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Torn in the USA

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Inner city

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Into the Lyon’s den

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On the crest of a wave

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Sacked Chesterton chiefs hit back

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Living above the shop

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Trump in State of Union speech: ‘I keep my promises’

first_imgUnited States President Donald Trump was to deliver a triumphant State of the Union speech Tuesday on the eve of near certain acquittal in his impeachment trial, setting the stage for his re-election bid with a boast of “I keep my promises.”Facing a Democratic party smarting from divisions and a chaotic start to the primaries, Trump headed in buoyant mood to the House of Representatives, where just last December he was impeached for abuse of office.”Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results,” he said, according to excerpts released by the White House. “Unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises,” he said in the prepared remarks.This could have been the darkest week of Trump’s administration, with only the third presidential impeachment trial in US history poised to culminate Wednesday with the Senate delivering a verdict.Trump has for months fulminated against what he calls a “witch hunt” and stonewalling investigators.Facing him during the speech will be a sea of hostile Democratic legislators. And just over his left shoulder will be House speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom Trump repeatedly insults in public, calling her “Nervous Nancy” and other nicknames.But Trump’s Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and they are all but sure to declare him not guilty of both impeachment charges, leaving the real estate tycoon and former TV personality in a triumphant mood.The White House flagged well in advance that the speech would be “very optimistic.”The “I” word will not even be pronounced, the White House said.”I read the speech and the word ‘impeachment’s’ not in it,” spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News shortly before the event.Trump himself told TV network anchors at an annual lunch hosted by the White House before the speech that he’d be “extraordinarily low-key” and wasn’t feeling “bitter” at all, Politico reported.Of course with a president who loves to ad-lib and hates to play by the rules, he may yet launch a few verbal bombs at lawmakers.He already spent part of Tuesday mocking the Democrats’ shambolic kick-off to their primary season, saying that delays in the vote count in Iowa proved their incompetence.”Nothing works, just like they ran the country,” Trump said on Twitter.Reflecting the bitter atmosphere in the country ahead of the November presidential elections, prominent young left-wing lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley were among several Democrats declaring they’d boycott the State of the Union.”I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.The choices of guests to the big event tell their own stories as the election campaign picks up.Trump invited a senior border patrol officer, a woman whose brother was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2018, and former Caracas police chief Ivan Simonovis who spent years in jail under Venezuela’s far-left government.And Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized as the country’s interim president by the United States, will reportedly be a guest in a public show of support for his efforts to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro.Democratic party leaders’ guests will include some 80 doctors, patients and others symbolizing what they say is the Trump administration’s failure to tackle health care problems.Trump got yet more good news on Tuesday with a Gallup poll showing his approval rating at its highest ever: 49 percent.Support was up both among Republicans and independents, though opposition among Democrats had deepened more than ever, the poll found.Topics : “We have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny.”Trump was to say that his policies of deregulation and tax cuts – criticized by opponents as harming the environment and favoring the wealthy over the poor – were responsible for “unparalleled success” in the economy.In a note of togetherness to a deeply polarized nation, he was to insist that he is “building the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society – one where every citizen can join in.”He listed the North American USMCA trade pact, a trade deal with China, massive military spending, “unprecedented” measures to stop illegal immigration, and his bid to “end America’s wars in the Middle East” as examples of fulfilling his commitments to voters.last_img read more

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Severely disabled lawmakers in Japan fight ‘invisibility’

first_imgJapanese lawmaker Yasuhiko Funago has a neurological disease that means he cannot speak and communicates by blinking to his carer or operating a computer system with his mouth.But he is demanding to be heard as he fights to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Japan, where many in the community complain of feeling “invisible”.”I was a corporate soldier before I had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and had hardly any opportunities to have contact with people with disabilities,” Funago told a committee in November. “I had no idea how people with disabilities or illness were living,” he said in the remarks read by his parliamentary aide. Such “ignorance” leads to “prejudice and discrimination”, the 62-year-old warned.Fellow lawmaker Eiko Kimura, 54, is paralyzed from the neck down except for one hand, after suffering a childhood injury.After being elected last year to the upper house of parliament, she is pushing for more integration of people with disabilities, driven by the memory of a childhood in a carehome — where she sometimes felt she belonged to a different world than able-bodied people.  ‘Invisible’ “My image of people with no disabilities was that they are the people who are on television,” she told AFP in an interview. A society that does not help disabled people ends up effectively hiding them, she believes.”Going to school or working is very important if you want to join society,” said Kimura.”Being deprived of it is why we are invisible in society.”Both lawmakers — who ran on the ticket of the small Reiwa Shinsengumi opposition party — rely on carers for support. Their election has highlighted a legal loophole that makes it hard for disabled people to work in Japan: the state pays for carers only if the disabled person is not employed or in school.That can mean disabled people simply cannot afford to work because the cost of private help would exceed their salaries.The upper house is paying for Kimura and Funago’s assistants, but the new lawmakers want the rules changed to help the 11,500 other seriously disabled people who rely on public care.Japan’s parliament has been updated since 1977, when the country’s first wheelchair-using lawmaker, Eita Yashiro, had to be carried up the stairs to take his seat.But Kimura and Funago’s election revealed the limits of those renovations.Both lawmakers use special reclined chairs that require adjustments in the chamber.Their reliance on helpers to communicate has also required a change in the rules, allowing their carers to help them by pushing voting buttons or reading statements.InclusionThe pair have faced some criticism, with a tweet declaring their presence in parliament “a nuisance” that would impede speedy deliberations drawing 49,000 likes and 23,000 retweets.But they entered parliament at a time when Japan is working to better accommodate people with disabilities ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games.Japan’s government says there are 9.63 million people with physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in the country, accounting for more than seven percent of the total population.Progress has been made, with accessibility improving in Tokyo and legislation setting quotas for hiring people with disabilities in government.But rights activists say more must be done: the government was earlier forced to apologize for padding its disability hiring data, after regularly failing to meet its own quotas.Funago wants Japan to ensure people better understand how those with disabilities live, arguing for “inclusive education” where children learn together, regardless of disabilities. And the new lawmakers have garnered plenty of support despite the critics, particularly from within a community that often feels marginalized.”It’s important that we, those with disabilities, go out and raise our voices,” said Shinya Ando, 45, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a motorbike accident in his teens.Ando runs Personal Assistant Machida, a firm which dispatches some 250 helpers to disabled people.It also employs 15 people with disabilities, including some in managerial roles, by providing them with helpers while at work.He wants to see inclusion rather than just acceptance of people with disabilities, and said the election of Funago and Kimura was a surprise, but a positive one.”It was like leaping two steps forward at once,” he said. “I thought ‘now society will change’.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Hamilton, Messi share men’s Laureus award

first_imgFormula One champion Lewis Hamilton and football superstar Lionel Messi shared the Laureus sportsman of the year award at Monday’s ceremony in Berlin.Hamilton, 35, a six-time world champion and Barcelona star Messi, 32, share the award for their achievements in 2019.This is the first time a footballer has won the award and also the first occasion in the event’s 20-year history when the jury reached a tied decision. “I am honoured to be the first to win this award being a sportsperson coming from a team sport,” Messi said from Barcelona via a video message.US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, who won five titles at the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart to leave her with a record 25 world gold medals, took the Laureus sportswoman of the year award for the third time.”It means the world to me, this is my third Laureus award and I’m really grateful,” said Biles in a video message.South Africa, who won the 2019 World Cup, were named team of the year, beating Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and the US women’s football team. Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was joined on stage by six South African team-mates to collect the trophy.”With this group of players, we came together for the love of the game with one goal and fought so hard for each other,” Kolisi told the audience in Berlin.”We gave everything we had to win the trophy and hopefully inspire kids for generations to come.”Snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, 19, won the action sportsperson award after taking gold medals at the world championship halfpipe and X Games super pipe.Oksana Masters, who was born with limb impairments caused by radiation from Chernobyl and was later adopted in the US, won the sportsperson with a disability award.The 30-year-old won five gold medals and a silver at the world para nordic skiing championships and also took the cross-country overall world cup title.She also won silver medals in the road race and time trial H5 at the para cycling road world championships.Colombia’s Egan Bernal, 22, who became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France for 110 years, won the breakthrough award after winning the world’s top cycling race in what was only his second three-week classic event.”I’m really happy, this is a big result for me in my career,” the Colombian said in a video.German F3 driver Sophia Floersch scooped the comeback of the year award for racing once again at the Macau Grand Prix last November, a year after a crash on the same circuit left her with a spinal fracture.Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar won the public vote for the top sporting moment over the last 20 years for leading his country to victory at the 2011 World Cup at the sixth attempt.German basketball star Dirk Nowitzki was recognised with the lifetime achievement award.Topics :last_img read more

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PREMIUMIllegal abortion clinic reveals high demand amid shortage of formal facilities

first_imgFacebook Topics : Forgot Password ? Linkedin abortion abortion-laws Jakarta-police health clinics LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here The illegal clinic, in which more than 900 pregnancies were terminated since 2018, that was uncovered by the Jakarta Police recently, shows the persistent demand for abortion in Jakarta, with experts calling for the government to provide better facilities for safe procedures.Investigations are still ongoing into the clinic located on Jl. Paseban Raya in Senen district in Central Jakarta. Police arrested three suspects on Feb 11 for allegedly facilitating illegal abortions.The suspects are a gynecologist identified only as MM aka A, RM a midwife and S a clinic staff member. Furthermore, Jakarta Police are also on the hunt for others alleged to be involved in the case, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said.The police are currently looking for another gynecologist identified only as S, and two midwives, D and IO, Yusri said, adding that around 50 mid… Log in with your social account Googlelast_img read more

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