Women’s health rights today, tomorrow and forever

Opinion: Columns

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 4:18 PM

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At the University of Illinois, if a student decided she wanted to go on birth control, she would be able to. She of course would have to meet with a physician to decide if and what type of birth control was right for her, but she would — despite the Obamacare provision the Trump administration just revoked that required employers to provide insurance to cover a woman’s contraception use — be able to safely, informatively and inexpensively protect her reproductive health.

I realize that in the minds of those who support Trump’s decision, there might be some aspect of the situation I’m missing. But as I read this announcement, I began wondering if any of them realized just how similar their arguments sounded to those of the late George Wallace.

Born in 1919 in Clio, Alabama, George Wallace was the 45th governor of Alabama, best remembered as running for the Democratic nomination for president no less than three times, and even running as an independent in 1968. Quoting from John Lowndes’ book From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism, although Wallace never won the presidency, he did garner significant support from his constituents by running as an unforgiving segregationist and ardent supporter of state’s rights.

Now I’m not briefly recounting Wallace’s career and political leanings as any type of indictment toward the Trump administration or the Department of Human Health and Services (HHS). But I’d feel as if I were doing a disservice to my history professor’s lectures if I failed to notice the startling and ironic similarities between Wallace’s rhetoric for segregation, and the Trump administration’s for limiting women’s access to contraception.

Before 1964, Wallace was blatantly clear about his views regarding racial equality and integration. However, as his candidacy progressed, he realized the best way to build the maximum amount of support was by identifying people’s larger concerns and quietly linking their roots back to the push for racial integration. When Wallace spoke at his rallies, he mainly focused on the need for “law and order,” state’s rights to decide on segregation, and played on the social and economic fears of working-class, middle-class, white Americans. While Wallace addressed white ethnic groups that initially had little in common, he drew them into sympathy with one another as a collective group of white Americans who felt betrayed by the federal government and left them vulnerable to African Americans. This argument tapped into a whole host of concerns, namely the desegregation of housing and schools, which resonated with his supporters because it addressed their concerns while at the same time side-stepping the racial motivations behind their opposition to desegregation.

In 1968, Wallace unsurprisingly railed against the newly implemented Civil Rights laws. He claimed they “were really an attack on the property rights of this country and on the free enterprise system and local government.” This claim was effective because Wallace’s rhetoric focused on the belief that white American property rights and the larger economy were being undermined, which tapped into already enflamed biases. This approach shadowed, or at least made the real issues of racism easier to overlook, as a startling number of supporters continued to be drawn to Wallace’s platform.

But what in the world does a man who ran for president over 40 years ago have to do with women’s contraception care in 2017? In his public statement, Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, tried to qualify this rollback by stating, “This [provision] provides an exception, and it’s a limited one. We should have space for organizations to live out their religious identity and not face discrimination.”

Huh. What interesting reasoning to say that by providing equal care and health access to women, then what you are really doing is discriminating against the employer. (George Wallace, anyone?) Severino’s statement re-shapes the idea of who is deserving of health care coverage and who is not, and in this instance he shows that it is those who either have private insurance or would be able to pay for contraception out of pocket, primarily meaning middle- to upper-class white women. 

According to GoodRX.com, quoted on NPR, a one month’s supply of birth control can cost anywhere from $4 to $55 or more, while an intrauterine device can run upwards of $1,000. This change in contraception care means there a significant number of women will lose coverage because of financial restrictions.

What’s more, this ruling isn’t endorsed by licensed physicians. Quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Howard Brown, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, explicitly states that, “Affordable contraception for women saves lives. It improves maternal mortality, and prevents adolescent pregnancies.” Reading this statement, I seriously question any argument that tries to claim that the employer of a company is really the subject being discriminated against by revoking a woman’s access to contraception.

So without ever saying that this decision is a way to control and limit women’s access to reproductive health care, that is what this rollback states. No one is denying that every individual has a right to their personal religious beliefs, but when someone tries to use those beliefs to affect a woman’s ability to protect herself, it crosses the line from personal faith to gender and racial discrimination. The majority of women who will be affected are those lower on the socio-economic scale, which primarily means minority women who can’t afford to pay out of pocket for contraception. Inevitably this change will result in more women becoming pregnant who don’t want to be, an untenable position that can easily be prevented by ensuring all women have access to effective and affordable contraception.

If George Wallace were here today, he would likely applaud the Trump administration’s stylistic rhetoric. But because of Wallace’s own history of re-shaping language, we can see through the phony reasonings that are really just attempts to restrict a woman’s control over her own sexuality and to make it more difficult for a woman to cover her basic health needs.

So in an offshoot of the infamous language of George Wallace, I declare women’s health rights today, women’s health rights tomorrow, women’s health rights forever.

Meghan McCoy is a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, majoring in English with a minor in History. 

Award-winning actor Christine Solomon picks projects that give back

The busy international actor is proud of joining forces with Josh Duhamel to raise funds for the GMC veteran’s cause Building for America’s Bravest

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, October 17, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — TV host, actor and philanthropist Christine Solomon has a number of upcoming film and television projects, but in between time on-set, Christine has made it a priority to give back through her work. Recently, Christine joined as the lead host (narrating the public service documentary-style film in support of returning U.S. military veterans, and conducting live interviews with guests and callers) for GMC’s Building for America’s Bravest and #enlistme campaign.

Renowned actor Josh Duhamel is GMC’s ambassador for the powerful campaign, which aims to raise awareness and funds for severely injured service men and women to help get them into accessible homes. Since 2016, the program, which raises money to build life-changing smart homes designed to meet the specific needs of our veterans (including automated doors and lighting, wide doorways and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and central heating and air conditioning systems that can be controlled by tablets), has raised over 17 million dollars.

Born in Egypt and raised in Montreal, the multi-talent can be seen in two Hollywood feature comedies, ‘The Big Shot’ (2017) released worldwide and currently showcasing on Virgin Airline, and ‘Kids Can’ (2018), which is currently in post-production.

The Big Shot recently announced it has been picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures. The comedy, which also stars John Hennigan (WWE star), James Russo (Django Unchained) and Malcom Danare (Ever After High), follows two producers who are threatened by their boss to make a successful movie. The pair turn to the only solution they can think of: Kill an actor – movie makes money.

Kids Can aligns with Christine’s goals to give back through her projects. The film, which follows two young brothers on a movie-making adventure, has just announced it is partnering with Feed the Children, and is set to donate a portion of the proceeds made by the film to their organization, as well as to Anti-Bullying groups and organizations that assist children in the arts. This feel-good film is for kids, by kids.

Christine is excited to be attached as a co-lead in ‘Gabriel’s Gift’, set to be directed by Academy Award nominee Roland Joffe, and also stars in ‘Yasmine’, a TV series set to premiere in Middle Eastern countries later this year.

The charismatic performer has worked in a wide range of Canadian, American and international productions. Her career has been one based on versatility. Stage-trained, she has performed in more than 20 plays, is a voice-over artist, and has appeared in numerous film and television roles.

Her big break came at the 2006 Cairo International Film Festival, where she was cast in two feature films: Balad Al Banat and Basra. In the films, she clearly showcased the unparalleled power of her on-screen presence, and played a critical role in having both films selected at the Cairo International Film Festival.

Her resume includes roles in ‘The Score’ (2001) starring Academy-Award winning actors Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando; VH1’s ‘Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story’ (2001); Sony Pictures’ ‘Head In the Clouds’ (2004); HBO Canada’s ‘Fakers’ (2009); and, award-winning foreign films, ‘Basra’ (2008, Egypt) and ‘Heliopolis’ (2009, Egypt). Christine has also hosted shows and events and has appeared in television commercials and endorsements.

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Christine is available for interviews and photos upon request. Please contact:

Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca | 604-726-5575

Head Shot Photo Credit: Efran Beltran

Official Site: www.christinesolomon.com
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2555010/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/christinesolomon
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ActorChristineSolomon

Christine Solomon is represented by Kim Vaincourt Talent Management in Montreal: www.kimvaincourt.com email: kim@kimvaincourt.com

Christine Solomon is represented by LaFeaver Talent Management in Toronto: www.lefeavertalent.ca email: colleen@lefeavertalent.ca

Lesley Diana
The Promotion People
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Confederate heritage stands strong in parts of rural Virginia

BRISTOL, VA. — The chorus of opposition to Confederate monuments has yet to strike a chord in southwestern Virginia, where the service of the “brave men and women” who fought and died for the Confederacy is enshrined in the statue of a soldier in the center of the city.

Dedicated to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1920, the statue was restored a few years ago and now sits on the bank of a small creek, between Lee Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The monument is also within eyeshot of the Bristol Veterans Memorial, which includes four larger-than-life bronze statues honoring members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well as a Cobra attack helicopter with shark-teeth nose art.

Joyce Kistner, a retired elementary school teacher who led the restoration effort while serving as chairwoman of the Ann Carter Lee chapter of the UDC, said local residents have celebrated their preservation push, which was funded by the sale of a “Dixie Delights Cookbook.”

“We have had the support of the community from the beginning,” Mrs. Kistner told The Washington Times, speaking on behalf of herself and not the UDC. “Everybody has appreciated it. We have never had any questions about it like, ‘Why did you want to save him?’”

“When I was a teacher, I never thought anyone would want to tear down a statue, a soldier or anything,” she said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Charlottesville, which sits several hours north up Interstates 81 and 64, erupted into violence in August over attempts to pull down a Robert E. Lee statue there, with white nationalists defending the monument and clashing with counterprotesters. A woman was killed, police say, by a white nationalist who rammed his car into a crowd.

Cities across the country are now attempting to tear down monuments associated with the Confederacy, saying they are unwanted scars from a racially divisive past.

But in rural parts of Virginia, where it’s not uncommon to see a Confederate flag sharing the same pole with the American flag, there is not much of a public fuss.

Ben Jones, one of the stars in the popular “Dukes of Hazzard” television show and owner of “Cooter’s” in Luray, said the political backlash against Confederate symbols has poisoned the political discussion. He also said it has been bad for the nation but good for business.

“When they started the attack on Confederate battle flags, in my store I think I sold 10,000 of them,” said Mr. Jones, who pointed out that he is a member of the NAACP and the Sons of Confederate Veterans and that his family tree includes the descendant of a freed slave who fought for the Confederacy.

“There is no solution to this race problem except the one that has always been there — it is what MLK said: Don’t treat people based on the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” he added. ‘That is what is missing from our body politic. Dr. King had it, man.”

The conversation is much different in Washington, where Democrats have called for kicking statues of Confederate figures out of the Capitol’s collection, and where the House took down a display of state flags two years ago because some of their designs paid homage to the Confederacy.

In Virginia, it has become an issue in this year’s governor’s race.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam says he would relocate statues that are under state control and that he supports localities that decide to do the same with their monuments. His Republican rival, Ed Gillespie, agrees that localities should have the final say but says the statues should stay.

Looking to energize conservative activists, Mr. Gillespie is running television ads in southwestern Virginia claiming that Mr. Northam has said he will “do everything he can to remove Virginia’s Confederate monuments and statues if he is elected governor.”

“I think the statues should stay up,” Mr. Gillespie says in the ad.

Analysts say it’s a smart strategy given that polls show most Virginians favor keeping the statues up and that the support crosses party lines.

The group includes Chris McVey, a 57-year-old from Bristol who voted for President Obama and then wrote in his father’s name after refusing to support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

“I think if you take away history, it will repeat itself,” Mr. McVey, a high school sports coach, told The Times.

Former U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat who served 14 terms representing the 9th Congressional District, told The Times that the issue has become a distraction.

“I just think we have so many problems in this country, so many challenges, that policymakers ought to be spending time on the things that matter — that are not symbolic,” Mr. Boucher said.

Charlottesville is facing a complicated legal battle over its plans to remove the Lee statue. As that case rages, the city has sued to try to prevent white nationalist “militias” from attempting to rally in the city.

Alexandria has looked into taking down its statue, a work of art named “Appomattox,” depicting a pensive Confederate veteran, that stands on the spot where rebel troops mustered before marching south in 1861.

Fairfax County has begun stripping one of its high schools of the name of a famous Confederate cavalry officer — J.E.B. Stuart.

The mayor of Richmond has tasked a commission with investigating how best to handle Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, and the Portsmouth City Council voted last week to hold a referendum on whether to remove the city’s downtown Confederate monument.

But there has been no movement in Bristol.

In her quest to clean up the soldier, Mrs. Kistner said, she was accused of being a racist once, but she was able to change the woman’s mind after having a black artist friend vouch for her.

“That is how I got out of that one,” she said. “You have to work through people, you know, because it is a touchy situation.”

She said the events in Charlottesville showed that people lack respect for their heritage and got her thinking that perhaps members of both antifa, the liberal activist movement that decries the statues as symbols of racism, and the neo-Nazi sympathizers who rally around the statues to fan the flames of white nationalism, could learn a lesson through military service.

“They don’t respect our country,” she said. “They ought to be shipped somewhere to the battlefield and let them see what it is like. Americans have the best life of any other country, but I am afraid it is going the other way.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Marawi: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Credit Robinson Ninal Junior / PPD, via European Pressphoto Agency

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte was on the front lines to declare Marawi “liberated from terrorist influence” five months after Islamic extremists stormed the southern city.

The military said some 30 militants remained, and possibly among them Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian who is believed to have helped finance the insurgency.

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Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

• President Trump’s third attempt at a travel ban was blocked, for now, by a judge in Hawaii just hours before it was to take effect. The ban would have indefinitely stopped almost all travel to the U.S. from seven countries, including most of the Muslim-majority nations included in Mr. Trump’s original plan.

And our magazine takes a deep dive into the state of the administration’s foreign policy. With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson increasingly isolated and the diplomatic corps demoralized, some believe the U.S. is adrift in the world. Above, a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

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Credit Ali Lapetina

The U.N. released video of thousands more Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh, where more than half a million others are already living in overcrowded camps.

Above, an image by a photographer who explored the lives of about 400 Rohingya families that have been resettled in the U.S., on the north side of Chicago.

“Right now I just think, one day we go back to our country and tell them we are American, educated people,” said a 20-year-old woman, whose 5-day-old American-born daughter is the first to hold official citizenship of any country.

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Video

Why Hasn’t Sexual Harassment Disappeared?

The evolution of battling sexual harassment in the workplace has developed from naming the problem in the 1970s, to bringing it out of the shadows in the 1990s, to a growing sense of accountability today.

By RETRO REPORT on Publish Date October 17, 2017. Photo by Paul Hosefros/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Harvey Weinstein’s fall opened the floodgates. Across Hollywood, on social media and even in France, accusations of sexual harassment are pouring forth.

We looked back at how the issue unfolded across generations, starting with how the term “sexual harassment” came about.

And our Australian bureau looked at a related issue: persistent gender pay gaps, brought to the fore by the sudden resignation of a TV host, Lisa Wilkinson, whose salary was rumored to be about half that of her male cohost.

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Business

Photo

Credit Stephen Jaffe/IMF, via Getty Images

• Developing countries’ debt is hot, thanks to rock-bottom interest rates — a trend evident at packed investor conferences on the bond market held last week in parallel with meetings of the International Monetary Fund. Above right, the I.M.F. director Christine Lagarde last week with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister.

Chinese scientists developed a salt-resistant rice that can grow in diluted seawater, a breakthrough that could increase China’s rice production by nearly 20 percent.

• Netflix added 5.3 million subscribers in the third quarter, 4.5 million from global markets, and reported revenue of nearly $3 billion, a 30 percent increase.

• Uber and other ride-hailing apps may make traffic worse by reducing reliance on public transit.

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 23,000 for the first time. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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Credit Reuters

• In Afghanistan, at least 23 police officials and civilians were killed and more than 190 others were injured when Taliban fighters stormed a police station after ramming it with a bomb-laden vehicle. [The New York Times]

• Dire warnings of damage to democracy rippled across Europe over the car-bomb assassination of a journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had exposed Malta’s links to offshore tax havens using the leaked Panama Papers. [The New York Times]

• Ophelia’s destructive power is partly explained by the storm’s unusual route across the Atlantic. [The Conversation]

• The U.S. Department of Justice indicted two major Chinese drug traffickers for making and selling fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid, over the internet. [CBS]

• The Australian Football League ruled that a transgender player, Hannah Mouncey, was not eligible to play on its women’s teams. [ABC]

The U.S. and Japan are about to face off in a duel between giant robots, each over 13 feet tall and weighing nearly 10 tons. You can watch live on Twitch at 10 a.m. Sydney time. [CNBC]

• North Koreans once risked three years’ hard labor for gambling. Now betting on horse races is encouraged as Pyongyang scrambles for hard currency. [Reuters]

• A zoo in Nagano, Japan, has a new star: Karl the “meticulous” raccoon. [The Asahi Shimbun]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

Photo

Credit The New York Times

• Yes, you can have a better relationship.

• We see others’ failures as courageous. We see our own as shameful. Why?

• Recipe of the day: Midweek dinner can be as simple as pasta with burst cherry tomatoes.

Noteworthy

Photo

Credit Oh Suk Kuhn

• Park Chan-wook of South Korea has delighted global moviegoers and fellow filmmakers with his mix of painterly composition and gallows humor and gore. He is one of the subjects of our T Magazine’s Greats issue.

• The discovery of the Arabic words “Allah” and “Ali” on Viking funeral costumes has provided new insight into the influence of Islam in medieval Scandinavia.

• Fish get depressed — offering a model for studying depression in people. “The neurochemistry is so similar that it’s scary,” one scientist said.

Back Story

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Credit Associated Press

As the U.S. national anthem played, they bowed their heads and prayed they wouldn’t be shot.

It was this week in 1968 when two African-American sprinters raised gloved fists in a black power salute during a medal presentation at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

The demonstration by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who won the gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter dash, drew a quick reaction.

Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee — which wanted to avoid the politicization of the Games — the U.S. team dropped the two runners, who received death threats.

The silver medalist, Peter Norman of Australia, knew of his fellow Olympians’ plans; on the podium, all three wore badges of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which was organized to protest racism in sports. Mr. Norman was ostracized after returning home.

In a memoir published in 2011, Mr. Carlos wrote: “If I shut my eyes, I can still feel the fire from those days. And if I open my eyes, I still see the fires all around me. I didn’t like the way the world was, and I believe that there need to be some changes about the way the world is.”

Thomas Furse contributed reporting.

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Thalia DA attracts fresh investment as semiconductor industry recognizes analog IP reuse challenge

Existing investors re-commit as customer traction grows

October 16, 2017 — Thalia Design Automation today announced the completion of a $865k (£640k) funding round that will allow it to drive market uptake of its innovative methodology solutions for analog IP (intellectual property) re-use, design migration and derivative creation. With renewed commitments from the company’s existing investors, Mercia Fund Managers and Finance Wales, this latest funding round is a recognition of significant customer traction achieved by Thalia within the last 18 months, and the strong future potential of its offerings in the analog design and IP space.

“This new investment is a strong endorsement of our market strategy,” said Rodger Sykes, Thalia Executive Chairman and Director. “Analog IP re-use is one of the biggest challenges facing the electronics industry today, and customers tell us that our approach, blending advanced design automation tools and methodology with experienced, expert design resources, really provides them with a competitive edge for reduced cost and time to market.”

Thalia will use this latest round of investment to continue building its customer engagement base and increase its expert team of analog IC developers. The company provides RF, analog and mixed-signal technology transfer, derivative and IP creation solutions, based on a unique combination of design automation technology, methodology and design know-how. Its customers include integrated circuit (IC) manufacturers and IP houses looking to quickly and cost-effectively diversify their product range, and leverage the most appropriate semiconductor manufacturing technologies.

“Our customers report schedule, cost and resource savings of up to 50% – not to mention the ability to re-focus internal teams on new development programs, where they can add most value,” added Sowmyan Rajagopalan, Thalia Founder, CEO and CTO. “Our message to IP providers is that analog design doesn’t have to be a black art – there are technologies and design resources out there that can help with re-use and product diversification, every bit as powerful as those available in the digital design space.”

Tim Hazell, Investment Director at Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Thalia has the opportunity to establish a leading position in automating the design of analog and mixed signal integrated circuits. It’s an exciting growth area, and we are delighted to continue our support of Thalia and its further development.”

Dr Carl Griffiths, Fund Manager with Finance Wales, commented: “Innovative technology ventures like Thalia are among our prime targets for investment. Thalia’s increasing traction in the high value global technology space and robust business model have put them in a strong position – we’re delighted to be able to renew our commitment to the company.”

About Thalia

Thalia is a venture funded technology business with facilities in Cwmbran, Wales, UK, and Hyderabad, India. The company provides analog / mixed signal design solutions for integrated circuit (IC) manufacturers and IP companies, via unique design automation technology and strong value-added services capabilities. The company’s investors include Mercia Fund Managers and Finance Wales: it has also received grant funding from Innovate UK and The Welsh Government.

About Mercia Fund Managers

Mercia Fund Managers provide both equity and debt finance to small businesses based in the UK regions. The Group has more than 400 businesses in its portfolio, a strong record including 11 IPOs and manages in excess of £330.0milllion of third party funds, including Mercia EIS Funds.

  • Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
  • Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
  • EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560

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[PHOTOS] Nigerian Artist Selected To Paint Obama’s Official Presidential Portrait

New York based Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley has been picked by the Immediate past President, Barack Obama to paint his official portrait.

Following a tradition that started with George H. Bush, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery commissions an artist to create a portrait of the president and the first lady after their tenure. Obama’s predecessors have preferred to sit for 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has painted eight US presidents, but Obama chose to go with Kehinde. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery made the announcement on Monday, October 16.

BREAKING: Obasanjo In Closed-Door Meeting With Makarfi

Former first lady Michelle Obama has chosen Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald to paint her portrait. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald will be the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian.

Kehinde Wiley is known for lush, larger-than-life portraits that overlay black street culture with European classical motifs. He is believed to be an exciting choice for the presidential portrait. Throughout his career, Kehinde has become renowned for creating portraits of African American men, including the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Michael Jackson, and more

Kehinde was born to a Nigerian dad and an African-American mom. He did not grow up with his father, so at the age of 20, he traveled to Nigeria to explore his roots and meet him.

Kehinde’s mother supported his interest in art and enrolled him in after-school art classes when he was a child. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and his MFA from Yale University, School of Art in 2001.

Nigerian Hacks Indian Doctor’s Account, Steals N2.7m


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Nearly Half of U.S. Medical Care Comes From Emergency Rooms

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered by emergency departments has grown. The paper highlights the major role played by emergency care in health care in the U.S.

“I was stunned by the results. This really helps us better understand health care in this country. This research underscores the fact that emergency departments are critical to our nation’s healthcare delivery system.” said David Marcozzi, an associate professor in the UMSOM Department of Emergency Medicine, and co-director of the UMSOM Program in Health Disparities and Population Health. “Patients seek care in emergency departments for many reasons. The data might suggest that emergency care provides the type of care that individuals actually want or need, 24 hours a day.”

Although he now focuses on population health, Dr. Marcozzi is an emergency room doctor himself, and works one or two days a week in the University of Maryland Medical Center emergency department, treating patients.

This is the first study to quantify the contribution of emergency department care to overall U.S. health care. The paper appears in the latest issue of International Journal for Health Services.

For this study, Dr. Marcozzi and his colleagues examined publicly available data from several national healthcare databases, which covered all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They studied the period between 1996 and 2010.

For 2010, the most recent your study, the study found that there were nearly 130 million emergency department visits, compared with almost 101 million outpatient visits and nearly 39 million inpatient visits. Inpatient visits typically involve a hospital stay, but are planned ahead, as opposed to emergency department visits, which are generally at least somewhat unexpected.

Over the 14-year period of the study, more than 3.5 billion health care contacts – emergency department visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions took place. Over that time, emergency care visits increased by nearly 44 percent. Outpatient visits accounted for nearly 38 percent of contacts. Inpatient care accounted for almost 15 percent of visits.

Certain groups were significantly more likely to use the emergency department as their method of healthcare. African-American patients were significantly more likely to have emergency department visits than patients in other racial groups; patients in the “other” insurance category, which includes those without any type of insurance, were significantly more likely to have emergency department visits than any other group. And patients living in the South were significantly more likely to have emergency department visits than patients living in other areas of the country.

African-American patients used emergency departments at a higher rate than other groups. In 2010, this group used the emergency department almost 54 percent of the time. The rate was even higher for urban African-American patients, who used emergency care 59 percent of the time that year. Emergency department use rates in south and west were 54 percent and 56 percent, respectively. In the northeast, use was much lower, 39 percent of all visits.

Certain groups accounted for increasing percentages of overall emergency room use: African-Americans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, residents of the south and west, and women. Dr. Marcozzi says that these findings point to increasing use by vulnerable populations, which is no surprise since socioeconomic and racial inequality creates barriers to the use health care.

The use of emergency care resources for non-emergency cases has been controversial, since initial emergency care patients often end up being seen for non-emergency medical issues. Some experts argue that emergency departments are covering for deficiencies in inpatient and outpatient resources, and for a lack of effective prevention strategies. This could contribute to the high rate of emergency department use.  They argue that emergency room use should be reduced.

Dr. Marcozzi says this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, given the structure of the country’s health care system. He also notes that it may not be the best option. Instead, he says we should work to connect the care delivered in emergency departments with care delivered by the rest of the healthcare system.

The paper was co-authored by researchers at other academic institutions, including Brendan Carr, a professor of emergency medicine and associate dean at Thomas Jefferson University.

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Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center Now Urges an Employee of a Company That Is Overbilling any Federal Agency in Louisiana To Call About Possible Significant Rewards

The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center is very interested in hearing of public corruption where an elected state or parish politician is steering federally projects to contractors for a kickback”

— Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, October 17, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We are urging an employee of a Louisiana based company that is providing any type of imaginable service to a federal agency to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 if their employer is involved in significant overbilling, fraud or if the company is out of compliance with their federal contract. As we would like to discuss the rewards for this type of information can be substantial.” http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center is especially interested in hearing from an employee with proof their Washington based employer is overbilling the US federal government for the following types of services:

* A Louisiana company that is involved in massive overbilling of the Corps of Engineers for any type of project in Louisiana.
* Public corruption in Louisiana where an elected state or parish politician is intentionally steering federally funded state projects to specific contractors for a kickback in the form of cash, or other types of compensation.
* A Louisiana based company providing transportation or logistics services to the US Department of Defense or any other federal agency.
* A Louisiana based company providing any type of food, fuel or security services to the US Department of Defense.
* A Louisiana based road builder or construction company providing services to the Department of Transportation or any other federal agency.
* A Louisiana based company providing housing services to the Department of Defense, HUD or GSA
* A company in Louisiana overbilling the US General Services Administration on a contract, or out of compliance with a GSA contract.
* A Louisiana based food distribution company that is overbilling the Department of Agriculture for school lunch programs, or any other type of food service.
* A Louisiana based environmental contractor that is overbilling the EPA for work being done at a Super Fund site or a EPA funded environmental clean-up job anywhere in the state of Louisiana.
* Special note the business could be located anywhere in Louisiana including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Kenner, Bossier City, or Monroe.

According to the Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center, “If you can prove your Louisiana based employer has overbilled the US Government and the amount of overbilling is at least a million dollars please call us anytime at 866-714-6466 and let’s discuss how the whistleblower reward program works. Why sit on a potentially winning lotto ticket without ever knowing what it might have been worth?” http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center: Do not go to the government first if you are a potential whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing. The Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake. Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a reward. Do not try to force a company/employer or individual to come clean about significant Medicare fraud, overbilling the federal government for services never rendered, multi-million dollar state or federal tax evasion, or a Louisiana based company falsely claiming to be a minority owned business to get preferential treatment on federal or state projects. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help you with a focus on you getting rewarded.”

Unlike any group in the US the Corporate Whistleblower Center can assist a potential whistleblower with packaging or building out their information to potentially increase the reward potential. They will also provide the whistleblower with access to some of the most skilled whistleblower attorneys in the nation. For more information a possible whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing in Louisiana can contact the Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466 or contact them via their website at http://Louisiana.CorporateWhistleBlower.Com

Thomas Martin
Louisiana Corporate Whistleblower Center
866-714-6466
email us here

Bannon to GOP: ‘You can’t hide’

Senate candidate Roy Moore greets supporters before his election party in Montgomery. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Steve Bannon has a stark message to Republican incumbents he considers part of the establishment: “Nobody can run and hide.”

President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist is promoting a field of potential primary challengers to take on disfavored Republicans in Congress and step up for open seats. Among the outsiders: a convicted felon, a perennial candidate linked to an environmental conspiracy theory and a Southern lawmaker known for provocative ethnic and racial comments.

It’s an insurgency that could imperil Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Bannon called it a “populist nationalist conservative revolt” in a speech to religious conservatives in Washington on Saturday.

The emerging Bannon class of rabble-rousers shares limited ideological ties but a common intent to upend Washington and knock out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., standard-bearer of the establishment.

So intent is Bannon on bringing down McConnell that he laid down this marker Saturday to some of the incumbents at risk of a challenge from his flank of the party: disavow McConnell, satisfy other conditions and possibly escape the wrath.

“Until that time,” he said, the message to the elite is: “They’re coming for you.”

The crop of outsider candidates unnerves a GOP that lost seats — and a shot at the Senate majority — in 2010 and 2012 with political novices and controversial nominees and fears a stinging repeat in 2018.

“The main thing that binds them together is a rejection of the Republican Party establishment, a rejection of the political elites, the financial elites and the media elites,” said Andy Surabian, a former Bannon aide and senior adviser to the pro-Trump PAC Great America Alliance.

Bannon told the religious conservatives that economic nationalism and anti-globalism, the same forces he said elected Trump, can overpower Republican elites.

“This is our war,” he said. “The establishment started it. … You all are gonna finish it.”

To escape it, he suggested, Senate incumbents can oppose McConnell, eliminate the filibuster that he says is impeding Trump’s agenda and denounce Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican who gave a scorching appraisal of Trump as an untethered leader who could lead the U.S. into another world war.

Bannon singled out John Barrasso of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Dean Heller of Nevada as senators who “vote the right way” but did not step up to condemn Corker. There’s still time for a “mea culpa,” he said, implying such senators could be spared his insurgency if they toed his line.

Senate Republicans had been upbeat about adding to their 52-48 majority, especially with Democrats defending more seats next year, 10 in states Trump won in last year’s presidential election.

But the Bannon challenge could cost them, leaving incumbents on the losing end in primaries or GOP candidates roughed up for the general election.

Bannon helped elevate twice-suspended Judge Roy Moore, who won an Alabama runoff over McConnell’s pick, Sen. Luther Strange. Moore was removed from office for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Alabama’s judicial building, then suspended for insisting probate judges refuse same-sex couples marriage licenses. He faces Democrat Doug Jones in a December election where polls find a single-digit lead for the Republican, a remarkable development in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ heavily GOP state.

In West Virginia, the grassroots conservative group Tea Party Express endorsed Patrick Morrissey, also a Great America Alliance choice, over establishment favorite Rep. Evan Jenkins in a competitive race to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

Consider Mississippi, where state Sen. Chris McDaniel lost to veteran Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014, but is weighing a bid next year against Roger Wicker, the state’s other senator in the national legislature.

McDaniel misdefined “mamacita,” the Spanish word for mommy, as “hot mama,” and said he would withhold his tax payments if the government paid reparations for slavery — comments he made years earlier as a radio host but critics unearthed during the campaign. He also denounced a supporter who photographed and posted an image of Cochran’s bed-ridden wife in 2014.

He argued in court that his loss to Cochran was due in part to Democrats, many of them African-American, fraudulently voting in the primary. He’s back again and speaking in Bannon terms.

“They will do anything, they will say anything, to just maintain a hold on power,” McDaniel said in an Associated Press interview about McConnell and his allies.

In Arizona, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Trump antagonist Sen. Jeff Flake, remains known for entertaining the debunked theory that jet aircraft are used to affect the weather or poison people intentionally.

Former New York Rep. Michael Grimm, who spent eight months in prison for federal tax evasion, is challenging two-term Rep. Dan Donovan — with the encouragement of Bannon.

In announcing his candidacy, Grimm was apologetic for his conviction. Still out there are viral videos of him telling a television reporter during an on-camera interview at the U.S. Capitol after a question he didn’t like: “You ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this (expletive) balcony.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is sticking with the incumbent: “I support Dan Donovan, plain and simple,” Ryan said this past week.

But he stopped short of suggesting Bannon stand down. “It’s a free country,” he said.

In Nevada, Bannon is encouraging Republican Danny Tarkanian in his challenge to Heller. Tarkanian, son of famed basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, is 0-5 in state and federal elections.

These outsiders share strong opposition to increasing the nation’s debt even if it means an economy-rattling default. They also share unsparing criticism of congressional Republicans, especially McConnell, for failing to dismantle the Obama-era health care law, an unfulfilled seven-year-old promise.

In Wyoming, Erik Prince, founder of security contractor Blackwater, is considering a Republican primary challenge to Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate GOP leadership team. Bannon has urged Prince, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, to run.

Bannon has given at least one Senate incumbent — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — a pass, but not others.

___

Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa.
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Copyright © 2017 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Confederate statues still stand in rural Virginia

BRISTOL, VA. — The chorus of opposition to Confederate monuments has yet to strike a chord in southwestern Virginia, where the service of the “brave men and women” who fought and died for the Confederacy is enshrined in the statue of a soldier in the center of the city.

Dedicated to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1920, the statue was restored a few years ago and now sits on the bank of a small creek, between Lee Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The monument is also within eyeshot of the Bristol Veterans Memorial, which includes four larger-than-life bronze statues honoring members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well as a Cobra attack helicopter with shark-teeth nose art.

Joyce Kistner, a retired elementary school teacher who led the restoration effort while serving as chairwoman of the Ann Carter Lee chapter of the UDC, said local residents have celebrated their preservation push, which was funded by the sale of a “Dixie Delights Cookbook.”

“We have had the support of the community from the beginning,” Mrs. Kistner told The Washington Times, speaking on behalf of herself and not the UDC. “Everybody has appreciated it. We have never had any questions about it like, ‘Why did you want to save him?’”

“When I was a teacher, I never thought anyone would want to tear down a statue, a soldier or anything,” she said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Charlottesville, which sits several hours north up Interstates 81 and 64, erupted into violence in August over attempts to pull down a Robert E. Lee statue there, with white nationalists defending the monument and clashing with counterprotesters. A woman was killed, police say, by a white nationalist who rammed his car into a crowd.

Cities across the country are now attempting to tear down monuments associated with the Confederacy, saying they are unwanted scars from a racially divisive past.

But in rural parts of Virginia, where it’s not uncommon to see a Confederate flag sharing the same pole with the American flag, there is not much of a public fuss.

Ben Jones, one of the stars in the popular “Dukes of Hazzard” television show and owner of “Cooter’s” in Luray, said the political backlash against Confederate symbols has poisoned the political discussion. He also said it has been bad for the nation but good for business.

“When they started the attack on Confederate battle flags, in my store I think I sold 10,000 of them,” said Mr. Jones, who pointed out that he is a member of the NAACP and the Sons of Confederate Veterans and that his family tree includes the descendant of a freed slave who fought for the Confederacy.

“There is no solution to this race problem except the one that has always been there — it is what MLK said: Don’t treat people based on the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” he added. ‘That is what is missing from our body politic. Dr. King had it, man.”

The conversation is much different in Washington, where Democrats have called for kicking statues of Confederate figures out of the Capitol’s collection, and where the House took down a display of state flags two years ago because some of their designs paid homage to the Confederacy.

In Virginia, it has become an issue in this year’s governor’s race.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam says he would relocate statues that are under state control and that he supports localities that decide to do the same with their monuments. His Republican rival, Ed Gillespie, agrees that localities should have the final say but says the statues should stay.

Looking to energize conservative activists, Mr. Gillespie is running television ads in southwestern Virginia claiming that Mr. Northam has said he will “do everything he can to remove Virginia’s Confederate monuments and statues if he is elected governor.”

“I think the statues should stay up,” Mr. Gillespie says in the ad.

Analysts say it’s a smart strategy given that polls show most Virginians favor keeping the statues up and that the support crosses party lines.

The group includes Chris McVey, a 57-year-old from Bristol who voted for President Obama and then wrote in his father’s name after refusing to support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

“I think if you take away history, it will repeat itself,” Mr. McVey, a high school sports coach, told The Times.

Former U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat who served 14 terms representing the 9th Congressional District, told The Times that the issue has become a distraction.

“I just think we have so many problems in this country, so many challenges, that policymakers ought to be spending time on the things that matter — that are not symbolic,” Mr. Boucher said.

Charlottesville is facing a complicated legal battle over its plans to remove the Lee statue. As that case rages, the city has sued to try to prevent white nationalist “militias” from attempting to rally in the city.

Alexandria has looked into taking down its statue, a work of art named “Appomattox,” depicting a pensive Confederate veteran, that stands on the spot where rebel troops mustered before marching south in 1861.

Fairfax County has begun stripping one of its high schools of the name of a famous Confederate cavalry officer — J.E.B. Stuart.

The mayor of Richmond has tasked a commission with investigating how best to handle Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, and the Portsmouth City Council voted last week to hold a referendum on whether to remove the city’s downtown Confederate monument.

But there has been no movement in Bristol.

In her quest to clean up the soldier, Mrs. Kistner said, she was accused of being a racist once, but she was able to change the woman’s mind after having a black artist friend vouch for her.

“That is how I got out of that one,” she said. “You have to work through people, you know, because it is a touchy situation.”

She said the events in Charlottesville showed that people lack respect for their heritage and got her thinking that perhaps members of both antifa, the liberal activist movement that decries the statues as symbols of racism, and the neo-Nazi sympathizers who rally around the statues to fan the flames of white nationalism, could learn a lesson through military service.

“They don’t respect our country,” she said. “They ought to be shipped somewhere to the battlefield and let them see what it is like. Americans have the best life of any other country, but I am afraid it is going the other way.”

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