulatory framework and develop the chain of custody system.“Since 2007, USAID has focused support on community forestry management through several projects, the most recent being the USAID PROSPER project.” In addition, Mr. Winfield disclosed among that USAID is providing capacity building support to the FDA through the U.S. Governance and Economic Management Support (GEMS) project.He reiterated USAID’s support to the rollout of the outreach campaign in the PROSPER project sites in Nimba, Grand Bassa and other counties where communities have already applied to the FDA to create community forests. The daylong exercise brought together several high profile individuals including the chair of the FDA Board of Directors, Sis. Mary Laurene Brown, the European Union head of delegation to Liberia, Attilio Pacifici, as well as members of the National Legislature.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
At least 820 families received donations intended to celebrate the joy of Christmas. – Opens Free Computer, Resource Center, Feeding ProgramAt least 600 families in Kparkacon (Turtle’s Back) Community, Marshall Highway, Lower Margibi County; Samukai Field and Little White Chapel Communities, Logan Town, Montserrado County; and Suehn Mecca Community, Lower Bomi County had Christmas to remember because of a donation of food and non-food items to people of all ages from the Nmah-Clarke Family Humanitarian Aid (NCFHA).Also, newly born babies and their mothers including children under five years old and their mothers, about 220 in total, both at the main John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and its maternity wing (the Liberia-Japan Maternity Hospital), as well as the James N. Davis Jr. Maternity Hospital, benefited.The family charity started in 2016 in the United States by Mrs. Tuwroh Nmah Clarke and her husband Delano.The family charity thrilled residents of the four communities from the three counties and patients at the two hospitals on free meals (snacks) and special children’s gifts such as tooth brushes, toothpaste and toys over last weekend, which ended on Christmas.The Operations Manager of NCFHA-Liberia, Madam Panneh Nmah, said: “The donations were intended to celebrate the joy of Christmas with the people and also remind them about the importance of education, hygiene and peace.”Presiding elder Marshall Gornoe of the four villages – Kparkacon, Flocon, Henry, and Kponzen, said Sunday’s donation marked the second in two years and the people of the villages are glad and appreciative. He also thanked the Nmah-Clarke family for the installation of the hand-pump which provides clean and safe drinking water.“We are happy and thankful. We want to remind you that we also want school in our community,” said Elder Gornoh.Mrs. Clarke listening to appreciations from the people for the donationsMr. Emmanuel “Dean” Wilson of Suehn Mecca Town, Bomi County, told the families that Madam Tuwroh Nmah attended the Suehn Mecca Baptist Mission up to 1990 because of the civil war and that her coming back is a way to appreciate the Mission she attended.“Mrs. Tuwroh Nmah- Clarke is not a politician, she is a humanitarian and her annual festive visit to us to provide bags of rice, beans, soap, clothes, toys and other gifts is her way to giving back to the poor as a philanthropist,” Dean Wilson said.The Town Chief of Suehn Mecca, Lagba Brown, also thanked the Nmah-Clarke family for the donations, “Our prayers are with you, wherever to take this money from to feed and clothe us, may it be multiplied plenty times.”Mrs. Clarke told journalists that the Christmas program and the school project were her own way of giving back to the people, having attended the Suehn Mission School prior to the Civil War in Liberia.“It is an honor to come to help these children. I have lived in this town and schooled here before so I know what it is”, Mrs. Clarke said.Earlier, some of the residents including women and the elderly thanked the young couple through the Nmah Clarke Humanitarian Aid for sharing the joy of Christmas with the children and people of Suehn Mecca District, in Bomi County.In the Samukai Field Community – Logan Town, Montserrado; Francis Samukai of Logan Town said: “We are happy, this is our fifth time benefiting from the Nmah-Clarke group and it is always a worthy thing to give back to the community where you once lived. Mrs. Clarke’s parents lived in Logan Town about 42 years ago. We are happy that she has identified with the elderly and children of this community.”Mrs. Clarke calling the roster for the distributionOldma Juah Wesseh said: “The Christmas has been always good to us since 2016 when the Nmah-Clarke family humanitarian group begun to share Christmas with us.”On Christmas day, over 120 children, including children from one-day one to 28 days and children under five years old both at the main John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and the Liberia-Japan Maternity Hospital of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital received food and gifts.At least 65 children also received food and gifts at the James N. Davis Jr. Maternity Hospital at Neezoe in Paynesville.The gifts include pampers, baby wipes, soaps, powder, Vaseline, cotton balls, vegetables, puree food, clothes, blue bed pads, snacks, cool aid juice, fruit snacks and among others.Besides the gifts and food shared, children in the James N. Davis Hospital community also benefited from free gifts.Assistant Administrator Alfreda Tarplah, Nurse Doris Beyan as well as Administrator Davidetta A.B. Parker and Nurse Manager Nyeminah Y. Williams received the food and gifts respectively at the sections of the JFK Hospital. They separately extended their heartfelt appreciations.Maternity staff Pauline Kortie, Shift Supervisor Rukiatu Bah and Ward Supervisor Lovo Konoe received the food and gifts on behalf of the James N. Davis Hospital.Sources said the donations in the four communities in the three counties including the two hospitals are worth about US$48,000.Meanwhile, after the festive break which follows the beginning of 3rd marking period within the 2018/2019 academic calendar, hundreds of students within Logan town and its environs are expected to enjoy free computer school and internet-resource center established by the Nmah-Clarke Family Humanitarian Aid (NCFHA).The US$39,000 free Computer and Research Center is aimed at boosting the NCFHA’s education program to the already 20 scholarships offered to deserving female students between 7–19 years of age, who are underprivileged.Tuwroh Nmah Clarke, and her husband Delano believe that education is a core element of sustainable development and education enable individuals to build more prosperous and successful lives and societies to achieve economic prosperity and social welfare.Besides the free computer school and internet-research center, a free feeding program for children in Logan town has also been launched.Mrs. Clarke, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/President of NCFHA said: “In addition to the establishment of the NCFHA Building, which comprises operational offices, free computer and resource center, there is also a kitchen from which we will be offering free lunch to the kids every Saturday.”“The one-year pilot initiative of free lunch for kids was officially launched December 22,” Mrs. Clarke said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Chris Hernandez made all six of his field goals with five 3-pointers on the way to 20 points, and host Stanford won its third straight and sixth in a row over archrival California with a 75-61 victory Friday night. Matt Haryasz had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal, who beat the Golden Bears in Maples Pavilion for the 13th consecutive time for their first three-game winning streak of the season and first time going above .500 in six weeks. The biggest difference in the game was free-throw shooting Stanford shot 17-for-19 and Cal went a season-worst 11-of-24 from the line. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Haryasz scored eight of Stanford’s first 10 points and six in a row and finished 9-for-14 from the floor and Taj Finger provided a big boost with his hustle, scrappy defense and heads-up play for the Cardinal (7-6, 3-2). UC Irvine 76, Cal State Northridge 62: Ross Schraeder scored 17 points and Aaron Fitzgerald had 16 points and nine assists to lead host UC Irvine over Cal State Northridge in Big West Conference play. Patrick Sanders added 14 points and Nic Campbell had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Anteaters (7-8, 3-0), who won their third consecutive game and are off to their best start in conference play since the 2001-02 season. Thomas Shewmake scored 14 points and Mike Efevberha and Calvin Chitwood had 10 points apiece for the Matadors (6-7, 1-2), who lost four of their past five games. Efevberha, the Big West’s leading scorer, played for UC Irvine from 2002-04 before being dismissed from the team for stealing another student’s backpack. He was making his first appearance against his former teammates. WOMEN No 19. Temple 61, Fordham 47: Candice Dupree had 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals to lead No. 19 Temple past visiting Fordham. Fatima Maddox added 10 points for the Owls (11-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10), who responded with an conference win after having their 24-game league winning streak snapped. Temple, which defeated Fordham for the 12th straight time, opened the game with 10 consecutive points and cruised to a 32-18 lead at halftime. Fordham (6-8, 1-2) cut the lead to 42-32 with 6:30 remaining. However, Temple came right back with five straight points, including a 3-pointer by Dupree, for a 47-32 advantage with 5:37 left. No. 25 N. C. State 73, Virginia 63: Billie McDowell scored 23 points and visiting North Carolina State made 10 3-pointers in a victory over Virginia. The Wolfpack (11-4, 2-1 ACC) went 6-for-9 on 3s in the second half when they shot nearly 58 percent and used an early 17-3 run to pull away from a 27-all tie at halftime. McDowell was 5-for-7 on 3s. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Leon Powe had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Cal but shot 5-for-11 from the line. Ayinde Ubaka added 13 points, four assists and three rebounds and Rod Benson scored a season-high 10 points to go with five boards. The Bears (9-5 overall, 3-2 Pac-10) began the week tied for first place in the Pac-10 and were trying to win their first three conference road games for the first time since Hall of Fame coach Pete Newell led the Bears in 1957.
Catherine and Larry on their wedding day.A Donegal woman has been named Bride of the Year by top magazine RSVP.Catherine McLaughlin, from Clonmany in Inishowen, has just picked up the prestigious award after beating hundreds of other brides to the title.Catherine married Larry Doyle at St. Michael’s Church Urris, Clonmany. The wedding mass was followed by drinks reception at Tullagh Beach, Clonmany with formal wedding reception at the Slieve Sneacht Centre, Drumfries all on the stunning Inishowen peninsula where the couple live.Close to 30,000 people voted overall, but Catherine was hard to beat, holding the leading spot throughout most of the month, and winning with nearly 50% of the votes.The photographs were taken by well-known local photographer Myles Carroll.The lucky couple will receive flights and accommodation at a four/five star hotel for 4 nights in Malta. See more at: http://rsvpmagazine.ie/rsvps-bride-of-the-year-2015-is/#sthash.G2RY7ueD.dpufWatch those flowers Catherine!DONEGAL WOMAN WINS ‘BRIDE OF THE YEAR’ AWARD WITH TOP MAGAZINE was last modified: January 4th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A journal commentator comes to the rescue of conservatives, who get an undeserved bad rap about science.Because many science reporters take a default leftist position, it becomes a cultural myth that the Democratic party is science-friendly and the Republican party is anti-science. Take any issue that overlaps science with politics—global warming, sex and family, immigration—and you will most often find reporters arguing against positions of Republicans. This must stop, Daniel Sarewitz writes in Nature. “Science should keep out of partisan politics” his headline reads.First, some recent examples of leftist bias in the science news:Global warming: Republicans tend to be skeptical of the warmist prophecies of doom, largely because of dislike of UN “global governance,” doubts about climate models, and the deleterious effects of austere remediation efforts on free enterprise. Science Daily merely assumes the warmist position (that humans are responsible), asking, “What will it take to convince climate skeptics that the phenomenon is real?”Immigration: Republicans are all for legal immigration, but disparage the flood of illegal immigrants pouring through our borders, not out of xenophobia but the economic impact on Americans, the value of the rule of law, and concerns about national security. Science Daily announces (switching the term “illegal” to the less-judgmental “undocumented”), “Medical schools have ethical obligation to accept applications from undocumented immigrants, experts say.”Gay blood: Many conservatives would be appalled at the prospect of putting heterosexual Americans at risk of HIV through the blood supply, but Medical Xpress bows to political correctness in its headline, “US mulls lifting ban on gay blood donations”—reported as if that is a good, scientific thing to do to help reduce homophobia.PC Good: Political correctness, a frequent target of conservative liberty advocates, must be nice if it “fosters creativity,” PhysOrg says. “While PC behavior is generally thought to threaten the free expression of ideas,” some academics “found that positioning such PC norms as the office standard provides a layer of safety in the workplace that fosters creativity.”Abortion OK: For half a century, conservatives have been trying to protect the unborn, but Medical Xpress rationalizes it on the grounds of a woman’s well being, saying “major complications after abortion are extremely rare,” as if that justifies taking the life of an individual with its own DNA and two parents.Energy: You can count on liberals to oppose anything that brings energy independence and economic prosperity to America, a highly-sought goal by conservatives. Nature titles its hit piece, “the fracking fallacy.”Welfare: As if hard-working Americans are not creative, Science Daily puts forward the suggestion that “Entitlement Boosts Creativity,” praising a “study” at Vanderbilt that found that students writing why they deserved “various positive outcomes” were more “creative” by some measure. Republicans value responsibility and generally deplore entitlements except for the truly needy. Even if it makes some welfare recipients creative, does that justify the billions of dollars the government doles out?This is just a sampling. Perhaps it’s the fact that liberals tend to be less religious, and more accepting of scientific “consensus” about evolution and other subjects, that leads reporters to bias their stories toward the Democrats. Let’s see what Sarewitz says about it. Nature’s subtitle for the article reads, “The Republican urge to cut funding is not necessarily anti-science, and the research community ought not to pick political sides, says Daniel Sarewitz.”Daniel’s ire was provoked by watching how American scientists responded to the Republican rout in the last election. When the AAAS chose a prominent Democrat as its new chief, he thought, “in today’s poisonous partisan atmosphere, the AAAS’s choice of Rush Holt, a physicist and political centrist just finishing a 16-year stint in Congress, looks every bit as political as the election itself.” Like an umpire, Sarewitz stepped up for the Republicans. His first line backs up what we stated earlier about the assumption Democrats are science’s reliable champions:It is standard wisdom among Democrats that Republicans are ‘anti-science’. This view will be reinforced when Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, famously sceptical about climate change, takes over the Committee on Environment and Public Works in January; when House science committee chair Lamar Smith (Texas) renews his assault on social science and the peer-review process; and when research and development spending continues to stagnate under a Republican-controlled Congress.The AAAS, which bills itself as “the world’s largest general scientific society” has positioned itself to counter these developments by anointing a leader who could take up the fight. From this perspective, the choice of Holt might seem inspired. That is certainly what commentators on the Democratic side are saying. Typical is a blog post by Joe Romm of the think tank Center for American Progress in Washington DC, who looks forward to Holt continuing “his blunt defense of both science and climate action given his new high-profile platform”.But is it smart for the AAAS to link itself explicitly to the partisan fray? The generally accepted metric of how well national science is doing is the level of government funding, and by that measure Republicans have, on the whole, supported science as much Democrats have in the past 50 years.As it goes, Sarewitz positions himself neutral about politics across the pond, but he sees some justification for the Republicans trying to limit spending. For one thing, he dismantles the assumption that more spending equals more scientific progress. He doubts that leaders of the AAAS or NSF know how to prioritize their own spending priorities, and sees some justification for Republicans wanting to put some accountability back into what they perceive is a runaway scientific establishment wasting taxpayer money on frivolous studies. His conclusion is like his headline: science should keep out of partisan politics.The political situation surrounding US science and politics is not clear-cut. The more the AAAS, and so the science community, is seen to line up behind one party, the less claim it will have to special status in informing difficult political and social decisions. Public regard for scientists remains particularly high, and for politicians, particularly low. Blurring the boundaries between these groups is not likely to redound to the benefit of politicians, but to the detriment of scientists.The essay led to a lively set of comments, many in agreement (even by liberals), but some jumping in with vitriol against conservatives, Fox News, and the religious right.Daniel Sarewitz is a breath of fresh air in a community dominated by groupthink. Some readers have questioned why we mention political positions sometimes. Here you see for yourself that a prominent journalist for Nature understands the overlap between leftist politics and the “AAAS, and so the science community”. There is no argument—statistics show it—that science professors (and most in academia) are overwhelmingly Democrats, by huge margins. Individual scientists can be Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, and as long as they are honest with their data, deliver good science. It’s the organized groups, like the AAAS and the Democratic Party, and many in the mainstream media, who are most often bosom buddies with Darwinians and big-government, one-world, science=consensus pressure groups, who see the world in either-or, us-vs-them, good-vs-evil categories. This makes sense because they are dependent, to a large extent, on government largesse (meaning, taxpayer dollars). When a Lamar Smith or Tom Coburn comes along and tries to bring a little responsibility to Big Science’s insatiable desire for taxpayer money to spend on on rabbit massages or voodoo dolls (10/29/14), and they get plastered with labels like “anti-science.” This would seem a very unscientific way to respond.Arguably, it’s the conservatives who wish to see money spent wisely, for national prestige and security, for economic growth and compassion. Radio commentator Dennis Prager has pointed out that leftists are the ones who tend to respond by emotion and see everyone in terms of group identity (one study affirms this; see 11/09/14). The truth is, if the values of responsibility, wisdom, liberty and accountability championed by conservatives became the rule at the AAAS and in the federal government, the economic boom that would ensue would create a surge in science unlike any we have seen in recent memory. The skyrocketing debt bequeathed on America by the leftist administration over the past six years is positioning the country for economic collapse from which Big Science will be unable to rescue itself or others.Accountability is good for everyone. AAAS: get some.
Revisions planned for the Ontario Building Code will increase energy efficiency in new homes, close existing efficiency loopholes for high-rise buildings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A post at the website Lexology says that the proposed changes, which are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2019, are designed to support the government’s 2016 Climate Change Action Plan by moving new construction closer to net-zero energy performance and making it harder for developers to build high-rise buildings with inefficient glass curtain walls.Two key amendments will require that new large buildings have roof designs that can handle the increased loads of solar equipment, and obligate builders to include conduit on new houses for the eventual installation of solar panels or a solar hot-water system.The idea, the post says, is to include these steps during construction rather than turn them into expensive upgrades later. The changes were announced on July 14 by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which opened a public comment period extending to Sept. 29. The Solar Ready Guidelines were worked out jointly by National Resources Canada and the Canadian Solar Industries Association. Pilot projects designed to explore the impact of the guidelines found that “a few simple, inexpensive design modifications made up front in the design and construction phase of a new home enabled building owners to significantly save on future installation costs of a solar domestic hot water system or photovoltaic system.” Savings for a typical home added up to $1,000. RELATED ARTICLES Savings from Building Energy Codes Are a Big DealAn Encouraging Study on Energy Code ComplianceAre Energy Codes Working?Could a Bare-Bones Energy Code Work? Making building envelopes tighterStarting in 2020, the code would begin to close a loophole that currently allows builders to substitute high-efficiency heating equipment for less efficient building envelopes. In the current code, builders following the performance path to code compliance can get away with a leaky or under-insulated building envelope as long as they install high-efficiency HVAC systems. This, the post explains, is a problem in condos and apartment buildings where developers want the aesthetics of floor-to-ceiling windows that reduce energy performance and are willing to pay for them with better HVAC equipment.Proposed changes would make these trade-offs less likely, and eliminate them completely by 2022. After that, builders could compensate for weaknesses in the building envelope only with enhancements to the building envelope, not with better mechanical systems. Poorly performing windows, for example, would have to be offset by more insulation.Also beginning in 2022, heat or energy recovery ventilators would be required in apartment buildings and condos to compensate for tighter buildings that allow fewer fresh air leaks. HRVs and ERVs pull fresh air from outdoors through a heat exchanger to minimize energy losses: in winter, for example, warm air from inside the house heats up incoming air from outdoors before it’s expelled.Other changes target continuous insulation, energy-efficient windows and air tightness requirements.After the public comment period ends, a technical advisory panel will offer suggestions as the new requirements are readied for a 2019 launch. However, the post notes that proposed changes could be upended by provincial elections next spring.
Related Posts brian proffitt A new joint Harris/BrandYourself study released Monday shows that nearly one third of U.S. adults have looked up information about a candidate online, which puts more onus on campaigns to get their online messaging straight. Encouragingly in the face of so much negative political messaging, positive information found online seemed to be surprisingly persuasive.The study found that of those who were searching online, what they found often made a big difference. An impressive 54% reported finding something positive about the candidate that influenced them to actually vote for the politician. A slightly smaller number of respondents to the study (51%) found information that influenced them into not voting for the candidate in question.Seeing positive results is thus at least, if not slightly more, important as burying negative information about a politician or launching full-scale attacks on an opponent. Who’s looking at candidate info was also revealed in the study, and the demographic is about what you would expect: In terms of jobs, students did the most online searching, with 48% of students looking up politicians online. On the other end of the spectrum, the unemployed have the lowest percentage of political researchers, with just 28% reporting they would look up a candidate.Looking at the age breakdown, with 35% of 18-34 year-olds looking up candidates versus just 26% of 45-54 year-olds looking, you might come to the conclusion that it’s mostly the younger generation with the most online interest about their elected officials. But don’t count out the older generation yet.The same poll showed that in the 55+ age category, 30% of respondents were seeking online information. And in the jobs breakdown, 31% of retirees were looking for political info. If anything, the study revealed that while online interest in politics seems to wane as people get older, it picks up again in the post-retirement years.Online Searches MatterWhatever online searchers are finding, it’s making a difference to their voting behavior.“We know there is a tremendous amount of information online about elections in recent years, as well as social media conversation,” explained Anthony Rotolo, Professor at Syracuse University School of Information Studies. “These findings show us that these online interactions are undeniably having a large impact on voters’ decisions. This is significant because online strategy continues to become a central part of political campaigning, making it very important to know that searching online for a candidate has an impact.”Positive information seems have the greatest level of impact – especially on students. Some 62% of students reported getting info that leaned them into voting for a candidate, while only 41% were persuaded by negative information that caused them to not vote for someone.Perhaps the study reinforces what many of us have suspected all along: mudslinging and name-hijacking like “santorum” may get all the attention, but that’s not really what people want to see. They’re looking for reasons to vote for something, not just against something else. Successful candidates will make sure they find that positive information. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart from BrandYourself/Harris. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#politics#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
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That occupation was still going on a year later, when another property developer announced plans for 200 housing units in Deseronto, in another area that’s part of the land claim.“It was always about the land and it was stopping development of the land,” said Doreen. “And we did that.”The 2008 protests and police actions largely happened out of the public eye.But through freedom of information, Amnesty International has accessed documents including officer’s notes, briefing books, police interviews, and footage recorded by the OPP – video never before seen by the public.“Do you need 200 police officers to address a situation which is at most one of mischief? Or perhaps one where no laws are being broken?” asked Benjamin.The OPP deployed the Public Order unit, the Canine unit, a helicopter and the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), commonly called the sniper squad or swat team.Watch: Craig Benjamin talks about “disproportionate” and “dangerous” police response He said the initial decision to maintain such a heavy police presence in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory reveals bias and a lack of neutrality.“You’re sending a message to your own officers that they are not in a situation where they are providing protection to people who are sincerely trying to assert their rights,” said Benjamin.“But you are dealing with potentially violent individuals who require the highest level of police response.”Benjamin said the political landscape influenced police actions.The federal government accepted the land claim in 2003. The Mohawks have always wanted the land returned. But Canada’s policy on settling claims is to offer financial compensation.And so while negotiations at land claim tables inched forward back in 2007 and 2008, government’s message to land developers was “business as usual.”That was clear in an OPP audio recording of an interview with property developer Theo Nibourg in April, 2008.“Government tells us it’s business as usual and we can proceed as we see fit,” Nibourg told an OPP detective 10 days before the blockades began.“The OPP looked at an arbitrary federal policy which was to refuse to take action to return the land. And the OPP interpreted that as being the law,” said Benjamin.“To say it was ‘business as usual’ only perpetuated the myth that nothing was going to happen anyway so let’s just carry on and ignore the Mohawks’ concerns,” said Hay. “And that sets the police up to basically educate their own officers that these Mohawks are law breakers; that they don’t have a right to be there. It’s just wrong to do it like that.”The OPP’s balance between the rights of private property holders and Indigenous rights is further highlighted in an exchange between Theo’s son, Emile Nibourg, and an OPP detective.In an audio recording, Nibourg made it clear he wasn’t interested in pressing charges against the Mohawks for a minor confrontation on April 11, 2008.“It’s almost like these white people sticking together against the Mohawks and that’s not being objective,” said Hay. “That’s not a police officer’s role.”The most serious confrontation happened days after the blockades ended. The OPP made sudden arrests of Doreen and three other Mohawk men near the occupied quarry.The situation became volatile when an OPP officer saw a young Mohawk man with a stick, and thought it was a gun.Standing in his kitchen in Tyendinaga, Hay flipped through photos Amnesty collected through its access to information requests.They were taken on April 25, 2008 showing OPP officers with assault rifles aimed at the Mohawks.“We came within a hair’s breadth of having a repeat of what happened to Dudley George at Ipperwash,” said Hay.In 1995, the Objiway land defender was shot and killed by an OPP police sniper, a member of the TRU team, during a land occupation at Ipperwash Provincial Park near Sarnia, Ontario.An inquiry into the death of Dudley George examined the actions of police and the Ontario government. In the spring of 2007, the Ipperwash Report was released; it included 100 recommendations to avoid a repeat of the deadly violence.Watch: Larry Hay says what happened in Tyendinaga would be an early test for the OPP. One they failed Trina RoacheAPTN InvestigatesA decade-long access to information fight by Amnesty International has uncovered documents the organization says reveal a deep-seated bias in how the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) handled the Mohawks land dispute in 2008.“From the very beginning we think the response to the land occupation and protests in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory were vastly disproportional to any credible evidence of any threat to public safety,” said Craig Benjamin, who works for the human rights organization.“Do I really think the OPP are there for public safety? Absolutely not,” said Dan Doreen, a Mohawk land defender, who was on the frontlines of the land reclamation in Tyendinaga.“Does public safety encompass Indigenous people? Absolutely not.”Larry Hay is a Mohawk investigator based in Tyendinaga. He worked with Amnesty International to examine the OPP actions.He said this is still very much a live issue for his community.“Why is it important ten years on to move this forward? Because these issues have never been addressed,” said Hay.Hay is a former RCMP officer and former chief of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police.“What happened here in 2008, here Tyendinaga at the Culbertson Tract turned out to be an example for police of how not to manage an Indigenous protest,” said Hay.The Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, in southeastern Ontario, sits on the shores of the Bay of Quinte, framed by Highway 401, the train tracks to the north and two small towns on either side.In 1995, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte filed a land claim for a 900 acre (364 hectares) area called the Culbertson Tract. Roughly a third of it is farmland, but it also includes part of the small town of Deseronto, which borders the reserve.“All the important part of the town is on stolen land,” said Doreen.The land claim is still under negotiation.Back in 2007, the Mohawks had already protested a permit granted by the province to a local developer for a quarry in the land claim area.They occupied the quarry site and shut it down.Watch: Dan Doreen describes a conversation he had with his father about shutting down the quarry The OPP said it has addressed all of the recommendations aimed at policing. In particular to the Culbertson tract reclamation in Tyendinaga, the OPP said it “recognizes all interests of the involved parties” and the right to lawfully protest.The OPP provides training for bias-free policing, and cultural awareness. It employs a framework to guide police actions in what it calls “Aboriginal critical incidents.”But it’s clear from officers’ notes and other documents, that the OPP viewed the Mohawks as violent criminals, Hays said.“It’s been my experience,” said Hay, “there’s always a heightened threat perception by police the minute there’s an Indigenous protest and particularly when the word Mohawk is used in the same sentence.”Amnesty International has asked for a probe or independent review of police actions in Tyendinaga.Both the OPP and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services have refused.The OPP and the ministry also refused interview requests from APTN Investigates.Amnesty International is pushing for police accountability, answers, and an apology to the Mohawk people involved.Dan Doreen isn’t optimistic.“I can’t thank Amnesty enough for fighting for the answers that we’re never going to get because it puts the story out,” said Doreen.“I want the story to be told so that people realize and people know that when they go out and defend the land how they can protect themselves and expect what’s going to happen.”firstname.lastname@example.org@trinaroache
New Delhi: Immediately after the formation of newly elected government at the centre, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohon Singh will retire from Rajya Sabha along with another Congress member Santiuse Kujur from the state of Assam.But the question of re-nomination for both them is almost ruled out as the Congress party does not have enough strength to reelect them. Both Dr Singh and Kujur will retire on 16th June of this year. Next, in the month of July, another six members will also retire from the house of elders. All of them were elected from Tamil Nadu. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe Congress party does not have enough legislatures in Tamil Nadu to get elected anyone. In this circumstance, the political fate of former Prime Minister is hanging in the balance, sources said. Immediately, there will not be any vacancy from other states. In this circumstance, consecutive five-time elected Dr Singh will be out of the Parliament. It’s not clear whether Dr Singh will prefer to keep himself away from the active role as a parliamentarian. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadDuring the course of seat negotiations in Bihar, apparently, BJP had promised to accommodate Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan in Rajya Sabha from Assam. Paswan himself announced this decision in a press conference in Delhi recently. And for that reason, he opted out from contesting in the Lok Sabha poll. But Paswan’s nomination from Asaam appears doubtful as state BJP raised a red flag to accommodate anyone outside the state. Sources close to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonwal did confirm that BJP president Amit Shah had a discussion with a local party for ensuing RS election. But Paswan’s name was never figured in the discussion. BJP does not want to discuss this issue before the Lok Sabha poll as it might affect ongoing election process, especially in Bihar where ruling NDA has a lot of stakes. Presently in Assam legislative assembly BJP has a strength of 61 members and they have an alliance with AGP which has 14 MLAs and Bodoland People’s Front with 14 MLAs. Congress has only 25 MLAs and they form an understanding with All India Democratic Front, a party of minorities, which has 13 MLAs. By simple arithmetic BJP can wrests both the seats from Congress easily. BJP has already given an assurance to AGP to accommodate one of their members in Rajya Sabha. And second seat from their own. Earlier, once Congress party accommodated Sanjay Sing of UP in Assam which created a lot of dissension within the party. BJP does not want to repeat that exercise. These days sentiments against “outsiders” are running high. In this circumstance, nomination for Paswan will face a lot of opposition in the state.