Welch appointed to influential Energy and Commerce Committee

first_imgRep. Peter Welch was named to the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce Monday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced.Energy and Commerce has broad jurisdiction, including oversight of five Cabinet-level departments and seven independent agencies, as well as legislative authority over energy policy, health care, telecommunications, trade, and the environment. The committee s areas of jurisdiction align not only with Welch s top priorities but with a broad swath of President-elect Obama s legislative agenda. This is a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to have a seat at the table as Congress tackles our nation s most pressing priorities, Welch said. We must reform our health care system, craft a 21st century energy policy and create new, green jobs. On the Energy and Commerce Committee we will be able to directly address these and other issues Vermonters care about most and get this country back on track. The news came on the eve of the 111st Congress, as Welch prepared to be sworn in to a second term in office. Welch will be sworn in today at noon.On the committee, Welch will join incoming Chairman Henry Waxman, who previously served as chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.Waxman said, I am delighted that Peter Welch is joining the Energy and Commerce Committee. Over the last two years, I have worked with him closely on the Oversight Committee and have been extremely impressed by his leadership. His exceptional ability and experience will make an important difference as we moved forward in the new Congress.last_img read more

New proposed law to keep your kids safe online

first_imgThe law required convicted sex offenders to register and update any email accounts, screen names for chatting services like AIM, or other identifiers with the state. The state then created a list and gave that list to the providers so they could purge the offenders from their sites if they desired. “They can take advantage of that trust you know to get the kids to send them explicit pictures, then they have leverage over the kids, so it really has opened the door for predators,” Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge said about the dangers of the internet. (WBNG) — While Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address was aimed at helping New York as a whole, one specific proposal is targeted at strengthening protection for children online. The internet has changed a lot since 2008, so not only will the new law address new platforms such as social media and dating apps, it will make it a crime for offenders to misrepresent themselves online.center_img According to the governor’s office, E-STOP sent the information of 22,000 sex offenders to social media sites in 2019. When Governor Cuomo was New York’s attorney general in 2008, he authored the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act, or E-STOP, the basis for internet protection in the state today.last_img read more

Young the Giant discusses new album, social issues

first_imgStudents gathered at Bovard Auditorium Tuesday to see members from rock band Young the Giant speak about their most recent album, Home of the Strange, as well as their opinions on current immigration issues. Sameer Gadhia, lead vocalist of rock band Young the Giant, said that the group hopes to create more conversation regarding social issues by creating music that touches on these topics. Emily Smith | Daily TrojanThe talk was organized by USC Speakers Committee, USC Service Student Assembly, USC International Student Assembly and USC Political Student Assembly. The event featured lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia, guitarist Jacob Tilley and bass guitarist Payam Doostzadeh of Young the Giant, and was moderated by USC Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni. Soni began the event by discussing current social issues, particularly racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and transphobia, which have been “grappled with very publicly over the last two years.”“From the persecution [of] undocumented immigrants and refugees to the increase in civil rights challenges for LGBTQ … it has been a very challenging time for all of us who aspire to live up to our ideals of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice,” Soni said.As the Dean of Religious Life, Soni said he has witnessed the impact these political issues have had on campus. According to Soni, government decisions have caused DACA students and staff to worry about their futures, and international students have been affected by the travel bans.“We need musicians … who are politically engaged, spiritually astute, socially active,” Soni said. “Musicians who are voices for peace, reconciliation and justice … So we are very fortunate to spend this evening with Young the Giant.” During the event, Young the Giant members discussed their 2016 song “Amerika.” Unlike previous songs, “Amerika” delves into political issues and addresses themes like displacement. Band members discussed this shift in terms of the types of music the group has produced over time.“We’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now, which is crazy,” Gadhia said. “And the first two albums, we were trying to establish ourselves. For this third record, we wanted to show a little more of who we were and pay homage to our parents because we wouldn’t have been here without them.” According to Gadhia, the group noticed the “undercurrent” of anger and division throughout the nation, which continued to grow following the 2016 presidential election. Gadhia said the group became more exposed to these social issues, and by creating music that touches on these topics, they hope to generate more conversation.“I don’t necessarily think we are a political band,” Gadhia said. “I think all art, even if it’s not conscious, can give a political or social snapshot of that time. So this record for us I guess it could be considered as a political record, but in a lot of ways we’re just talking about what we want to talk about.” Doostzadeh said that “Amerika” was inspired by Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel, regarding the current discussion on immigration. According to Doostzadeh, the novel is about a German child who sneaks into America to pursue the American Dream. “And every time he feels like he’s feeling comfortable, there is this strange feeling where everything also feels like it’s falling beneath him,” Doostzadeh said. “[It’s this] idea of the ‘in between,’ the place that doesn’t exist between where your family came from, where you might have come from, where you are now and the different cultural expectations and ideas of the American Dream.” Tilley ended the conversation with closing remarks about how he ultimately finds the motivation to pursue his passions and his aspirations for the band.“We’re striving to be the band that we can be,” Tilley said. “We want to find passion projects and I think all of us are trying to find what the next 10 years look like in our careers and personal lives. What gives me hope is you guys. Sometimes I struggle to find it from within, but I just see you guys to find motivation.”last_img read more

SMART accuses Govt of ‘pussyfooting’ on marijuana law

first_img– says it is not serious about changing sameBy Samuel SukhnandanGovernment’s aversion to changing local laws in relation to sentencing of persons found with small quantities of marijuana has not gone unnoticed. In fact, the Society of Marijuana Advocates for Reform and Treatment (SMART) has accused the Government of ‘pussyfooting’ on the issue.SMART steering committee member Nicole Cole told Guyana Times on Sunday that Government is not serious about changing the laws, as there had been enough time to get things in order, but there is detected a clear reluctance. She said, “They’re playing Russian Roulette with the local Rastafari community.”Cole charged that the Coalition had given its word that it would review the Narcotics Law. The Rastafarian community had tied the review of the law to its political votes when the Coalition had promised to do so. She said the APNU is currently pussy-footing and the AFC has a motion before the National Assembly; but, she said, “Even that motion needs to be tweaked further to free Rastafari from Babylon chains!”For almost three years, the AFC has still not managed to find support from the APNU to support the motion in the name of AFC parliamentarian Michael Carrington to move the first reading of the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill. The motion to have the first reading of the Bill was tabled since December 10, 2015. The Bill itself has not been made public.Former AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes, with the help of Attorney Mark Waldron, had drafted the bill, which seeks to soften the penalties for marijuana possession. That draft bill stipulates that persons who are found in possession of the drug for personal use would be required to pay a fine of $10,000, or perform community service for a period of time, something that is being widely supported.Cole recalled the Rastafari community meeting with Attorney General Basil Williams sometime in 2016 to pursue the review of the law. The community has also met with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Cannabis Commission which is reviewing the law across the Caribbean. The SMART steering committee member said Guyana should take note of what is happening in other Caribbean territories in relation to this issue, particularly Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda.Recently, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda formally apologized before the Organization of American States (OAS) on discrimination against the Rastafarian community, hoping to improve relations with the religious group. The Government there has also committed to enhancing the rights of that minority group, with hopeSMART steering committee member Nicole Coleto review local marijuana laws.Meanwhile, in Jamaica, while marijuana is illegal, possession of small amounts was reduced to a petty offense in 2015. The country has also established a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical cannabis industry on the island. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises is also permitted in Jamaica, where the drug has long been culturally entrenched, although illegal.FightGiven the slow pace at which Government is treating this issue, Cole told Guyana Times, SMART and other Rastafarian groups will not give up, but will continue to fight to ensure that some serious attention is given to that matter, so that Guyana could follow in the footsteps of other countries.Cole explained that it is Government’s ‘flippant attitude’ that occasioned the recent march by the Rastafari community, calling for their rights to use what they described as the holy sacrament (marijuana) to be recognized. What occurred in 2018 could continue in the coming months, she warned.“We will never give up the fight to be recognized as a legitimate religious entity, because those rights are enshrined in Art 146 in the Constitution of Guyana, which this Government is denying. We’ve been ostracized, victimized, vilified, and treated as persona non grata by successive Governments because of our use of the holy sacrament. We are the “dregs of society.”On Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo announced his support for custodial sentences for small quantities of marijuana to be removed from the law books in their entirety, but maintained that he is not in favour of the legalisation of marijuana for commercial purposes.Jagdeo reminded that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has made a commitment to support a ‘conscience vote’ should the matter come up for a vote in the National Assembly.“To send somebody — a young person or even an older person — to jail for less than a quarter ounce of marijuana, for three years, when we have people who are traffickers, and we have people growing large quantities of marijuana, because they have money they get off from the system,” he explained.The former President said he is not opposed to having them face some penalty, but he would recommend alternative or non-custodial sentencing, such as: community work and rehabilitation. Jagdeo noted that it was not a contentious issue as that of the death penalty, and could be resolved.last_img read more

Badri rescues champions Esperance, Wydad fire five goals

first_imgAnice Badri, seventh in the 2018 African Player of the Year competition won by Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah three days ago, saved Tunisian club Esperance from a Group B defeat.The defending champions trailed 2018 quarter-finalists Horoya in Guinea from the middle of the second half when Ghana-born former Burkina Faso international Ocansey Mandela struck.That goal separated the teams in Conakry until the fourth minute of stoppage when 2018 Champions League leading scorer Badri equalised.Horoya were the superior side, keeping Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jeridi busy throughout, only to be deprived of victory at the death.Antonio Souare, the multi-millionaire chairman of the Guinean club, has told his players that he expects nothing less than a Champions League semi-finals place this season.Former champions Orlando Pirates from South Africa are away to group debutants Platinum of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo Saturday in the other Group B fixture.Moroccans Wydad, who won the competition a second time two years ago, scored four second-half goals to trounce Ivory Coast visitors ASEC Mimosas 5-2 in Rabat.Ismail el Haddad and Wonlo Coulibaly exchanged first-half goals before Nigerian Michael Babatunde, Zouhair el Moutaraji, Walid el Karti and Badie Aouk netted for Wydad.Salif Bagate scored a late consolation goal for the Abidjan outfit, who did not concede in four qualifiers, admittedly against far less formidable rivals than the Casablanca club.The triumph took Wydad to the top of Group A on goal difference from Nigerians Lobi, who came from behind to defeat 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa 2-1 in Enugu.Sundowns have never won a group game in west Africa, drawing once and losing four, including two in Nigeria, and their passing was often sub-standard.Liberian Antony Laffor gave the visiting side a first-half lead they surrendered in the final minute of the half when Ivorian Yaya Kone levelled from a penalty.After having an early second-half goal disallowed, Lobi took the lead a minute later with Samuel Mathias punishing sloppy defending to strike what proved the match-winner.Abdenour Belkheir scored on 89 minutes to earn group newcomers Constantine from Algeria a surprise 1-0 win away to former champions Club Africain from Tunisia in Rades.Record eight-time African champions Al Ahly from Egypt host 2018 CAF Confederation Cup runners-up V Club from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the pick of the Saturday matches.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Esperance and Tunisia star Anice Badri (L) in action against Al Ain of the UAE during the 2018 Club World Cup. His stoppage-time goal salvaged a draw for the African club champions away to Horoya in Guinea Friday © AFP / Karim SahibJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan 12 – Trophy-holders Esperance snatched a lucky last-gasp draw and Wydad Casablanca went on a five-goal romp Friday as the CAF Champions League group stage kicked off.Lobi Stars won at home and CS Constantine grabbed a late away win in other matchday 1 clashes in the premier African club competition.last_img read more