Home » Page 651
Categorieslatest

NBC 5 Investigates files lawsuit against Johnson administration seeking public records related to migrants

NBC 5 Investigates filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court Friday against Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration, alleging the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications has withheld certain public records related to the migrant crisis. Over the course of several months, NBC 5 Investigates has reported on conditions inside migrant shelters and environmental concerns at a proposed migrant base camps, as well as chronicled how millions of public dollars have been spent so far on the migrant crisis. NBC 5 Investigates also filed a series of public records requests seeking copies of documents that provided great detail about the City of Chicago’s operational response, its strategy, as well as conditions inside the city’s migrant shelters. Those reports were essential to our reporting last month, which found Johnson’s administration was aware as far back as October that “overcrowding individuals” inside the city’s migrant shelters put both migrants and shelter staff at “higher risk of contagious illnesses.” Those same records, obtained by NBC 5 Investigates through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, show the city was aware as far back as October that a “lack of space” within Chicago’s migrant shelter system provided “increased challenges” with both placing people and providing “initial healthcare.” The reports emerged as part of a larger NBC 5 Investigates review of thousands of pages of internal city records, which revealed potential gaps in the Johnson administration’s approach to addressing the health needs of migrants. It was during that reporting process that NBC 5 Investigates determined some records might be missing. “It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to get access to that kind of information, but this administration is increasingly making it impossible for people to get information unless they go to court,” said attorney Matt Topic with Loevy & Loevy, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of NBC Chicago. “I think we’ve filed 10 different lawsuits for clients over records about the migrant crisis where the administration is refusing to respond to requests.” What’s not clear is if the records exist at all or if they’re being withheld. Joe Ferguson, Chicago’s former inspector general now with the Civic Federation, a non-partisan government research group, said anytime a news outlet has to sue for public records, it can impact public trust in government. “If you don’t have [the records], say you don’t have it and say why you don’t have it. But I think every one of these instances where the media has to file a lawsuit, because by all appearances, there is a hide ball game that is going on, which then raises only more questions,” Ferguson said. NBC 5 Investigates reached out Friday to the mayor’s office, the city’s law department and OEMC seeking comment. We are still waiting on a response. Check back as this story could be updated.

Categorieslatest

At least 65 migrant bodies found in Libya mass grave, says UN

A mass grave containing the bodies of at least 65 migrants has been found in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said. The IOM said the circumstances of their deaths and their nationalities are still unknown but they believe they died being smuggled through the desert towards the Mediterranean. The organisation, part of the United Nations, said it was “profoundly shocked” by the discovery. Libya is investigating, the IOM said. The grave was found in south-west Libya, it said. An IOM spokesperson said: “Each report of a missing migrant or a loss of life represents a grieving family searching for answers about their loved ones or acknowledging the tragedy of the loss. “The cost of inadequate action is evident in the increasing human deaths and the disturbing conditions migrants find themselves in.” The organisation said the tragedy highlighted the need for a co-ordinated response to smuggling of migrants and legal migration pathways. Libya is among the main departure points for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to enter Europe. The Geneva-based IOM also called on Libyan authorities and other UN agencies to ensure a dignified recovery, identification and transfer of the remains. The discovery of the mass grave comes after at least 60 migrants, who set off from Libyan coast, died when a rubber dinghy ran into trouble in the Mediterranean Sea. The IOM said earlier this month that 2023 was the deadliest year for migrants since records began a decade ago, with at least 8,565 people dying on migration routes worldwide. The UN agency, which provides humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in Libya, said the figure was 20% up on the year before.

Categorieslatest

UN Secretary-General strongly condemns Crocus City Hall terror attack — statement

UN, March 23. /TASS/. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres strongly condemns the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall and conveys condolences to the people and government of the Russian Federation, according to a statement released by Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq. “The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack at a concert hall outside Moscow, in which at least 40 people were reportedly killed and over 100 others injured. The Secretary-General conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the Government of the Russian Federation,” the statement reads. The Secretary-General also wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

Categorieslatest

Former karate champ, 80, regarded as a ‘hero’ by his students is found guilty of sexual assaults on…

A former karate champion, 80, who was regarded as a ‘hero’ by his students has been found guilty of sexual assaults on teenage boys. Andrew Sherry, a founding member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), was accused of indecently assaulting one boy, under the age of 16, in the mid-1980s, and of four counts of sexual assaults on an older teenager in 2011 or 2012. A trial at Liverpool Crown Court also heard he had allegedly propositioned two other male students in the 1990s. On Friday, the former European and national champion was unanimously found guilty by a jury of all five counts. The trial heard Sherry, a ninth dan black belt, founded the Red Triangle karate club in Everton, Liverpool, and achieved ‘prominence and standing’ in the sport, before he retired in March 2022 after a police investigation was launched. Andrew Sherry, 80, (pictured) has been unanimously found guilty of sexual assaults on teenage boys Sherry is known as a ‘distinguished karate practitioner and instructor’ and a founding member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) The trial heard Sherry, a ninth dan black belt, founded the Red Triangle karate club in Everton, Liverpool, and achieved ‘prominence and standing’ in the sport, before he retired in March 2022 after a police investigation was launched. A karate enthusiast from a young age, Sherry became the first person in Great Britain to be awarded a black belt in Shotokan karate in 1966. His defence barrister claimed the allegations were the result of a conspiracy by other practitioners who wanted to ‘overthrow their leader’. One complainant said he had given up a promising career in karate as a result of Sherry. He said the sensei had asked him for ‘special favours’ when he was aged between 12 and 16, in the mid-1980s. He said Sherry, of Mann Island, Liverpool, had wrestled with him while at his bungalow in West Derby, Liverpool, and he could tell he was ‘aroused’. His instructor had then taken him to Knowsley Safari Park where he spoke about monkeys having sex, he said. The man, who said he was groomed by Sherry, told the court: ‘He said “I’ll give you money, you’ll come to all the sporting events with me, you’ll stay with me, you won’t want for nothing, any clothes you want, anything you want. I’ll teach you how to become the best”.’ Under cross-examination by Tania Griffiths KC, defending, he denied his aim was to ‘bring down the KUGB’ and that he was working in collusion with others. The second complainant, who was 18 at the time of the assaults, said Sherry massaged him on the buttocks and kissed him on the lips on more than one occasion. Sherry’s defence barrister claimed the allegations were the result of a conspiracy by other practitioners who wanted to ‘overthrow their leader’ One victim described how Sherry had taken him to Knowsley Safari Park (stock photo pictured) where he spoke to the teenager about monkeys having sex He described Sherry asking if he could ‘hold’ him and putting his arms around him. The man said: ‘I accepted this because Andrew Sherry was my instructor and it was a case of if he said “jump”, I said “how high?”.’ He also said on one occasion Sherry asked if he wanted to join him in the bedroom and was ‘visibly disappointed’ when they did not have sex. Two other men, whom Sherry was not charged with offences against, claimed he had propositioned them in the 1990s. One of them told the court: ‘He was an inspirational teacher to me. He was my hero.’ Sherry was granted bail after he was told he will be sentenced on May 1. Adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report, Judge David Swinnerton told him: ‘I have heard quite a lot about your karate career but I need to get more background information about you.’ The allegations against Sherry were first publicly made in a Facebook post in 2020 by one of the men and later to the police. During the trial, Sherry’s defence barrister said the Facebook post ‘may be (the complainant’s) drunken ramblings were the unwitting catalyst others have seized upon as their opportunity to overthrow their leader’. The three week trail at Liverpool Crown Court (pictured) began on Monday, March 4 and ended on Friday, March 22 After the allegations were published in 2021, a source who knew Mr Sherry described how the instructor was a ‘God’ of the discipline, adding: ‘The allegations have rocked the sport and have the potential to have the same impact in the karate world as the recent football sex abuse scandal had in that sport.’ In 1968 Sherry became European champion in kumite – one of the three main areas of karate training alongside kata and kihon – and won the first four KUGB karate competitions between 1967 and 1970. He retired from competition in 1977 and began concentrating on coaching. In 1990 he led the KUGB to victory at the World Shotokan Karate Championships, a feat which was repeated the following year. In 2007, under his guidance, the England squad won European and World titles. Mr Sherry became a ninth level black belt, or 9th dan, making him one of Britain’s highest ranking Shotokan karate practitioners, in 2013. Karate is currently enjoying a renewed interest as a result of the success of Netflix’s Cobra Kai – a TV episodic sequel to the 1980s Karate Kid films.

Categorieslatest

As MPs vote yet again to back a Trophy Hunting Bill that is hated in the countries it will affect,…

The livid scar zig-zags across Thiyepo’s stomach, then down his left leg to the knee. It is a gruesome reminder of the day an elephant gored him six years ago, when he was ten, nearly killing him as he helped his uncle herd cattle. ‘The elephant pushed me off my donkey,’ he told me when we met in his Botswanan village. ‘It trampled me, breaking my leg, piercing my pelvis right through. The tusk went sideways through my body and out the other side. I tell all my friends that elephants are dangerous.’ It took a skilled doctor to save his life. Thiyepo is among hundreds of Botswanans who have been injured – many others have been killed – by elephants, as growing numbers mean they increasingly come into conflict with humans. At the last count, 153,000 were roaming the country, and every day still more arrive from drought-hit neighbouring countries searching for food and water. Botswana has triple the elephant population it had 50 years ago, while neighbouring Zimbabwe, with 70,000, is also being overrun. In some areas, notably Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta where Prince Harry courted Meghan Markle in the early days of their romance, there are more elephants than people – and the country is struggling to cope. Botswana’s environment minister Dumezweni Mthimkhulu told me the West had no inkling of the scale of the crisis. In frustration, he said he wanted to send 10,000 elephants to London’s Hyde Park so Britons might ‘understand what it is like to live with them’. Mr Mthimkhulu travelled here as part of a large African delegation to lobby against a Bill making its way through Parliament. Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi described the Bill as ‘condescending’ and a ‘resurgence of a colonial conquest’, adding that he would be ‘abhorred, disappointed and disturbed’ if it was passed. But yesterday, the Trophy Hunting (Import Prohibition) Bill, backed by the Government, was voted through the House of Commons at a second reading by 49 votes to zero. The legislation is sponsored by Labour MP John Spellar, who represents a West Midlands constituency not renowned for wild animals. It would ban the import of hunting trophies from species of conservation concern. But critics say it ignores the concerns and conservation expertise of African countries and lacks scientific credibility. The Bill will undergo further scrutiny and faces a race against time to clear all the necessary parliamentary stages before the general election. Peers are also expected to frustrate its passage. ‘Wealthy tourists get a kick out of killing beautiful animals, so they can decorate their wall with a so-called trophy,’ Mr Spellar has opined. ‘We want to send a strong message of deterrence to these barbaric hunters: your spoils cannot be brought back here.’ Some readers might be uncomfortable with the idea of UK sportsmen killing these majestic beasts as recreation, and then bringing home such trophies. But Africans are clamouring for the practice to continue – pointing out not only its benefits to the local economy but also to the vital role it plays in managing populations of dangerous animals that have spiralled out of control. This week, leaders of six African countries pointed out the hypocrisy of Britain allowing the export of trophies, such as stags’ heads shot by wealthy foreigners in the Scottish Highlands. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. A pious grouping of British politicians, celebrities and ‘conservationists’ remains determined to ignore them. Do British MPs and activists really know better what will benefit Africa than Africans themselves? Herds of marauding elephants, in Botswana and Zimbabwe particularly, regularly invade villages, stealing crops and making people go hungry. In larger towns, they drink from children’s paddling pools and wander the streets. On my visit to Botswana, I spoke to local people in the bush, near the village of Gumare. ‘We hate elephants,’ said a young mother of two. ‘We have to remind our children to be afraid of them. They forget they are dangerous and could kill them because there are so many wandering about.’ Africa’s southern nations insist that hunting helps to control numbers, brings tourist cash into deprived communities and helps to fund anti-poaching patrols. The Africans I spoke to resent the UK’s suggestion that the revenue lost from a trophy ban could be replaced by international aid. I think they are right to say this is a patronising idea – and may be racist, too. It would promote a beggar-like 19th-century dependency on the West, which would not solve a 21st-century problem. The elephants of Africa no longer fear humans and have turned into a public menace. Those who shout about the evils of trophy hunting should leave their comfy parliamentary offices and – as I have – see this tragedy unfolding for themselves.

Categorieslatest

MAUREEN CALLAHAN: Alone and unfailingly elegant, Kate’s stunning fortitude in the face of her cancer…

To anyone who would doubt Kate’s strength — doubt not. Following months of speculation, wild conspiracy theories, scurrilous rumors and jokes about her condition, Kate Middleton revealed on Friday that she has cancer. Will this be enough to shame skeptics, cynics, and Sussex squad members into silence? Seated on a bench at Windsor, dressed casually in jeans and a nautical striped sweater, the Princess of Wales delivered her most personal address yet. Should she have had to? It seems fair to say that had the Palace better handled the mounting mess around her illness from the outset, the answer might well be no. Kate’s fortitude isn’t just down to revealing her cancer diagnosis and current chemotherapy treatments. It’s in sitting before the world, alone, in the politest of efforts to shut everyone up. She opened her announcement in a sunlit garden, surrounded by blooming daffodils, smiling and sounding strong. ‘I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery,’ she said. Now that is class. Kate completely ignored the ceaseless social media chatter, some issuing from American celebrities, mocking her and her once-mysterious absence. Her expression then turned somber and thoughtful. Tests after her operation in January, she said, ‘found cancer had been present’ and she is now at the beginning of ‘a course of preventative chemotherapy’. ‘This of course came as a huge shock,’ she continued, ‘and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.’, she added. Their children are 10, 8 and 5. Kate’s announcement was timed to their Easter holiday school break. ‘Most importantly,’ she said, ‘it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be okay’. But here was Sussex cheerleader Omid Scobie – shortly after journalists had been given prior warning Friday afternoon that an update on the princess’s health could be expected – posting a now-deleted ‘countdown clock’. How utterly reprehensible. Scobie’s role as Harry and Meghan’s unofficial biographer serves as a reminder of all that Kate has been put through these last few years: ‘Kate made me cry!’, the release of her private text messages in ‘Spare’, ‘Endgame’ and the claims that she and King Charles, himself battling cancer, were the so-called ‘royal racists’. All of this, of course, was followed by what I perceive to be multiple PR missteps once Kate was first hospitalized in January. The most amateurish mistake: The infamous Mother’s Day photo, released on March 10, that was quickly revealed to have been terribly Photoshopped, subsequently killed by news agencies the world over — a mistake for which Kate took the blame. I didn’t believe it was her fault then and I’ll never believe it now. It seems doubly cruel for her alone to take the fall knowing she had cancer. Prince William, we have now learned, suddenly pulled out of his godfather King Constantine’s memorial service on February 27, just after he and Kate were informed of her cancer diagnosis. On March 11, Kate’s Photoshop apology was released. A day later, the princess finally emerged, in what seemed like damage control, photographed beside William in the back of a Range Rover. Uncharacteristically, she turned her head away from the cameras toward a brick wall. At the time, I read that act as defiance. Perhaps it was. Or perhaps she was emotional. Either way, Kate has signaled her strength all along. Days later, several of her friends spoke publicly. A report in the Daily Beast quoted one friend as saying how unfair it was for Kate to be ‘harassed by the media over f**k-ups made by other people’. ‘And is she to blame?’ the friend asked. ‘Sorry, no. That was [the Palace’s] failure and they should have accepted the blame.’ The following weekend: Yet another attempt to quell the rumors, a ‘proof of life’ video of Kate and William walking from a farm shop near Windsor, looking well and happy. This did not have the intended effect. Instead, this brief clip spurred preposterous theories of a body double, of Kate laid up somewhere, of ‘disappearing’ for reasons other than health. Kate, unthinkably, became a punchline, a potential scandal, at the very time she most needed protection. The world didn’t learn that the late Queen Elizabeth had cancer until after she died. We know King Charles has cancer, but his privacy has been utterly respected. Why not Kate’s? Just this week came the alarming news that three staffers are under investigation at the London Clinic for attempting to hack into her medical records — while news emerged that Kate was working away on her projects and patronages from home, preparing to ‘soft launch’ her return to public life on Easter Sunday, less than ten days away. Unlikely for someone who, as Kate told us, has begun her chemotherapy treatments. Clearly someone needed to wrest control of this narrative to restore some dignity and privacy to the House of Wales. And clearly, that person is Kate. Telling, I think, that she chose to sit on her own to deliver this news. It is a show of great personal strength and character. Charles, in a statement immediately following Kate’s announcement, said that he is ‘so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.’ Indeed: it’s her right to settle this public relations nightmare as she sees fit. So, if she had to announce her diagnosis sooner than she planned or wanted — and it seems that could be the case, given that a source close to her said on Monday that she would speak out ‘when she goes back to work after Easter’ — Kate has, it seems, done it on her own terms, with great composure and dignity. What an elegant rebuke to all those who thought the worst — not necessarily that Kate has been sick, but that she has been weak. How wrong they were.

Categorieslatest

Exclusion zone around large fire in Brisbane lifted

A large blaze in Brisbane’s south-east prompted police to declare a public safety emergency and impose a broad exclusion zone, which was then revoked on Saturday. Emergency services were called to a Hasp Street business in Seventeen Mile Rocks shortly after 5pm on Friday following reports of a fire. An emergency was declared just after 5.50pm, with boundaries imposed encompassing Seventeen Mile Rocks Rd, Oldfield Road and Staple Street. “Members of the public are advised to avoid the area and those within the exclusion zone are asked to remain indoors until further notice,” police said in a statement at the time.

Categorieslatest

Kate Middleton Is Receiving Preventative Chemotherapy. Here’s What That Is

More Must-Reads From TIME Biden’s Campaign Is In Trouble. Will the Turnaround Plan Work? Why We’re Spending So Much Money Now The Financial Influencers Women Actually Want to Listen To Breaker Sunny Choi Is Heading to Paris The UAE Is on a Mission to Become an AI Power Why TV Can’t Stop Making Silly Shows About Lady Journalists The Case for Wearing Shoes in the House Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time Contact us at letters@time.com

Categorieslatest

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly gun attack at concert near Moscow

MOSCOW: Gunmen opened fire at a rock concert in a Moscow suburb Friday (Mar 22) killing at least 40 people, wounding 100 and setting off an inferno in the theatre, authorities said. Islamic State later claimed responsibility for a deadly gun attack at a concert in Moscow. In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, Islamic State said that fighters “attacked a large gathering… on the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow”. The attackers dressed in camouflage uniforms entered the building, opened fire and threw a grenade or incendiary bomb, according to a journalist for the RIA Novosti news agency at the scene. The fire quickly spread through the Crocus City concert hall in the Krasnogorsk suburb in the north of the Russian capital, which can hold several thousand people and has hosted top international artists. “According to preliminary information, 40 people were killed and more than 100 were injured as a result of a terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall,” according to the FSB security service, quoted by Interfax news agency and other Russian media. Authorities said a “terrorist” investigation had been started and President Vladimir Putin was receiving “constant” updates on the attack, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies. The main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry on Friday accused Russian secret services of planning the deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow. “The terrorist attack in Moscow was a planned and deliberate provocation by the Russian special services on (Vladimir) Putin’s orders,” the service said on Telegram, adding that the aim was to “further escalate and expand the war” with Ukraine. Telegram news channels Baza and Mash, which are close to security forces, showed video images of flames and black smoke pouring from the hall. Other images showed two men walking through the hall with at least one person left on the ground near the entrance. Concert-goers were also seen hiding behind seats or trying to escape. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there had been a “terrible tragedy” at the concert by Russian rock band Piknik and cancelled all public events in the city for the weekend. Security services quoted by Interfax news agency said between two and five people “wearing tactical uniforms and carrying automatic weapons” opened fire on guards at the entrance and then started shooting at the audience. “People who were in the hall were led on the ground to protect themselves from the shooting for 15 or 20 minutes,” the RIA Novosti journalist was quoted as saying. People started crawling out when it was safe, the journalist reported.

Categorieslatest

Viral egg chair slashed in Amazon Spring Deal hailed as ‘perfect

Every spring and summer, people have one thing on their ‘must get’ list for their garden – and that’s an egg chair. Going viral each year, the comfy garden furniture boats an egg design and makes any space look stylish. Originally costing £209.98, the chair, sold by YITAHOME, now costs just £178.48 with the stand. Without the stand, it costs £159.99 and is not part of the Spring Sale. As well as being a comfy seat, it is also a swing chair which boasts a trendy and fashionable look, featuring a woven rattan seat and a robust iron frame, making it a great addition to any outdoor space. Measuring 195cm in height, 120cm in depth, and 108cm in width, the egg chair is designed to support up to 150kg, with a sturdy and durable frame. The comfy seat comes with two detachable and washable cushions, providing a comfortable and cosy spot for reading, relaxing, and helping alleviate back pain. If you aren’t into DIY, don’t worry as the egg chair is easy to install, with all necessary accessories included and a detailed instruction manual provided. According to Amazon, the hanging chair is perfect for enhancing your outdoor space, whether you’re looking to decorate your backyard, patio, deck, sunroom, or garden Reviewing the chair one said: “This chair is a perfect fix, very easy to assemble and comfortable too. I would say keep in mind that it is big so make sure you have enough space and trust me you are good to go. I love love!!” You can also check out some of our top deals in Amazon’s Spring Deal Days sale by following our live blog here. Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter.

Verified by MonsterInsights